Balancing Act

By Dave Butler 5 a.m. arrives extremely early. In the summer, when the sun rises at the same time, it’s tolerable. But in the winter...

Things I've Learned from Travel

I’m preparing to go on an international trip soon, so I’ve been thinking about all the things I’ve experienced on my travels. As Rick...

Writing Like a Photographer

By Dave Butler Imagine that you’re a landscaper photographer, visiting the west slopes of the Rocky Mountains for the first time. If...

Why I Can't Write Cozy Mysteries

Cozy mysteries are generally set in a small town with a cast of quirky characters and little violence. Murders are often depicted as a...

A Few Good Challenges

By Dave Butler Throw them a challenge! That simple piece of advice remains one of the best I’ve received from other mystery writers in...

Scene Checker by Gregory Zeigler

Rare as Earth gets a checkup. I'm working on a final edit of my novel in process, Rare as Earth. A list, entitled "Scene Checker,"sits...

Maintaining Focus

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of books written by inexperienced writers, and this has made me think back to my early days as a novelist....

50 Shades of Gray

The Role of Theme and Plot in Environmental Mysteries By Dave Butler Building on Pam and Greg’s reflections on theme and plot, I find the...

Of Plots and Themes

Every novel has a plot, which is the story line (what happens). But most good novels also have a theme, which is the underlying message...

Wherefore Art Thou?

Following on the heels of Pam and Greg’s intriguing posts, I am often asked by readers and other writers about where I write. For me,...

How I Write a Book

For some peculiar reason, people are often interested in how an author writes a book. All authors have to find the process that works...

Looking at the World

By Dave Butler Unlike Pam and Greg, I don’t have any specific experiences with private investigators. I haven’t worked as a PI, nor have...

So You Want To Write About A PI?

In my first novel, The Straw That Broke, I introduced Jake Goddard as a PI who had sort of fallen into the job through his work as an...