Welcome to the new beginning for my author site. Changes have been afoot in my writing since fall 2020, and they are finally bearing fruit. I began as a fantasy and science fiction author, and eventually published seven novels, six fantasy and one space opera, as well as novellas in the 2018 Street Spells and last September’s High Moon. I am a long time fan of fantasy and science fiction.
I’m also a long-time fan of mystery. I started out reading a mystery every so often. Sherlock Holmes, Poe’s “Murder in the Rue Morgue,” Kinsey Mallone, Lawrence Block and on. I idly thought about writing an historical mystery series set during the age of piracy in the Caribbean. (I may still.) I used to joke with library colleagues about writing a library murder mystery, and they used to suggest it.
But it remained on the back-burner while I worked on learning how to write fantasy novels. I racked up five before finally getting the elements lined up and working together, thanks in no small measure to hiring my friend and writing mentor, Mary Rosenblum, to story edit Empowered: Agent and Empowered :Traitor and give me feedback on the outline for Empowered: Outlaw, in 2016-17. It paid off. I went on to write five novels in The Empowered series as well as the space opera and Gremlin Night.
But things changed for me in the spring of 2020, during the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. During lockdown I began reading many more mystery novels, as well as watching mystery shows. In September, 2020, I decided to write my first mystery novel. I wrote a draft of sorts, finishing it in February, 2021. I then worked on rewriting it. I took a break from the rewrite that summer, writing an urban fantasy novella and returning to it in the fall. More revision followed, and then another interruption while I worked on a separate project.
But, as time went on, I became more and more passionate about mystery fiction. My library cozy had been titled, Death Due, but now it became A Shush Before Dying. Mystery is very much my jam now. I’ve read so many more, and watched a great deal of mystery television, everything from The Queens of Mystery and the new Father Brown to Midsomer Murders, classic shows like Perry Mason and Columbo, and now Murder, She wrote, and so many more.
One of my dear friends from my time in library-land, Jan, who I called our “mystery maven” because of her deep knowledge of that genre, told me she felt mystery must be the hardest genre to write in. I’ve learned this past year and a half that she is right about that. At the same time, writing mystery is irresistible for me, incredibly rewarding, and so very fun. I’ll talk about that more in future posts.
I may have chosen to write mysteries, but it was no real choice, since I felt so drawn to the form after years spent reading in it.
My site is going to have a different look in the not-too-distant future, but I didn’t want to wait on that to begin a new mystery-focused blog.
I hope you’ll join me as I do.