Let me tell you a story . . .

by Pari Noskin

Almost six years ago, a cheeky New Mexican came up with the idea for a group blog because she knew a lot of wonderful writers and wanted to create a community of some sort. At the time, web logging also seemed like the ultimate marketing wave of the future. And group blogs made incredible sense:  the larger the mix, the more potential for cross-pollination among book buyers.

Hence Murderati was born. There were seven of us in the beginning. We learned, grew, changed, suffered tragedies and celebrated joys, lost a dear friend, saw others leave to dedicate more time to their own projects, found new contributors . . .  Each change made us examine what we wanted and where we were going with this endeavor. Numbers of readers were high at times and low at others. There were occasional squabbles within the group, hurt feelings and frustrations.

But the thing about this little blog is that it endured. And so it will.

When JT told me she needed a hiatus this time (and, believe me, she’d tried to do it before; I’d always pleaded with her to stay — selfishly — because I just couldn’t imagine the ‘Rati without her), my response was incredibly irrational. I figured that it was time to pull the plug.

After all, I reasoned unreasonably, with all the social media options available, blog readership had gone down. The myth that blogs sold massive amounts of fiction had proven false many times over.

Plus, let’s face it, blogging took work (both on and off screen). And with the extraordinary changes in my life and the new job with its demands on my time, I hadn’t been able to dedicate even half as much as I wanted to participate in the community. And I was just plain tired — emotionally, physically, professionally, creatively.

“Screw it,” I said. “If JT is gone for six months, let’s put the whole damn thing to bed and we’ll re-assess in April.”

The others in our group responded with — and I’m putting it nicely here — “Whoa, Nelly! What the hell are you thinking, you dope?”

They were right, too. It was absolutely, totally and completely (am I repeating myself?) the wrong decision. While some ‘Rati decided to leave for good: Tess, Allison, Alafair and Jonathan — all for very good reasons — several of the ‘Rati wanted to stay.

So here’s the new schedule starting today:

Monday:  Pari and Cornelia alternate

Wildcard Tuesday: Who knows what will happen? We might bring back Oldies from the Archives, start a Round Robin discussion, have a guest blogger or two. The only guarantee I can make is that every Tuesday will be different content.

Wednesday: Gar/David

Thursday: Zoë/Phillipa

Friday: Stephen/Alex

And on the weekends, yea verily, we shall rest . . .  
But that doesn’t mean you have to. If you’re hungry for content while we’re sleeping in, go to the Archives and read the absolutely incredible writing that has sustained this blog for years.

Let me tell you . . .
One thing I realized during the last month is that, for me, Murderati has become an astoundingly important part of my life.
You are all my community. The bloggers present and past are my community.
And what an incredible blessing that is.

Murderati is here to stay.

We remain strong and grateful and true.

42 thoughts on “Let me tell you a story . . .

  1. Reine

    I am very sad about your disappointment, Pari.

    Thank you for explaining. It feels like a huge upheaval. I wish it could be different. Of course I support whatever you do with your blog, because it sounds like it's yours. I am sure it will knit together, as wonderful writers remain. I will miss those who have moved on to other things. Their posts have meant so much to me.

    I've discovered many writers here. I pass the word along to my friends and others. I think that has to be worth something – that your readers do that, that is. Well, good luck then.

  2. Sarah W


    Though I'll miss the wonderful insights of the four who are leaving (unless they have other cybersphere venues) I'm incredibly glad that Murderati won't be shutting down. I *like* it here.

    Thanks, Pari!

  3. Ed F

    So glad you are staying!
    Thanks Pari and all! I too will miss those who are no longer regular contributors, but I will continue to look forward to a daily dose of Murderati.


  4. Pari Noskin

    No disappointment here. Changes in expectations over the years: yes. Changes in those whose voices grace these virtual pages: yes.

    But the thing I learned in the last month is that Murderati is a very special place and I'm so glad to be part of it.

    And though the blog was originally my idea, it IS a group effort! Everyone who works in and on it is crucial to its success. So, though JT and I share "ownership" of the name, that's only a small piece of a much larger endeavor.

  5. Pari Noskin

    I was remiss in stating that most of them do have blogs elsewhere. I'm hoping some will come back for guest spots too . . . and maybe, we might be able to entice a couple to actually return (which would be wonderful!).

    And, Sarah, I'm so glad you like it here. We certainly adore hearing from you!

    I'm going to be checking in when I can from work . . . if you get blog urls for Jonathan, Alafair, Tess and Allison, be sure to post them here.

  6. Pari Noskin

    Wonderful to hear from you. Thank you for being part of this community.

    What a pleasure it was to share Mondays with you. I hope your future is bright and that you share it with us whenever you can.

    The door is always open here . . .

  7. Barbie

    My question is: what about Louise??? She's not mentioned in this post anywhere. Her blogs are ao full of heart and I love them.

    Going to miss JT and Alafair the most! Not Allison, 'cause I get to annoy her on Facebook, Twitter and her other blog 😉

  8. Richard Maguire

    Pari, thanks so much for the good news. Everything in life changes. But I'm very happy the blog will continue. I've been visiting Murderati most days now for more than 5 years. I'm not a frequent commenter, but I would certainly miss it if the blog were to go out of business. I love all your posts, and I was worried that Cornelia might be leaving. I've yet to comment on any of her posts, but that, I assure you, is because I can't stop laughing. You are all wonderful writers. Thanks for staying around!

  9. Shizuka

    I've been in suspense since I read JT's post.
    I'll miss the departing and JT and Louise during their hiatuses, but
    am so relieved you're not all disappearing!

  10. Pari Noskin

    Stay tuned for a post from Louise tomorrow.

    Thank you so much for the kind words. We're glad to have you . . . to know you're there.

    I think that's the thing about getting comments. Sometimes we wonder who is out there reading us . . . if anyone is. So I really appreciate the reminder in your comment today.

    Bless you and thank you. We'll miss them too. However, like you, I'm very happy enough of us wanted to stay to keep Murderati not only alive, but thriving.

  11. Zoë Sharp


    I'm so glad we were able to talk you around. It's nice to have a place to come and pour out my thoughts. After all, if it wasn't for the gutter, my mind would be homeless.

    So, let's hope change is good, rather than just … different.

    I'm tempted to say, "The king is dead. Long live the king!" But I fear people would assume I'm talking about Elvis 🙂

  12. David Corbett

    I'll admit, when I look at the list of those slipping away, my heart sinks. But then I look at the names of those soldiering on, and I'm relieved, encouraged and inspired.

    We may need to rally our readers, wake up the echoes, whatever, but this is a smart, devoted, savvy group of scribblers with a lot of heart, wit and insight. I'm proud to be on the crew. I'm grateful for the chance.

  13. Sandy

    Murderati is a part of my daily routine; so, I am pleased that you will continue to be here. That said, I am in awe of the effort you 'Rati dedicate to this endeavor: the time and creativity and knowledge it takes to generate ideas and compose what really are extensive essays every two weeks. And that's in addition to your day job(s)! I would like to thank those who have already left, those who are leaving, those who are going on hiatus, and those who are staying. Even when I do not comment, I am out here appreciating. Sandy
    P.S. And buying your books! 🙂

  14. Barbie

    A suggestion: why not guest post from Murderati readers??? Like… i bet Reine, for example, among others, like… Allison Davis or Catherine or Sarah would have lots to say. I bet that could be rich and fun 🙂

  15. Schwartz, Stephen Jay

    Thank you, Pari, for this wonderful post. I'm really happy we came together to keep Murderati moving forward. It really is an incredibly special place, and this incarnation is just one of its many stops on the way to Enlightenment.

  16. Allison Davis


    Pari, you have gone through huge changes this year (I hope things are on the upswing for you)…I understand the changes, the departures (!! come back as commenters please) and love that it soldiers on. This is the first thing I do in the morning at work…ha! Each of us commenters should vow to Twitter the blog at least once a week to spread the news. I will do so and encourage others.

    I'd love to see our former Murderati come back as guest bloggers on Tuesdays…you have enough alumni to fill a library. Thanks to all current and former Murderati for breathing life into this blog.

  17. Reine

    Barbie, Reine would probably give painful grief to the blogosphere. But god, you are so very kind. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxR

  18. Ronald Tierney

    I wake up in the morning,push the button on the coffee maker, fix a small breakfast. And while I have my coffee I make a regular set of blog rounds — Rapsheet, Bill Crider, Ed Gorman among them. I always end with Murderati before setting out on my day. Glad you decided to stick around.

  19. Dee Arnold

    I've been reading crime for 55 years–Nancy Drew counts when you are 8–and trying to write it for 2. I stumbled on Murderati 3 weeks ago, and thought I was in heaven. Authors of books I have been buying for years writing about the life–what a wonderful peek into their worlds! My first stop every morning. Please thank everyone who has been a part of it. The content in my short stay has been amazing–thoughtful, witty, instructive! Please, please know that non-twittering rural readers need to bump into big bright minds. Long may you all live.

  20. Debbie

    Murderati is my home page and has been for roughly two years. It gave me my last name on FB, my pen name too. My life's been in its own upheaval over the past year and all the changes to Murderati feel like a comfortable fit. I support whatever works for you, the bloggers, everybody's time and mental health. But…*trembling lip* what would I do for a home page? <grin>

  21. Jenni L.

    I am relieved you're continuing this blog. I just "found" you earlier this year, and I look forward to reading the latest blog-post every day. (Except, I have to admit that on weekends, I rarely have time to read it – so I think it's a good call, from my own perspective, that you're suspending weekend posts).

    And I love Barbie's suggestion to solicit some posts from your readers. That could be really interesting, because I think we come from all walks of life.

    Pari, I empathize with everything you're going through, and I hope life settles down for you soon so that you can feel creative without a huge amount of stress – without having to give up something that you love to do in order to do something else you need to do or want to do. Modern life! It's not all it's cracked up to be. But hang in there. We readers love your posts and look forward to your next novel!! 🙂

  22. Pari Noskin

    Wow. I just decided to take a little break for lunch and found all of your comments. I can't respond to each one individually since this is only a small break . . . but let me tell you that my heart is singing loud and proud right now.

    I am so grateful to hear from all of you and to know how much you value Murderati. It really is an incredible balm today.

  23. Larry Gasper

    After I check my e-mail in the morning I go straight to Murderati, as I have for several years. I don't comment as often as I should, but know that you're important to those of us far from other mystery writers. For those of you staying, keep up the good work, and for those moving on, thank you for sharing so freely.

  24. Lisa Alber

    I'm a relatively new reader/semi-regular commenter, and I'm so glad that Murderati will keep on keeping-on. Much I will miss the folks who are retiring from this blog (for now?), I look forward to the new voices that may appear here. Vast quantities of us exist out here. Yesterday one of your regular readers (Allison) responded to Gar's post with a comment about just wanting to be published and asked to write for Murderati…I thought, me too!

    In any case, there are plenty of worthy novelists from within the MWA ranks who would jump at the chance to appear here. It would be nice to include writers with debut novels — support those who are starting out.

  25. Elaine Sokoloff

    Taking a break is an understandable and essential need for a harmonious existence and it's a wise one who recognizes when the time has come for just that. I'm so grateful the blog will go on – it's given me so much through the years. Sincere thanks to everyone who has been a part of it and those who will keep the fire going here. This is a special place.

  26. Pari Noskin

    Believe it or not, JT was unpublished when I invited her to be part of this blog way back when. I'm not going to look for any regulars until Louise and JT are back from their hiatuses, but guest bloggers? Perhaps . . . contact me and make your case.

    Thank you so much.

  27. Robin McCormack

    Oh thank God. I seriously thought you were about to announce the end of Murderati. Life would go on but with a noticeable hole if you shut down the blog. You would be sorely missed. All of you. I have enjoyed reading you and the rati's thoughts daily for a couple years now. It is the highlight of my day. I may not comment very much but have learned loads and appreciate each and every one of you. Yes, I read your books as well. True, life and needs change and everyone needs a break now and then. Perfectly understandable. Personally, it could be considered a great therapy tool. Changes (some at least) are always good and keep things from getting boring. We all need some fluidity to our lives. Look forward to the new schedule. Thank you for reconsidering and keeping Murderati going. Hope 2012 is a better year for you and things start moving upward instead of downward for you. *hugs*

  28. Lynn in Texas

    I'm so glad Murderati will continue!

    Like several others have mentioned, I've been visiting the blog for a few years and enjoy this little community, even if I'm not a frequent commenter. I come here not only for the information, inspiration and motivation, but also the lively and thought-provoking discussions. And sometimes just for pure entertainment!

    I've read the books of several 'rati bloggers through the years and learned of many new-to-me authors from reading this site. I appreciate all the time and effort everyone's contributed to the blog.

    Best wishes to all those departing and thank you, Pari, for keeping this place together!

  29. KDJames

    I've got to say, this is a relief considering what I thought you were going to tell us today, Pari. This blog is awesome and I lurked for a long time before I got up the nerve to comment. I'd sure as hell miss it if it weren't here.

    But writing blog posts over a long period of time is hard work. I've been doing it on my own for five years now (though certainly not every day, or even every week) and there are times when I think, "That's it. I'm done. There's nothing left to say . . . about anything." So, while I'll miss those who are no longer here, I understand. I hope their absence means they're able to spend more time and energy on their fiction. Best wishes and warm thoughts of gratitude to all of them. And to all of you who are staying!

    And good grief, I've found SO MANY new to me writers from reading this blog. I find it hard to believe that blogging doesn't result in increased book sales. Okay, it may not be "massive" sales, but it's certainly not insignificant.

    Guess I'll have to stop at the store on the way home from work tomorrow and buy a couple extra boxes of Kleenex, since it sounds as if Louise is going to break our hearts. 🙁

  30. Barbie

    Pari!!! Yup, like I said, I totally think you should take guest posts from writers wannabes who comment here 😉 (I'm a looong way from being able to be published someday, but I'd love to hear from others!!!)

    I'm soooooooo happy Louise is on a hiatus and not gone for good, though. I loved seeing her name down there, though, I'm so sure I'm gonna cry tomorrow 🙁

  31. Pari Noskin

    Thank you. I'm so honored that so many people are taking the time to comment today and let us all know you're there. Very kind indeed.

    Lynn, ditto!
    I do have to say that it was others that pushed it forward this time. I really WAS ready to throw in the towel. Pretty much everyone who decided to stay gets major credit for their effort!!!

    I can't wait for Louise's post. My understanding is she definitely plans to come back. Get some chocolate just in case though . . . I haven't read her blog yet.

  32. Pari Noskin

    We'll have to see. To be honest, some guest blogs are fabulous, some require a lot of rewriting and work. Some don't get published.

    We'll have to discuss in the group.

  33. billie

    I've been away from the computer all day and am so relieved there will be continued posting here on Murderati. Sometimes things just need to shift and sometimes they come to a close, and I understand both paths. Have to admit I'm glad this is a shift and not an ending!

  34. Fran

    As someone who blogged every day for about five years, I understand completely the need to restructure and revamp — and take a break.

    To the writers who are stepping back, thank you for everything you've done.

    To the writers who are keeping the flame alive, thank you.

    In the past, I've written up blog posts and kept them in a doc file for when they might be useful; it's a nice writing exercise and ya never know when one will come in handy!

    Once again, thank you!

  35. Reine

    Thank you again for the explanation, Pari. I miss all of the writers who aren't here anymore, and I will continue to miss them. It may be selfish of me. That is the way I feel, because I love reading the stories they tell. The experience you all have as writers is certainly a draw, but the special group that comes together here is most important to me.

    I have also enjoyed the guest bloggers and have read many of their books that I discovered here. I think the fact that they are published has influenced my attraction to their blogs. I would read any blogs posted here, I am sure, but that is probably due to the care taken in selecting the Murderati and the guest bloggers. Your tradition of careful choice and blending of talent, style, and professionalism is brilliant.

  36. Pari Noskin

    I'm glad too. And echo your sentiments entirely.

    Yes on all points.
    And I AM going to take you up on that offer of long ago! I'll be in touch.

    Bless you. What truly lovely comment. We've all worked hard here and have, I believe, created something of exceptional quality. The community itself is precious to us and, with the writers past and present, makes Murderati what it is.

    As to the last comment from "Tiffany501," I've deleted it. Spammers find blogs and clutter our existence now. That's one of the things that JT had to contend with. We'll be working on it individually now . . . such silliness mucking up our communication.

  37. PD Martin

    Late to the party…I was away!

    Just wanted to say great blog, Pari and I'm so glad to be part of the gang going forward!

    And thanks to everyone for your wonderful comments.

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