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  • Austin, TX
  • United States

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Profile Information

Galveston, TX
About Me:
author of the Julia Kalas mystery series
I Am A:
Reader, Writer
Books And Authors I Like:
Megan Abbott, Margaret Millar, Ruth Rendell, Lisa Unger

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revolting characters

Julia is pissing me off right now. When I started the series, my Big Idea was a crusty tough broad who develops into a more self-aware and compassionate character, but she's not cooperating. ASCENSION's story is moving fast, things are happening, and she's just carrying on at top speed with her usual lack of insight. It's maddening! I'm tempted to make Something Horrible happen to her, but she's already been through hell and it hasn't had the effect I'm looking for. It's like herding cats or raising children or something.

"What, you can't hear this accent?" Igor snapped at the bartender, who rolled his tired eyes and went for the Vodka bottle.

"Tough day?" I asked, finishing off my Margarita and signaling for another.

"Gospodi," Igor groaned, getting up on the barstool next to me. 

We met every Friday, here at the Ebbit. Me, out of sheer curiosity; him, out of the need for a pressure valve on his high-stakes job translating classified communications for some underground Washington troublemakers.

I made a come-on gesture at him with my fingers.

"So some bigshot American businessman is talking to a red-phone number in Moscow, right?" Igor said, pulling the vodka shot over across the shiny wood bar. "And this American guy, he's kvetching about China, how they're screwing him up the ass, and the Russian, he's joining right in, and then this American so-and-so, he starts talking about starting a war."

Igor paused to take a gulp of his vodka, and half-turned on his stool so as to look me in the eye while repeating, "A war!"

"What, like a price war?" I said, frowning. "I doubt we can beat the Chinese at that."

"No, the real thing!" Igor lifted and dropped his bony shoulders under the perma-press dress shirt. "Bombs, guns, all that derrmo. And not just, American guy buys some tanks and hires a few mercenaries." Igor lowered his head and widened his ice-blue eyes with a merry twinkle. "He says, I'll run for president of the U.S."

I started to laugh. "Man, if every sour-grapes capitalist in the states could get elected president, neither of of us would be sitting here right now."

"OK, but this Russian he's talking to, I'm figuring out, this is a very big guy," Igor said, his bushy eyebrows lifting. "Very big."

"Russians," I sneered, raising my Margarita. "You guys are over, man. It's ISIS and the Chinese now."

Igor put his elbows back on the bar and snickered down into his vodka, shaking his head. "OK but listen. This guy, this American. He's a fucking madman. I'm telling you."

I took a drink and waited.

"He's got this other guy, a prospective running-mate, OK? The running-mate is one of these Prophecy Christians, he's foaming at the mouth for a holy war with the Muslims, and if he's got a platform, he can whip it up like that." Igor snapped his fingers. "So the American, he goes to the Russian, 'You get me the White House, I'll take China off both our plates.' Russian is like, 'Oh yeah, and how are you gonna do that?' And American is like, 'How hard would it be to get China involved in an American shooting war with ISIS?'"

I laughed, stared at him, stopped. Thought about it a minute, then said, "That's the craziest thing I've ever heard."

Igor huffed an annoyed half-chuckle, half-sigh. "And you wonder why I drink."

minervaK's Discussions

success story
1 Reply

Hi all,It's been ages since I've dropped in, but I wanted to extend my thanks to all you CS peeps for your participation in the successful publication of my novel NINE DAYS, which is coming out in September from St. Martin's Minotaur. I couldn't…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Dan L. Coleman Aug 25, 2014.

I have an agent!
12 Replies

So excited! A real one!Just wanted to drop in and thank all you guys here for your continued support, before the terror sets in.Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Benjamin Sobieck Oct 28, 2012.

does this ever work?
11 Replies

A local (Austin) writer with a moderately successful detective series tells me that he sold his first book direct to a small publishing house, and it sold well enough to finally attract an agent. I'm considering this strategy and wonder if anyone…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by I. J. Parker Nov 1, 2012.

Thomas & Mercer -- what exactly is it?
8 Replies

Someone mentioned Thomas & Mercer to me the other day. After Googling, I'm still not sure exactly what it is or what to think about it. Anyone submitted to them and have experience to share?Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Mark Young Oct 10, 2012.

Comment Wall (9 comments)

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At 7:03am on February 13, 2010, Timothy Hallinan said…
Minerva -- I'm SO embarrassed not to have replied to your note about liking NAIL until now. I hadn't been spending time on CrimeSpace (or any social networks) and I let everything slide. But thanks so much for the nice words and for the comments on the Plotting vs. Pantsing thread,
At 4:22am on November 6, 2009, Harley Sachs said…
That's a pretty young picture for Crimespace, Minerva. Are you old enoughto be a criminal like the rest of us? Are you on parole, or just on time out?
At 1:51pm on September 21, 2009, Karen Dionne said…
Hey, Minerva - thanks for friending me. Hang in there - I've been reading your posts for some time, and am 100% sure you'll reach your publishing goals. You're smart, talented, and willing to learn - that'll do it!
At 5:07am on April 17, 2009, Beth Groundwater said…
Hi Minerva,
Thanks for befriending this mystery author!
At 2:23am on March 24, 2009, B.R.Stateham said…
Thanks for letting me come into your playground and play. I'm looking forward to some interesting conversations.
At 10:13am on March 21, 2009, Pepper Smith said…
Thank you for the invitation!
At 10:44am on March 15, 2009, Tom Cooke said…
Thank you for the invite. We do need to stick together.
At 2:10am on March 14, 2009, Cormac Brown said…
Thank you very much for the invite, cheers!
At 10:49pm on March 13, 2009, Larry & Barbara Payton said…
Hola, y'all!

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