The New Historians

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. The Internet has long been the bane of parents and teachers observing middle school kids learn to write papers. You can probably imagine how many times I’ve told my offspring to go to the library, because Googling something does not always get you an academically vetted answer. … Read more

Hawaii Journal Part Two

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. In Hawaiian, the ‘Iolani bird is a heavenly hawk. Queen Emma chose it as the name for the Anglican school she founded for Hawaiian and mixed-race boys in Oahu between 1863 and 1870. Approximately 150 years later, the renaissance royal is gone but not forgotten. Many institutions … Read more

Hawaii Journal Part One

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. I shouldn’t be in Hawaii right now, watching the waves roll in and basking in sunshine. The only reason I’m here is because I’m a worrier. In 2014, I began the application process for an artistic residency at the Iolani School in Honolulu. I worried I wasn’t going to … Read more

A Japanese Atelier

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. The word “binge” comes heavily into use at this time of year. Alcohol and chocolate are common splurges, but relaxing activities of all sorts can become crazy bad habits  when you’ve got holiday time away from work. I’ve a confession to make: I’m binging on something I … Read more

India’s History in Bits and Pieces

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. Confession: It’s very hard for me to tell a story in less than 100,000 words. A novel provides all the space I need to figure out what’s going to happen. This might happen well after the first half and change focus several times before the final chapter … Read more

Teenagers May Hold the Key

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. If you read books set in other countries, you care about things that happen beyond your front door. The recent blog posts by  Annamaria Alfieri and Cara Black as well as a poem by Karuna Ezara Parikh are powerful testimonies to read after Nov 12-13. What’s on my mind are the … Read more

A Taste of Literary New York

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. One of the perks of East Coast life is the freedom to visit other cities within just a few hours. Recently I caught a 6:30 charter bus to New York City and was midtown by 9:45. I’d temporarily abandoned my peeps in Baltimore to enact a very … Read more

Coloring for Creativity

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been spending up to a half-hour every day with a coloring book and a 48-pack of gel pens. The idea of coloring as a way to get writing juices flowing came from a great blog post on raising productivity for writers by Joanna Penn. I don’t know about you, … Read more

What I learned writing The Kizuna Coast

I met my first mystery novel at age twelve. It was The Moonstone, a prescient holiday gift from my father. In the years since, I grew into my life as a mystery and historical fiction writer. Turning bits and pieces of my imagination into something others can read is a thrilling experience. From 1997 to … Read more

Kizuna Coast Lauch

It’s almost time for The Kizuna Coast. I’ve finished most of my revisions and am waiting for corrections from my copy editor and some other important first readers who really know the book’s setting: the Great Tohoku Earthquake of 2011. The 11th Rei mystery begins on the muddy, shattered coast, and then moves back to … Read more