Writing my first mystery novel
edited: Monday, August 27, 2007
By Lonnie Cruse
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Posted: Monday, August 27, 2007
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What made me think I could write a book? That's the question I get sometimes.
I've loved reading for as long as I can remember. When I still lived at home, my step-mother, also an avid reader and I credit her with sharing that love with me, belonged to a book club. I can still see the hardbacks with lovely dust jackets in her bookcase, Forever Amber, Foxes of Harrow, you name it.
As a adult I began reading science fiction and Victorian romance. Okay, I hear the snickers. Not exactly a match you say?
When I discovered Agatha Christie and the mystery genre. I never looked back. I always admired the story telling ability of any author I read. I wanted to do that too! But I thought writers had to graduate from college with some fancy degree or the journalism police would bang on the front door. Then I read a couple of mysteries by well-known authors with plot holes large enough to fire a rocketship through. Hmmm, I could do no worse, could I? Of course I could, but do you think I thought of that?
I sat down at the computer and began to write. And if ignorance is bliss, I was about as blissful a writer as ever put fingertips to keyboard. I'd been mulling over a plot for a long time, during my morning walks, but nothing came to me, at least not until we moved to Metropolis, Illinois and I fell in love with the Superman statue.
No generals on horseback at our courthouse, thank you very much. We have a fifteen-foot tall statue of Superman, a Planet newspaper, a Super Museum, and a very large, very ugly chunk of kryptonite on a main street corner. We're a small town that draws tourists from all over. The statue is so, um, Mom, home, apple pie. And I wondered, what if someone dropped a dead body there? No one else seemed disposed to take on the task, so I did, fictionally speaking, of course.
My first book, Murder In Metropolis, finalled in four writing contests and took second place in one. I figured I was on the right track with it, so I started sending out to publishers. After umpteen rejections and the requisite tears, a small publisher took me on.
Now there are four books in the series all featuring Sheriff Joe Dalton, his deputies, and his family, solving crimes in this facinating little town. The books are proceedural with a cozy but noir tone. I hope you will give them a read! Thanks for stopping by.