Welcome to our new Murderati!!

by Pari

Welcome to our newly designed Murderati website. We hope you like the look.

Before I go any further, let’s all give a huge shout-out to J.T. Ellison and her husband Randy! The two of them designed this entire new site and migrated all the info from our former host. They did so with aplomb, grace and nary a word of complaint.

It was a monstrous task and I think they did a magnificent job.

Thank you so much!

As for today’s topic, I thought I’d keep it simple since everyone is returning from a brief holiday and I’m still recovering from my Passover Seder . . .


As most of you know, I’m working on a new project. It’s not like anything I’ve written so far. One of the biggest challenges is that the protags are all in their mid-late twenties. In my own life, I don’t have access to many people that age – especially ones that are single and childless – so I’m looking for television programs (on mainstream TV), books, internet sites, YouTube references, etc. – where I can get a good current feel for this age group.

Any suggestions?


A note: I have a guest post up at Kaye Barley’s blog today http://meanderingsandmuses.blogspot.com/ and hope some of you stop by to say hello.




52 thoughts on “Welcome to our new Murderati!!

  1. B.G. Ritts

    It shouldn’t take long for the new logo to become familiar, and I love the M, and as an icon showing up in the address bar. It’s Murderati’s very own signature. The link lists are easy to find and the sepia tone on all the photos is a subtle touch.

    Kudos all around!

    Pari, there are no young adults in my immediate circle, but I will do a bit of research after I finish my looming IRS deadline.

  2. Pari

    How was your vacation?

    As to that daughter . . . would you do me a favor and ask what shows she likes or which internet sites she prefers?

  3. Pari

    Thank you so much. JT and Randy really worked their tails off on this one.

    I’m glad to have an updated look, one that isn’t quite so crowded and is easier to navigate. I also haven’t lost a comment yet today!

    And thank you for seeing if you can make any suggestions re 20-somethings. I know tax season is looming for many of us. Is it really Wed???

  4. JT Ellison

    Thanks so much, everyone! This new site functions much more like a website for Murderati. Take a look around. The navigation bar on the top holds a special treat – the industry news fed in from several sources. Our websites, bios and titles are all on the About Us page, we’re even building a Tours page under Events where you can see our tour schedules.

    And an important addition is the Search function. Remember a line or a topic, but can’t remember who wrote it or when? Just type in the keywords and it will appear.

    You’ll also see a function in the comments for answering a topic on your own blog, with your own views. Since Murderati gets picked up places, this is especially nice.

    Murderati really is your one stop shop now. I do hope you enjoy the new features!

  5. Louise Ure

    Happy Monday. Glad the moving trucks didn’t break anything in transit.

    Pari, I’m hopeless with 20-somethings. And teenagers.

    But if you want to know how a crabby 58-year old talks, I’m all over it.

  6. John Dishon

    I’m 24. Go to Reddit.com and Digg.com and read the comments to the article submissions. That’ll give you a good overview of internet culture these days, and it’s mostly people in their 20s and 30s and younger. 4chan.org is also popular site. The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are popular shows. Watch Family Guy and anything on Adult Swim. Look at the Billboard charts to see what music is popular.

    But besides finding out what things are popular right now, I wouldn’t try to research too heavily. We’re not a different species or anything. You were that age once, so think back to that time; all the stuff you had to deal with emotionally is going to apply now as well.

    Just don’t be corny when you get to the writing stage. Don’t play to the usual young people stereotypes; people in their twenties think and talk about important things the same as older people.

  7. toni mcgee causey

    I am thrilled with our new site and its terrific features–a huge THANK YOU to JT and Randy for all of their hard work in making it such a great site.

    Pari, my kids are the age you’re looking for–I’ll ask. You want TV shows and websites?

  8. Pari

    I’ll definitely keep that in mind.

    Though–from what I’ve seen–you’re not nearly as crabby as you think you are.

  9. Pari

    Thanks for the leads.

    And you’re absolutely right about the stereotyping crappola.

    I know all y’all aren’t a different breed. As a matter of fact, I’m basing much of this character of what I remember from when I was a waitress in my 20s. But I’m an absolute internet/electronic luddite. I don’t LIKE being connected in the many ways that are available now and so need to get an idea of how these new technologies are used and enjoyed by people who actually think being in touch night and day is normal.

    The other thing that is difficult for me to remember is when I didn’t have the responsibilities of children and a husband, when I was free to do what I wanted pretty much when I wanted. So I need help remembering . . .

  10. Pari

    Yeah, shows and sites AND if you’ve got any insights into what rocks their world — in a broad cultural way — I’d appreciate it either here or in a private email.


  11. Naomi

    Beautiful makeover! Very clean. I like it, I like it.

    Pari–I think that what might be helpful is to first access how you were in your twenties. Read your diaries, journals, articles. Right down experiences of life, love, work, travel, etc. (Remembering how I was as a teenager helped me tackle my middle-grade book.)

    It probably wouldn’t hurt to spend some time in places where young people congregate. I’m not saying being a Rodney Dangerfield going back to college, exactly. But it couldn’t hurt to go to some kind of hangout and observe how often people are checking their i-phones/Blackberries, taking photos, etc. I was watching the third season of THE WIRE recently and listening to Richard Price’s commentary about the importance of just "hanging out" with your subject matter.

  12. Alexandra Sokoloff

    JT and Randy rock!!!

    It is SO clean! I had a moment of not being able to find the authors of the comments – it’s funny how your mind plays tricks like that.

    As for twenty-somethings, alas, I’ve had to give them up now that I am, as Michael puts it, DONE.

    But I have many fond memories.

  13. Robin of My Two Blessings

    Sorry, Pari – don’t know any 20 somethings.

    Highjacking your post to say: the new website is awesome. J.T. and Randy – you did an excellent job – love reading the about us page and all the details on the books. Easy to find now. Just finished "14" by the way. Thumbs up.

  14. Karen from mentor

    Hi Pari,
    I like the new site.
    Look at your local free paper for times and dates of local bands. Look at their websites and myspace pages. It will open a pandora’s box for you.

    I have a both a bookstore and a coffee shop nearby that have open mic night and there are always 20 somethings hanging out. Once you tell them that you are writing something they are amazingly helpful. Especially if you buy biscotti and share. 🙂

    College campus newspapers are a font of information for what’s hot. As are campus radio programs for pop culture stuff.
    For electronic stuff, buttonhole someone from the geek squad at best buy and pump him for gift ideas for a twenty something who needs to stay plugged in and current.

    Good luck!
    Karen Schindler

  15. Kaye Barley

    Wow! What a terrific looking new place you guys have! I love it.

    Pari – I am the most pop culture-ally challenged person you know. big sigh. BUT – I have 20 something students that I’ll be seeing when I get back to work on Wednesday and I’ll ask them to give me some suggestions to send you. How’s that?!

  16. Lynne

    Congrats on the new site! It looks great!

    As for 20 Somthings, I happen to be a 20-something! I’ll be 24 in a couple of months and my fiance is 26. I agree with the above recommendations on watching How I Met Your Mother and also that networking sites are huge for my age group. Twitter, Livejournal/Insanejournal, Facebook. Adult Swim is great entertainment and I also spend a lot of time watching the CW (particularly shows like Supernatural.)

    A lot of people at this age are just finishing university and some are finishing their Masters degree. I think for me personally, where I am in life is wondering where I am in life. We’re just getting out into the "real world" or whatever and having to really stand on our own two feet. We’re coming into ourselves as far as finding jobs, buying houses, and trying to juggle "growing up" with "being boring"- I’d say a fair amount of people my age want to juggle financial independence with retaining the carefree youth.

    Many of us had good friends from high school and college and we’re having to deal with growing apart from people that we promised would always be together. Some of us are just interested in partying (though that is more the younger 20’s, I think) and some are politically minded. We still believe we can make a difference, change the world, and that I think for a lot of people in my generation, despite hard times, there is still hope on the horizon.

    I feel like I’m rambling, but if you’d like to hear anything more you’re welcome to email me (I believe you get my email address when I post this?)

  17. JT Ellison

    Thanks so much, all of you!

    I should have mentioned before that Randy is available to do website and blog design for anyone who needs it. He’s quick, good, and quite reasonable. : ) Contact him through his website, targoz.com.

    Pari, back to the 20-somethings. Gossip Girls is great for the technology stuff too, because while they’re still in high-school, they strike me as more like the 20-somethings I hung with. The best thing you can do is find out where your local fern bar is and go hang out there after work for a week. You’ll see how everyone is dressed, how they interact, what music they listen to and you’ll probably be able to interview a few up close and personal, which is always the best way to get a sense of a group.

  18. Pari

    Great suggestion — especially the last one.

    As to reading my journals from that time, Eeeeeeee! They’re horrid. I would NEVER use that as a baseline . . .

  19. Pari

    That would be hunky dory. And yes, I know NO one says that any more. Of course, I still say, "Groovy," and "copacetic" too.

  20. Pari


    Thank you. I would like to stay in touch and don’t have your email here.

    Send me a note at my website (click on my name at the bottom of this post) and I’ll get your email that way.


  21. Pari

    Thank you, m’dear.

    I’ll take your advice as soon as we get this new puppy (not the one we’re getting in a month . . . long story) acclimated to our home.

  22. Lynne

    I actually thought about adding that to my list- myself and all of my female friends secretly are addicted to Gossip Girl. They are supposed to be High School but like JT said, they act more like really rabid, morally bankrupt, 20-somethings.

    Coffee houses, wine bars, martini bars…

  23. JT Ellison

    I am openly addicted to Gossip Girl (my editor’s fault) and yes, it does remind me of my college and post college days. With more sex. It’s definitely shows the new morality and realities of this generation.

  24. Pari

    Okay, Lynne and JT,
    You’ve both convinced me.

    I’ll check out some episodes of Gossip Girl. Might have to rent them (is there a season or set of episodes that’s particularly good?).

  25. Becky Hutchison

    Great new look, guys! The site is very easy to navigate, and if I accidentally go to a different page before I post my backblog, it isn’t erased.

    Pari, I sent you an email highlighting some things my 28 yr old daughter and her friends do. Hope it helps.

  26. J.D. Rhoades

    I’m late to the party, since I’ve been in trial all day, but let me add my thanks to JT and Randy. I really do love the new look.


    Craigslist discussion boards maybe?

  27. Pari

    Lady M,
    When I have a minute I’m going to spend some quality time over at BrazenCareerist. I would’ve never known about that without your guidance. Thank you.

  28. Pari

    Good idea, Dusty. I also hang out on some political blogs where I know many of the commenters are in the age group I’m researching.

    Gosh, it sounds so clinical, doesn’t it?

  29. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Pari

    Just wanted to add my voice to all those praising JT and Randy – they’ve done an amazing job.

    It’s a difficult request, because we know youngsters who have very old heads on young shoulders, and vice versa. Plus, our TV set is only connected to a DVD player, so we have to wait for recommendations for series and buy the box set. We’re watching the first series of ‘Supernatural’ at the moment, but I don’t think that qualifies as an indication of the normal lives of twenty-somethings!

    I’m reminded of a lovely poem by Roger McGough, though:

    ‘I have outlived my youthfulness
    So a quiet life for me.
    Where once I used to scintillate
    Now I sin ’til ten past three.’

  30. Pari

    Love the poem, Zoe.

    I knew it was an odd request but, as you can see from the responses, I have gotten many wonderful suggestions to round out my memories and own take for my protags.

  31. Christine

    There was a great article out relatively recently, about the Millenial Generation (up to about age 30). It was called "Yes We Can." and it tells you the common traits of that age group you’re looking for. I don’t know the mag it came from, but you can probably google it.

  32. Christine

    Hi – I’m a 20-something. (And I love the murderati blog – sorry I don’t comment more often!) I’m not single (just got married last year), but if I can help with anything, let me know. It looks like the other commenters pretty much have you covered. =)


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