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Barbara Bassett

(pseudonym of B.L.McAllister)

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About Barbara Bassett

"Barbara Bassett" is a web-only pseudonym of Byron Leon McAllister. (It's the name of the heroine in one of his published mystery novels). She has (well, he has, or should I say "I have")been absent from this site for quite a while, but as of 2012/06/22 (et seq.) is/am re-visiting, probably again and again. My writing is mostly done more or less in cahoots with my wife (remember that Barbara Bassett is just a pseudonym). For some essays by me, mostly writing-related, do some clicking at Mysterical-e (see "favorite URLs).

Favorite URLs

Mystericale,stories, essays, etc.
WriteWords, Inc.,Publisher of e- and print books.
AllPoetry, I'm only there once, so far.
The Gumshoe Site (Japan,in English)
Most recent posts by Barbara Bassett:
Tea and Talk - 08:51pm Aug 25, 2015 PST - In "At Bertram's Hotel," Jane M. and friend mention "seed cake." (I've seen the movie recently, but haven't read the book since quite a while ago, so I'm not sure the discussion comes up in both.) I've been assuming 'seed cake" refers to what we'd call "poppy-seed cake." Does anybody know for sure?

Byron (a.k.a...
About using a narrator's voice... - 11:44am May 2, 2015 PST - So, okay, maybe this is irrelevant, but an editor at a conference, after reading ten pages of a novel I'd done in first person (from the POV of an 18-year old) told me "teen-agers don't talk that way." I was not sure whether it was merely a matter of her having grown up among a different group of teen-agers (she was from New York and I from an area where education is more highly thought of) or merely that she didn't want to be bothered looking for ireal problems, but either way I figured I had to deal with the objection. I re-wrote it from an outside narrator's point of view. In the process, I improved the writing and the editor of a smaller press liked and published the book.Of course, I can't say for sure that it mattered, because the accepting editor never saw the POV version, so this doesn't have to be a useful comment, I guess...
Recurring Characters and Other Oddities - 08:05pm Aug 5, 2013 PST - Things seem to be incredibly slow at this locus: the exchange seems to be thirteen years old. So I'm not sure it would be worth while for me to go down a single flight of stairs to (and back up from) where I keep books about Mrs. Mallowan and her works...
How important are clues in mystery books - 12:04pm Jul 23, 2012 PST - One mystery I read recently (Murder on Safari, by Elspeth Huxley) tossed in, at the denouement, page citations of each clue used in the solution. This deals with a problem that could (maybe) arise at times, in which a reader might say, "well, I don't recall anything like that being shown!" I'm not sure how difficult inserting those references was for the author and publisher, but it seems like a useful idea to me.
Cozy Kitchen - 10:09am Jul 23, 2012 PST - In my user profile, I checked list messages newest first, but they come up oldest first. When the number of messages adds up to thousands, that's a long way to search. Fortunately, there's a "newest" button, but that only comes up with a small number of items, and it's hard to figure out what they refer to...
Looking to Publish Your Mystery Stories? - 07:08am Jul 12, 2012 PST - The eFiction posting doesn't identify "now," so we owe many thanks to Fran for posting a reply with a recent date in it. Thanks,Fran!

BB (pseudonym of BLM)
Agatha Christie Menu - Dinner party - 02:53pm Jun 26, 2012 PST - By now the dinner has long since been thoroughly digested, but the idea is a good one, so let's see: one item that comes to mind is "seed cake." (As far as I can tell, the seeds are poppy, but could be caraway: research may be needed.) If dinner can include breakfast items, steak and kidneys, or kippers. Marmalade,of course. And Poirot has boiled eggs, though all must be of the same size...