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January 14, 2014


Dana Cameron

Welcome, Jess! I agree: get a second project going. Gives your brain a rest without not-working and when you get an idea, you have two potential places to use it.


Welcome to the Femmes, Jess. Thanks for this great advice. The one I always need a reminder on is to be playful. Writing is really just a game of make-believe.

Terry Shames

What a great post! Very thoughtful and useful. I'm only on book 3 and starting to wonder how so many bodies can show up in a small town. This gives me some great ideas.

Sandy Morse

Jess, I have enjoyed your books and enjoyed meeting you at LCC. Would love to read January Thaw... since it's not happening here in Northern Illinois... thaw I mean!

Jess Lourey

Sandy, read it and it will come. ;) Dana, you are the queen of multiple projects, so if you agree, I consider that a shining endorsement. Kris, your mysteries are always so funny that I have a hard time believing you don't keep the play! Thank you, Terry--I'm glad you got some good out of the article.

Dana Cameron


Sherry Harris

Thanks for the great insights! I'm just starting the second in my series and am already worrying about changing it up and keeping it fresh!

Hank Phillippi Ryan

LOVE YOU! And Jessie, one of the things about your wonderful books--which are made even more wonderful after reading this--is that none of those "exercises" are apparent at all.

And I guess--we don't say in our own lives--gee, wonder how all this new stuff happens every day. It just--does, because that's how life is.

The "almost sleeping with JOhnny Leeson" is hilarious--yeah, been there, sister. Still there, sister. But you know, I don't think your readers--including me!-- see it that way.

Hank Phillippi Ryan



Such good helpful thoughts. Thank you and so glad you could be with us today. I love this series. :)


I retired the end off 2013 and I now have to time to work my way though my huge To Be Read pile. I have just started your series and I am really enjoying it and I am glad to hear it is continuing.


You might try eating strange combinations of foods before you go to bed. The resulting nightmares could give you material for at least 3 new books?

Oh, and your thoughts on other long term series... Let's not forget "The Cat Who" series... The only reason there are no further murders was the loss of that wonderful author.

John Clement

Excellent post! Thanks...

I'm working on book #10 of the Dixie Hemingway mysteries. My nephew suggested that I could solve the problem of there being way too many bodies in such a small town by revealing that Dixie, the heroine who always finds the murderer, is secretly a serial killer and that every book so far has been a complete lie. Feel free to use that if it helps.

Oh, and Catriona, I hope one day to be described as "sassy."

Robin Templeton

How fun to see you here, Jess! And thanks for a great post. A lot of my favorite writers AND favorite people are part of Femmes Fatales. I've been reading it regularly since Donna Andrews invited me into one of her writing groups many moons ago.

I'm still in that "emerging writer" place. Or as Donna generously said at an MWA meeting last night, "pre-published." All of your suggestions seem spot-on for the rookie, too. Thanks so much. I'm looking forward to reading January Thaw. If I don't win an autographed copy here, I'll track you down at Left Coast Crime.

Jess Lourey

Hank, you are so kind! Always. Sherry, I think Hank is right. We writers worry about keeping it fresh, but our readers just see a good story. Congratulations on working on your second!

Jess Lourey

Mary and Mo, thank you both for reading my books! Knowing that someone is keeps me going through the long, lonely nights. :)

Nora, that is excellent advice, actually. Creative and weird--perfect for me! Plus, it's like permission to eat ice cream and roasted seaweed (separate but equal) before bed--two of my favorite snacks.

John, you've made me giggle. Thank you for the good idea.

Robin, please track me down at LCC either way. It's always nice to chat with you!

Elaine Viets

What fun, Jess. You've given me months of reading. Looking forward to your latest.

Dana Fredsti

Excellent advice, Ms. Lourey, and I plan on taking it all to heart. I especially loved the "Sleep together, Literally- Carry your book around in your head."

Charlaine Harris

Speaking as someone who has rearranged her furniture frequently, metaphorically speaking, I found your ideas very interesting and familiar, Jess. Sometimes you have to pull the plug, but often starting something new to cleanse your writing palate is just the thing.


And the winner is . . . John! Congratulations.

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