Victoria Houston     Sept 23–27 and May 27–31, 2012 (Three Teaching Days)
Murder, Mayhem & Fun: Writing Mysteries

Victoria HoustonWe all have at least one good murder we've been dying to write about – right? (Yikes, sorry for the pun) Well, time to find out if you do and if you will enjoy it. This class will offer exercises designed to help you explore the techniques required for good mystery fiction. The subjects to be covered will include: point of view, character development, character-driven versus plot-driven story lines, research and planning, pacing, voice, and location as character.


  • Please bring a laptop or iPad to be used during class.
  • Please read a mystery before coming to class and be prepared to discuss what you do and do not like about the book.
  • Start a file (now!) with clippings of news stories that pique your interest and may help to develop characters and story lines.

Victoria Houston: A Biographical Sketch
She is the author of the Loon Lake Mystery Series -- DEAD ANGLER, DEAD CREEK, DEAD WATER, DEAD FRENZY, DEAD HOT MAMA, DEAD JITTERBUG, DEAD BOOGIE, DEAD MADONNA, DEAD HOT SHOT and DEAD RENEGADE. DEAD DECEIVER, eleventh in the series, was published in March 2011 in hardcover and trade paperback from Tyrus Books. The mysteries are set in the Northwoods of Wisconsin against a background of fishing – fly fishing as well as fishing for muskie, bass, bluegill and walleyes.

Houston’s mystery series was featured in a story on the front page of The Wall Street Journal (January 20, 2004) and on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation with Neal Conan” (February 2, 2006). See the features on her website:

She has also written six non-fiction books. An award-winning author specializing in family issues, Houston’s non-fiction books include the highly recommended ALONE AFTER SCHOOL: A Self-Care Guide for Latchkey Children and Their Parents (Prentice Hall, 1985); the national bestseller, LOVING A YOUNGER MAN: How Women Are Finding and Enjoying a Better Relationship (Contemporary Books (1987); Pocket Books (1988); MAKING IT WORK: Finding the Time and Energy For Your Career, Marriage, Children and Self (Contemporary Books, 1990) -- which was published by Simon & Schuster's Fireside imprint in August 1991 as a trade paperback titled MAKING IT WORK: Creative Solutions For Balancing Your Career, Marriage, Children And Personal Life.

Houston's books have received significant national media attention including appearances on A&E Network (Feb 2001), THE MONTEL WILLIAMS SHOW (September 1998), PRIME TIME LIVE (October 1993), LEEZA (1/18/95) OPRAH (twice), DONAHUE (twice), SALLY JESSY RAPHAEL, GOOD MORNING AMERICA, HOUR MAGAZINE, and CBS MORNING NEWS; as well as attention from national periodicals including TIME, COSMOPOLITAN, SELF, WOMAN'S DAY, FAMILY CIRCLE, AMERICAN BABY and CHILD magazines. She has been interviewed by most major newspapers and has appeared extensively on local television and radio in all major markets.

Studio: Something for all levels.


Victoria offers a partial tuition scholarship.
Workshop Fee: $445 + tax
Room & One Dinner Fee: $265 + tax
Class Fees Explained
Workshop Itinerary

Victoria Houston Victoria Houston

Victoria Houston

Workshop Itinerary

Sunday 9/23
Check-In to your unit at Dillman’s (check-in time is 3:00)
5:00 Welcome Reception
6:00 Dinner
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 9/24, 9/25 and 9/26
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Class in Session
Wednesday 9/26
4:00 Farewell Champagne Toast
Thursday 9/27
Depart - check-out time is 10:00

*4 nights’ accommodations are included in this workshop

Day students are welcome to attend the Welcome Reception and Farewell Reception (included in your package). You are also invited to join the class dinners (additional fee). PAL’s (Participants at large) can vacation at Dillman’s for $50 per night for accommodations. Costs for box lunches and dinners are additional.


Sunset at Dillman's