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Writer's Roost Home Page

Last update: 23 November 2016

Welcome to Steven Houchin's official author website. He is a writer of novels, short stories, non-fiction articles, technical papers, and also performs editing services for other writers. His second novel won the Pacific Northwest Writers Association's 2007 Literary Contest in the Mystery/Thriller category. He was also selected to read and critique manuscript submissions for PNWA's annual literary contest in both 2009 and 2010 for the Sci-Fi/Fantasy category, and in 2016 for the Mainstream Fiction category.

Please check out his Writer's Roost BLOG. It contains book reviews, announcements, and articles on the writing craft. Please post your comments on any of the articles. Also, take a look at our list of upcoming Literary Conferences and Contests.

By the way, if you think you are related to Steven, check out his family genealogy website.

News items:

** Steven was selected to read, critique, and score manuscripts submitted to PNWA's 2016 Literary Contest for the Mainstream Fiction category.

** Steven's article "A Journey Through Time" appears in the October 2011 issue of Northwest Prime Time magazine. It tells the story of a letter he wrote while in kindergarten that returned to him 49 years later, unopened.

** Steven gave an interview about his writing experience to local Seattle author Norma Nill, which you can read on her blog.

** Steven served as guest blogger at the Literary Liasons site with a posting titled "So, You Want to Win a Literary Contest?" In it, he explains some of the factors that will help your manuscript break through the clutter of contest entries to maximize the chance of winning.

** Steven's non-fiction article "McGraw Square" was published in the Summer 2009 issue (Vol. 23 No. 2) of Columbia Magazine, a publication of the Washington State Historical Society. It details the history of a statue in downtown Seattle that honors John McGraw, who served in the 1880s and 1890s as King County Sheriff and Washington's second governor.



Book Review: Deadly Inheritance

Sir Geoffrey Mappestone returns from the Crusades in 1103 to his family's Goodrich Castle in Herefordshire, only to find that his brother, Henry, has been murdered. His sister, Joan, his brother-in-law, and servants show no interest in finding the killer. Geoffrey learns that everyone hated Henry, who was brutal and addicted to drink. The lords of neighboring manors distrust Geoffrey because knights of the Crusade have a violent reputation.

Geoffrey is determined to find his brother's killer. But he is also nagged by Joan's demand he immediately get married and produce an heir. Without an heir, he is a likely target for murder himself by neighboring manor lords who desire to absorb his estate into theirs. So, several women are proposed as mates, none of which appeal to Geoffrey. In addition to the woes he already has, a prominent priest asks him to investigate another murder, one that happened months ago over in Normandy. Other murders soon occur, seemingly related to Henry's murder.

When later one of his neighbors launches an attack on Goodrich, Geoffrey is forced to mobilize the men of his estate into a fighting force.

The "author", Simon Beaufort (in reality a pseudonym of Susanna Gregory and Beau Riffenburgh when they write jointly), fills the pages with rich details that seem authentic for the period. They pile more and more demands on poor Geoffrey, who simply wants to live in peace on his estate. Deadly Inheritance (number six in the Mappestone series) is hard to put down as the action and mystery keep rolling on. It is definitely worth the read.

Steven Houchin -- 23 November 2016

To see previous essays and musing about writing, please visit my Web Log.