Monday, January 28, 2008

Shoes Make the Writer

I promise to circle back to shoes. This is the Stiletto Gang and since we're women and we're mystery writers, we were impressed with our little wordplay. I know nothing about stiletto knives, but as a shoe whore I've got plenty to say about stiletto heels.

But first, why another blog from a bunch of mystery writers?

Here's the down and dirty, simple truth. Why not? We're writers. Blogging is a way of touching base with fellow mystery fans; a way of promoting our books; and it's what we do. We write (or play free cell).

I've been watching a lot of political debates lately and always sympathize with the candidate who has to give the first answer. Sure you get your point out early, but you just know that the other guy (gal) has an extra few minutes to figure out something cleverer to say.

So it was probably not the smartest thing to volunteer to write the first entry for The Stiletto Gang. But then it struck me that the best way to meet the challenge is to quote somebody smarter than me: Carolyn Hart.

At the last Malice Domestic, she explained why she wrote cozy mysteries. "In my books, the good guys always win."

It was the proverbial light bulb moment. Now I knew why I loved writing mysteries. Mini-control freak that I am, writing who-dunnits gives me the opportunity to create a universe with the outcomes I want. In the world of Mac Sullivan, Rachel Brenner, and Whiskey, the adorable and adored Irish wolfhound, the good guys always prevail.

That doesn't mean that I want a Pollyanna solving mysteries in her spare time. Sure there are days when I want life to be simple. I want some blessings that aren't in disguise. But I want to create complex, multi-layered characters who encounter conflict and struggle not with black-and-white issues, but with all the shades of gray that life entails.

My good guys love coconut cream pie, and have the love handles to show for it. My heroines have ex-husbands who cheated on them, and they have footprints on their backs from being doormats. They have pasts that haunt them, futures that worry them, and bills to pay. Me too. The question isn't whether evil exists in my world. It most certainly does. It's just that I get to thwart it, one killer at a time.

Now, a tad late in the essay, let me say welcome to The Stiletto Gang blog. We're four writers, although two of us share a name. Evelyn David has a split personality. I'm Marian, the Northern half, and I live in New York. Rhonda, the Southern half, lives in Oklahoma. Our first mystery is Murder Off the Books (Echelon, 2007). We're frantically finishing the sequel, Murder Takes the Cake. Check out our web site,, and discover the intriguing secret of how our book was written.

Tomorrow you'll meet Marilyn Meredith. Marilyn is the author of the acclaimed Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, as well as the Rocky Bluff P.D. series.

Wednesdays, Maggie Barbieri, author of the Allison Bergeron series (which has taken off like gangbusters), mans the helm.

Thursdays, Rhonda Dossett, the Southern half of Evelyn David, puts pen to paper (make that fingers to keyboard, but you get the drift.)

Fridays, we'd love to hear from you. Share your thoughts in a guest blog.

A promise is a promise. Let me circle back to stiletto heels. I'm a writer, so let's be real. My default writing footwear is bedroom slippers. For dress-up, I wear a pair of black suede Merrell slip-ons. When I win an Edgar, I'll wear stiletto heels. Promise.

My wish for you all: a world where the men are good looking; the women are brilliant and beautiful; the dogs are loyal and loving ... and where the good guys always win.

Evelyn David


  1. That's a great wish to send readers out with on a Monday morning! Thanks. But...don't postpone joy, wear those stilettos now.

  2. What a great blog! I have it bookmarked already so I will be visiting every morning....even if I don't leave comments very often. Thanks for making the announcement on cozyarmchairgroup.

  3. Congratulations on your debut, ladies, and a special hi there to you, Marian! Um, do any of you actually wear stiletto heels? I haven't owned a pair since about 1969. IMHO, like their namesake the knife, they kill. I want those two loyal, loving dogs, my feet, to survive till the end of the story. ;)

  4. A big welcome to the Stiletto Gang who will be kicking up their mighty heels, for sure. Looking forward to many great posts and Evelyn wearing the 6-inchers to accept an Edgar.

    Felicia Donovan

  5. Well, what a nice debut. I once wore stilettos...that was back when my legs were, it's MUDD all the way.

    I now know that I have to add another author to my list of reading materials, I obviously know the David works, and I am quite familiar with the Crabtree series, but now I have to add Bergeron to the list.

    Welcome to blogland ladies!

    Karen Syed

  6. The Blog is off to a great start.

    Will have to keep checking back.


  7. Great Blog! You won't find me wearing stilettos, though. Bad, bad feet!

    All the best. I'll visit often.

  8. I just found this blog and so far I like it. I've only read the two books by Maggie, but I look forward to reading the books by Evelyn and Marilyn.


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