Friday, May 14, 2021

Pottersville Digest

     Yeah, uh, no, Clyde.

     First, McCarthy refused to speak with Fanone, then his staff hung up on him. Now they're calling him a liar
     Then the video hit CNN.

     Will no one rid us of this mendacious munchkin?

     To quote Richard Pryor, Who are you gonna believe, baby, me or your lying eyes?

     Really, assholes? That's all you got?

     McConnell is smart enough to know fellow Republicans when he sees them.

     Great. Now we're paying Russian cyberterrorists $5 million ransoms to get our gas back. So, what's to stop them from doing it again?

    Now these right wing asshats are openly gloating about writing "model" voter suppression laws for Republicans... and we're still letting them.

    This right wing scum also made his son sleep in the Capitol Building's basement and forced staffers to buy him and his wife gifts.

   "Conservative activists." That's a nice way to whitewash Jailbird Jimmy O'Keefe's treason and sedition.

    Your Brad o' the day, eh?

     Meme intermission.

     Florida Man, still the world's worst super hero.

    Yeah, that whole "enemies, foreign and domestic" thingie? I guess it's conditional.

     That's because you ARE psychotic barbarians, you right wing twit.

     The chutzpah of these jackals...

     AOC made Miller change his story by holding his feet to the fire.

     Reality Winner is a national hero & Biden should let her go.

     MTG and everyone who works for her are pinheaded stalkers and thugs.

    So he murders his wife, then uses her ballot to cast an illegal vote for Trump. No doubt he'd call Morphew "a passionate patriot."

     AOC said this after a 38 minute video surfaced today of MTG stalking AOC in 2019 and yelling shit into her office door's mail slot.

     Your co-Brad o' the day.

     Wow, not a moment too soon, guys.

    So, they replaced Liz Cheney with Elise Stefanik. Then at her first presser, she blurts out, "We are unified in working with President Trump." And finally...

    Rudy simply isn't well.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Pottersville Digest

("Ew!", 1000 times over.)

     Banned for five years for wearing denim shorts? This is 2021, not 1921, guys.

     "Of course, I am not opposed to bearing high labor costs. I am successful because of my workers. Human capital means everything to a small-business owner. But the economics of a $15 federal minimum wage simply don’t work for small businesses like mine."
     Wow, dude, hypocrisy much? Depending on what state one lives in (and the coastal states such as NY, MA and CA have outrageously high costs of living), $15 ph would still be an insufficient minimum wage. If you phase that in over five years, the Consumer Price Index, which goes up at 3-4% a year, would make the cost of living go up by as much as 15-20% over those five years. That would rob a lot of buying power from that $15 ph minimum wage, which would already be deemed insufficient in many states. By 2026, we'll be talking about raising the minimum wage to $20-25 an hour. The fact that's it's still stuck at the ridiculous $7.25 an hour after well over a decade, and that Republicans are opposed to raising even THAT by so much as a penny, they're certainly not going to be on board with a $20-25 an hour minimum wage. (Tip o' the tinfoil hat tio Constant Reader, CC.)

     "Republican violin maestros and those in the mainstream media (often the same thing) are playing dirges for Liz Cheney, the #3 House Republican. The right wing zeitgeist has long since weighed in- She will lose her conference committee chair as of tomorrow. Of course, that will be just Phase One. Phase Two, of course, is to primary her out of Congress when she's up for re-election next year. Phase Three, it's rumored, will be to banish her, naked and shivering, on an ice floe and vigorously push it into the watery wilderness as she confusedly hums the national anthem." -Mike Flannigan.

     Who gives a fuck what that milksop thinks?
     It figures this would be the best the Florida Democrat party could come up with: Yet another Blue Dog, crypto-Republican.
     Looks as if Dick "Twister" Cheney was on the phone last night calling Republicans. Now 100 of them are threatening to abandon the GOP to form a third party.

     From the refrigerator crate desk of Donald J. Trump, dour, unsmiling political hack.

     Yes, this is what these delusional sad sacks are reduced to. Pathetic, really.
     Cartoon intermission.

     Today's addition to your Lin Wood Batshit Insanity of the Day desk calendar.
     So, Trump's stooge Chris Miller got the 3rd degree from House Democrats and, suffice to say its not going terribly well for him.
     Another reason why Chris Miller had a horrible day: One of our own: One of our own, Rep. Stephen Lynch.
     Crippled Nazi tourist reverts to middle school self.
     Yes, Tomi, because people throwing eggs at you is so much worse than Trump directing lunatics to storm the Capitol.
     So, how's that bipartisanship thingie working for you, Joe?
     Human bobble head Paul Gosar screamed, "Who executed Ashli Babbit?" during hearing about the January 6th riots.
     Specifically, the 81,000,000+ who'd voted for him.
     So, they kicked Liz Cheney out of her chair this morning the typical Republican way: In a craven gang bang in the form of a voice vote, so there were no numbers and no way of knowing of who voted how.
     Poor President Biden, battered by a 63% approval rating.
     Republican scum wages war on those who expose his and his party's lies.
     Did anyone else know that Stacey Abrams is a novelist?
     Republican governors kill more people per capita than Democrats. Well, I'm shocked all to hell. How about you?
     Sure Trump wanted the National Guard deployed on January. Not to protect members of Congress, their staff, families or Capitol Police. He wanted to use them to "protect the demonstrators that were executing their constitutionally protected rights." This was January 3rd, mind you.

     From this day forward, Kevin McCarthy has lost the right forevermore to say he "backs the blue." His staff hung up on Officer Michael Fanone, who'd suffered a harrowing experience on January 6th.
     However deliberately or incidentally, Liz Cheney has done us a great service by revealing the mainstream Republican Party for what it is- A fascist, 5th Columnist, anti democracy insurgency in service to a demented loser. And finally...

     If and when New Hampshire becomes the next Ground Zero for election conspiracy theories and recounts, thank big mouth swamp creature, Corey Lewandowski.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Please Don't Make Me Defend Liz Cheney

 (By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)
Republican violin maestros and those in the mainstream media (often the same thing) are playing dirges for Liz Cheney, the #3 House Republican. The right wing zeitgeist has long since weighed in- She will lose her conference committee chair as of tomorrow. Of course, that will be just Phase One. Phase Two, of course, is to primary her out of Congress when she's up for re-election next year. Phase Three, it's rumored, will be to banish her, naked and shivering, on an ice floe and vigorously push it into the watery wilderness as she confusedly hums the national anthem.
    I wouldn't be so quick to write off the Wyoming congresswoman just yet, considering we're also hearing reports that establishment Republicans are furious with McCarthy for his lickspittle subservience to Trump in his unflagging devotion to kicking Liz Cheney our of her leadership position. This is especially self-destructive when you look at Cheney's voting record and realize she'd voted for Trump's agenda 92.9% of the time. Elise Stefanik, her heir apparent, voted with Trump just 77.7% of the time, according to 538.
    To anyone on the outside looking in, this political cannibalism is inexplicable. Starting in the mid 70s when her father was Ford's Chief of Staff, then served for a decade in Congress starting in 1979, then as Bush 1's Defense Secretary, Dick Cheney founded quite possibly the most evil American political dynasty in US history, perhaps even pushing the Bushes off that mantle. To even a moderate Republican (assuming there are any left after the last 4-5 years), there's very little to admire in Liz Cheney.
   She, like Trump, was a birther conspiracy theorist during the Obama years and even likened opposing his Republican-lite agenda not to "obstructionism but patriotism". At the start of her Senate bid to unseat Mike Enzi, she came out against same sex marriage in 2013, just a year after her sister, Mary, married her partner, Heather Poe. And in 2009, Cheney had delivered the keynote address for the ultra right wing Center for Security Policy's annual hate-fest. The Center had been designated as a hate group by the SPLC. Minutes after getting sworn in to Congress in 2019, despite the Democrats winning a commanding 40 seat majority, Cheney saw fit to vote for Kevin McCarthy, the same ventriloquist dummy who would spearhead the move to unseat her, for House Speaker.
    Bottom line, like her father, Lord Halliburton, the architect of the Iraq War that had claimed up to 1,000,000+ Iraqi lives not to mention 4500 deaths of US troops, it can be safely assumed that when their time comes, even Satan might not wish to take them when St. Peter rejects Dick and Liz. But January 6, to even Cheney, was a bridge too far and that bridge spanned the Rubicon.
    However loathsome Liz Cheney has proved to be in her brief political career, she has served one purpose better than any other- In showing, by conspicuous relief, just how misogynistic, spineless, treasonous and just plain batshit insane the latter-day Republican Party had been mutated into by Trump. Liz Cheney, the very poster girl for the latter-day, gender-inclusive GOP, had suddenly become the party's Cassandra.

The Right Wing Phoenix
.oO Oh, will you just shut the fuck up, woman? Oo.
Of course, telling Liz Cheney to shut up and let the men explain shit was never her métier. Say what you want about her, but Liz Cheney did not run for Congress so she could have men explain things to her and let them dictate to her what she could do or say. And striking down Liz Cheney will absolutely anger a lot of establishment Republicans and possibly make her a martyr. After all, look what happened with Elizabeth Warren after Mitch McConnell's pissing match with her.
    It would be tempting to list as a reason for the GOP's apostasy toward Cheney as being rooted in mere misogyny, although misogyny is definitely part of the calculus. After all, Cheney didn't say anything substantially different than McCarthy, McConnell or several other Republicans had in the first weeks after the January insurrection: But then Trump barked. They heeled to. Cheney didn't.
    Trump riled up what can only be described as an angry mob and directed that angry mob to the Capitol to not just overturn the Electoral College results but to overthrow the government by force, if necessary. Cheney's "mistake" was in continuing the narrative and never wavering. She voted to impeach Trump. And, to make matters worse for her, she'd even spearheaded the letter cosigned by her father and the nine other living former defense secretaries, forcefully denouncing any attempt by Trump to use the DoD to overturn the election results.
    Then there was the WaPo op-ed and the recent revelation from Cheney that, prior to the election, the NRCC had hid horrible polling data from the Republican caucus, polling data that showed Trump's unfavorability rating to be 15 points higher than the favorable. So, Cheney has exposed her own party's mendacity, furtiveness and spinelessness all with a few deft strokes. Their answer, obviously, is to purge her.
     So, I have come neither to bury or praise Liz Cheney but to show what an invaluable object lesson she's providing through her own persecution. The GOP is poised to replace her with a nonentity like Stefanik, whose only claim to fame is voting with Trump 15.2% less frequently than Cheney and in demonstrating how long she can stay on her leathery knees before Trump's throne at Mar a Lago. Because, to Trump, it doesn't matter how often she voted for or against his legislative agenda. It's about personal loyalty, always a one way street to Trump. And whatever Trump wants, Trump gets. They're not carjacking hostages They're co-conspirators in this crazy, cross country Big Lie road trip, even taking the wheel from Donnie Dumbo during his social media excommunication. It goes way beyond even Stockholm Syndrome, which depends on some actual kindness from the hostage taker.
     Besides, it's impossible to imagine Dark Lord Halliburton having no favors in DC to cash in and him not getting on the phone and burning up those favors for Liz right now.

Pottersville Digest: Expanded edition

(Except if you're a woman and speak the truth about Donald Trump.)

Trump's conspiracy theories about the 2020 election started in a Texas hangar in 2018 in which cell phones were banned.
Meet California's first Surgeon General.
What the Times didn't say was that this parasite, as one can expect, is a right wing donor. Shocking, I know. Take a moment to compose yourself, if you need to.

Right wing serial cheater claims getting caught cheating is "cancel culture."
"ok Adam, operator next question.” This is what passes for Republican "leadership" these days.
White privilege will never disappear in the US. It's long since been baked into how the government does business.
"Trump’s refusal to acknowledge that he lost hinges on myriad assertions that something dubious or suspicious happened during the 2020 presidential contest. The sheer volume of claims is itself often cited as evidence that something needs to be done about election security, a claim that’s a bit like advocating legislation for mandated chimney locks given how many Americans (most of them under the age of 7) believe in Santa Claus." -Philip Bump.
Unseat all the officials elected since 2018? OK, we've long since passed the point where this is ridiculous.
White privilege strikes again.
Trump didn't radicalize Republicans- He liberated and amplified them and gave them permission to proudly show their true colors. Many Republicans have always been cryptofascists. They were just waiting for their right wing Moses to liberate them.
Thanks to the radical, racist right wing, just broaching the subject of slavery is a third rail and they start screaming about "critical race theory."
Just another Sunday night in the Houston suburbs.
"Remember that lying is not just a matter of deceit. It’s an injury. I mean this literally. Lies are intended to loosen our perception of reality. They make us feel crazy." -John Stoehr

Because Wood knows if he takes a mental health exam, he'll fail with flying colors.
"For the MAGA faithful in Windham, there’s only one choice for auditor: Jovan Hutton Pulitzer, an inventor and controversial treasure hunter who has become a sort of internet folk hero to hardcore Trump fans."
Much has been made of white privilege and for good reason. Yet what's even more insidious is blue privilege.
When did the Massachusetts Audubon Society get into the logging business?
n intermission.
     "It makes us look like idiots."

     That's because you are. You should've bailed on this long before the name "Cyber Ninjas" came out.
     Tiny violin: Denied.

Your Brad o' the day.
And anyone who told you this was some kind of steal was telling you lies, Florida Man.
     This ought to make you feel better about your financial insecurities during the pandemic: Jeff fucking Bezos' new yacht is so bloated, it needs its own support yacht.
     You bring the guillotines, I'll bring the knives and forks.

Shorter Martha MacCallum: "Forget what we said last year and focus on what we're reluctantly admitting this year."
Really, did you expect anything better from the state that started the Civil War?
     Oh nos, another woke corporation and cancel culture!

Florida Man, the world's worst super hero.
This little lady launched in 1977, the year I graduated high school. And she's still sending back data.
Sweetie, your boss Reagan stole the 1980 election by stealing Jimmy Carter's playbook then illegally colluding with the Iranians during the hostage crisis and before the election. Then there was your boy Bush in 2000 & 2004. Stealing elections is a grand old tradition for the Grand Old Party.
Oh, the projection is strong with this one.
Your co-Brad o' the day.
The GOP Big Top is about to collapse with Trump in the center ring.
     “He farted on me and I was like, nobody’s ever done that to me. That is the most disgusting and childish thing. He looked at me and smacked the hat off my head.”
     Florida Man, still the world's worst super hero.

Jenner is just one brain seizure away from turning into the neighborhood cat lady.
Preet Bharara thinks the odds of criminal charges against Trump are pretty damned good.
This breaks my heart. I loved her movies & music videos in the 80's. RIP, Tawny Kitaen.
     Another Trump fanboy goes to prison for fraud. Fancy that. And finally...

Of course cops are resisting weeding out terrorists in their own ranks. This is why #blueprivilege ought to be a hashtag.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Pottersville Digest

     In other words, Trump acted like a typical disgruntled, evicted tenant.
     And she got access to a handgun... HOW?
     "The license-seeking man agreed to the deal, setting off a chain of events that included a November 2019 visit to Austin where he handed the middle man $30,000 cash in a car... Williams went through an alley..."
     This is like something out of a bad Dennis Lehane novel...

     "The whole thing is like trying to bake a cake off a recipe, but replacing the sugar and butter with fairy dust and leprechaun snot, and then throwing it at the sun instead of putting it in the oven to bake it." -Marcotte.

     Your Brad o' the day.
     Your Karen o' the day.
     Those dirty, duplicitous, paranoid right wing motherfuckers. Somewhere down in Hell, Hoover is looking up and nodding with approval.
     Soooo, they don't need salaries, health care benefits or pensions, then, right?
     Florida Man redundantly reveals secret identity as Florida Man.
    "Republican has 'The Girl in my Bathtub' section on campaign website to explain dead paralegal." O, the Humanity!
     Your Karen o' the day.
     It was inevitable that Trump's name would've come up in this.
     If there's one thing I hate more than Republicans, it's DINOs who act like them.
    What? You can't trust multi billion dollar, multi national corporations, after all? What's this world coming to?
    Yeah, I'll bet he does. Prosecutors should ask for a doctor's note since he used this story to dodge going to a court hearing.
     There are pictures and videos, stupid.
     Speaker Trump? I don't see it. It wouldn't give him the legal immunity the Oval Office would. He'd never settle for anything less.
     Suuuure it wasn't about delegitimizing President Biden’s win, Cancun Ted.
     Thomas Franks once famously asked what was the matter with Kansas. Here's one answer.
    Seizing phone records of WaPo journalists isn't just about violating the First Amendment but also violating the Fourth (illegal search and seizure).
     Words of truth from former Labor Secretary Robert Reich.
     "OK, how are we going to take back the House and Senate next year?"
     "I know! We lash ourselves to the bloated, rotting political corpse of the guy who cost us the entire Congress in just a few years!"
     "Shockingly brilliant!"

    "Right now, it's basically the Titanic. We're like in the middle of this slow sink, we have a band playing on the deck, telling everybody it's fine. And meanwhile, as I've said, Donald Trump's running around trying to find women's clothing to get on the first lifeboat." -The guy who puts the "zinger" in Kinzinger.
     Interview a weasel, expect weasel words.
     It IS about the spine because the Republican Party hasn't had a soul since Teddy Roosevelt's day.
And finally...
     Bill Barr nearly quit after Trump floated firing Wray and a deputy director.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Interview with Pam Lecky

London October 1886: Trapped in a troubled marriage, Lucy Lawrence is ripe for an adventure. But when she meets the enigmatic Phineas Stone, over the body of her husband in the mortuary, her world begins to fall apart.

     When her late husband’s secrets spill from the grave, and her life is threatened by the leader of London’s most notorious gang, Lucy must find the strength to rise to the challenge. But who can she trust and how is she to stay out of the murderous clutches of London’s most dangerous criminal?” –synopsis for No Stone Unturned.


     For May’s Author of the Month, I’m doing something common yet uncommon. I’m profiling and interviewing Irish historical mystery novelist Pam Lecky. Anyone who knows the first thing about my work knows that historical mystery fiction is catnip to me, as I write and read it almost exclusively. This explains why I’ve profiled so many historical novelists. What’s more uncommon is that not only is Pam represented by Hardman Swainson in the UK, she also has a publishing deal with Avon. Author of the Month is typically reserved for independent and/or self-published authors. Yet, technically, Pam is part of the new breed of hybrid authors as her earliest titles were self-published. That, and her exclusive historical mystery bent made her lack of an appearance in this series something of an unforgivable oversight.


14) Pam, first off, I want to tell you how very excited I am to have you, not the least reason of which is because you and I write in exactly the same genre at exactly the same period: Victorian times. I’d like to focus for now on the Lucy Lawrence series. What gave you the idea to create Lucy?


Thanks for inviting me to feature this month, Robert. It’s always great to meet fellow historical fiction authors, particularly those who write in the same era, and, of course, to connect with new readers.


Funnily enough, I didn’t start out to create Lucy as the main character in the book at all. When I began writing (and indeed in the first draft), the story was told from the perspective of Phineas Stone, a highly successful insurance fraud investigator based in London. (I was trying to avoid the Victorian PI trope, after all, how can you better Sherlock Holmes??) However, I never really got into his head, although I love the character very much, whereas the unfortunate Lucy Lawrence’s voice was insistent on being heard. She was incredibly easy to write. So, as much as I loved Phin, I rewrote the entire novel from Lucy’s POV. My beta readers and agent agreed the story was the better for the change, and hence the Lucy Lawrence Mystery series was born.


13) What are Lucy’s strengths and weaknesses and why do you think she makes a compelling and original detective?


Lucy’s strength is curiosity, her downfall is she hasn’t a clue what she is up to most of the time. She is deeply flawed, which is why I love her so much. Part of her charm is that she tends to blunder into situations through her impetuosity. She is quite brave too, but of course, without always considering the consequences. That’s what makes her interesting for me to write. I don’t want some perfect society miss, tripping along gaily, solving crimes and putting the world to rights. (Lucy is a slightly older heroine, in her late twenties). Her success rate in solving crimes is down to either luck, stubbornness, or a little help from Phin. On the odd occasion, she manages to put two and two together herself.


As she is such a ‘normal and flawed’ person, it allows me to develop her character over the series. I want to show how her experiences shape her to become the woman she longs to be. Ten years of marriage smothered her, but she clung to it because the alternative was scandal and disgrace. By disposing of her naughty husband in No Stone Unturned, I effectively let her loose on the world, but within the confines of her status and the mores of the time. It is often that conflict that creates the tension in the stories. She is, after all, a typical Victorian lady and she sees the world through the smoky prism of late 19th century values. It is really important for me that she is authentic to her time.


12) I know you’re working on the third Lawrence mystery. The first, No Stone Unturned, takes place in 1886 London. The sequel, Footprints in the Sand, takes place in 1887 Cairo. At the pace you’re going, the upcoming third entry will be in 1888. Are there any plans to have Lucy confront Jack the Ripper during the Autumn of Terror?


The Art of Deception, which I hope to publish later this year, takes place as you rightly guess in 1888, however, the action takes place during the spring and summer of that year before the Ripper began his reign of terror. Lucy does venture into the East End of London during the book, but most of the action centres around Kent, Mayfair in London, and Edinburgh (one of my favourite UK cities). To be honest, I deliberately avoided the Ripper theme as I feel it has been done very well already and I didn’t see what I could bring to it that would be fresh or unique.


11) How difficult is it for you to research 1880s London, Yorkshire and Cairo? Or is that all part of the thrill of being a historical mystery novelist?


Luckily, I have been a voracious reader of historical fiction from my teens, so I had a good level of knowledge of the era to start with. I have always loved the 19th century in particular, and been fascinated by every aspect, from dress to architecture to everyday life. One of the reasons I write historical fiction is that I am addicted to research. Just love it! There is plenty of material available and over time, I have built up an extensive collection of reference books on the Victorian and Edwardian eras. My biggest difficulty is crawling back up out of the research rabbit holes to write. Invariably, research throws up lovely plot ideas or twists, which is probably why I am so addicted to it.


10) You have a launch coming up in October, a new series featuring another female protagonist and brought out by Avon Books UK/Harper Collins. It’s a WWII-era thriller. Can you give us a teaser for Her Secret War and tell us a bit about your protagonist?


I’d love to! Publication date for Her Secret War (pre-order link here), the first book in the series, is 14th October this year and pre-order is now live. I’m absolutely thrilled to have found a home for my two WW2 espionage novels with Avon Books UK/Harper Collins. The story involves a young Irish girl who survives the destruction of her home during the infamous Luftwaffe’s bombing of neutral Dublin in May 1941. The opportunity to write a WW2 thriller from the viewpoint of an Irish person was too much to resist. Here is the blurb:

A moment that ruins her life

On 31st May 1941, Germany drops bombs on neutral Dublin and Sarah Gillespie loses her family and home that fateful night. Days later, the man she loves leaves Ireland to enlist in the RAF.

A decision that changes her life

With nothing to keep her in Ireland and a burning desire to help the war effort, Sarah seeks refuge with relatives in Hampshire, England. But before long, Sarah’s family history catches up with her.

A mission that could cost her life

Sarah is asked to prove her loyalty to Britain through uncovering a spy at Vickers Supermarine, the manufacturers of the legendary Spitfire fighter plane. But to progress with her mission, she must become involved with a fifth columnist. And so the most dangerous game she’s ever played ensues…

The protagonist, Sarah Gillespie, was interesting to write. She’s feisty and independent, but her young life has been blighted by poverty and a violent father. Despite this, Sarah is well educated, crazy for books (she is a huge Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers’ fan), movies and nights out on the town dancing with the love of her life. There is a deep bond between her and her younger sister Maura, particularly since their mother died some years before. 

But the Nazi bomb which destroys the Gillespie home, leaves Sarah struggling with grief. Luckily, her mother’s family in England reach out to her, offering her a new start. Unfortunately, things don’t go smoothly, and she ends up immersed in the dark and murky world of WW2 espionage. I actually feel sorry for the girl because I put her through the mill, but that’s part of the fun of being a writer. There are lots of twists in the story right up to the last page which should have readers gasping at the end.

9) Describe your typical writing day, if such a thing exists. Do you write exclusively in notebooks, laptops, both? And do you set page or word goals and, if so, how much?

Since earlier this year, I have been writing full-time. It has been hectic, with edits for Her Secret War to be completed and writing the sequel. Basically, I have been working 7-8 hours a day, seven days a week. I have recently completed the sequel and am now on the final round of edits for the first book, so my intention is to have a less demanding schedule going forward. My plan is to write 9-5, Monday to Friday. A typical word goal would be 2,000 words a day, but I don’t beat myself up if I don’t get there. Some days the muse just doesn’t co-operate and others she is in flying form. Of course, I have to spend time on promotion and marketing, and this can typically take up to an hour a day. I’d rather be writing, but it is something all writers just have to do.

As I trained at a young age as a touch typist, and can type around 100 wpm, I do all my writing on my desktop. I find writing out in a notebook too slow – can’t keep up with the dialogue of my characters – they tend to lose the run of themselves! However, I do sometimes brainstorm using a pen and paper and I have a whiteboard I use for keeping track of chapters/timeline/character names. This is particularly useful when writing a series.

8) Being a historical mystery novelist myself, I understand very well that each book is essentially a friendly duel between the author and each reader. The biggest thrill for the reader, I imagine, is trying to anticipate the author’s ending. However, it’s like a dog chasing a car. Once it’s caught, it involves some anticlimax, a letdown. Do you feel this pressure to outwit the reader or do you focus exclusively on just telling the story?

Readers’ expectations must be considered. Writing in any genre brings its own rules, however, I don’t see the point of writing historical mystery unless you can keep the reader guessing. I see it as a challenge. I love a good twist, so sometimes even I don’t see what’s coming! Having said that, it’s important to write an original, and hopefully, entertaining story with well-rounded characters and a stomping plot. That isn’t always easy, but it is what I aim for. I’m lucky to have two fabulous editors; Bernadette Kearns for my Indie books and Katie Loughnane at Avon. Both ladies keep me in check.


7) Your debut novel from 2015, The Bowes Inheritance, was a romantic suspense novel that appears to be a standalone. However, I couldn’t help but note that it takes place in 1882 Dublin, hewing pretty close to Lucy Lawrence’s timeline. Is there a possibility of Louisa Campbell and Lucy meeting in a crossover in the future?


I’m afraid not, though I may at some stage write a sequel, but it would be about some of the secondary characters. The Bowes Inheritance was never intended to be a series and includes a ‘happy ever after’. Once a character’s story arc has come full circle, I tend not to want to take it further.


6) Plotter, pantser or plantser?


Essentially, I have been all of these. I started out as a pantser and really enjoyed it; just letting the ideas pop into my head and running with them. Traditional publishing doesn’t really allow for that as you need to submit a synopsis with sets out the main ideas/plot/characters, etc. Once the synopsis is agreed there is little room to veer from it. As my writing career has evolved, I can see the benefits of having at least an outline plot as it speeds up the writing process. I still have the fun of fleshing the story out as I research, and this will be the way I approach my work going forward.


5) On your blog, there isn’t an About section, so you don’t give any clues about your past (oddly appropriate for a mystery novelist). So, I have to ask, what did you do before your literary period and did your former career end up informing your novels?


Ah, but that is deliberate. I am a very private person. I’m happy to talk about my books until the cows come home, but my private and family life has no bearing on my writing.


4) I’ve always been meaning to ask a historical novelist this question, although I suppose it’ll invite subjective answers. But what’s the cutoff point for you beyond which a novel is no longer “historical”?


Officially, according to the organisations I’m a member of, such as the Historical Novel Society, back 50 years is the cutoff. For me, it’s probably WW2, anything more modern than that doesn’t interest me.


3) Has the pandemic affected your writing career in any way? Has it affected sales, output or not?


Ironically, 2020 was my best year ever as an author. My sales rocketed with the publication of the second Lucy Lawrence book, Footprints in the Sand, making a full-time career as a writer a reality. I was also lucky enough to sign two traditional contracts. As for writing, it was a productive year. Before the pandemic I worked part-time and only had weekends in which to brandish a pen. Working from home during Covid gave me more time to write (no commuting!!).


2) What piece of advice would you give to anyone of any age about to launch a writing career?


I was 50 when I first published so it doesn’t matter what age, you are. I do believe my life experiences have coloured my writing. If I had published at a younger age, I don’t think the stories would have been as well-rounded. If you have been bitten by the writing bug - just go for it. Tell your stories, your way. Be aware that your voice may not be commercial enough for a publisher, but you have options. Consider self-publishing but only if you are prepared for the financial cost of doing it properly, i.e., cost of editing and getting a professional cover. I was extremely lucky to sign with an agent several years ago, and I don’t believe I would be where I am today without her help and guidance. I’d also add that an experienced editor is invaluable; you will learn so much about the craft from them.


1)   So, aside from October’s launch, what’s next for Pam Lecky? 

A well-earned rest as the last six months have been fairly intense!

But not for long. The Art of Deception needs to be finished and launched into the big bad world. The sequel to Her Secret War has yet to go through the editing process (slated for publication in the autumn of 2022). After that, I will take some time to think about future projects. Ideas are already floating around in my head, including a contemporary suspense novel, future Lucy Lawrence adventures, and a possible sequel to the WW2 books. Guess I could be busy for the foreseeable!

If you’re interested in learning more about Pam Lecky’s work, then please make use of the handy links provided below.

Amazon Author page

Facebook Author Page


Pam’s author blog


KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

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