Move Over Miss Marple

Move Over Miss Marple WordleI’m delighted to announce that in April I’ll be leading a course for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Fayetteville, Arkansas. More commonly known as OLLI, the institute is a division of the University of Arkansas. I’m glad to have this chance to return to a place that holds such happy memories; I earned my master’s degree at the university and taught undergraduates there for four years before moving on in pursuit of my doctorate.

During the OLLI course, we’ll be exploring the role of female sleuths in mystery fiction since the days of Miss Marple. The course is structured to run in two-hour sessions meeting once weekly, which allows participants to research authors and writing practices as well as giving everyone time to read excerpts in between sessions. I’m already collecting material to share and looking for more—see details at end of this post.

First, here’s the description for “Move Over, Miss Marple” from the OLLI spring catalog:

This course will explore the role of female sleuths in American and British mystery fiction. The first session will introduce types of female characters—both amateur and professional—in crime solving fictional roles. We’ll explore the differences in character roles and responsibilities within the context of the genre.

In the second session, we’ll discuss how the characters’ dialog and action help bring a region to life in a mystery series. We’ll investigate the way writers create a sense of place, blend fact with fiction, and address social issues and controversies as part of plotting the sleuth’s role.

Our final session will focus on the increasingly popular sub-genre of crime fiction known as the ‘cozy’ mystery. We’ll analyze key structural elements and characteristics defining a cozy mystery. Using the information developed in the first two sessions, we’ll study the variety of types and sleuths within the sub-genre.

The course is appropriate for both writers and readers looking for a deeper understanding and appreciation of women in the mystery genre.

I’ll be sending advance packets via email to registered participants and plan to include “Recommended Reading” lists and (hopefully) excerpts of books that relate to our session topics. And while the main focus is on American and British mystery fiction, I can easily extend that to Canada or the Caribbean. That’s where you all come in!

READERS: who are your favorite female sleuths? Share details in the comments (author, book/series title) and a brief explanation why you’d recommend these to others. I’ll add your name to a drawing for a free copy of Deadly Ties (Kindle or Audiobook edition, your choice). Keep for yourself or pass along as a gift!

Have a favorite website that features cozy mysteries and/or female sleuths? Share that, too! This could be a great way to drive more traffic to sites you enjoy and want to support.

WRITERS: if you have a female sleuth, I’d love to consider promoting you and your work—to include excerpts or sample chapters—as part of this course. Email dogmysteries [at] gmail dot com for details.

You’re also welcome to post in the comments of this post for additional publicity. And if you’ll suggest other authors’ work for inclusion , I’ll add your name to the drawing, too.

READERS AND WRITERS: I’d be very grateful if you’d help me get the word out via Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. Reblogging in part or whole is welcome with a link back to my website. My goal is to introduce course participants to as many authors, books, and websites as possible.

In addition to sharing the “Recommended Reads” with registered participants, I’ll happily post the collection here by the end of April so we can learn about “new to us” authors and celebrate books together!

Celebrating Success!

DWAA 2015

Here’s a happy way to start the 2016 blog year: celebrating the success of my colleagues in the Dog Writers Association of America whose works earned a place in the DWAA Annual Writing Competition. There are quite a few categories; go to https://dogwriters.org/ to see them all.  I’m going to share the list of nominees for in the Online category (blogs, websites, newsletters, articles, etc.) and encourage you to browse the list. Perhaps you’ll find new authors to follow–I’m confident you’ll find a lot of terrific information and ideas!

But first: I’m delighted to share the news that Susan Conant has been nominated for her book Sire and Damn. Susan was an honored guest here last year to talk about that book and the writing craft. (Missed those? Find them here.)  If anyone wonders about the quality of indie publishing, I’d say you have the proof right here–Susan’s work is exceptional. Here’s another look at the cover of that book:

Sire and Damn

 

And now, here’s that list I promised, with links included wherever possible. Enjoy!

Online

14. Blogsite Or Website

American Kennel Club www.akc.org

Mutt About Town Blog http://muttabouttown.com/blog Maureen Ann Backman

Fidose Of Reality http://fidoseofreality.com Carol Bryant

The Daily Junior Dog Blog http://thedailyjuniorblog.com Jill Schilp

15. Magazine Or Newsletter

AKC Canine Partners News, Penny Leigh & Joanne Tribble, editors

AKC Gazette, Erika Mansourian, editorial director

Havanese Breed Magazine, Thomas Wettlaufer, editor

Speaking of Dogs Monthly Newsletter, Lorraine Houston, Nancy Foran & Cathy Vandergeest, editors

G. Online Articles or Blog Entries

16. Article Or Blog – Health or General Care

 Nancy Beach, “Canine Osteosarcoma Parts 1 and 2” (Celebrating Greyhounds Magazine)

 Deb M. Eldredge, DVM, “Messing With Meds” (Best In Show Daily)

 Deb M. Eldredge, DVM, “Dog Bones & Safety Petcha.com

 Ranny Green, “How a Special Service Dog Enables 23-Year Army Veteran” SeattleKennelClub.org

 Jane Messineo Lindquist (Killion) and Mark Lindquist, “Ovulation Timing And Preventing Fading Puppies: A Surprising Nexus” www.puppyculture.com

17. Article Or Blog – Behavior or Training

 Mara Bovsun, “Why Old Dogs Must Learn New Tricks” www.WOOFipedia.com

 Denise Fenzi, “It’s a Puppy, Not a Problem!” www.denisefenzipetdogs.com

 Liz Palika, “7 Suggestions for Training Multiple Dogs” www.thehonestkitchen.com

 Nancy Tanner, “Shutting a Dog Down” www.pawsandpeople.com

 Bev Thompson, “Why Tone of Voice Matters” www.anythingpawsable.com

18. Article or Blog – Rescue

 AKC Canine Health Foundation, “The Joys of Adopting Senior Dogs”

 Kim Campbell Thornton, “Old Dogs Rule” (Universal Press Syndicate Pet Connection)

 Kim Campbell Thornton, “Beagle Mania” (Universal Press Syndicate Pet Connection)

 Meredith Wargo, “The Plight of Greyhounds Abroad” www.rescueproud.com

19. Article or Blog – Any Other Topic

 Laura Coffey, “9/11 Ground Zero Search Dog Still Lends a Helping Paw” TODAY.com

 Sally Deneen and Edie Lau, “Facial-recognition Apps Scout Lost Pets” (VIN News Service)

 Liz Donovan, “Man Gives Everything to Care for 12 Military Dogs After Their Return From War” akc.org

 Ranny Green, “For This 911 Call Taker, Anja and Loki are Her Relief ValvesAfter a Trying Day at Work SeattleKennelClub.org

 William Kearney, “On Losing a Dog” Petcentric.com

 Emma Kesler, “Want to Learn More About a Unique Dog Breed?”milesandemma.com

 Jen Reeder, “Let’s Discuss Pets During Domestic Violence Awareness Month” (Huffington Post)

Have a favorite on the list? I’d love to hear about it!