What I’ve been writing


I’m about three quarters of the way through a first draft of a new novel about a cold case murder. This early drafting is the hardest part for me. I’m much more comfortable with revising, with choosing the right word, the right image. But even in the drafting stage I find things that excite me and push me forward. My latest? A small thing–a place to fit in an image of a candy dish that my grandmother had and that my sister and I always joke about. She got the dish. I got the memory.

How do the little things impact others when they read or write?

December 21, 2018. The winter solstice, a beautiful day in Ashland. Here’s a link to Literary Ashland where Clive Rosengren and I interview each other.


It’s now the day of the Academy Awards when I dream that someone will pick up one of my novels to film. Not likely, but I forge ahead. I’m now in the last revising stages of the novel I tentatively call The Barn. The title captures the importance of the barn’s setting, though I know it could be more exciting. I’m thinking about it.

I just returned from a trip to Oman to visit my son and grandson who live there. So far away, but I could use it as a setting for another Deborah Strong mystery. The Barn is set in New Hampshire. I have four more possible settings for my librarian character: a conference on the history of libraries at the University of New Hampshire; New Orleans where she visits her friend Rachel, who plays a big role in The Barn; Oman where she takes a job as librarian at an international school; a town near Ashland, Oregon, where she decides on a big move from New Hampshire. Now for some plot ideas!


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