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Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot


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About the Author

Jane K. Cleland writes the multiple award-winning Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery series (St. Martin's Minotaur). The ninth in the series, which is often reviewed as an Antiques Roadshow for mystery fans, BLOOD RUBIES, will be published in December 2014. Library Journal named the first in the series, CONSIGNED TO DEATH, a "core title" for librarians looking to build a cozy collection, one of only 22 titles listed, along with books by Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. "Josie" stories have also appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine (AHMM). The novella, "Booked for Death," is slotted for publication in the January 2015 issue of AHMM. In addition, Jane has published four nonfiction books, most recently Business Writing for Results (originally published by McGraw Hill). Jane is well-established and well-respected in the global crime fiction writing community. She chairs the Black Orchid Novella Award, one of the Wolfe Pack's literary awards, granted in partnership with Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. She is a past chapter president of the Mystery Writers of America, New York Chapter and served on the national board. Additionally, Jane is the host of the Writer's Room, a series of interviews with authors and industry professionals that appears on cable television and online (BronxNet). Jane has both an MFA (in professional and creative writing) and an MBA (in marketing and management). She's a member of the fulltime faculty of Lehman College, part of the City University of New York (CUNY) system, where she is also the Director of the Program for Professional Communications. She also mentors MFA students in the Western Connecticut State University MFA in Creative and Professional Writing and facilitates writing workshops, including Aspiring Writer's Weekend and Memoir Writing, both sponsored by MIT/Endicott House. In addition, Jane is a frequent guest author at university writing programs, a featured presenter at major writing conferences, a much-loved facilitator at writing workshops, and a popular speaker at library and corporate events.


"Award-winning author Jane Cleland has crafted an insightful and entertaining page-turner about crafting page-turners. Mastering Suspense, Structure, & Plot belongs on every writer's shelf." --Wendy Corsi Staub, New York Times best-selling author

"Unputdownably indispensable! For newbie authors and veterans alike, this terrific how-to is your new go-to. Don't write your book without it--it's a treasure." --Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony, Macavity and Mary Higgins Clark award winning author

"Masterful! I love this book. Oh, how I wish I'd had it when I was struggling with my first crime novel. This is a gold mine of information, of insight on how to structure and pace the novel. Brilliant. And even as I write my current book I find myself reflecting on her insights, and using them. This isn't about being formulaic. It's about first understanding the structure, and then making it your own. Mastering Suspense, Structure, & Plot is an absolutely extraordinary resource for anyone serious about writing not just a crime novel, but any book. --Louise Penny, #1 New York Times best-selling author

"Jane Cleland had drawn a detailed road map for navigating the suspense-writing journey. In a well-thought-out and artfully constructed way, she concisely covers it all. I wish I had read Mastering Suspense, Structure, & Plot before I ever started writing mysteries, but I sure am glad to have this book now." --Mary Jane Clark, New York Times best-selling author

"Leave it to Jane Cleland, the reigning queen of the traditional mystery, to reveal the secrets of suspense--and to take the sweat out of writing today's hottest genre!" --Paula Munier, senior literary agent at Talcott Notch Literary Agency and author of Plot Perfect

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