Sitemap - 2023 - PRESENT TENSE: Suspense Fiction and More

Writing in the new year

Why Do Writers Make the Best Spies?

Book Report: Caitlin’s 2023 reading roundup

Angie Kim on Happiness, Venn Diagrams (!), and Defying Genre Expectations

Crime fiction inspired by real life

Help us interview Angie Kim, author of Happiness Falls!

Themes that drive the story

The most famous, bad-ass American mystery writer you never heard of...

An Edgar Allan Poe Syllabus

The Scary Difficulties of Writing Scary

You're in the right place for suspense fiction reading recs, writerly discussions, and more!

The author-reader contract in suspense

Louisa May Alcott's dark side, Conan Doyle's thirst for justice...

Setting and symbolism in The Witch Elm

Let's Talk History of Crime Fiction

Tension lessons from a great book and a middling movie

A Fraud’s Guide to An Elusive Genre

Killing people at diners

How Limitations Spark Creativity

Narrative distance part 2: WHERE THE CRYPTIDS FLED

Life lessons from Agatha #5. Agatha Christie's working notebooks are a mess—aren’t you glad?

Taking things one idea at a time

Queerness and spice: Andrea Bartz talks about The Spare Room...

Doing it: early and often, or better to hold out?

Narrative distance part 1: I LET YOU GO

Gold stars, red herrings, and writing on proposal: Megan Collins, queen of dark family secrets, shares her thriller (and TikTok) savvy

Clones, gladiators, art thieves, misbehaving spouses, a man swallowed by a whale. What are you waiting for? Pack that beach bag and grab those books!

Domestic suspense that tackles the consequences of "depriving a person of a true understanding of where they’ve come from"

Mystery versus suspense: What HBO’s White Lotus can teach us about how genres work...

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Agatha Christie, Life Lesson #4. Going Pro: How Adversity and Dire Financial Need Turned Agatha from Dilettante into Steely Professional

Book report: lessons from judging a lit award

Reverse outlining lessons from an Edgar winner

Hamptons Whodunit: A new East Coast mystery and crime conference

Agatha Christie, Life Lesson #3. “I embarked lightheartedly”: Be Open to Challenges

Notes on the Execution of Good Character

Missing Girls, Monsters, and the Emotional Stakes of Genre

What Your Characters Don’t Know...Could Kill Them

Agatha Christie, Lesson #2: "The importance of books, re-reading, solitude and time"

How to Gone a Girl in 3 Steps

The One with Some Thoughts on Voice (re: I Have Some Questions for You)

Traveling alone for "sacred and unfettered access to reading"

Agatha Christie, Life Lesson #1: “Very few of us are what we seem.”

Noodling on the Mmes. de Winter

SHUTTER: More than a forensic crime novel

Welcome to the Present Tense

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