Tag Archives: Leigh Perry

Have a Bony White Christmas!

by Leigh Perry

In honor of the Christmas holidays, Sid and I want to offer this song of what everybody really wants for Christmas: a sleuthing skeleton of your very own!

Though I can’t send everybody a Sid, I can help  with your Christmas shopping. If you’re giving a copy of any of the Family Skeleton mysteries, I’ll be happy to supply a signed bookplate for you. All you have to do send an email with the following info:

  • Proof that you bought the book or books, like a photo of it or of your receipt. (Just be sure to block out any credit card numbers and such.)
  • If you want the book personalized, the name of the person you’re giving the book to. (That can be you–I don’t judge.)
  • Whether or not it’s a Christmas gift. I’ll have special Christmas bookplates, but if you celebrate another holiday or it’s for a birthday or just because, I’ll use something different.

Then send it to leighperry at mindspring dot com

I’ll spring for postage and get it into the US mail ASAP! (If you’ve got a international address, I may have to ask for help with postage. We’ll work it out as that arises.)

Wishing you all the happiest of holiday seasons! And just in case you want to sing along with the video, here are the lyrics:

“I Want A Sleuthing Skeleton For Christmas”
by Leigh Perry

I want a sleuthing skeleton for Christmas
Only a bony guy like Sid will do
Don’t want perfume
No fancy pottery
I want a skeleton to help me solve a mystery

I want a sleuthing skeleton for Christmas
I don’t think Santa Claus will mind, do you?
He won’t have to use
A dirty chimney flue
Just walk Sid through the front door
Then we’ll go and hunt for clues

I can see me now when there’s a murder
Creeping up the stairs
To discuss the alibis
And the whos, the wheres, the whys
Solving crime within our attic lair

I want a sleuthing skeleton for Christmas
Only a bony guy like Sid will do
No cop or spy
Or private detective
I’d rather work with an osteo perspective
And Sid the Skeleton, he likes me too!

Rocking Guitar Solo

Some say a skelly should scare me off but hey
I see Sid a-smiling each and every single day

Rocking Guitar Solo

He’ll live inside my house
I’ll buy him an armoire
We’ll solve the crime
Joke all the time

It’s cozy—it’s not noir
I can see me now when there’s a murder
Creeping up the stairs
To discuss the alibis
And the whos, the wheres, the whys
Solving crime within our attic lair

I want a sleuthing skeleton for Christmas
Only a bony guy like Sid will do
No cop or spy
Or private detective
I’d rather work with a osteo perspective
And Sid the Skeleton, he likes me too!

Readercon and Gen Con

I’ll be attending a couple of conventions this summer, and recently received my schedules for both. So if you’re coming to science fiction convention Readercon in Burlingon, MA in mid-July or gaming convention Gen Con in Indianapolis, IN in mid-August, you can meet me at one of following events.

As an special added bonus, I’ve included my husband Steve Kelner’s Gen Con events, too. (Unfortunately he’s not on any panels at Readercon this year. Not sure why–his previous events there went really well.)


Burlington, MA
July 10 to 13, 2014

Friday, July 11 @ 7 PM
Panel: Emotion, Archives, Interactive Fiction, and Linked Data
Leah Bobet (leader), Toni L.P. “Leigh Perry” Kelner, Sarah Smith, Walt Williams.
In a 2013 blog post, archivist Mx A. Matienzo drew a line between the “linked data” of interactive fiction (IF) and the connections within an archive of materials and works. Matienzo suggested creating a hybrid of the two that would bolster the emotional impact of fiction with links to relevant factual information—or, from the other side, that would bolster the intellectual weight of nonfiction with more nebulous but equally important information about feelings, thoughts, and experiences.How else can archivists, authors, and others collaborate on hybrid storytelling that brings these disparate components together?

Friday, July 11 @ 8 PM

Friday, July 11 @ 10:30 PM
Meet the Pros(e)
Each writer at the party has selected a short, pithy quotation from his or her own work and is armed with a sheet of 30 printed labels, the quote replicated on each. As attendees mingle and meet each pro, they obtain one of his or her labels, collecting them on the wax paper provided. Atheists, agnostics, and the lazy can leave them in the order they acquire them, resulting in one of at least nine billion Random Prose Poems. Those who believe in the reversal of entropy can rearrange them to make a Statement. Wearing labels as apparel is also popular. The total number of possibilities (linguistic and sartorial) is thought to exceed the number of theobromine molecules in a large Trader Joe’s dark chocolate bar multiplied by the number of picoseconds cumulatively spent by the Readercon committee on this convention since its inception.

Saturday, July 12 @ 12:30 PM
I’ll be reading from The Skeleton Takes a Bow by my alter ego Leigh Perry. (I’ll also have buttons with a keen skeletal design by my daughter.)


Gen Con Writer’s Symposium
Indianapolis, IN
August 14 to 17, 2014

Thursday, Aug. 14 @ 11 AM
Writer’s Craft Panel: Mysteries
Elizabeth Vaughn (Moderator), Toni L.P. Kelner, William Alexander, Aaron Rosenberg, Carrie Harris
Look at ways to add mysteries to your stories in a way that hooks the reader without confusing them or giving too much away!

Thursday, Aug. 14 @ 5 PM
Business of Writing Panel: Creating Anthologies
John Helfers (moderator), Kerrie Hughes, Toni L.P. Kelner, Jaym Gates, Gabrielle Harbowy
How do editors create an anthology? How do they figure out who contributes to one? How are they marketed? Our panel walks you through the process from concept generation to finished book.

Friday, Aug. 15 @ 11 AM
Business of Writing Panel: Care and Feeding of Your Editor/Author
Kerrie Hughes (moderator), Gabrielle Harbowy, Toni L.P. Kelner, Aaron Rosenberg, David B. Coe
Experienced authors and editors show how to establish a good author/editor relationship and offer tips for getting the most from your partnership.

Friday, Aug. 15 @ 2 PM
Writer’s Craft Panel: Writing Amazing Short Stories
John Helfers (moderator), Toni L.P. Kelner, James Lowder, Jason Sanford, Catherine Shaffer
Learn what makes a great short story great, what types of stories work in short form, and tips for crafting amazing short stories of your own.

Friday, Aug. 15 @ 7 PM
Business of Writing Panel: Breaking Into a New Genre
Kelly Swails (moderator), Toni L.P. Kelner, Aaron Rosenberg, Bill Willingham
Learn how to break into a new genre when you’ve been writing in another genre for years. Our panelists have first-hand experience doing this, and they’ll share their tips and tricks.

Saturday, August 16 @ 11 AM
Writer’s Life Panel: Staying Energized
Elizabeth Vaughan (moderator), Stephen P. Kelner, Thomas M. Reid, Dave WolvertonCatherine Shaffer
Learn how to maintain your momentum and energy over the long haul of a career in writing. Our panel of experienced authors is joined by Dr. Stephen P. Kelner, author of Motivate Your Writing!

Saturday, August 16 @ 12 PM
Writer’s Life Panel: Breaking Writer’s Block
Don Bingle (moderator), Erik Scott de Bie, Stephen P. Kelner, David B. Coe, Dave Wolverton
Learn what writer’s block is and why it happens. We’ll also explore how to break free of its grasp.

Saturday, Aug. 16 @ 2 PM
Writer’s Life Panel: Persistence and the Reality of Being a Writer
Elizabeth Vaughan (moderator), Kameron Hurley, Toni L.P. Kelner, David B. Coe, Stephen P. Kelner
In writing, persistence isn’t the destination, but the name of the road every author travels. Explore what it means to persist, what the end game is, and the hard realities of the writing life.

Saturday, Aug. 16 @ 3 PM
Writer’s Life: Seven Deadly Myths of Creativity
Stephen P. Kelner
Join motivational psychologist Dr. Stephen P. Kelner as he helps you to motivate your writing through his exploration of the seven deadly myths of creativity.

Saturday, August 16 @ 6 PM
Urban Fantasy Panel: Variations on Urban Fantasy
Elizabeth Vaughan (moderator), Maurice Broaddus, Toni L.P. Kelner, David B. Coe, Gabrielle Harbowy
Discover ways to tell urban fantasy stories that don’t involve southern vampires or urban wizards. Learn to break new ground while still writing tales that resonate with the urban fantasy audience.

Evolution of a Cover

Okay, we aren’t supposed to, but we all do it. We judge books by the cover. So as you might guess, there is a lot of back-and-forth and creative wrangling over every book cover.

Take, for instance, my alter ego Leigh Perry‘s upcoming Family Skeleton mystery The Skeleton Takes a Bow. We went through all kinds of ideas. First was the most obvious.


Unfortunately, it was the wrong kind of bow. Sid the Skeleton never wears pink. So we went back to the drawing board.


Very Hunger Games, and goodness knows Sid looks hungry. But this wasn’t quite the bow we were looking for, etiher. Besides, we left out the arrow. Is he going to shoot his ulna or his radius?

Back to the drawing yet again.


This time it looks a little too Titanic, and the bow of a sinking ship wasn’t quite what we were going for.

In fact the bow in the book is the kind an actor makes after a successful performance, say as Yorick in Hamlet.


We finally had the right kind of bow, but unfortunately, Sid’s skull wouldn’t stay on long enough for him to pose.

So what does the cover look like? You’ll have to check out BOLO Books on Feb. 18 to find out and see how you’d judge this book from its cover.

A Nifty Time to Be a Writer

My first novel, Down Home Murder–the first Laura Fleming mystery, was published over twenty years ago, but as is more common than not with fiction, it went out of print long ago. I wrote eight books in that series, and there was a never time when all of them were in print at the same time.

Then I moved on to the Where are they now? series, and wrote three books in that series. All of them are out of print, too.

But here’s the nifty thing about being a writer today. Every one of my novels is available again! 

Earlier this year, Audible brought out audio downloads of every one of the eight Laura Fleming novels:


As soon as those were up, they put out the Where are they now? books:


Don’t like audio books? No problem. I’m in the process of re-publishing the Laura Fleming books as ebooks. (They were never published in that format before because the format didn’t exist.) The first four books are already out, and with luck the rest will be live by Halloween. You can find links for all of the platforms here:

Toni L. P. Kelner

I cannot tell you how much this delights me. None of these technologies existed when I started writing, yet now my earlier books live again.

Moreover, in between writing novels I’ve co-edited a slew of anthologies with Charlaine Harris, and they’re all available as paper books, ebooks, and audio books. A Skeleton in the Family, my brand-new book written under the pen name Leigh Perry, is out in all those formats, too. 

Just thinking about it makes me grin.

Now I admit that there are plenty of challenges for the writer today. But right now, I’m really enjoying the feeling of having all my books in print at one time. It’s a nifty time to be a writer.