Why Deb Susan Likes “The Song That Doesn’t End”

When my son was young, the end credits to “Lamb Chop’s Play Along” featured The Song That Doesn’t End. Not surprisingly, he loved it. More surprisingly, I happen to love it too. For those not acquainted with this little gem: (My apologies to anyone who actually clicked it. You’ll now be singing it for weeks.) I love the song for its childlike denial of endings. If the song never ends,…

Friday, December 28, 2012
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Deb Susan’s Kitty Friendship Surprise

When I sat down to write a ninja detective mystery, I knew I had a couple of fairly substantial hurdles to clear. High on the list: unrepentant assassins don’t rank very high on the “winsome protagonist scale.”If I wanted to write a mystery series starring a highly trained killer, I needed to round off some of his edges a bit. Fortunately, there’s an app a writing trick for that. Most…

Thursday, December 20, 2012
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Deb Susan Asks: Jogger or Corpse?

For a mystery author, the conflict usually starts before the novel and expresses itself – unpleasantly – as soon as the book begins. My family calls this “jogger or corpse.” When you read a mystery novel or watch a detective show on TV, the opening scenes often show a person engaged in mundane activity. She’s running through a wooded park. He’s brushing his teeth while watching the morning news. This…

Thursday, December 13, 2012
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Deb Susan’s Mind is All Tied Up

At heart, I’m a creature of simple comforts. The things I’m most attached to are my memories. Like most authors, I have a vivid imagination (probably too vivid – seeing as how I spend my days finding new and inventive ways to my kill my imaginary friends). Anything can trigger a memory, and almost everything does. I wouldn’t want it any other way. When I think about writing, I think…

Thursday, December 6, 2012
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Deb Susan and the Serrano of Doom

In my family’s language , “funny stories” translates to “let’s embarrass the children.” And so, with no further ado: When my son was small, I often took him to visit my father on weekends. Dad lived 20 minutes from us, with a big backyard where my son could run and play. Dad also loved Jack-in-the-Box cheeseburgers, so I usually picked up lunch on the way. One midsummer afternoon when my…

Thursday, November 29, 2012
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Deb Tom Is Thankful for Distractions

 Gobble. GobbleGobbleGobbleGobble … Wait. English. Yes. Welcome to Thanksgiving Day at the Debutante Ball! The debutantes are all spending today with their families (and hopefully none of mine), so I – DEB TOM – agreed to fill in at the Ball today. (I might have stolen Deb Susan’s password without her knowing, but we’ll just make that our little secret, shall we?) Those of you in the United States are…

Thursday, November 22, 2012
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Deb Susan’s Fiery Inspiration

Given the plummeting nighttime temperatures in Sacramento, winter has (finally) decided to join us. And since my calendar reads November, I have access to two of my favorite evening inspirations: Fires and Gingerbread Lattes. I love curling up by a crackling fire with a book, my computer, or even just a blanket and a dream.  Fire lights my imagination every time. As a child, I loved to read by the…

Thursday, November 15, 2012
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Deb Susan’s Romantic Ritual of the Sea

  Most of you know I have a marine aquarium focused on seahorses. (OK, technically all of you know it now.) Far fewer of you probably know that seahorses have rituals too. The most visible, and most dramatic, centers on courtship. Most seahorses mate for life (though some, like my female Ceti, decide to somewhat literally change horses in midstream). The courtship and mating process involves tail-holding, mid-water “dancing” and…

Thursday, November 8, 2012
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Deb Susan Calls in the Worry Marines

It’s hard to write about scary things the day after Halloween. The ghosts and goblins have disappeared, and my pre-coffee reflection scares me more than anything else this morning. But this week’s topic calls for fear, and fear is something with which I am very familiar. When I started writing, I feared I would never write well enough for publication. I wrote anyway. When I finished each of my manuscripts,…

Thursday, November 1, 2012
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Deb Susan Sees Villains Everywhere

When your novel features a ninja assassin as its protagonist, you have to think long and hard about what makes a villain. Ultimately, villainy is usually a matter of perspective. Real villains aren’t the mustache-twirling cardboard cutouts of Saturday-morning cartoon fame. Snidely Whiplash is funny, but not really frightening. Horror villains, like Nightmare on Elm Street’s infamous Freddy Krueger, are scary for a moment but not in a way that…

Thursday, October 25, 2012
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