Writing Take a Dive for Murder

For those of you who regularly follow the Dark and Stormy Night Mysteries blog —you are aware that I took a few weeks off from my blog postings. But I had a good reason—I was finalizing the details of publishing my first mystery book—Take a Dive for Murder.

I’m not going to tell you it wasn’t hard work to complete the book, but I will tell you it was also lots of fun.

I grew up in a family that loved mysteries. My mother was known for reading the ending of mystery books first to see whodunit and then reading the rest of the book to make sure all the clues were provided.

So that was my special challenge to make sure all the clues were there for you to find and to solve the crime. But be aware there may also be a couple of red herrings thrown in for good measure.

While I was writing the book I was often asked how I developed my ideas. Let me share with you how a few of the ideas ended up in the book.

First, how did I create my fictional town of Tri-City? I basically took three cities from my past–Philadelphia, Washington and Baltimore and put them together. As a result, you may spot streets or sites from any one of these three great cities.

Second, how did I create some of the characters? Way back in my college days I worked on the school newspaper. When I created Jamie, the murder victim, I based him on some of the experiences from that period of my life.

I also created two amateur detectives, Carrie Kingsford and Charles Faraday. When I first started writing the book I originally had Carrie as the only detective. But as the book developed and the plot and motive began to take shape Charles emerged as a central character. By adding his detecting skills to those of Carrie I suddenly had a team instead of a single detective.

And speaking of the plot let me tell you about the murder. Relax, no need for a spoiler alert I won’t give away the solution. In fact there was a long period of time when I couldn’t have given away the solution. I’ll tell you a secret. I was about two thirds through writing the book and I still didn’t have a motive for the murder.

I had the murder, was developing the characters but had no idea why the murder occurred. Then one morning I was reading my local newspaper and there was a story about an incident at the docks in Baltimore. Bingo—there was the motive I had been searching for.

As for the murderer, I was originally focusing on a particular character for this role. However, when I finally had the motive for the murder the writing took over and the real murderer began to emerge. As many writers will attest characters have a way of influencing the outcome of the story and not always in the direction originally planned by the author.

So there you have –a little bit of insight about the book. For more information about the plot click on the book cover on the home page of this web site.

I hope you like my two characters Carrie and Charles because they’ll be back. I’m currently working on the next book in series.

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