Blog Bytes

A Beloved Mystery Writer and Reviewer Passes the Baton to a
2018 Raven Award Winner

KristopherZgorski_blog-bytesLast issue’s EQMM was missing the popular Blog Bytes, a column we’ve run since 2006. The brainchild of writer Ed Gorman, its recommendations and critiques guide readers through the vast material related to mysteries found on the web.

Since August 2007, Blog Bytes has been written by Bill Crider, author of nearly seventy novels, spanning not only the mystery genre but horror, western, and children’s books. A respected critic and scholar of the mystery too, Bill was ideally suited to Blog Bytes, but sadly, the illness that prevented him from completing last issue’s column has necessitated a passing of the baton. Bill Crider will always have a special place in the hearts of the staff and readers of EQMM, but we’re confident our choice of Kristopher Zgorski, one of this year’s winners of the Mystery Writers of America’s Raven Award, to fill his shoes will do him proud.

A publishing veteran who currently works in academic journal production at Johns Hopkins University Press, Kristopher Zgorski is the founder of the crime-fiction blog BOLO Books (www.bolobooks.com), which reviews approximately sixty crime novels per year and features interviews and recaps of the genre’s major conventions. For his work at BOLO Books and his reviews for print publications such as Deadly Pleasures Magazine and Crimespree Magazine, the innovative critic has been awarded the MWA Raven, which recognizes outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing. It is with great pleasure that we welcome him to the EQMM family of writers.

 

BLOG BYTES

by Kristopher Zgorski

Career Authors (www.careerauthors.com) is a craft-focused writing blog featuring a who’s who of regular contributors from all aspects of the publishing industry. There are two successful authors in the mix: Hank Phillippi Ryan and Laura DiSilverio, but there are also representatives of the business side of the industry: Senior Editor Dana Isaacson, Literary Agent Paula Munier, and Digital Strategist Glenn Miller. As you can imagine, with these power players behind the scenes, this blog attaches many excellent guest bloggers to help flesh out all aspects of the path to making writing a career. Designed to be a quick stop on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Career Authors keeps its posts short and impactful and does not have the comment feature turned on. Discussion does sometimes happen on the blog’s Facebook page, but the real goal here is to provide useful and important information in digestible tidbits that cumulatively will prepare a person for the various stresses of embarking on writing as a career and guidelines to help alleviate those concerns.

Speaking of Hank Phillippi Ryan, the author-collective blog she helped to launch—Jungle Red Writers (http://www.jungleredwriters.com)—is still going strong. With one of the most active commenting interactions of any crime-fiction blog, the Jungle Red authors are always posing interesting questions leading to a lively discussion. The current lineup at Jungle Red Writers includes not only Hank but Rhys Bowen, Lucy Burdette, Deborah Crombie, Hallie Ephron, Jenn McKinlay, Julia Spencer Fleming, and Ingrid Thoft. Regular visitors will quickly become familiar with the loyal commenters because many of them post daily responses to the topic at hand. The Jungle Red family is the epitome of community. Posts range from the serious to the ridiculous, and everything in between. The caliber of author involvement also generates high-quality guest posts.

If you are a reader looking for books outside of their North American release, Euro Crime (www.eurocrime.co.uk) is a website that should be on your radar. Maintained by Karen Meek, the Euro Crime website has a wealth of useful information. Along with blog posts and book reviews, the site maintains an impressive New Release page that allows readers to search for upcoming U.K. publications—sorted either by release month or by author name. This database also includes valuable information about where a new book fits in to a series and often has links to the author’s website. A bibliography section also breaks authors down by birth country, which allows readers to explore crime fiction from new locales. Every time I visit this site, I find new things to explore.

Have a few minutes on your lunch break and just need something quick to read? Pop over to Short-story.me (http://short-story.me) for short stories in all genres. They have sections for both crime stories and mystery stories. As with any such site, the quality varies, but can always be counted on to help pass a few moments of time. I have only visited the site as a reader, so please read all terms and conditions if you should decide to submit a story to the site.

 

Copyright © 2018 Kristopher Zgorski