#thiswritinglife

So now is the time when I start chumming the waters for the new book. It’s the second novel in my Eye of Isis series, which is set in Alexandria and Egypt in the time of Cleopatra. The first book, Death of an Eye, opened in May 47 BC. Caesar and Cleopatra have returned from…

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Pollan almost lost me on page 20.

I remember when I got to the end of Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma thinking, “Well, what the hell CAN I eat, then?” Although the image of that potato farmer covered in fertilizer did stick, I was pretty much done with Pollan lecturing me on how everything I buy in a supermarket contributes to the destruction of…

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[for the Poisoned Pen Conference at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, July 13, 2012] Sometimes research is easy.  When I lived in Anchorage my house was right under the traffic pattern to the seaplane base of Lake Hood. One day my father was helping me with something in my back yard and a Cessna 206…

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Hobo Jim

Hobo Jim died today. Back in the day (2002, I think) I had the privilege of writing about him in Alaska magazine, and this is how I’m going to remember him. THUNDERFOOT by Dana Stabenow There are lots of reasons to go to the Alaska State Fair in Palmer every year.  Turkey legs and crab…

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[Originally posted November 2, 2011. One of the best parts of #thiswritinglife is sometimes you get to hang out with really cool people and do really cool things.] The worst thing about the Writers’ Police Academy is that you can’t split yourself into quadruplets so you can see and do everything on offer. Shallow grave…

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Remember earlier in #thiswritinglife I enjoined the writers among you to never pass up an opportunity to stretch your writing muscle. And then Byron Birdsall got in touch to ask me to write a foreword to his collection of black-and-white drawings called Byron Birdsall’s Alaska. Never pass up an opportunity to stretch your writing muscle.…

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You would think that most of Puri’s time would be taken up in just staying alive, but you would be wrong.

Tarquin Hall’s The Case of the Missing Servant is a different kind of crime novel, and not just for its vibrant street view of modern India. Vish Puri is no loner PI in the traditional Sam Spade mold. He’s the proprietor of Most Private Investigators Ltd., a thriving concern. He has employees. He has an…

Read more You would think that most of Puri’s time would be taken up in just staying alive, but you would be wrong.