The Galley, Media Club of Ottawa                            page 3                                                 October 2012

Linda Wiken Shares the Mystery of Mystery Writing

by June Coxon

When author, former journalist, radio producer, advertising copywriter, and book store owner Linda Wiken spoke to Media Club members and friends on September 17, she talked about some of her vast writing experiences, including her most recent venture of writing serial mystery novels.

‘It was a bright and sunny day’ isn’t the usual way to begin a mystery but that’s the sentence Linda offered us when she proposed our group write a mystery that night about a sleuth, who is a journalist, and a murder on the Corktown Bridge. Although the story never materialized Linda’s audience was treated to many ideas for writing such a story.

 Besides suggesting ‘let your imagination go wild’, and ‘write what you’d want to read’, she advised authors to research online as well as in person. "The police,” she added,” are really willing to help.”

Character is important too. Linda likes to imagine and name a person .

“When writing a mystery, think MOM – Motive, Opportunity and Method,” she offered.

She admitted that these days writing is a lot about luck. And Linda seems to have it as well as the imagination and skill of writing a good tale, as she has landed a three-book contract with Berkley Prime Crime.

 Her first book in that series, called
A Killer Read, written as her alter ego Erika Chase, was released in April 2012. Book number two, Read and Buried, will be released on December 4, 2012 and the third book in September 2013.

 Her first book is already proving to be popular. During its first week of publication
A killer Read was number two on the Barnes and Noble’s bestselling list and 28th overall.

Linda noted that her book store era began 17 years ago when she and Mary Jane Maffini, another Ottawa mystery writer, opened Prime Crime Books in 1995. Linda eventually became sole owner of the stor. Although she closed its doors for the last time in 2010 so she could devote more time to writing, she found she missed the contact with books and her former customers. So she recently reached a compromise. She can now be found at Britton’s Bank Street store most weekends willing to discuss mysteries, writing and books nearby newly-instaled Prime Crime shelves at the front of the store.

Linda’s talk also touched on e-books, book signings and promotion, as well as the Bloody Words conference. She, of course, mentioned The Ladies Killing Circle too. Her blog describes that group of award-winning authors who write mysteries and who produced seven anthologies, as a “mild and mannered bunch of dangerous dames.”
Linda was introduced by Charlene Elgee and thanked by June Coxon.


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