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Obsessing over Typewriters and Libraries

David Mamet once observed that writers are obsessed with office supply stores. The things these stores contain — pens, pencils, inks, paper — are the only visible proof of what we do. I thought of Mamet's remark after seeing California Typewriter, a fascinating new documentary about the titular shop in Berkeley, California. Computers may rule the day (these words are being written on one), but they are, I think, essentially inscrutable: We don't know how they work, and God knows we can't fix them when they break down. The computer is a cross between science-fiction and witchcraft. There's nothing occult about the typewriter, however. How it works is apparent. You push a key. The key slaps ink on paper and, letter after letter,…

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The Path to Publication at Sussex County N.J. Library

Within the historic valleys and state parks of New Jersey’s northernmost county lives an active public library system with a burgeoning community of aspiring writers and, even better, mystery fans. And when a community of mystery loving readers and writers asks for an opportunity to hone their craft, MWA-NY answers the call — no matter […]

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The Clue to Character

Where would a story be without a character? Character is the engine that drives the narrative, and creating a character is a magical process. Imagine having the omnipotent power to mold a person on the page. Not only do you get to conjure up the character’s physical attributes and such details as a birthdate, but […]

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Mug Shot: Nelson DeMille

Nelson DeMille is the best-selling author of thrillers that deal with terrorism, espionage, and crime. His books include By the Rivers of Babylon, Cathedral, The Talbot Odyssey, Word of Honor, The Charm School, The Gold Coast, The General’s Daughter, Spencerville, Plum Island, The Lion’s Game, Up Country, Night Fall, Wild Fire, The Gate House, The […]

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