The 29th Southern Festival of Books 10-13 – 10-15, 2017

The setting before the event then Me, Bob Mangeot, & Beth (Jaden) Terrell at SinC’s booth

What a fun time. I wasn’t on a panel this year, but I will be again when I get my second book comes out. This year all of the panels and author sessions were held at the downtown Nashville Library. The Legislative Plaza rooms are no longer used for sessions. I spent my time there at the Middle Tennessee Sisters in Crime booth. I’ll share some of the pictures.

Taken from inside the Sisters in Crime Booth

Author D. Alan Lewis manning the Nashville Writer’s Meetup Group booth again this year.

I bought the grey long sleeve T-shirt on sale with many others and then walked around to

see the other tents.

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Author Marilyn Meredith with Yet Another New Release

Welcome Marilyn Meredith who is once again visiting my author blog on another of her Tempe Crabtree book tours. Big news. She may be retiring this series and this may be the last of her many, many Tempe Crabtree mysteries. Let’s see what she has to say today:

How Sisters in Crime has Helped My Writing Career

by Marilyn Meredith

Being a founding member of the San Joaquin Sisters in Crime and one of the earliest members in the Central Coast Sisters in Crime has not only been beneficial but has been a great experience.

Probably the best that has come out of those memberships is all the friends I’ve made. Friends I’ve roomed with at conferences in many different places: Anchorage Alaska, Bellingham Washington, Monterey, Sacramento and San Francisco and other places I’ve forgotten.

Since the beginning, I’ve met other authors and readers. I’ve enjoyed talks about experts in many fields such as coroners who shared gruesome photos of murder victims and gave me ideas for future mysteries. Once a female police officer shared her experiences and as always, I took many notes, and a plot for a story grew out of those notes.

Lawyers, detectives, crime scene investigators, law enforcement officers, and profilers have all been willing to share their expertise with us. I’ve gathered so much information and learned so much.

I’ve also been the featured speaker at both groups many times, sharing some ideas about writing and promotion that I’ve learned along the way. I’ve done an interactive How to Write a Mystery program that’s lots of fun for me and the attendees.

I also belong to the Los Angeles chapter of Sisters in Crime, but haven’t been able to attend much, though once, long ago, I gave a talk about e-books before most people had even heard about them.

I get newsletters from the National chapter as well as all three groups that I belong to. All of them have helpful information. They all have listserves where questions can be asked and answered.

Anyone who is a mystery writer or reader should join a local chapter of Sisters in Crime. You won’t regret it. My membership has been invaluable to me.

Marilyn

Blurb for A Cold Death:

Deputy Tempe Crabtree and her husband answer the call for help with unruly guests visiting a closed summer camp during a huge snow storm and are trapped there along with the others. One is a murderer.

Anyone who orders any of my books from the publisher‘s website: http://mundania.com
can get 10% off by entering MP20 coupon code in the shopping cart. This is good all the time for all my books, E-books and print books.

On Kindle:

https://www.amazon.com

Bio:

Marilyn Meredith’s published book count is nearing 40. She is one of the founding members of the San Joaquin chapter of Sister in Crime. She taught writing for Writers Digest Schools for 10 years, and was an instructor at the prestigious Maui Writers Retreat, and has taught at many writers’ conferences. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and serves on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra, a place with many similarities to Tempe Crabtree’s patrol area. Webpage: http://fictionforyou.com

Blog: http://marilymeredith.blogspot.com/ and you can follow her on Facebook.

Contest: Once again I’m going to use the name of the person who comments on the most blogs on my tour for the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery—which may be the last in the series.

Tomorrow I’ll be here:
https://bookbrowsing.wordpress.com/

Library Presentations

 

 

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Killer Nashville International Writers’ Conference 2017

A Cat, a Recipe, and an Old Curiosity Shoppe: How to Write a Cozy Mystery                 This was the title of my author panel at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday 8-26-17. This is our group right before we began our session, which turned out fun and interactive. The panelists, in sitting order, are: Lois Schmidt (moderator) far right, Barbara Collins next to her, next Traci Andrighetti to my left, and Carol L. Wright to my right. Phyllis Gobbell was at the right end of the panel. This is the second panel I’ve been on with Phyllis. When Barbara Collins started describing her antique cozy series, I realized I’d read several of her books.

Prior to us getting together, Tom Wood stopped by to give Phyllis Gobbell and me a victory hug before we went in for the panel.

Clay Stafford interviewed the famous Max Allan Collins at a special lunch event earlier.                    

Parnassus Bookstore is the usual make shift Killer Nashville bookstore each year. I brought my books in for my signing only to find out this year they’d already ordered them from my publisher. Cool.

 

 

After the book signing, I went into the main lobby area of the Embassy Suites in Franklin, Tennessee for the drinks and snacks.

I’ve been going to the Killer Nashville Conference every single year since 2009. I feel so at home there and am already looking forward to going in 2018.

 

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Middle Tennessee Sisters in Crime Chapter Celebrates 30-Year Anniversary

 

 

 

 

 

The celebration was held Tuesday July 11, 2017. Parnassus Books was once more a gracious host to an author event here in the greater Nashville area of Tennessee.

 

 

 

 

Below are pictures taken at this event tonight. Members seemed to have a great time and non-member guests came too. Hopefully some of those chose to join our fun and eventful MT Sisters in Crime Chapter. Here are links to our author speakers tonight: Alana White: Amazon Author Page for Alana. Amazon Author Page for Jaden (Beth) Terrell: Jaden Terrell Author Page, Amazon Author Page for Steve Womack: Author Page of Steven Womack

Then there is our president, Robert (Bob) Mangeot who writes the greatest shorts in the world that seem to hit Alfred Hitchcock every time I turn around and numerous anthologies (award winning ones). Here’s a website I found for him: http://robertmangeot.com/

Middle Tennessee Sisters in Crime is one of more than fifty chapters of the now international SinC organization. The middle Tennessee chapter is located in Nashville and meets the second Tuesday of every month at 6:00 p.m. The members, sisters and misters, are a diverse group of readers and writers of primarily crime fiction. The website is at: Middle TN Sisters in Crime

Here are a couple more pictures from the 30-year celebration Tuesday July 11, 2017.

Local author books at Parnassus – Mine included

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Lisa Wysocky on the Top 20 Mistakes Authors Make

This is Richland Park Nashville Public Library where Lisa Wysocky’s training took place today on the subject on The Top Twenty Mistakes Authors Make. She shared a great deal of her expertise with a group of writers, readers, and wannabe writers. She is an excellent speaker and well versed from many years of experience writing, editing, speaking, and training. Lisa is an award winning and best selling author of both fiction and non-fiction.

Here are some pictures from this training session. You can also find out more about Lisa Wysocky and how to see this presentation online at LisaWysocky.com/freebies by visiting the Sisters in Crime Middle Tennessee chapter Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/SinCMidTN

Lisa (below) engaging the audience with her knowledge and expertise.

Below are the guests starting to come in just prior to the start of the session:


 

 

 

 

Robert Mangeot, the Vice-President of the middle Tennessee Sisters (and Misters) in Crime introducing Lisa Wysocky and discussing the local SinC chapter.

 

 

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Guest author J.L. Greger with a background post on her newest book, Riddled with Clues.

Hi from Linda Thorne. I am so glad to introduce this author and her book, Riddled with Clues. I found her by accident recently when I took the time to visit some blogspots. She’s been on quite a few. Here is J.L.’s post called:

The Strangest Things Happen

by J.L. Greger

We all encounter strange events occasionally. You know – incidents you don’t quite understand. Some are scary; others are funny; many are just weird. Write them down. They make great material in a novel.

Let me tell you about an incident that surprised me and how I used it to create a character in my latest suspense novel, Riddled with Clues.

My dog Bug, a Japanese Chin, and I have done pet therapy at the local VA Center for years. This particular VA Center has a number of rehab programs besides a major hospital. It also offers multiple programs to aid homeless veterans in New Mexico.

On a visit to the VA, a disheveled veteran sat and stroked Bug for several minutes without speaking. Then he looked at me and said, “What does this dog call you?”

I recognized this was a serious question and deserved a thoughtful answer. I didn’t smirk or giggle. “I think he calls me Mom.”

The veteran lowered his head to examine the dog’s face and then resumed stroking him. After a minute, he nodded. “I think that’s right.”

Several months later, a neatly dressed man on the VA campus approached Bug and me. “Hello Bug and Bug’s Mom.” As he talked to me for several minutes, I realized this was the same veteran. He was well educated but had experienced hard times not only in Vietnam but also in his personal life. He wasn’t pathetic; he had dignity.

His words kept replaying in my mind over the last few years. When I set Riddled with Clues at the VA Hospital in Albuquerque, I knew I would include these incidents.

Please note: HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) doesn’t allow health care workers or volunteers to identify patients. However, I don’t know the name of this man and I didn’t describe him in the novel as he looked. Everything about the character in my novel is fictitious, except for the description of these two brief incidents. I think the incidents provide insight into the mental state and personality of a veteran in rehab.

Now aren’t you curious to find out how these incidents fit into the plot? You’ll have to read Riddled with Clues to see whether the book is unforgettable, as these incidents were to me.

Don’t forget to write down strange things that happen to you. They might become scenes in your next novel.

Blurb: A hospitalized friend gives Sara Almquist a note, which he received just before he was severely injured while investigating the movement of drugs into the U.S. The note is signed by “Red from Udon Thani.” However, he doesn’t know anyone called Red, and the last time he was in Udon Thani was during the Vietnam War. After Sara listens to his rambling tale of all the possibilities, both are assaulted. The friend is left comatose. Sara must determine whether the attacks are related to events in Laos fifty years ago or to the modern-day drug trade. As she struggles to survive, she questions who to trust: the local cops, her absent best friend, the FBI, or a homeless veteran who leaves puzzling riddles as clues.

Riddled with Clues (both paperback and Kindle versions) is available with a click here at: Buy Link at Amazon

AUTHOR J.L. GREGER WITH BUG:

Picture With Dog copyBio: J. L. Greger likes to include “sound bites” on science and exotic locations in her Science Traveler Thriller/Mystery series, which includes: Riddled with Clues, Murder…A Way to Lose Weight (winner of 2016 Public Safety Writers (PSWA) annual contest and finalist for New Mexico–Arizona book award), I Saw You in Beirut, and Malignancy (winner of 2015 PSWA annual contest). To learn more, visit her website: http://www.jlgreger.com or her Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008IFZSC4.

 

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Question Me A Novel – Jaden (Beth) Terrell Brentwood, TN Library April 29

By Linda Thorne

Today, Beth (Jaden) Terrell gave some of us a free two-hour taste of her novel writing workshops at the beautiful Brentwood Library (just south of Nashville). Most of Terrell’s workshops are held here in the greater Nashville area. I’ve included a couple of pictures I took today of other sections of this beautiful Brentwood, Tennessee library.

There’s the Happy Ever After room along with the Story Room below. Magnificient.

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Here we are below ready to hear what Beth (Jaden) Terrell has to offer in her workshops. Sisters in Crime president, Robert Mangeot, had a hand in getting this group together. He brought water and candy for all of us and joined in at the introduction.

Writers - Brentwood Library18198301_1892131347743361_3853815755700653574_n[2] 18157901_1892131677743328_7407860072390373888_n[2]

Jaden Terrell is known locally for her novel writing workshops. Anyone interested in attending (or using her editing services), can find out more on her website at: http://www.jadenterrell.com/

If interested in reading about or purchasing her books, you can find her on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and most of all the many buy sites. Also, she has books in a number of the local bookstores such as Parnassus Books and Barnes and Noble.

Short BIO: Shamus Award nominee Jaden Terrell is the internationally published author of the Jared McKean Mysteries and a contributor to Now Write! Mysteries, a collection of exercises for writers of crime fiction published by Tarcher/Penguin for writers of crime fiction. Her short stories have been included in Killer Nashville Noir: Coldblooded and Eight Mystery Writers You Should be Reading Now.

We all had a good time and got a “feel” for what Terrell’s workshops entail – good, solid, training for novel writers and wannabes.

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Welcome Marilyn Meredith With Her Newest Book and An Interesting Post

Once more Marilyn Meredith visits my blog with another new book. She’s at just under forty published books now, which seems an amazing feat to me for any author. In her post today she talks about her writing process. Thanks to anyone who stops by and hopefully leaves a comment. Wish each of you a great rest of the week. Linda Thorne

My Writing Process

by Marilyn Meredith

Many writers develop a chapter by chapter outline containing the scenes they plan to write. Though this seems like a logical process, it’s one I’ve never been able to use.

Because I write a series, I already have a group of on-going characters—characters that I know quite well. I keep 3 X 5 cards with information about each one on them—a process I started long ago.

When I’m starting a new book in the series, I begin thinking about who would be a good murder victim. In the case of Unresolved I decided it would be a good idea to kill the person who was the main reason Rocky Bluff P.D. was underfunded.  As the ideas began to flow I also came up with all the people who might have wanted this person dead and why.

With new characters, I move to a notebook where I decide on their names and jot down facts about them—who they are, how they look, some back story, and their possible motives if they might be a suspect.

One I get that far I usually decide to begin the book with the death of the victim—always a good place to start.

From there on, I write. While I’m writing, I try to keep a timeline of sorts—what days things are happening. Also, as I’m writing, ideas pop into my head. To make sure I don’t forget them, I jot them down in the notebook I keep next to my computer. I also write down loose ends that need to be tied up at some point.

This might not be the easiest way to do it, but it works for me. And I usually have cup of chai tea close at hand.

Blurb:

Rocky Bluff P.D. is underpaid and understaffed and when two dead bodies turn up, the Unresolveddepartment is stretched to the limit. The mayor is the first body discovered, the second an older woman whose death is caused in a bizarre manner. Because no one liked the mayor, including his estranged wife and the members of the city council, the suspects are many, but each one has an alibi.

Copies may be purchased from Book and Table by emailing bookandtablevaldosta@gmail.com with a 10% discount and free shipping

 

                                                         Marilyn Speaking at Nipomo Library:

Bio: F. M. Meredith lived for many years in a small beachMe at Nipomo Library community much like Rocky Bluff. She has many relatives and friends who are in law enforcement and share their experiences and expertise with her. She taught writing for Writers Digest Schools for 10 years, and was an instructor at the prestigious Maui Writers Retreat, and has taught at many writers’ conferences. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and serves on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra. Visit her at http://fictionforyou.com and her blog at http://marilymeredith.blogspot.com/

Tomorrow, April 27, it’s all about My Exciting Life as an Author. Hope to talk to you there at:
http://evelyncullet.com/blog/

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My Life As It’s Been Since Last December

I looked at my website and blog today and sadly saw what anyone else stopping by would see. I’m out of the writing world. I’m desperately trying to get back, but work demands are horrendous. I have a side bar with conferences, but they are from last year. I will try to update them soon. My blog had nothing newer than a guest who posted in late November. All I’ve been able to do is keep up with my two scheduled posts, Make Mine Mystery (3rd Thursday of every month) and Novel Spaces (the 17th of every month). I took the post below from one I’d put on Novel Spaces in January. This is where I’ve been and still there, not seeing any relief in sight. I hope to get back to the writing world soon.

Taken from my archived Novel Spaces Blogspot post on January 17, 2017:

Stressed to the Point that Writing Seems Impossible    

by Linda Thorne



Okay, I told some people I wouldn’t post about my time constraints with writing and promotion anymore, but here I am with nothing else to talk about except what feels like zero time to write, read, and promote. I am still meeting my deadlines for scheduled posts like this one and it’s not easy.


Che Gilson’s last post on Novel Spaces was perfectly timed for me with her suggestions of a timer and calendars. My problem is I don’t think any recommendations would work given my current circumstances. I’m unusually busy at work. Actually, that is a huge understatement.

I’ve seen just about everything over my long human resources career. I went through a hostile takeover of a company in Denver. A former company I worked for lost its lease, built a new site and quickly doubled in size. The company I worked for on the Mississippi Gulf Coast went through a brutal restructuring. A move to the Central Valley of California took me to a manufacturing plant in business for 98 years, but after working there a year, we were given a year’s notice that the plant would close. Chaos ensued as people bailed when we had to maintain full production up to the date of closure. 

In an effort to seek help, I put my current problem into the Google search engine and came up with a blog post called, 6 Habits to Help You Write When You Don’t Have the Time. The blog is Jeff Goins’, but it was written by a guest he invited, Tyler Braun. Brawn starts off with a quote from Katerina Stoykova Klemer, which says, “If you don’t write when you don’t have time for it, you won’t write when you do have time for it.” 
Okay, I get it, but I think there’s a caveat. Sometimes there may not be enough hours in the day to write, which does not mean you wouldn’t write if you had the time.

In his post, Tyler Braun went on to list the 6 habits that he thought would help.

1. Figure out how many words per day
2. Leave yourself reminders to keep fighting
3. Get enough sleep
4. Always be ready to capture ideas and quotes
5. Never surrender
6. It takes discipline

I think his recommendations are great. I just think that sometimes if you are in an unusually crazy situation, none of the recommendations are going to work. Sometimes those recommendations to pace yourself, write a minimum amount of words, think positive, etc. aren’t going to get you there. I agree the most with number 5, “never surrender,” but my qualification of that phrase here is sometimes you have no choice but to retreat (not the same as surrender) until you find a way out of the situation that is blocking you, or wait until the turmoil is over.

Have any of you experienced life getting so in your face that any type of organized writing plan might not work?  

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An Interview with Michael Paul Michaud

Congratulations, Michael Michaud, on the release of your newest book November 26th. I’ve only just begun to read it, but find it quite interesting. To give our viewers a little more information on this book, I posted the blurb I found online below.

A The Introvertvacuum salesman by day, the introvert lives a quiet life alone with his dog until a work relationship and a dark secret from his past team up to create an uncomfortable imbalance in his otherwise ordered life, one that soon finds him squarely at the center of a murder investigation. With his thoughts continually urging him to make people “red and open” and to “achieve it” with his girlfriend Donna, what follows is a sometimes brutal, oftentimes hilarious, and absurdist account of the life of one very anti-social and unexpected anti-hero.

Amazon Buy Link: To Book and Kindle

Linda:  Tell us, what inspired you to write The Introvert?
Michael:  I had just finished reading two fairly dark books before I wrote The Introvert. First was Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky, and the second was The Stranger (L’Etranger) by Camus. I was fascinated by the protagonists in those stories, so much so that I wanted to write my own story as homage to those wonderfully off-beat characters. I was taken by the stranger’s dead-pan, simplistic approach to life, and by Raskolnikov’s erratic, absurdist approach to dealing with society, and specifically law enforcement. Anyone who has read those two novels will likely draw parallels. The difference in The Introvert was that I injected a large dose of humor into my story. And it was a surprisingly easy story to write. Whereas, my earlier book, Billy Tabbs, took me the better part of two years to complete. I wrote the first draft of this novella in just under two weeks. It came pouring out very stream of consciousness and very easily (some of my readers have remarked, with a nervous glance, that perhaps it poured out a little too easily). I do tend to write darker, sometimes twisted stories. Stories that may challenge the comfort of the reader. Just as Dostoyevsky and Camus succeeded with me, I hope that The Introvert will accomplish that with others.

Linda:  I have to admit when I first picked up the book, I was thrown off when I got to the dedication page and found, “For the Weirdos.” I wondered what I might be getting myself into until I started reading the book. I’m still curious, though. Why did you choose this dedication?
Michael:  I see a growing trend toward introversion these days. We are under such scrutiny given the proliferation of social media, and I see more and more people shrinking from the spotlight, content to quietly to do their own thing. I’m very much an introvert myself, but have been coaxed into the social media world as a result of the necessity that is book promotion and marketing. But at heart I am very much a loner – a solitary scrivener, as I call myself on my author page. Loners, introverts, the quiet ones, we sometimes take it on the chin for being different, as if our satisfaction with our solitude is a jarring, even threatening condition to some. We can be eccentric. We can enjoy our own company. We can enjoy living life off the beaten path. We can be fiercely loyal to the creative or the esoteric. Many people are likely nodding, sitting quietly behind their monitors, as they read this. My protagonist in The Introvert faces similar scrutiny along these lines. In one scene, he describes how he was teased by some boys for behaving differently:
“I also remember how I’d brought it up to my parents later that night and how they just     told me that in a world where most fifth graders bought licorice or gum or chocolate that if another kid bought honey they might think that’s “a little off” because most people are only   comfortable when everyone is eating and wearing and talking and acting the same as everyone else, but that I should never change who I was just because most people changed the way they were to fit into a pattern.”
So my dedication, far from being pejorative, is actually a salute to those who may identify as being different. I have been called a weirdo myself – usually in jest, but you know what they say about jokes being half-truths. Frankly, I wear the moniker like a badge of honor, and I hope others do, as well.

Linda:  Interesting book cover. It grabbed me right away. It seems simple and, at the same time, complicated. Tells us more.
Michael:  I subscribe to the theory that less is often more. Also, as much skill as I (may) have with the written word, I am conversely unskilled as an artist, so when it came time to design a concept cover, I was limited as to what I could create. This was prior to publication, but I wanted the book to have some sort of concept art that would accompany the manuscript when sent to beta-readers, editors, publishers, etc. Something that would clearly embody the spirit and tone of the story. So I sat down, and about 30 minutes later I’d created the cover image that you see today. Originally it was just intended to be the concept cover, but I posted it online, and several commented on it favorably, including my cousin, Myra, who basically challenged me to go with it as the official cover. I thought about it, suggested it, and my publisher agreed. They just inverted the colors and we were done. I’m thankful that this ended up as the cover because people have been going wild for it. I posted it on Instagram where it garnered nearly 30,000 likes. It seems to have really struck a chord. People relate to it. There have been requests for the introvert and Molly symbol on shirts, hats etc. I couldn’t be prouder of the response. But far from the result of any diabolical marketing masterstroke, it was simply the result of my love for simplicity and my limitations as an artist.

Linda:  Would you tell us what this genre is and the type of readers it would appeal to?
Michael:  It is black humor crime fiction, which is a bit of a genre unto its own. If you could take Crime and Punishment, The Stranger, American Psycho, and The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-time and put them all in a blender, you’d pour out something very close to The Introvert. Some people love it. Others have been shocked by it, because it can move from brutal to hilarity and back again all within the same page. I believe they blend rather nicely, but it may be jarring to some.

Linda:  In closing, do you have another project you’re working on? If so, can you tell us a little about it?
Michael:  I am currently putting the final touches on my third book – a coming of age novel titled “Relics.” Relics is a family drama/thriller/mystery. It initially tells the story of nine-year old Sarah Edson and the trials and tribulations of fourth grade life in Portland, Maine (where I grew up), later picking up when Sarah is an adult, working as a journalist at a fictional Boston area newspaper. It speaks to regret, nostalgia, family dysfunction, and how small, seemingly innocuous events from one’s past can return later in life to greater, even nefarious consequence. It is probably my first crack at mainstream fiction. Some will applaud, others may groan. I do believe it is an interesting story to tell, it has just taken some time to spit it out (nearly four years). This is also my first crack at writing a book centered around a female protagonist. I hope that I do her justice. I’m sure my readers will let me know one way or the other.
I want to thank you for giving me an opportunity to take part in this Q&A, as well as all those who took the time to read it. If you enjoyed what you read or have any questions, be sure to stop by http://www.facebook.com/MichaelPaulMichaud– I’d love to hear from you.

Linda: Thank you Michael for stopping by. I wish I’d gotten to know you in time to have finished reading your book before your visit. I’m well into it now and I’ll post a review on Amazon and Goodreads when I’m finished. This was a very interesting interview and I haven’t heard anyone mention reading Crime and Punishment since my college days, which I have to say was a very long time ago.

ABOUT THE AUTHORMichael Michaud - Copy

An America-Canadian citizen, Michael holds a B.A. in English, Honors B.A. in Political Science (summa cum laude), and a J.D. in Law. He is employed as a Crown Prosecutor in the Greater Toronto Area. THE INTROVERT is his second release. His debut novel – BILLY TABBS (& THE GLORIOUS DARROW) – was published in 2014 from Bitingduckpress.

Follow Michael at: http://www.facebook.com/MichaelPaulMichaud.

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