Any Writer Can Thrive Here

Ann Minnett MWW photo Ann Minnett

The community of writers comes through again!

Christine Carbo, local author of the Glacier Mystery Series, is a busy woman. Her third book in the series, The Weight of Night, comes out this June, and she is set to write at least two more. She also owns a Pilates studio and has a family.

Montana Women Writers invited Christine to speak in December about her publishing experiences and how to capture an agent’s interest. Despite her busy schedule, she offered to help me with a (dreaded) query letter to agents. I took her up on the offer. I sent her drafts of my letter and synopsis for Don’t Tell Zane, and we met last week to discuss.

Her willingness to help another writer embodies the generosity among authors in the Flathead. Any writer can thrive in the environment of trust and support we enjoy here. We aren’t in competition. If I ever achieve a ‘place of prominence’ as a writer, I hope to share my knowledge just as generously.

Les DiaboliquesLes DiaboliquesLes Diaboliques

By the way, Christine’s the one who suggested my novels fit into the Domestic Suspense genre. I’ve read and enjoyed suspense novels for years, not knowing some were Domestic Suspense. My research proved her to be spot on, and I intend to market Don’t Tell Zane and my current WIP to those readers.

Thanks, Christine, and thank you to this amazing community of writers.


Burden of Breath Cover - Minnett            FINAL TURQUOISE FONT COVER

Exclusive Passions

by Karen Wills

Habit and practice sharpen gifts; the necessity of toil grows less disgusting, grows even welcome, in the course of years; a small taste (if it be only genuine) waxes with indulgence into an exclusive passion.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson

I suspect that even before love of language, love of stories marks the beginning of most evolving writers. That’s how it began for me. Love of listening to my dad tell made up stories expanded into reading other people’s fiction. In third grade, I took the next step, writing my first story. The reviews (from Mom and Dad) were sensational.

Years later, I had to face the “necessity of toil” business and critics not biased in my favor. I had to recognize that plot is essential, characters have to be motivated, and the right language is essential, too. Combine the three and you’ve hit gold. But, oh, those years of false strikes and mines that didn’t pan out as I’d hoped. The mother lode has elusive ways. I’ve loved the search, but learning the craft if you’re not blessed with genius—think Shakespeare—can be an awful grind at times.

I recently listened to Leslie M.M. Blumes’, Everybody Behaves Badly, about Ernest Hemingway’s efforts to hone his unique, zeitgeist-perfect voice in the 1920’s. He found it in spare prose enhanced by artful repetition and cadence. It’s also about how he labored to produce stories and novels that captured and held his readers. Such mastery didn’t come overnight. In the end, he loved writing with such passion that when he faced what looked like permanent writer’s block, he killed himself.
And then there’s language. I also read Edward Abbey’s, The Monkey Wrench Gang. He uses what I call ‘the old razzle dazzle’ with words. Here’s an example:

The evening gave way to night, a dense violet solution of starlight and darkness mixed with energy…

Writing is still work, but I’ve reached the “indulgence into an exclusive passion” stage at last.

A friend joked that I don’t do anything except read, write, and watch movies. At least in winter, she’s close to right. When I write, the world outside my story drops away. I told that to someone who responded, “Oh, that’s how you meditate.” Maybe. All I know is the combining of plot, character, and language has waxed into indulgence and passion.

How fortunate I am.

February Book News


LESLIE BUDEWITZ: Ah, winter. We love it, but right about now, most of us wouldn’t mind a bit of a thaw! At least we are blessed with many sunny days here in Northwestern Montana — and many good friends and books!

I’ll be talking about writing, publishing, and using my hometown as a setting at the Bigfork Rotary ClButter Off Dead (final)ub at noon, Wed Feb 8, at the United Methodist Church in Bigfork. And on Saturday Feb 11, at 1:00, I’ll be chatting about cozy mysteries — the lighter side — at the Mineral County Library in Superior.
The first grown-up mysteries many of us read were those of the great Agatha Christie. I’ll be talking about her continued influence on mystery writers at the opening of the Bigfork Community Players’ production of “Murder on the Nile,” based on her book, Death on the Nile, on Saturday, Feb 18, in the Bigfork Playhouse, the setting of my third Food Lovers’ Village Mystery, Butter Off Dead. Showtimes and dates on the Players’ website.

Read — it’s the best way to light a fire in your brain!



Marie F Martin enjoyed her time at Flowers by Hansen.  Here are a few photos taken by Lucinda of Crown Photograpy so you can see how nicely the authors were treated and what the public enjoyed at the First Night Event.


Marie showing a customer her books.

Marie and Shirley Rovik with their books

Marie and Shirley Rovik with their books


Betty Kuffel buying a book


Special Olympics were there.


Sparrows Nest was there


Marie’s Books