Saturday, June 30, 2012


Christine Husom
A couple years ago, when I attended my first meeting of the Twin Cities Sisters in Crime chapter, Christine Husom welcomed me with an easy smile and interested banter. Instantly, I felt  like I had already been a member for years and years.  Later, when I finished reading the third novel in Husom's Winnebago County mystery thriller series, Altar by the RiverI wondered how someone who is so very kind and friendly, can create really frightening, creeping-under-your-skin, characters.

According to Husom, former Wright County, MN, Sheriff's Department corrections officer, it takes a lot of personal energy and extensive research to get inside the head of a madman or madwoman. The author said that before delving into Altar by the Riverwhich deals with satanic ritual crimes, she spent three months combing through literature and case studies to get a clear understanding of the differences between psychopathy and sociopathy.

But I still wanted to know how Husom got started writing these frightening books in the first place.  It turns out that long before she wrote her first suspense novel, Murder in Winnebago County, Husom had written poetry, essays, and a romance novel or two. She never gave mysteries or suspense much thought until her beloved father, a retired jurist, drowned unexpectedly at the hospital where he was recovering from a bout of pneumonia. For his family, the death was inexplicable and emotionally shattering. The circumstances surrounding the loss haunted Husom for a year. She needed answers and began working out many scenarios in her head. Her father had been a district judge, considered fair and compassionate, and, despite this, he had received occasional threats. Husom imagined someone carrying out a vendetta, and the seeds for her first novel and first villian, serial killer Alvie Eisner, were born. 

Inspiration also came while working at the sheriff's department where Husom stumbled across several frightful and repugnant cases. Despite its many rural and rustic features, and relative low population density, Wright County has had its share of gruesome crimes. "We really don't know what's out there," Husom said in a way that sent chills up my spine, but didn't stop me from asking more questions about, you know, ghastly crimes.

The third novel in the series, Altar by the River was inspired by local true-crime events involving the daughters of a local minister who were forced to undergo satanic ritual abuse by prominent businessmen. This is the kind of material, when you think about it happening in your own back yard, will have you staying up all night to finish the story.

Not everything about Husom's stories is scary, though. When I asked the author what she loved about writing, the answers recalled, of course, her memorable and super-likable heroes: protagonist, Sergeant Corky Aleckson, and special friend, Detective Smoke Dawes. Husom said she feels an immense satisfaction when she can transport the characters, heroes and villains, from inside her imagination to the page, and make them come to life for the reader. Some of the best compliments she's received are: "I think I'm going to run into these people on the street", and "I wish I could hang out with Corky."

Husom also loves the surprises that come with writing. Especially when her characters start doing unexpected things. She said it's like watching a movie, scenes suddenly change, things shift. The first thing Husom does when she begins a story is to develop the characters, starting with the villain(s). "I've tried outlining, but that just doesn't work for me," Husom admitted. "I always know the beginning and the ending, and work out the plot points after I come up with characters."

This writer is not only one of the nicest and most genuine people I have ever met, she's also the  busiest. She and her husband Dan own and operate a retail and service-oriented business, Sole and Body, in downtown Buffalo, MN. They have four children and six grandchildren whom they see often, but always on Sundays for a full-family, dinner gathering. The writer is a member of her local Rotary Club and is on the board of Fishing Klinic for Kids Minnesota. Am I done? No. I just learned that Husom threw in her hat in the ring to run for one of five seats for Wright County Commissioner. I hope you win, Christine Husom!

The Noding Field Mystery, Husom's fourth novel, will be published by Second Wind Publishing in November.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


My Plast Troop - I'm on the left.
It started when I attended a reunion with mates from another time warp - or are 'another' and 'time warp' redundant?  Well, something is wrong here, but I just love writing time warp.  In the sixties, I belonged to a Ukrainian organization called Plast, modeled after a British youth group (much like the American Scouts). People from my troop came from all parts of the country to Cleary Regional Park, Prior Lake, MN, to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Plast. So many memories got stirred up - some remarkable, others just yucky. Then I worked and worked out, and tried to untangle much of my outdoors, which due to neglect, has started to look slightly jungly.  And it was like pulling skin off my bones, I just did not want to weed and trim and sweep, when I could have been writing. I did write some, only three chapters left in my next-to-be published novel, Made in the Image. Brought my first novel, The Delilah Case, to a dear friend who did a bang-up job cleaning it up.Yes, there will be a new upload to Kindle, soon. Just as soon as I finish formatting the the manuscript for CreateSpace, which entails publishing the trade paperback. Speaking of which, The Delilah Case book cover, thanks to the immensely talented Ben Hovorka, now has a very creative back with blurbs, and a spine that tantalizes and compels when sitting on the book shelf. Got the finalized arrival dates from my Key West-hood friends. For the occasion of their visit to our fair city, Minneapolis, the group made plans to get together for Chanhassen dinner theater - you guessed it - XANADU!! Also, I plan to make my famous lentil stroganoff. Are you reading this Bobbie? This reunion, I'm really looking forward to. Dragged my friend Shelly (and Jack the curator, out of his sick bed) to the Hennepin History museum two days in a row to take author photos of me. Used Instagram afterwards to create a mood and a look. Discovering Instagram was  pure joy and turned me into an addict.  Spent nine+ hours on it one day. Interviewed a potential housemate. And the Piece de resistance: viewed docs, narratives and shorts for the upcoming Edina Film Festival, October 11 - 13/2012. As a volunteer programmer, I get to preview a variety of local films. It's the best job in the world because as I've said before, and I'm saying it again!  Minnesota is filled to the brim with outstanding, peerless talent.
Curiosities and Remnants II

Separate Identities

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Amazon Book Description

New Orleans, childhood bonds, voodoo and gangsters, all kick up heat and mystique in Mickie Turk's debut novel. After a long absence, Dr. Dominique Doucette returns to her hometown to open a reform prison for violent male offenders. Immediately, bullying by a local sherif and a backlash of community resentment threaten to shut down the facility. But when a series of assaults occur in nearby New Orleans, Dominique is forced to confront twin devils: the evil lurking inside the walls of the antebellum institution, and the disturbing secret that haunts her own past. The Delilah Case is an atmospheric and gripping thriller, marking the advent of an impressive new writer.

Saturday, June 2, 2012



Book Description from Amazon

June 5, 2012 Twin Cities P.I. Mac McKenzie Novels
A stolen gem with a tragic history, a curse and a million dollar ransom is McKenzie’s latest case.

Several years ago, Rushmore McKenzie became an unexpected millionaire and set about doing not much of anything. Now, showing up at his doorstep is the insurance company that paid the settlement that made him rich—and they want a favor. Someone has stolen a very expensive gem from a local art museum and is willing to ransom it back. The only condition is that McKenzie has to be the go between. And this is no ordinary gem—it is a jade with a history going back to the Qing Dynasty and a reputed curse that stories claim has ruined or killed everyone who has ever owned it. McKenzie agrees to help but what starts out as a simple ransom quickly becomes complicated.

Suddenly other parties—including the State Department and a mysterious woman named Heavenly—start showing up, wanting McKenzie to turn over the gem to them. When the murdered body of one of the thieves turns up in a snow drift, it looks like the cursed Jade Lily has claimed its latest victim. And there may well be more to follow…

David Housewright's Author book launch and signings:

7:00 p.m, Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Once Upon a Crime
604 West 26th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55405

1:00 - 2:00 p.m., Saturday, June 9, 2012
Uncle Edgar's
2864 Chicago Avenue
Minneapolis, MN  55407

Friday, June 1, 2012


Product Description from Amazon

He’s your average, ordinary neighbor, but he’s going to kill you. He’s the homegrown fanatic next door with a plan and a group of true believers prepared to do the unthinkable—mass murder—to bring about a new world of peace and justice. A county prosecutor, attempting to convict a murder suspect, stumbles upon the conspiracy. Sounding the alarm to the authorities, no one believes her. She risks everything—even her life—to expose the plot. Will she be able to prevent annihilation?