Life has been very exciting since I last posted a blog. First, I had great fun giving my one-day class on creating characters. The small but lively group of writers dug into the exercises with gusto, and seemed to want to hear what I had to say.

I also learned, and can now announce, the winners of the Austin Camacho Beltway Crime Contest! Crime and Suspense editor Tony Burton is a tough audience, but the stories he chose are all gems. Let me send out loud congratulations right now to these new writers!

First place: "Here's Your Mary" by Cher'ley Grogg
Second place: "Consider It Expedient" by Larry W. Chavis
Third place: "Someone Always Sees You" by Sue McGinty

You can read their thrilling tales on the Crime and Suspense web site - - and while you're there you owe it to yourself to subscribe to the e-zine. For less than a dollar a month you can help keep a market for new mystery writers open.

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