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Barbara Bassett

(pseudonym of B.L.McAllister)

Send e-mail to bkmcallister@charter.net

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 - 01:04pm 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 - 11:09am 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? - 08:08am 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...

 OK