Maine Crime Writers enter the Blogosphere

I do an autopsy with Lea Wait and Tess Gerritsen

Doing an “autopsy” with Lea Wait and Tess Gerritsen

Today, July 6th, we celebrate ten years of blogging as Maine Crime Writers. The cast of characters is ever changing but the mission remains the same: to make readers aware of the talents and diversity of crime writers in Maine, and to share our experiences of living and writing in Maine, the many different corners of the mystery genre that we occupy, and our thoughts on the craft of writing.


Welcome to Maine Crime Writers inaugural blog. I get the honor of writing it not because I’m the most stellar writer. Rather, it comes down to this: I’m the person so daunted by the task of mastering social media that I recruited a whole group of great writers to join me, hoping that, in the motto of my small home town of Union, Maine—In Union, there is strength. Individually, some of us would fly and others might flounder. Together, we’ll have the pleasure of each other’s company, the treat each day of reading thoughtful and entertaining posts by writers we already admire, and the opportunity to learn from each other.

Way back in 1993, when I sold my first Thea Kozak mystery, my wise husband said, “Congratulations. Now you have two jobs. You still have the job of writing the next good book. You now also have the job of publicizing and promoting your books.” Not long after that, I went to my first mystery conference out in Omaha, Nebraska. It was my first introduction to a lot of things. Among them was the excitement of being with a whole group of people who did what I was doing. I was thrilled when I heard another writer talking about the voices in her head demanding to be let out. It was comforting to know that in our profession having imaginary friends was okay. Other writers shared their frustration about those times when the story “wouldn’t write” or the editor wanted something near and dear changed. I also came back from Omaha clutching a little slip of paper on which someone had written: Join Sisters in Crime.

At NEBA with Julia Spencer-Fleming and Leslie Wheeler

I followed that advice and learned how valuable it could be to belong to a community of writers. Over the years, I’ve belonged to several communities—some official and some unofficial. And one community which has given me great pleasure and support has been the community of Maine mystery writers. I’ve met some of the writers in this group through Sisters in Crime. Some through the New England Crime Bake, a mystery conference featuring New England authors held each November. And I’ve met many, or gotten to know them better, through doing library events.

Camden Library with Gerry Boyle, Dorothy Cannell, Jenny Siler and Jim Hayman

Nearly two years ago, at an event at the Camden Public Library, Jim Hayman suggested that some of us get together and blog. It seemed like a great idea. Jim and Gerry Boyle and I were all writing books about Portland and cops. But I waited for Jim to organize it and it never seemed to happen. Then, earlier this year, with the constant admonitions of publicists that writers must master “social media” ringing in my ears, I was sitting in a bar in Brunswick with my friend Lea Wait. We were commiserating about all the ways that the necessity to publicize oneself nips away at the time we have for writing. And I floated the idea of doing it as a group. We’d have the advantage of many voices to draw readers to our site. Instead of struggling to think of clever things to blog about, we’d be able to write thoughtful blogs, to respond to each other’s ideas, and once a week, we could blog together on a topic of interest to the group.

I guess I wasn’t alone in thinking it might be fun to try, because now we are ten. (I try not to think about ten little Indians.) I’m excited to be part of this group. Looking forward to what Gerry will write tomorrow, what Kathy Lynn Emerson/Kaitlyn Dunnett will write the following day, and then what Vicki Doudera will write. Then, on Sundays, we’ll be writing as group. This week’s topic is Research Stories, and there will be some good ones.

So, dear readers, I hope you’ll find our site congenial and want to come and visit with us often. And we don’t intend for this to be a one-way street. If you’ve got ideas about topics we should discuss, know characters we should interview, have questions about crime writing you’ve always wanted to ask, we’d love to hear from you. We also want to hear about special Maine places that our readers might not know about. Your favorite recipes for blueberries, or chowder, or New England baked beans. We’ll be talking about what we’re reading, and we hope you’ll talk back about what you’re reading.


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18 Responses to Maine Crime Writers enter the Blogosphere

  1. What a wonderful group of writers, most of whom I already know. This blog will be on my list of first-to-be-checked every morning. And I look forward to getting to know the writers I’m not already acquainted with.

    Cheers and congratulations,

    Edith Maxwell

  2. Congrats on your debut! Looking forward to reading (and gleaming) lots of advice, information and wisdom from such an illustrious group of writers — and all Down Easters !

  3. Judith Copek says:

    Congratulations on the new blog! Looks like a winner with so many stellar authors!

  4. John. Lovell says:


  5. Ray Anderson says:

    Welcome to the land of blogs. Looks good, and I wish you all success.

  6. Dianne Herlihy says:

    Congratulations on the new blog. I recognize some of you from Crime Bake. Barbara Ross and I met at Seascape, where I hope to be meeting more sisters this year. Looking forward to reading you every day!

    ~ Dianne

  7. When you combine writing and Maine you get two of my three favorite things (the third is family/friends). I’m so happy you are here! I had the honor of meeting Tess Gerritsen just this week–a wonderful writer and person. And Stephen King…well, don’t get me started. I’m looking forward to learning more about all of your work as well!

  8. lil Gluckstern says:

    I’m so glad to this. I read so many of you, and I have fond memories of Maine. It is such a beautiful state.

  9. What a terrific group–almost makes me want to move to Maine. Is it something in the water? (Hey, my mother lived in Maine for a while–does that count?)

  10. Nancy Gardner says:

    Way to go, Kate! I’m looking forward to following you and the other wonderful writers here.

  11. Priscilla Grant says:

    I am so glad to see this group come together, and look forward to reading more of your novels once I finish my first mystery, set in Maine. As always, other published crime writers give me hope that it can happen!

  12. Ronna DeLoe says:

    I am so happy to see this new blog. Glad to see Gerry Boyle, Kate Flora and James Hayman, and looking forward to learning about the other members. I attended two conferences at the Camden Library within the last four years, so I’ve met some of you and read some of your books, some of which I already had and some of which I purchased on those dates. Gerry and Kate, I am going full steam ahead with my novel, also set in Maine, and my Maine involves rural Maine as well, about as rural as it gets. I’m looking forward to reading this blog and hope to someday have a name that you will recognize. Yes, still practicing NY appellate law and had to argue a case in NY’s highest court in March, but it pays the bills for now. 🙂 All the best, Ronna DeLoe

  13. Russell Warnberg says:

    Last month I met with Jim Hayman. I requested this meeting because my first mystery novel, set in Maine, is being published and released late this year. We had a great conversaation that I found inspiring. I hope to join this exclusive club asap. It sounds like a winner. The above blogs both speak to me. I guess we writers have a lot in common.

  14. Nancy McJennett says:

    You go, writers! Nice blog, great idea. Hope it pays off for everyone. I’m going to put your link on my Facebook page.

  15. Alice says:

    The autopsy photo is a treasure!

  16. Julianne Spreng says:

    This blog is the first email I open each day. Thank you soooo much for initiating and continuing to foster a great community of writers. Congratulations on 10 years!

  17. kaitlynkathy says:

    I’ve been trying to remember who the original ten were. Besides myself and Kate, I think the others were Lea Wait, Barbara Ross, Julia Spencer Fleming, James Hayman, Gerry Boyle, Paul Doiron, John Clark, and Vicki Doudera.

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