Earlier this year, a person from my writers’ group decided to get authors together and publish a mystery anthology. Introduce fans of certain authors and genres to a wonderful world of words they might not find otherwise.
And she asked me to contribute! Not that I have “fans”…seriously, some of the authors in this anthology have several books out. But a chance for me to put more of my weird out into the ‘Verse was tempting.
However, as I prepared to e-mail back a “yes, I sure will”, I paused. For the word MYSTERY stared at me with its little beady eyes. Mystery? I don’t do mysteries. To help connect the different genres and styles, we would use the game of Clue as inspiration, each choosing a color, murder weapon, and room.
How could I pass up the opportunity? I told her I would try to come up with an idea, claimed purple (Prof Plum) and a candlestick in an attic (because creepy lives there), and my brain chewed on all sorts of thoughts.
But that darn mystery part.
I don’t read, watch, or write mysteries, so have no idea how to plot one, not that plotting is really my thing anyway.
As my creative gears began to turn…I wondered if maybe I do watch mysteries…
I love horror. Horror everything. It’s October right now and my house is covered in skulls. I watch many horror movies, some of my favorite include haunted houses…ghost stories.
And aren’t those mysteries? A spirit remains, a secret trapping them in a pocket of emotion, wrapped in an unresolved moment of their life. The 1980 film The Changeling (really good movie!) did an excellent job of giving clues to solve the mystery of the ghost.
So…all I had to do was create a past and present, two timelines linked by similar stories and emotions. Because I love when everything ties together! Once I knew who died and how, all I had to do was leave clues in a very ghostly manner for the poor twin teen girls who visited the attic, well, were drawn to the attic…
This was my first attempt at dual POV, wanting to give the tale from two different perspectives. One twin connected to the ghost and overcome by the leftover emotions that mirror her own. The other, the protector, the one fighting for freedom from what resides in the attic, and maybe freedom from something else as well. As they learn what happened in the past, they start to deal with new feelings and thoughts that had crept into their minds after they moved. But can they rid the attic of the ghost before the ghost sinks its invisible teeth into them?
I’m not telling.
And here it is!
Blurb from Amazon: Murder comes in 7 different genres. By 7 different authors. Are you a fan of courtroom drama? In the anthology’s first story, Abraham Lincoln defends a friend’s son against a charge of murder. For lovers of speculative fiction, Jason Fogg dissolves into mist to sneak through open windows and snoop for clues. How about a cozy? Jazzi, Jerod, and Ansel discover a dead body while renovating a kitchen, dining room, and half bath. Have a craving for a Regency? Lord Peregrine and his wife, Elizabeth, use their sharp minds and quick wit to solve a murder at a garden party. Need a bit of literary fiction? A young, lonely widow must deal with the theft of a valuable butterfly collection. And what about a little psychological horror? Twin sisters discover that their attic is haunted by not one, but two ghosts. Last, but never least, the anthology concludes with a historical mystery. A young, newly married knight is accused of murdering his obnoxious host at a holiday gathering in his castle.
Go get it for your Kindle on Amazon here.
I struggled to write this story. And I worried that my ghost story sitting among tales penned by more established authors would cause readers to ask what the heck that story was doing in there?
A few reviewers have chosen mine as one of their favorites, which surprised and delighted me. Thank you to everyone who picked up this book and enjoyed the seven tales of murder. Seven very different tales. I finally sat and read them and found each story, from cozy, to regency, to a little paranormal fogginess, to historical, held a new, engaging voice and a fun tale of whodunnit. There is something for everyone in Murder They Wrote.