Blackbird Writers

Every now and then, someone poses a question that stops me in my tracks and makes me really think.

Such was the case when my friend and writing mentor, Christine DeSmet—author of The Fudge Shop Mystery Series—posed this question on the Blackbird Writers website: “What skill shaped your life?”

After thinking about it, the answer is reading. It holds the number one spot in the list of skills that have shaped my life. Numbers two and three are observing details and listening between the lines.

What is the Blackbird Writers website?
I’m glad you asked!

If you’re a fan of thrillers, suspense, or mystery novels, you’ll want to hang out with the Blackbird Writers—a group for discerning readers, talented authors, and suspenseful books. Our nest is your nest!

Earlier this year, a group of writers in these genres, decided to collaborate and form the Blackbird Writers. Each week a different author offers new perspectives on the Blackbird blog. Check out our latest blog and subscribe to our quarterly newsletter HERE.

We also have fantastic social media sites where you can engage in a discussion, get the scoop on new releases, freebies, contests, and more.

Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

What skill shaped your life?

© lauriebuchanan.com

Tussie-Mussie

Earlier this year, I received a beautiful glass vase as a thank you gift. It’s perfectly sized for a nosegay, posy, or tussie-mussie — a small flower bouquet. 

Since receiving the vase, I’ve made a point of enjoying a weekly bouquet in my writing studio. I’ve found it to be a boon for self-care, inspiration, and creativity.

My sister reinforced my habit by gifting me with a multi-month gift certificate from Blooms Flower Studio in Boise. Oh, the joy!

What’s your strategy for boosting self-care, inspiration, and creativity?

© lauriebuchanan.com

Details Please

Two weeks ago, I dangled a carrot to entice readers over to my author website for a sneak peek at the cover of my new book, Indelible. The analytics show that 2,200 people visited lauriebuchanan.com in the week following that post—many of you asked for more details.

I got the idea for the suspense/thriller series while staying in one of the cabins at Hedgebrook, a writing retreat—where women author change—on Whidbey Island, just off the coast from Seattle, Washington.

Indelible takes place takes place at Pines & Quill (a writing retreat that’s a figment of my imagination) in Fairhaven/Bellingham, Washington (a real location). I took these photographs to give you a sense of location:

If you wrote a suspense/thriller, where would the location be?

© lauriebuchanan.com

Shameless Carrot Dangling

If you haven’t visited my author website in a while, I invite you to take a look. Here’s a LINK.

The carrot I’m shamelessly dangling to get you over there is a small preview of the cover for my next book, a suspense/thriller titled,

Indelible: A Sean McPherson Novel, Book One

What book are you currently reading?

© lauriebuchanan.com

Writers’ Institute 2020

I’m excited to present three sessions at this year’s UW-Madison Writers’ Institute March 26-29. 

Without a doubt, I would not have two award-winning books (and a third book on the way) had it not been for this writing conference. It gave me—and continues to provide—the tools, confidence, and support necessary for publication.

While there, I will be available for thirty-minute WRITE HERE, WRITE NOW sessions where I’ll meet one-on-one with individuals to discuss all things writing.

There’s still time to register: https://uwwritersinstitute.wisc.edu

What is the most recent type of conference that you attended?

© lauriebuchanan.com

P-Squared: Peace & Productivity

My hiatus in Cardiff by the Sea, CA was both peaceful and productive. 

The peaceful part for me is inherent in just being by the ocean. That, coupled with sunshine, loads of hummingbird activity, and what I call “nesting”—ample time to think, noodle, and simply be.


Thirteen out of the nineteen days were writing days. That’s where the productivity came in. I’m well on my way to completing Iconoclast—book two of the thriller series I’m currently working on.

When was the last time you carved out P-Squared time?

© lauriebuchanan.com

Hoist the Sails!

Take a spin around, click on links, and test-drive some of the features at at lauriebuchanan.com.

Is Tuesdays With Laurie going away? Not on your life! You’ll still find me here every Tuesday.

[bctt tweet=”What are your plans for the new decade?” username=”@TuesWithLaurie”]

What are your plans for the new decade?

“Writers are the wind that sail words across the page.” —Laurie Buchanan

© lauriebuchanan.com

Cardiff by the Sea

I’m currently in Cardiff by the Sea, CA, on a ten-day hiatus (May 4-13) to work on book two in the Creative Quill suspense/thriller series.

As you can well imagine, I’m enjoying every moment. I wake up early and write until about 3:00pm, then I cool my jets by taking a long walk along the beach. Did I mention that I’m having a blast?

I’ve turned off comments for this post but will be back with a regular to-and-fro post next week.

Joie de Vivre!

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Nailed It!

My most recent, “nailed-it” moment was when I typed The End on my first fiction novel—book one in a suspense/thriller series. After fist-punching the air, I burst into happy tears.

Nail it!

I wasn’t alone in my writing effort. At last year’s UW-Madison’s Writers’ Institute, I was honored to promote the Pathway to Publication program and signed up for it myself. My coach was Christine DeSmet. She figuratively held my hand through the new-to-me fiction territory, taking the fear out of it and making it a distinct pleasure.

Now I’m working on book two in the series.

What’s your most recent “nailed it” moment?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Crime Doesn’t Pay

Last week I, along with several other writers, took a tour of the Idaho State Police Crime Lab. Our tour guide, Rylene Nowlin, is a DNA specialist. 

During the tour, I saw and learned so many interesting things. From the processing of rape kits to cyanoacrylate (super glue) fuming to develop latent fingerprints, and everything in-between. 

For obvious reasons, we weren’t allowed to take photographs inside the crime lab. Here’s a shot of the outside of the building.

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Rylene shared stories that made us laugh (some people are clearly out to eliminate themselves from the gene pool), and stories that curled our hair (how can people be so cruel?).  

Did you know that a coroner is an elected official who doesn’t have to have a medical degree? In fact, they don’t have to have any type of degree. None whatsoever. They just have to be able to get elected. There are places where the local feed store operator is a coroner.

On the other hand, a medical examiner by definition is a licensed physician, and in most cases, they’re trained to be forensic pathologists. They’re appointed to the position. 

Some states have both coroners (usually in the rural areas) and medical examiners (usually in the non-rural areas). 

Did you know that forensics is a female-dominated field? That is so up my alley (when I was growing up I wanted to be a mad scientist). In another lifetime I’m going into forensics! 

In another lifetime, what field of study would you go into?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com