Mystery Author: Strong Women, Great Stories

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I write three series: The Loser Mysteries, The Dead Detective Mysteries & the Simon & Elizabeth (Tudor) Mysteries as well as stand-alones that offer readers "Strong Women, Great Stories."
These days I also answer to Maggie Pill, who writes a cozy sleuth series. Maggie is a lot like Peg, just younger, cooler, and funnier.

You Know What They Say about Opinions

Here's the G-rated version: "Opinions are like noses. Everybody has one."
America is a country that has long valued the right of each individual to have an opinion, and that's good. The problem comes when opinions are all a person has. Here's my take on the subject.
*A person's opinions should be based on evidence, and that evidence must be real. It's difficult--sometimes really difficult--to look at the evidence, read or listen across a range of information, and make a conscious decision as to what you think about a subject. It's often easier to take the word of someone you think is smart or knowledgeable or well-read on the topic. The problem is that his/her opinion might be just as misinformed or slanted as anyone else's. If all it took to be right is brains or education, there wouldn't be so much disagreement in the highest levels of government. As a debater in high school and college, I learned that it's essential to look at both sides of an argument and examine the strengths and weaknesses of the supporting evidence. It does make it harder to be a 100% supporter of any candidate or solution, but it makes you able to think for yourself, which to me is the best way to think.
*Opinions must be presented in a way that doesn't denigrate the opinions of others. I'm not an idiot if we disagree, just as I'm not a genius when we agree.
*Opinions must be open to discussion and possible change. Whether we like it or not, things don't stay the same, and insisting they should doesn't solve anything. We can't deal with our problems by wishing to go back to the way it used to be. In the first place, the past probably never was the way we like to remember it, and even if it were, it's gone. We must form opinions based on today's reality, not some hazy view of how it was back when we were ten. (There was a lot going on back then we either didn't see or didn't comprehend.)
That's my opinion on opinions. Not that it will change yours.

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