Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Today I'm stopping here on my blog tour, which is winding down, but there are still chances to win prizes and see what's going on with Seamus.

Schedule: Peg Herring’s Blog Tour for May (and one post in June) consists of a mix of interviews with Seamus, the Dead Detective, and posts on writing. The previous stop was on May 16 at http://its-not-all-gravy.blogspot.comThe next stop on the tour will be on May 25th at http://www.preciousmonsters.com/ A complete schedule is posted at Peg’s blog, http://itsamysterytomepegherring.blogspot.com/ When the tour is over (June 11th) the complete Seamus interview will be posted there.

Prizes: People who comment on any blog post on the tour will be entered in drawings for several prizes: Dead Detective T-shirts, copies of THE DEAD DETECTIVE AGENCY and DEAD FOR THE MONEY (paperback or e-books available), and the chance to be a character in the third of the series DEAD FOR THE SHOW. Multiple winners will be drawn.

Links: DEAD FOR THE MONEY (e-book) http://tinyurl.com/c6pzz5z
THE DEAD DETECTIVE AGENCY (paperback) http://tinyurl.com/7f6yc2r
Peg’s website: http://pegherring.com

Taking Stock
There’s a line of commercials lately that traces minor events in life that snowball and lead to disaster. In one, a guy frustrated by his cable service ends up beaten bloody in a ditch. I’m not sure that’s true for mystery writing, but the life of a mystery writer goes a little like this.
When you start writing a mystery novel, you want to know more about crime. When you want to know more about crime, you begin paying too much attention to television. When you pay too much attention to television, you begin to think that every action has a secret motive. When you think every action has a secret motive, you suspect everyone. When you suspect everyone, scenarios form in your brain. When scenarios form in your brain, you write them down. When you write them down, you have a mystery novel!
When I take stock of who I am today and who I was before I started writing, I see major growth in the area of in-brain storytelling. Passing a person on the street who’s fumbling through his clothes brings up the idea that he’s the victim of pickpockets, when it’s likely he just forgot where he stashed his keys. A sighting of an armored car brings up visions of armed gunmen pulling the driver to the ground and driving it away before anyone can stop them. A story in a newspaper of an unidentified body found in the woods of northern Michigan creates a whole list of possibilities, none of them as mundane as the truth, that it’s some pitiful Alzheimer’s victim who wandered away from home and couldn’t get back.
It isn’t life that’s changed; it’s me. Mystery writing is an addiction, and like all addictions, we can recognize it, admit to it, and struggle against it, but it’s always there. It’s partly the fault of others, those who say, “Oh, that was such a clever twist in your last book!”
“Oh,” I say to myself, “they think THAT was clever—wait till they see what I do next time!”
Friends in the mystery-writing community confess to the same thoughts. We start viewing the world in terms of plot-lines, people in terms of character possibilities, and even aspects of nature in terms of a great line for the next book. We don’t look at the world the way others do, or maybe even the way we used to: it isn’t just life anymore: it’s all fodder for the next book or the one after that.
I sometimes feel that I should warn my friends. Like a karate expert who must register his hands as lethal weapons, maybe all mystery writers should be made to wear that T-shirt you see at conventions that says: Be careful or you’ll end up in my next novel.

1 comment:

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

How did you feel about your blog tour? Was there anything you wish you'd done differently? And did it help sales?