I’m proud and delighted to announce that my publisher, Seventh Street Books, is releasing paperback editions of the first three novels in the Hiro Hattori series: Claws of the Cat, Blade of the Samurai, and Flask of the Drunken Master. Claws re-releases next month, on April 23, but the paperback is already available for pre-order at your local independent bookstore (like Northern California’s FACE IN A BOOK) or at online retailers like Indiebound, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com. Hiro and Father Mateo’s first adventure sends them deep into the floating world of the entertainers who would, in the century that followed,Read more
Release Day For TRIAL ON MOUNT KOYA!
Today is release day for the newest Hiro Hattori mystery, TRIAL ON MOUNT KOYA! Every book I write becomes my new favorite, and this one is no exception. I consider KOYA my dual love letter to Agatha Christie’s AND THEN THERE WERE NONE (one of my favorite books, growing up) and one of Japan’s most sacred peaks.Read more
Koyasan! A Return To The Scene Of The Crime
Tomorrow morning (July 3 in Japan, though it’s only dawning July 2 in the U.S. now) I’m traveling to Koyasan (Mount Koya), in Wakayama Prefecture — one of Japan’s most sacred peaks and the setting for my newest Hiro Hattori mystery, Trial on Mount Koya, which releases July 3. As part of my ongoing project to climb 100 of Japan’s most famous peaks in a single year, I’ll be climbing and hiking on and around Mount Koya on July 3 and 4, to celebrate the release of this new novel.Read more
A Visit With Suzy Approved – and Ninjas!
Since it’s release week for BETRAYAL AT IGA, I’ve had the honor to talk with a number of bloggers, radio, and TV interviewers. I’ll try to share them all, for people who want to learn more about the Hiro Hattori novels, my writing process, and the books I read when I’m not writing! First up, this great interview with Suzy Approved Book Reviews, in which I get to talk a little more about my TBR pile and my favorite cities in Japan! I took today’s ninja-related photo at the Iga Ninja Museum in Iga-Ueno, Japan, while researching Betrayal at Iga. This is only part of the large collection of shurikenRead more
Happy Ninja Day!
OK, it’s actually the release day for my newest Hiro Hattori novel, BETRAYAL AT IGA – but since Hiro is a ninja (who solves mysteries along with his partner-in-crime-solving, Father Mateo) I think it’s fair to declare today Official Ninja Day too!Read more
Creating a Sleuth Your Readers Will Love
Sherlock Holmes. Jane Marple. Jack Reacher. Three famous names with something important in common … aside from the fact that each solves crimes in mystery or thriller novels. What is this common element? Readers love them. The key to writing successful mysteries and thrillers doesn’t lie in careful plotting, clever crimes, or sneaky suspects. The heart of these stories beats in the chest of the sleuth. Everyone enjoys a puzzle, and a tightly-woven plot is important, but readers return to a mystery (or thriller) series because they want to spend more time with a favorite hero(ine). Solving the puzzle is muchRead more
Dead Before Dying: A Twitter-Spawned Tale
Today, please welcome my long-time friend and fellow mystery author Kerry Schafer – who also writes fantasy (if you haven’t read her fabulous Books of the Between, you should) and her debut women’s fiction novel CLOSER HOME (written as Kerry Anne King) releases in March. Kerry is here to celebrate next week’s release of her new paranormal mystery DEAD BEFORE DYING (Diversion Books), which I read (and adored, and blurbed, and STRONGLY recommend to anyone who likes mystery novels with an edgy sense of humor). I asked Kerry to share the interesting story about the inspiration for DEAD BEFORE DYING–and happily, she agreed: Kerry Schafer writesRead more
The Surprising Confessions Your Characters Make When You Listen
Please welcome fellow Seventh Street Books author Stephanie Gayle, whose mystery IDYLL THREATS is the first in her Thomas Lynch series. And now, over to, Stephanie:Read more
Woman with a Blue Pencil: Making the Invisible Visible
Today, I’d like to welcome fellow Seventh Street Books author Gordon McAlpine, for a guest post about his new release, Woman With a Blue Pencil (Seventh Street Books). Welcome, Gordon! Gordon McAlpine is the author of Hammett Unwritten and numerous other novels, as well as a middle-grade trilogy, The Misadventures of Edgar and Allan Poe. Additionally, he is coauthor of the nonfiction book The Way of Baseball, Finding Stillness at 95 MPH. He has taught creative writing and literature at U.C. Irvine, U.C.L.A., and Chapman University. He lives with his wife Julie in Southern California. Woman with a Blue Pencil is published by Seventh StreetRead more
An Interview With R. Franklin James
Please welcome my friend and fellow mystery author R. Franklin James, who writes The Hollis Morgan Mysteries (Camel Press) – a friend and fellow author who will be joining me — and many other authors — at this weekend’s Bouchercon Mystery Convention in Long Beach, California. What is your favorite aspect of writing mystery novels? Writing a scene nonstop because the words are pouring out and it’s real good writing. How do you inspire yourself to get past difficult moments in writing and editing? I give myself a goal of time in chair, or word count and no matter if it’sRead more