Blog Bytes


by Kristopher Zgorski

The International Thriller Writers society hosts a blog called The Thrill Begins ( that posts new content every Tuesday and Thursday. Crime writer Ed Aymar serves as the managing editor and he and the contributing editors oversee posts from a collection of writers collectively known as the Murderers’ Row. Each Tuesday of the month is devoted to a different “topic”—things like publishing, the Debut Diary (a series of posts chronicling the months just before release date of a first book), and How It Happened (stories of getting published by established authors). The last Tuesday of each month sees the posting of a listing of newly released debuts by ITW members. Thursdays are reserved for more in-depth essays about various publishing topics. The core crew of authors connected to the blog typically write these articles; and occasionally, they will pick a larger topic of interest to the crime-writing community and explore that over a series of posts, each written by a different member of the Murderers’ Row.

If you travel around the United States frequently, you might be interested in visiting the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association blog ( It is unclear if this is still being updated, but even if not, it is a great resource for finding mystery-focused indie bookshops in various states. Contact information is provided for the stores, so certainly check to make sure they are still in business before starting your trek. And when you do eventually visit, be sure to buy lots of books to support these excellent stores.

There is also a link to an archive showing the Dilys Award nominees and winners through 2014, when the IMBA stopped handing out this honor. Those awards really honored some great writing over the years, and those books are still worth reading.

The House of Crime and Mystery ( is run by Canadian Jacques Filippi. Jacques is slowing things down in 2019, but there is a wealth of knowledge across this website. The website’s tag line is “Reviews, interviews, overviews, other views, & giveaways too,” and that is exactly what you will discover. Here you will find some of the deepest and most thought-out reviews of crime-genre books, movies, and television shows. Jacques interviews are always insightful and educational. All of that would make this a must-visit site, but beyond that, the left sidebar contains website links to many of the Canadian crime writers working today. This is an invaluable resource for readers looking to explore the crime fiction from the friendly North.

Our author collective blog for this issue is another that is cozy-focused, but these women say they are writing kick-butt cozies, so even the most jaded non-cozy fan is likely to find a book to enjoy by one of these authors. The Chicks on the Case ( are Becky Clark, Cynthia Kuhn, Ellen Byron, Kathleen Valenti, Kellye Garrett, Leslie Karst, Lisa Q. Mathews, Marla Cooper, and Vicki Fee. They cover a wide range of topics with their individual and guest posts, but their Chick Chats posts are my favorite. On each of these, all of the blog participants weigh in on the same topic. Like the Jungle Red Writers blog, this one has a very active commenting community that keeps things lively and informative.

Copyright © 2019 Kristopher Zgorski

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