Essays & Media
Mysterious Goings On: Cooking Up Mystery and More with GP Gottlieb
Alex welcomes the delightful G.P. Gottlieb, author and podcaster for a fun, free-ranging discussion about writing and being a writer, the role of food, the pandemic, the Chicago backdrop in her work, and so much more. Follow the show (free!) and listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Anchor, and wherever you get quality pods.
How to Make a Character Unrecognizable
Let’s say you went to school with a girl whose resting expression was cranky and who thought herself superior to everyone else. If you feel compelled to turn that irritating show-off into a character in one of your books, my advice is to disguise her so that she’ll never know. You won’t even need to use a pen name
This story is also posted on Bouncin' and Behavin' Blogs at Medium.Com - https://medium.com/bouncin-and-behavin-blogs/how-to-make-a-character-unrecognizable-da1396e88e5f
5 Things to Know About Publishing Your Book: True or False?
One: After writing and rewriting your manuscript thirty-seven times, you submit your final draft to 150 agents and/or publishers. You finally got a publishing contract, congrats! Now you can relax, scroll the internet looking for new boots, and read a juicy mystery set in Door County. True or false?
10 Things I Love About Being a Published Author
Below are the 10 things I love about being a published author of Culinary Mysteries. Don’t forget to check out my recipe for 3 Ingredient Artichoke and Sweet Potato Dip.
Want to Test Recipes for my Next Culinary Mystery?
In culinary mysteries, which I love reading, someone is murdered, the sleuth tries to figure out who did it, and everyone eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Speakeasies and Other Illegal Activities in Chicago
I’ve been going to Chicago bars and restaurants since I was a kid. Some of them still brag about having been speakeasies during the Prohibition era.
A Few of My Favorite Things: Playing Piano, Baking, and Writing
I loved playing piano as a child, but when I got to the music school at Indiana University, it seemed like everyone else was a better musician. I still liked playing, but I got nauseated whenever I had to perform. I finished my degree in piano and psychology and stopped playing.
How I Keep Track of my Characters
When I write a story or novel, I always try to convey normal conversations with friends, realistic dialogues between my characters, and frustrating but not-too-scary interactions with law enforcement.
Dear Pre-Published Self
Dear Pre-Published Self,
Remember the day you got that email saying that DX Varos Publishing was going to publish your first culinary mystery? You were too excited about the thought of being a published author to realize that six months (launch date 8.6.2019) was cutting it close. Way too close for someone who knew nothing about publishing.
Nobody Washes Dishes in a Suspense Thriller
I prefer reading mysteries in which characters live normal lives. They do their jobs, grocery shop, go to the dentist, and order new air purifier filters. When I read a novel, I want to see (or be able to imagine) regular people who sometimes need to find a pen that works, compare airline prices, or scroll through pictures of cute babies.
Ingredients for Good Characters with G.P. Gottlieb
I’ve either left out something important or written incorrect measurements in nearly every recipe I’ve ever created. I’ve also neglected important information or made huge mistakes in the first draft of every novel I’ve ever written (three so far).
Sniffing out Crimes while Baking Vegan Cookies, Cakes, and Pastries
What would you do if the café closest to your home serves great almond croissants, but you usually order a baguette with butter and jam? And they don’t have baguettes with jam. Or the music is cranked up way too loud. And you can’t even hear your friend talking.
Charred by GP Gottlieb
Alene Baron is dealing with frustrated employees, closed schools, and a homeless man who harasses customers outside the door of her café. Then, two dead bodies turn up in the burned remains of buildings owned by the husband of Alene’s best friend and pastry chef, Ruthie.
You’re Literally Pushing me Over the Edge
Let’s touch base. Some writers have picked up a lot of clichés over the course of time, and I don’t want you to have to read between the lines here – but it’s starting to push me over the edge.
“Behind the Story of Smothered” Terry Ambrose’s Mysteries with Character
“One morning I was sitting in a neighborhood coffeehouse, imagining lives for the employees and other patrons, when I suddenly realized that it would make the perfect setting for a murder mystery,” G.P. said.