Bittersweet Endings & Strong, Complex Women

One week, two events—and plenty to talk about!

On Tuesday, July 12, at 3 p.m., I’ll be wrapping up “Short and Sweet,” my four-part webinar series on writing short mystery fiction—this session focused (appropriately) on endings: the challenges of bringing a short story to a satisfying close and some tips on how to overcome those challenges. Toni L.P. Kelner—novelist, award-winning short story writer, and distinguished anthology editor—will be joining me for this session, and we’ll also be talking a bit about the current market for short mystery fiction. This has been such a fun webinar series, and I’m sorry to see it coming to an ending of its own—bittersweet! You can register for that event for free here.

Then on Friday, July 15, I’m honored to be part of the panel “Mother, Lover, Killer, Spy: Writing Strong and Complex Female Characters” alongside a stellar group of authors: Kathleen Barber, Alma Katsu, and Tara Laskowski—and thanks to Tara both for organizing all this and for including me. Here’s the write-up on this panel.

In this roundtable discussion, four award-winning crime fiction writers will discuss how to create complex and interesting female characters. What are reader expectations about women protagonists vs. villains, and how do you avoid stereotypes? What about unreliable narrators and unlikable characters? And do expectations change depending on the genre—domestic suspense, traditional mystery, espionage, horror tale, thriller?

You can register for free for the 1455 Summer Festival here.

Looking forward to all this!