Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Pottersville Digest: State of the Disunion edition

     "Some justices were slow to adopt email technology -- they were 'not masters of information security protocol'."
     I guess the right wingers on the court were still clinging to their clay tablets.

     Karen Carpenter died 40 years ago and too many people have forgotten that she could play drums like a madwoman.

     There's literally no bottom to the rabbit holes of the MAGA faithful.

     So, this is why we handed back control of the House to these lunatics? So they could "own the libs"?
     Oh, great. Joe Wilson's nipples are getting erect again right before the president's State of the Union Address.
     Ah, the magical gun that shows up near the bodies of black men. Police have a word for these magical guns: "Throwdowns."
     Real man of the people, that George Santos.
     109 assholes voted for this steaming pile of horseshit. No, not Republicans- "Democrats". (Tip o' the tinfoil hat to Constant Reader, CC)

     How about the six cops who'd died by their own hand after January 6th? Crickets.
     Vote for clowns, expect balloons.

     Well, well, well. Look who's now officially under investigation by the House Ethics Committee.

     A NeoNazi who wears blackface? That's unpossible.

     Knowing that wing airhead Melania, when she was in the Situation Room watching al-Baghdadi getting snuffed, she probably thought she was watching an action movie.

     So, Sarah Sanders is who they drafted to do the SOTU, huh? Seems to me, that prove there are no Republicans on Capitol Hill who have gravitas for the job.

     When did Roger Waters go from being a cool guitarist of a world-class band to a sloppy antisemite one can find at any pub?

     Why isn't this Sammy Davis-looking motherfucker in prison by now?

     Mark Pomerantz' book dropped at midnight tonight and, while it contains no new revelations, it does tell what went on behind the scenes at the Manhattan DA's office. And finally...

     "A groomer"? This is the same predatory pedophile that used to walk in on underaged Miss Teen America contestants knowing they'd be undressed,

Friday, February 3, 2023

Pottersville Digest

    Another Republican crook is about to fall.
    Shorter Boebert: "The way to extinguish a gasoline fire is to drown it in more gasoline." (Tip o' the tinfoil hat to Constant Reader, CC)

     Your Brad o' the day.
     This is some seriously sick shit. You just KNOW this bill was drafted by a white male Republican pervert.
     It's obvious by now the fascists are not going away anytime soon. Look what happened to the Berlin cabarets after the Nazis took over.
     Some men just want to watch the world burn.

     If this doesn't show Republican contempt for democracy, nothing will. They were even laughing about black voter outreach.
     Considering this is the guy who wanted to nuke hurricanes, I'm afraid the insanity defense just might work.

     That's the typical mainstream GOP solution to almost everything- "Shoot it down!" Marjorie Taylor-Greene and others like her is why Mike Judge made Idiocracy.
     Meme intermission.

    It doesn't surprise me that Trump's obsession with mental projection extends to his real estate properties. It's that magical thinking that allows him to believe that he can declassify documents in his mind.

     It's just a matter of time before DeSantis sticks his greasy paws in this massive scandal.

     How the hell could it not be a matter of negligence? The credit card number got out somehow.
     Republicans know their policies, legislation and ballot initiatives suck and that voters won't support them. That's why they resort to trickery.

     Another day, another scandal for George Santos, this time over unpaid traffic tickets.

     Black History Month began last Wednesday so this didn't take long.

     Sure, why not take fiscal advice from a guy who racked up a 13 year-old zombie debt of over $4.5 million? And finally...

     At this point, I'm amazed we haven't heard the phrase "balloon boy" from Republicans.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Pottersville Digest

     Another talented life taken from us by goddamn cancer.
     Good. It's about time they put this harridan behind bars.
     Since when has this litigious loser ever championed anything remotely resembling the truth?
     Of course they will. That's what terrorists do.
     Shorter Stefanik: "Don't blame me for Santos. Blame his voters."
     Trump vs Trump.
     Even OAN is piling on Santos.
     He's not just a terrorist, he's also a pervert.
     Another day, another SCOTUS scandal.
     I guess an inability to spell is what should be expected of these idiots running the legislative branch.
     Yeah, he's a shitty Congressman but surely he's a better boyfriend, right? Uh...
     "There’s a little Black woman walking, spraying stuff on the sidewalks and trees. I don’t know what the hell she’s doing. Scares me, though.”
     I can't imagine what it must feel like to be scared of small black children.

     No hypocrisy, my ass.

     I'm sure that Trump was proud to know him after this.

     What I'd like to know is, was the House Sergeant at Arms apprised of all this? My guess is No.
     There's no crying in baseball or insurrections, buttercup.

     One of the best things about getting George Santos out of Congress is that we also won't have to see that grinning, bald-headed goon with the bad suits who follows him everywhere. And finally...

     Good. The less daylight this misogynist asshole and his brother sees, the better for the women of the world.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Antisemitism vs AntiZionism

     Rachel Maddow once famously made the observation that hypocrisy is the one crime on Capitol Hill for which there's no comeuppance and she was right. Republicans are flaunting their shameless double standards now that they, barely, have control over the House and the various committees.
     But despite their countless hypocrisies since January 3rd, none stands out to me as more odious than their decision to kick Ilhan Omar off the Foreign Affairs committee. We're literally seeing Marjorie Taylor-Greene getting reinstalled on two committees while Omar just got the boot. The irony, if it can be called irony, is that Greene got her two committee assignments back while Omar lost hers even though both women were accused of making antisemitic statements.
     The ones Omar made in 2019 were not antisemitic but perfectly accurate. She made those statements in response to our government's nauseating fealty to Israel that goes back to its founding in 1948. Her mistake was in putting it in terms that was guaranteed to gin up fake right wing outrage, referring to the flood of money coming in from AIPAC as being "about the Benjamins", meaning Benjamin Franklin's likeness on the 50 dollar bill.
     Compare that to the Republican non-reaction to Marjorie Taylor-Greene's ridiculous Jewish space laser conspiracy regarding the Rothschilds and California wildfires and speaking at notorious antisemite Nick Fuentes' event held at the same time as CPAC.
     Here's the difference as the right wing sees it. Omar attacked the state of Israel and at least one of its lobbies, rightly calling them out for bribing lawmakers on both sides of the aisle with their deep pockets. The right wing can't have anti-Zionism. What Greene did was pure antisemitism, attacking Jews in general  even within the parameters of a ludicrous conspiracy theory and the right wing doesn't have so much of a problem with that.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Rep. George Santos stars in 28 Days Later

     Thank God we dodged that bullet.
     Well, it's been 28 days since the 118th Congress began. According to that Danny Boyle timeline, the last four weeks have given us a pretty clear indication of what to expect from what is already shaping up to be the worst Congress in US history.
     At the same time that Kevin McCarthy had booted Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell off the Intelligence Committee (which he can do since it's a select committee and the committee assignments are the sole discretion of the Speaker) and is trying kick Ilhan Omar off Foreign Affairs Committee, he's also had to deal with George Santos.
     After a late night meeting with McCarthy last night, Santos announced that he would recuse himself from the Science and Small Business committees on which McCarthy had placed him. Earlier today, chased by reporters who always smell blood wafting from Santos, he arrogantly said it was his own decision and that nobody tells him what to do... including the Speaker of the House, apparently.
     Strictly by coincidence, Elise Stafanik, Liz Cheney's replacement as the number three House Republican, has already begun the inevitable crawl away from Santos' putrefying political corpse and essentially blamed the voters of NY-3 for swallowing his lies and electing him.
     The thing is, Stefanik busted her ass to get Santos elected, including brokering some lucrative fundraisers, one of them hauling in $100,000. In fact, a senior Republican strategist told CNN that a donor told him he only donated to Santos because of Stefanik's endorsement.
     As one can expect, Santos is in hot water not only with his own voters but Stefanik's own constituents aren't too thrilled with her these days, either, for selling them a rotten bill of goods.
     Add to that OAN, OAN of all places, held Santos' feet to the fire for his lack of contrition.
     Stay tuned for the next scandal. Because you know, with Santos, it won't end here.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Pottersville Digest

     What does Kennedy think he's hiding? The cat's out of the bag. (Tip o' the tinfoil hat to Constant Reader, CC)

     Good. Fuck Charlie McCarthy and his lap monkeys.
     There's always a pissed-off woman, isn't there?
     How the hell could this possibly happen? When I worked in nursing homes, you couldn't get in or out without pressing in a passcode.
     These babies really really don't take kindly to being told No, do they?

     Tyre Nichols' grieving family appeared on CNN and told Don Lemon what they saw on that horrible videotape that's making the rounds.

     Obviously, this is a more wide-spread problem than we knew before Trump. Now we find out Biden and Pence had documents. This a failure not only on the part of elected officials but also their staffs, the FBI and the National Archives itself. How could NARA not know these documents were missing?
     You all know it's a matter of time before state money begins flowing into their pockets when they're accredited as a charter school, correct?
     This is exactly how fascism starts.

     Another Memphis cop bites the dust.
     Just when you started thinking the Memphis PD is the worst in the nation...
     Gone too soon. I'll never forget that dance. RIP, Lisa Loring.
     Some more secret documents were found in Florida but not where you think.

     Not only that but until the DOJ gets off its fat, lazy ass and does its due diligence by indicting Trump on sedition charges, it'll never officially become part of the narrative, thereby enabling Trump to run his campaign as if it was a normal one, which it most certainly is not.

     Sweeping powers plus lack of oversight will not "usually" result in police abuse but will every. Single. Time.

     The Fashion Police. Yes, it's here.

     My ass Gaetz didn't beg for a pardon. And finally...

     It's only a matter of time before Trump goes out in public wearing a Russian flag lapel pin.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

How Do We Make Sense of Tyre Nichols?

 (By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
Until recently, it was very easy to understand police violence on unarmed African Americans. It's been widely seen as white-on-black violence because, much more often than not, the cops involved were white. A white cop killed Eric Garner. A white cop killed Michael Brown. A white cop killed Laquan McDonald. A white cop killed Walter Scott. A white cop killed Tamir Rice. A white cop killed Botham Jean. A white cop killed George Floyd. White cops killed Breonna Taylor. A white cop killed...
     Well, you get the idea.
     So, it's been very easy, not to mention convenient, to say the killing of unarmed black men at the hands of white cops is a very serious problem. And it most certainly is.
     But the January 7 fatal beating of Tyre Nichols in Memphis throws a monkey wrench in the works. All five of the now former officers who'd beaten Nichols to death are black. Republicans love to point to black-on-black crime, especially in Chicago, their favorite target, but the introduction of law enforcement throws the black on black calculus out of whack.
     Despite about an hour's worth of videotape being released by the Memphis PD, we still don't know everything, starting with what led the police to pull over Nichols in the first place. The official narrative is that the victim was driving on the wrong side of the street, even though no evidence exists to prove it. But this is a nation in which, in 2018, police killed over 1000 civilians in the US. Compare that to other industrialized nations- The figures tend to be low double and even single digits for the same year. Too many times we've seen routine traffic stops end with police calling in the meat wagon.
     But one must also make note of the swiftness which which these officers were removed from the force, then arrested then charged with second degree murder. The police chief, Cerelyn "CJ" Davis, has, admittedly, made an admirable effort to be transparent. We rarely, if ever see the swift wheels of justice turn this quickly against white cops. Instead, we see the usual circling of the wagons, the usual lies and rewritten reports and planted evidence when white cops are guilty of doing the same things.
    We saw the same swift action against Mohamed Mohamed Noor five and a half years ago after he stupidly shot Justine Damond in the chest, even though she was the one who called the police. 
    It was very easy, not to mention necessary, to see racial animus in the infamous case of Rodney King, the black motorist who was beaten within an inch of his life in Los Angeles 32 years ago. All the cops were white, none were convicted and their "exoneration" touched off riots in LA that killed dozens.
     So what set off these black cops to essentially lynch one of their own in full view of city sky cams they must have known were there? Again, we don't know what led them pull over Nichols but the very beginning of the first video shows an immediate escalation that led to them pulling him out of his car.
    Understandably, the man ran for his life because he felt it was being threatened and the police, naturally, took that as justification to beat and eventually kill him. They threw almost everything they had at him- Fists, feet, OC spray, tasers, aluminum batons. Then they walked around smoking cigarettes. Firefighters and paramedics indifferently rendered medical aid, if at all.
     It was a lynching, by a bunch of thugs, against one of their own. It was the kind of thing you'd expect of the Proud Boys.
    This murder resulted in the swift disbanding of the SCORPION Unit, of which all five of the cops were members. It had been credited with lowering crime in Memphis in the brief time it was around, 14 months. But critics also complained about cops jumping out of unmarked units and randomly assaulting people.
     As with Tyre Nichols, for instance.
   But disbanding the SCORPION unit is not going to take care of the problem and neither will training or retraining. This is a matter of attitude and police cadet intake. They're simply letting in the wrong people. Cops have shown time and again they don't need to be part of special units to visit violence on civilians and retraining doesn't change things such as attitudes toward civilians, especially when the animus is racial-based.
     But training at the academy phase has a lot to do with what we're given on the streets. Mohamed Mohamed Noor, Justine Damond's murderer, was fast-tracked in a program that put minority police cadets on streets sooner than white cadets. In Germany, a nation that saw only 11 police-involved civilian fatalities in 2018, it takes three years to be a fully-trained as police officer. In the USA, a person training for a barbering license often spends more time learning their craft than most cops in the US.
   That's because the United States is the only developed country in the world lacking national standards for hiring, training, supervising, and disciplining police across the 18,000 departments in the country. People trained to make split-second life or death decisions. The good guys with guns.
     I wish I had the answers to the epidemic of police violence in this country but I can tell you where to start looking.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Who Are You Gonna Believe? Me or My Lying Tongue?

     For those of you who don't have the time or inclination, one of the many reputable tools available to us political bloggers is Ballotpedia. It's essentially the wikipedia of electoral results going back several election cycles but it's more than that. Part of the database that comprises the site are candidate surveys that Ballotpedia sends out to anyone running for the House or Senate. 
     In a rare moment of idleness today, I decided to look up the election results for NY-3 because I originally wanted to see Santos' margin of victory. It wasn't even close, as he won by 8.4 percentage points, or by nearly 22,000 votes, over Robert Zimmerman. But, as is typical with George Santos, to whom truth is Kryptonite, those facts relating to him were the only ones because as much as he'd love to, Santos can't alter what's on Ballotpedia like he can his own palimpsestic campaign website. That especially goes for the survey that he was asked to take.
     His third paragraph reads in part, "My parents came to America in search of making a better life for me and my family. I worked extremely hard to make the American dream a reality. I want to ensure that this is also a reality for our kids and grandkids."
     As far as dear old Mom goes, that was certainly true. Immigration records show she arrived in 2006 and worked as a health aide as she had in Brazil. George's own entry into the US is more, opaque, shall we say, and he beat Mom to the US. We know the reason for that: Santos stole a checkbook from one of his mother's dying patients and wrote a series of bad checks to buy himself expensive clothes and shoes.  So, yeah, I guess that qualifies as hard work to the American Dream a reality for him. When the Brazilian authorities began closing in, he fled to America to evade prosecution, kind of like Trump's grandfather fled Germany when he avoided the draft.
     All things considered, I don't know what rationale Santos used to obtain a visa or even if he got one but fleeing the long arm of the law, to me, isn't a valid reason to hand one out. Maybe we should take a closer look at Santos' immigration status to determine if he's even legally here.
     They went on to ask him, "What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?"
     Santos' answer shows that Republicans have no sense of irony, shame or any other quality that makes up normal human psychology. The first sentence of his answer was, "One of the things I'm most passionate about is integrity and honesty in our government, especially financial policies."
     "Integrity and honesty in our government."
     "Especially financial policies."
     This is a guy who makes Donald Trump, a vaguely human-shaped black hole of falsehood, look like Abe Lincoln by conspicuous relief. This is a guy who'd just submitted an "amended" filing to the FEC, telling them that half a million of the $705,000 he loaned his campaign from his personal funds weren't really from his personal funds.
     So it's hard to see how bringing "integrity and honesty in our government, especially financial policies" starts with lying to the FEC about your personal finances and refusing to divulge where a half a million dollars of your money actually came from.
     Let's move on:
     "The number one responsibility of a United States Congressman is to represent their district. A Congressman has to be able to block out everything else going on around them in order to focus on best representing the district to which he or she is elected."
     I guess that includes blocking out questions from CNN's Manu Raju when he follows him through Congress and asks him to explain his latest lies and scandals. That obviously includes calling CNN "fake news" and accusing them of "lying to the American people".
     Then there's this:
     "The first major historical event I have a deep comprehension of was September 11, 2001. This day is very personal for me as my mother was in the South Tower. She managed to escape the collapsing building and came to get me from school. My mother has since passed away, but September 11, 2001 is a day I will never forget."
     Oh my. And this just missed my birthday.
     Neither Santos nor his mother were anywhere near North America on 9/11, so she certainly didn't get him out of school, whether it was Horace Mann or anywhere else he claimed to attend.
     Perhaps intuitively understanding what NY-3 would be getting, they then asked him this loaded question: ""
     "If I could be any fictional character, I would be Captain America."
     Because, lying? He could do that all day. In fact, he does. The ironic thing is, the fictional character he's already playing is called George Santos/Anthony Devolder, Wall Street tycoon, philanthropist. dog and cat rescuer and honorary Jew.
     "When elected, I want to be part of the financial services committee. Because of my experience in the finance world, this is where I would be able to best serve my constituents and the country. I believe it is crucial that we bring new ideas and integrity to our government in order to help our country continue to grow and thrive."
     Oh, c'mon, get that look off your face. You knew he was going to say something like that.
     Because who needs experience working at banking giants like Goldman Sachs, Citigroup or any other when you can just spitball it? Fake it 'till you make it, baby!
     "If the terms were longer, Congressmen could say one thing just to get elected but completely abandon their constituents when elected and there wouldn't be anything they could do."
     Yes, you know he actually typed that with a straight face.
     Last question: ""
     "I have signed the term limits pledge, stating that I will only serve 3 terms of 2 years in United States Congress. "
     Uh huh. I seem to recall Santos saying he was going to serve just one term. Or am I imagining things? No. No, I'm not
     Maybe Santos' campaign song should've been, "Looking Through a Glass Onion" by the Beatles. Because whatever actually lies at Santos' core, considering he has one, must be so horrible and devoid of depth and substance that all the countless lies he piles on top must be preferable to what actually lies there.

Pottersville Digest

     Who the hell is this Captain Kangaroo-looking motherfucker?

     This is a damned shame but I respect her decision.

     To hell with the fines. These assholes belong in prison but, you know, WHITE.
     It's no coincidence that these right wing fucks who are always trying to gut Social Security are the ones who need it the least.

     Another crooked police union chief bites the dust. First pedophile Patrick Rose in Boston, now this crook.

     My suspicion is that the SCOTUS knows precisely who the leaker is but just don't want us to know, which would explain this Potemkin-style investigation. And the right wingers on the court just don't want us to know who it is.

     Sign Uncle George's petition to get the other George out of Congress.

     Gee, aren't drag performers considered to be the bane of Republican existence? Aren't they supposed to be pedophiles and groomers? Not if they have an R next to their names, apparently.
     If this doesn't prove right wingers are sociopaths, nothing will.
     Florida Man, the world's worst superhero.
     Strictly coincidental, I'm sure, but when the New York Times reported that the FBI saw “no link between Trump and Russia” — a week before the 2016 election — the FBI agent who was just arrested over ties to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska was heading up the investigation.
     Strictly coincidental, I'm sure.
     "So popular, in fact, that former President Donald Trump recently warned the GOP to keep them out of debt ceiling negotiations."
     You read that right. Donald Trump is the voice of reason in this. (Tip o' the tinfoil hat to Constant Reader, CC)

     I see no reason why Santos should be allowed to serve out his two year term. If he committed campaign finance violations, he needs to be arrested, especially if that money came from overseas.

     Another weak-chinned little psychopath off the streets.

     Santos: "Datwyler's my new Treasurer."
     Datwyler: "Uh, no I'm not."

     I knew these right wing corporate douchebags would do this.
     Florida Men. And finally...

     "The Devolder Organization, which the GOP congressman now says is the source of his newfound wealth and campaign spending, lists its address as a Fast Mail N More shop in Melbourne, Florida.
It’s located in a strip mall next to a Dollar Tree discount store and a Chinese takeout joint."
     That's what I always loved about George Santos: His sheer class.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Interview with Brenda Chapman

Brenda Chapman is a Canadian crime fiction author with over twenty published novels. In addition to short stories and standalones, she has written the lauded Stonechild and Rouleau for police procedural series, the Anna Sweet mystery novellas, and the Jennifer Bannon mysteries middle grade. Her work has been shortlisted for several awards including four Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence.

Once again, we find ourselves in the Great White North, specifically Canada’s capital of Ottawa. And this month, we profile one of Canada’s highest-profile mystery novelists in Brenda Chapman.

15) Brenda, like so many of my subjects, you’ve worn so many hats in your vocational life. Which one would you say has best informed your fiction?

I’ve been a teacher, which certainly helped me with grammar, but I’d say my work as a senior communications advisor at the Department of Justice with so many issues to delve into best informed my crime fiction writing.

14) For those out there who have not read the series firsthand, tell us about Stonechild and Rouleau. What makes them such compelling detectives?

Officer Kala Stonechild is Indigenous and grew up in foster care. She’s in her late twenties when the series begins. Her childhood turned her into a loner who has trouble staying in one place and forming lasting relationships. She’s also intelligent and dogged with a strong moral code and not averse to pushing limits. Staff Sergeant Jacques Rouleau is in his fifties, divorced but still in love with his ex-wife. He’s something of a workaholic, compassionate and lonely. He becomes a father figure to Stonechild as their relationship grows over the series. 

13) Stonechild and Rouleau are the duo that anchors a police procedural series. How do you go about doing the requisite research? Is it strictly academic or do you pick the brains of real life Canadian cops?


The base of my research comes down to all the crime fiction books I’ve read and the stories I’ve watched on tv over the years. I’ve also been fortunate to belong to Capital Crime Writers, our local organization, which has brought in many police, detectives and other experts to speak about cases, crimes and job descriptions. A retired officer who was one of the guest speakers read Cold Mourning, first in the Stonechild series, and he gave great feedback about the crimes. More recently, an Ottawa officer moved in down the street and I pick his brain on occasion, and my ex-RCMP brother answers my questions, too. Of course, the Internet is another terrific research tool.

12) Describe your happy place, the one spot where you feel the most comfortable writing.

I’m happiest writing at home and usually in my office. I began my writing career working at a desk in our living room with the tv often on and my kids in the same room. I learned to concentrate and to tune out noise as a result! Some twenty years ago, my husband put an addition on our house and made an office for me, and I’m still grateful for this lovely gift.

11) Anna Sweet is another one of your series characters. What are her strengths and weaknesses as a detective?

Anna Sweet is an ex-cop P.I. living in Ottawa, created for a series of adult literacy novellas published by Grassroots Press. She’s funny, smart and independent, although very attached to her father and family. When the series begins, she’s bartending in Texas as she tries to deal with a few issues, including the fact her ex-fiancé broke off their engagement to marry her younger sister.  She has difficulty letting go of the past and is reluctant to trust again when it comes to a romantic relationship.

10) What made you decide to write a series of mysteries for middle schoolers?


The first book I attempted to write is Running Scared, the first in a series of four books for middle grade readers. I wrote the book for my daughters who were twelve and nine at the time, mainly to see if I could do it. The protagonist Jennifer Bannon is going into grade nine, she’s having difficulty in school, her parents are separated, and she likes a boy who has a girlfriend. The books deal with real issues kids are facing, some of this coming out of my teaching experience. My nine-year-old daughter said after reading the manuscript, “Mommy, you write like a real author.” This spurred me on to seek out a publisher J

9) When you were growing up in Canada, who were some of the authors you’d read and had any of them gone on to influence your work?

I’ve been a huge mystery reader since picking up Enid Blyton’s The Secret Seven and The Famous Five books. The list of authors I’ve read and enjoyed lately include: Denise Mina, Anne Cleeves, Michael Connolly, Adrian McKinty, Jane Harper, Deon Meyer, and Liza Marklund. I also read a lot of Canadian crime fiction over the years and hesitate to name only a few since we have so many terrific writers. (You can check them out on the Crime Writers of Canada website.) I’d say that all of these authors have influenced my writing to some degree over the years. They make me want to strive to improve and to tell stories that readers can’t put down.

8) Plotter, pantser or plantser?

I consider myself squarely in the pantser category. I tend to know the crime, motivation and whodunit before I begin the first draft, but not always. Sometimes, I simply sit down and write a sentence and off I go.

7) What do you think it is about the capital city that provides such a fertile ground for crime fiction?

Yes, Ottawa has been a hub of crime fiction writing for a few decades now. Could it be all those politicians making people want to fictionally kill somebody?! Hard to know for certain, but the city is about a million people so a large pool of suspects and victims for murders – three waterways, two universities, a college, many distinct, vibrant neighbourhoods, parkland, bike trails, four seasons, numerous small towns within driving distance … this region makes for a varied and rich setting.

6) Are there any subjects or types of crimes you won’t write about in your mysteries?

Like most crime fiction writers, I wouldn’t kill a dog or beloved pet, but this is my only absolute writing taboo. I’m not into graphic violence, however, believing less is more. My interest is in the characters and their interactions and motivations, and in solving the crime puzzle. My books often raise current issues, such as teenage prostitution or the wrongly convicted, but these topics are woven into the stories.

5) Please describe your typical writing day, if there’s any such thing. Do you write in journals, a laptop, both, do you set word goals and, if so, what are they?

My writing days vary, but I usually get started around ten a.m. and can still be writing after supper. This tends to happen deeper into the manuscript as I’m nearing the end and picking up speed. Some days, I accomplish very little writing if my focus is on editing, publicity or an event. My goal is always to enjoy the process and not to put pressure on myself to achieve a certain word count. I manage to write a book a year, so this continues to be my target.

4) Your newest series is the Hunter and Tate series that takes place in your native Ottawa. For those who have not seen your interview on Ottawa TV, what’s the throughline for Blind Date?

The Hunter and Tate series has two main protagonists: Detective Liam Hunter and Ella Tate, a laid off reporter who begins a true crime podcast. Hunter meets Ella when she appears to be the target of a number of vicious crimes. The two begin unofficially to help each other out on cases and develop a tentative friendship. A third character named Tony appeared in Blind Date and has become a presence in the books. He’s a gay hairdresser who lives in the apartment below Ella, breaking many of the stereotypes and becoming a well-rounded character. Readers tell me they wish he were real and could move in next door to him.

3) Is there any temptation to do a cross-over entry between two of your series?

No, I will keep the two series separate, although there have been moments when I’ve greatly missed Stonechild and Rouleau. I like to think of them happily living their lives somewhere off the page.

2) All your mysteries transpire in modern-day Canada. Have you ever given any thought to writing a historical mystery in 19th century Ottawa?

One lure for writing a 19th century mystery would be the lack of technology. It is difficult these days to stay on top of all the new tech for solving cases, and there’s a need to work around these modern tools to write a plausible story. In any event, I wouldn’t say no to writing a historical mystery although I’d likely start with a short story first. The only ‘historical’ book I’ve penned is Second Chances, an older teen standalone novel set in the seventies. It’s a coming of age book and involved quite a bit of research to get the time period right.

1) So, what’s next for Brenda Chapman?

When Last Seen, second in the Hunter and Tate series will be released April 1st and I’m currently writing book three. I’ll be seeking out publicity/marketing opportunities over the summer, beginning with an Ottawa book launch in April. I might also add that if any of your followers belong to a book club, I love dropping in to talk mysteries, and Zoom means I can visit anywhere in the world. They can reach me through the contact page on my website.

Thanks so much, Robert, for inviting me to chat and answer such fun, insightful questions.

If you're interested in learning more about Ms. Chapman and her work, please follow the links below:

A recent interview on the show Lurking for Legends: https://www.facebook.com/RichardHughStephens/videos/1433199620439727

KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

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