August 2014

Meg Gardiner Cuts to the Chase

phantom“What’s the most important piece of advice you offer to aspiring writers?” Hopeton Hay of KAZI Book Review asked thriller author Meg Gardiner.

“Figure out what the chase is—and cut to it,” she replied.

What does that mean?

Cut to the chase is a saying that means to get to the point without wasting time.

The phrase originated from early silent films. It was a favorite of, and thought to have been coined by, Hal Roach Sr. (January 14, 1892 – November 2, 1992). Films, particularly comedies, often climaxed in chase scenes to add to film time. Some inexperienced screenwriters or directors, unsure of how to get to the climax or who didn’t have enough script to meet time requirements, would just make an abrupt transition, known as a cut.

An earlier version of the phrase (recorded 1880-1940) was Cut to Hecuba. This refers to the practice of shortening matinée performances of Hamlet by cutting the long speeches before the reference to Hecuba in Act II, Scene ii.

And there you have it. Quit fooling around and get down to business. If you want to hear more great tips from Meg Gardiner on how to build your own crime fiction novel, come to the Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas chapter meeting on Sunday, August 10, 2 p.m. at Recycled Reads.

To listen to the entire podcast of Hopeton Haye’s interview with Meg Gardiner on KAZI 88.7 FM on June 29, please click the following link:

Recycled Reads is located at 5335 Burnet Road in Austin, TX.

Link to Recycled Reads:

 The Boys Are Back in Town on August 6

Reavis Wortham, Tim Bryant, Ben Rehder, and Bill Durham have a conversation about crime fiction at BookPeople on August 6 at 7 p.m.!books/cnec


Murder by Misrule

Murder-by-Misrule-eBook-Cover-120x177Heart of Texas: Sisters in Crime member Anna Castle’s Francis Bacon mystery, Murder by Misrule is listed on Indies Unlimited:

See publications by Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas members at:

 Tea and Murder in the Afternoon

tn (3)On September 14, you are cordially invited to afternoon tea in honor of P.D. James’ birthday at Sisters in Crime: Heart of Texas chapter’s very British programme at 2 p.m. at Recycled Reads.

Crook your pinkies, nibble a scone, and find out about crime across the pond.



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Sisters in Crime Heart of Texas Chapter meets the 2nd Sunday of each month at 2:00 p.m. at the Yarborough branch of the Austin Public Library, 2200 Hancock Drive. All meetings are free and open to the public.