‘Girl Gone Wild’ at PA Writers Conference


This past Friday I had a chance to hang out with my talented friends, Bethanne Patrick and Laura Ellen Scott, at the PA Writers Conference at Wilkes University. Bethanne is a contributing editor at LitHub, the founder of #FridayReads (go follow her on Twitter @TheBookMaven), and the author of three books, including The Books That Changed My Life. Laura Ellen teaches creative writing at George Mason University and her latest novel is The Mean Bone in Her Body, Book 1 of the New Royal Mysteries.

So, yes–I was surrounded by talent and great company for our panel!

During our talk, we examined trends in the thriller genre, particularly focusing on the feminization of thrillers (i.e., women are dominating the list of popular thriller authors and women are dominating the audience of thriller readers).¬†We covered a great deal, including the value of emotional violence as contrasted to physical violence, how to apply the Bechdel Test to your novel, and Emily St. John Mandel (of Station 11 fame–go read it!) and her analysis of the ‘Girl’ trend in titling thrillers.


We had a great audience and were even able to spend some time on questions specific to our attendees and their writing. The session could have lasted much longer, except the next panel needed to get into the room and set-up!

Panel Mise en Place

If you weren’t able to attend the session

(or if we didn’t have time to cover your question)

please get in touch!

I’ve also included copies of our handout below, for your reference. Two other excellent think-pieces to check out were featured in The Atlantic here (Women Are Writing the Best Crime Novels) and here (Why Men Pretend to Be Women to Sell Thrillers).

See you between the lines!

PA Writers Conference Handout

PA Writers Conference Handout Pg2

It’s Official–I’m a Crime Writer!

Just a little over a week after the debut of my psychological thriller, A Flash of Red, and my excitement is still at stratospheric levels. Thrilling news just keeps descending from the sky in quick succession.

Here’s my mental ticker-tape of the last 7 days:

  1. Your debut novel is out–go celebrate!

  2. You’re an official member of the Crime Writer’s Association! (celebration continues; Christmas cookies are broken out of their sweet slumber in the freezer and enjoyed by the family)


3. People are reviewing your novel, and they like it. A lot! (celebration shifts to wine in front of the fireplace with hubby, as it’s after 5 somewhere and the children are watching The 100)


4. Your box of books for distributing to libraries, local bookstores, and the like arrives. You hold your finished book in your hands for the first time. (and let your pit-bull, Jasper, get his paws on it too, as you are convinced that, if he had opposable thumbs, he’d be a writer too)

5. My tour with Sage’s Blog Tours set off this week with several stops, including a review from the head reader herself, Sage. And what did she think?

“Reading this novel was a wild ride.”

“I found this novel to be fascinating. . .”

(high-fives from my entire family, hubby and kiddos, ensues. Jasper, alas, due to his aforementioned lack of thumbs, must make do with a muzzle-snuggle)


My cup runneth over this week. . .Thank you to all of my readers for your support. I’m thrilled (pun totally intended) that you are enjoying A Flash of Red. When you get a chance, make sure to get your review up on Amazon and my Goodreads page–it is a huge help in getting other readers interested in trying a new author.

Stay tuned for more contests and giveaways over the next few weeks–the fun continues!