Michael Haskins's Blog (40)

How many words a day does it take to make a writer?

My writing is going well. The story has taken itself from me and moved in areas that I hadn’t thought of. That often happens when write. I know the beginning and I know what I want the end to be and I begin.

So far, I’ve been lucky with the beginning. Endings haven’t changed too much, from the concept I was working from, but the middle is something else.

My new Mad Mick Murphy Mystery, “Car Was Blues,” is going well, as I’ve said, but I am not sure it’s because of me or in spite of… Continue

Added by Michael Haskins on September 29, 2009 at 10:01pm — No Comments

Don't pay the ransom. I've escaped!

It seems like forever since I’ve sat down to blog. I guess a few months is forever to some. Would you believe that I was kidnapped by members of the MWA Florida board of directors and held on bread and water until I agreed to join them?



If you knew Jim Born, president of the chapter, mystery writer, FDLE agent, and all around scoundrel, you’d believe me. Honestly.



Thanks to some board members, namely Diane Stuckart, Linda Hengerer, Miriam Auerbach, Rhonda Pollero, Deb… Continue

Added by Michael Haskins on August 14, 2009 at 5:39am — 2 Comments

When A Good Thing Goes Bad

I can remember using a typewriter on one of my many unpublished novels back in the mid ‘80s. Soon afterward, two friends pulled me kicking and screaming into the computer generation. I finally welcomed the scary process because of spell checker.



Today, of course, spell checker is only a little of what writers get from writing programs. There is auto correct, a favorite of mine, since my mind often works far ahead of my fingers, and I am always transposing letters. I have many words,… Continue

Added by Michael Haskins on April 19, 2009 at 1:30am — 3 Comments

SleuthFest notes

PHOTO: Buck Buchanan, Michael, and Leighton Gage, notice sign in back? The bar is in front of us, enough said)



I just returned from the four-day SleuthFest gathering of writers and fans in Deerfield Beach, Fla. It is sponsored by the Florida chapter of the Mystery Writers of America (I am on the chapter’s board) and its two guests of honor were writers John Hart and Brad Meltzer. John spoke at the Friday luncheon and Brad on… Continue

Added by Michael Haskins on March 5, 2009 at 12:00am — No Comments

SleuthFest Panel: Write Great Dialogue

I will be on the “Write Great Dialogue” panel at the Florida chapter of MWA’s SleuthFest 2009 at the Deerfield Beach Hilton, Feb. 26 – March 1 (www.mwa.fla.org), along with Terry Odell – www.terryodell.com; Deborah Shlian - www.shlian.com; Joan Johnston – www.joanjohnston.com, and moderator Gregg Brickman – www.greggebrickman.com, on Friday, Feb. 27, 2:15 p.m. We follow the luncheon where chapter President Jim Born – www.jameoborn.com - introduces guest speaker John Hart –… Continue

Added by Michael Haskins on February 13, 2009 at 12:33pm — No Comments

Bob Morris & the USA Today Syndrome

My friend and fellow mystery writer Bob Morris – www.bobmorris.net - taught me something about myself recently whe he was at Murder on the Beach Bookstore – www.murderonthebeach.com - in Delray Beach to sign his new Zack Chasteen novel, “A Deadly Silver Sea.”



Bob read a printout version of my novel, “Chasin’ the Wind,” and gave me a nice blurb for the cover, long before we had actually met. He did it because he’s a nice guy and, like most mystery writers, remembers what it was like… Continue

Added by Michael Haskins on February 5, 2009 at 12:14am — 1 Comment

Murder & Mayhem at the Bar / Amazon's Kindle

Murder & Mayhem at the Bar / Amazon's Kindle



Mystery writers are a strange group. Our minds work differently than normal people. I was recently appointed, or maybe elected, to the board of directions of the Florida chapter of the Mystery Writers of America. Last weekend I attended the board meeting/chapter luncheon at the Deerfield Beach Hilton, an almost four-hour ride from Key West.



The luncheon speakers were columnists Oline Cogdill and writer/marketing Guru Sandy… Continue

Added by Michael Haskins on January 30, 2009 at 10:00am — 4 Comments

Networking for writers and book signings

I am a believer in writers networking. We are solitary people, sitting often for hours, if not days and weeks, alone with our thoughts, sometimes a blank screen, and an idea. We play God to a world we create and bleed to bring our creation to life. Could God be as lonely as a writer trying to pound out that one true sentence?

I have been a member of Mystery Writers of America (www.mysterywriters.org) since the ‘80s. For the past 12 years, I have belonged to the Florida chapter of MWA and… Continue

Added by Michael Haskins on November 25, 2008 at 6:12am — No Comments

An unusual book signing location- Colonial Bank, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida





I just finished three book signings in less than four weeks and I learned a lot about the buying public, readers, and how the current economic crisis is affecting book sales.



But first, let me tell you about meeting Patti Stegal, (see photo) the daughter of my friend Sue Harrison. Patti was in town from Illinois, where she’s a teacher. Sue bought her a copy of “Chasin’ the Wind” when it first came out, as a gift and after… Continue

Added by Michael Haskins on November 19, 2008 at 5:57am — No Comments

Vero Beach Book Signing - Friendships are priceless

(Michael, Gina & Bob Soos)



My signing at Waldenbooks in Vero Beach, Florida, the first of October went very well. Bob Soos interviewed me on his Morning Magazine radio show Friday, Oct. 3, and we talked about my book, Chasin’ the Wind, and the signing. Bob gave three copies of the book away to people who could answer Key West trivia questions he came up with.

I first met Bob, and his wife Gina, when he was the general manager of… Continue

Added by Michael Haskins on October 19, 2008 at 12:07pm — No Comments

6 Things about me and books . . .

Joan Reeves, from Slingwords.blogspot.com, tagged me to write “6 things about me and books.” She also tagged: Sweet But Sassy Adina, Bill Crider, Cait London, and L. C. Hayden.



Books, as I look over my computer desk I have four room-length bookshelves above me, filled past capacity with books I’ve read and, laying on their sides, books on my ‘to read’ list. So 6 things . . . here goes . . .



1) In high school, I was anything but a motivated student. I think it was the ninth… Continue

Added by Michael Haskins on October 8, 2008 at 12:50am — No Comments

Do you know your First Amendment rights?

As a journalist/mystery writer, the following quote frightens me and holds various meanings, as it should to anyone that uses the written word to make a living or to blog. So many of our freedoms are in peril these days and way too many of us are willing to give them up for feeling secure when we fly or visit the mall or drive on our roads.



Personally, I think Homeland Security is made up of smoke and mirrors and security at our airports is still being run by the seat-of-its-pants, a… Continue

Added by Michael Haskins on September 23, 2008 at 6:57am — No Comments

St Augustine book signing



I did something after it was clear Hurricane Ike wasn’t going to hit Key West that I hadn’t done in more than 12-years, I drove almost 500-miles to St. Augustine, Fla. I was invited to participate in the first Florida Heritage Book Festival as a panelist to discuss journalism. I was also offered two different signing opportunities for my mystery novel, “Chasin’ the Wind.” Unlike many events, the festival paid for my hotel room.



Round… Continue

Added by Michael Haskins on September 15, 2008 at 11:41am — No Comments

Forgotten Book Friday

(When Patti Abbott asked me to write a blog about a book I thought had been forgotten, it didn’t take me but a nanosecond to know what book it would be about. When I pulled it off the bookshelf, I realized I couldn’t explain it without going into explanation of the author, because the book affected my teenage years and the author a good part of the rest of my life.)



Writer Dennis Lynds had many claims to fame in his lifetime; being… Continue

Added by Michael Haskins on August 15, 2008 at 10:39pm — No Comments

SLING WORDS - A Blog review



“Chasin' The Wind”

by Michael Haskins Hardback: 238 pagesPublisher: Five Star, Gale Cengage LearningISBN-13 978-1-59414-638- Copyright 2008





The cover of Chasin' The Wind has palm trees gilded by a setting sun and a boat, silhouetted on a patch of gleaming water. All else in the peaceful scene is darkness. The cover artist perfectly captured the essence of this book, the first Mad Mick Murphy Mystery, by Michael… Continue

Added by Michael Haskins on August 11, 2008 at 4:04am — No Comments

Book Signing Part II - Florida and NY

I’ve written a little about my early book signings in Key West and South Florida and you can see photos from all my signings on my website, http://www.michaelhaskins.net/, if you are interested. If you came to any of the signings, you may find your photo there.



Marshall Smith, owner of Key West Island Books, hosted my first signing days after the release date of “Chasin’ the Wind.” I sold 80 books and he told me the only person to sell more at a book signing was Carl Hiaasen. It was… Continue

Added by Michael Haskins on August 8, 2008 at 6:30am — No Comments

Book Signing Adventure - Part One



Photo: Sarah, Bobby, Michael and Linda at The Mystery Bookstore - Westwood, Calif.



I’d written my book, in blood it sometimes seemed, but it was all worth it when I received the email from a small publisher informing me that there was a contract in the mail. Ah, I beamed to myself, as I danced around my crowded home-office; the gods had finally smiled on me!



Little did I know that the hard work hadn’t even begun. My small… Continue

Added by Michael Haskins on July 30, 2008 at 2:00am — No Comments

Nodoby Move, this is a review: Chasin' the Wind

For anyone who has visited Key West, or any Caribbean island, the first thing they notice is a phenomenon known as ‘island time’. Things travel at their own pace. If a beer takes 10 minutes to get to you, so be it. If you have to wait in line 15 minutes while the clerk and a shopper chat, life goes on. What visitors don’t realize is that ‘island time’ is just one outward sign of an entire lifestyle which is totally foreign to most Americans and Europeans. While non-islanders see it as rudeness… Continue

Added by Michael Haskins on June 1, 2008 at 9:50pm — No Comments

Michelle Gagnon and I to sign at LA's Mystery Bookstore

On the weekend, Bobby from the Los Angeles Mystery Bookstore called and set a time for my July 19th signing, 2 p.m., and asked if I minded sharing the time slot with California writer Michelle Gagnon. I am so honored to be signing in one of LA’s oldest and most prestigious bookstores that I would sign with the devil just to be included.



Well, I Googled Michelle (and you should too) and found a very attractive young lady and, if reviews are anyway to judge, talented too! I am glad… Continue

Added by Michael Haskins on May 21, 2008 at 1:30am — No Comments

Book-signing tour troubles, thanks to gas prices

This weekend I will need to gas up the Miata and, for the first time, I will pay more than $4 per gallon! My friend Lee Fairchild is visiting from Ohio, where he said gas prices are still within the high $3 range. I assured him it would be closer to $4 by Memorial Day.



The price of gas has blown my book-signing budget. I knew going into this that signings didn’t pay for themselves in sales, so I budgeted for gas, food, and, where needed, lodging. Signings sold books and got my name… Continue

Added by Michael Haskins on May 17, 2008 at 4:33am — 4 Comments

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