Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Follow the Clues! Win a Book!

Curious about what crime Tai and Trey will be solving next? Maybe you'd like a shot at putting the clues together yourself?

If so, then head over to Pinterest and peruse my Deeper Than the Grave board, which you can find HERE. It's chock full of research links that I've been consulting during the writing of Book Four, all the clues that I used to create the plot for the this, the fourth book in the Tai Randolph/Trey Seaver series.

When you think you've figured out a plausible scenario for the mystery using some (or all!) of the images on the board, jot your idea down in a sentence or two and post it as a comment below.

The prize? A pre-release, signed first edition copy of  Deeper Than the Grave (or the e-book version, if that's your cup of sweet tea). Two winners will be announced one for the most accurate guess, and one for the most creative. 

The context ends June 1st, so that gives you plenty of time to play Armchair Mystery Writer. Good luck! I can't wait to see what the most creative mystery readers in the world can come up with!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Free Short Story Podcast

Inspiration is a mysterious process. It's the reason one of the most common questions authors get asked is, "Where do you get your ideas?"

Dr. Seuss said he got his from a little town in Switzerland. Mystery author Tamar Myers says that she subscribes to a catalog, where one can get good plots for less than five dollars sometimes. Both these answers were delivered with tongue firmly in cheek.

I love this question because I can answer it so specifically most of the time. Even my character origins remain clear in my mind (although some details, like how I got their names, remain fuzzy).

I'll write Trey Seaver's origin story another day. But very recently I got a chance to explore Tai's yet again. My rough-around-the-edges, smart-mouthed, Southern by the grace of God protagonist got her start in a mystery writing class lead by crime fiction author and scholar Mary Hadley. Our assignment -- create a hard-boiled protagonist. I created a character named Roxanne Jones (I had to use that name for some reason, I don't remember why) but the voice . . . ah, the voice. It's so obviously Tai, only an alternate universe version of her.

The story I created -- "Lost Causes and Other Reasons to Live" -- went on to win Gulfstream Magazine's Mystery Short Story award. And now the audio crime fiction magazine Crime City Central is featuring this story on their podcast, with Josie Babin as the narrator.

So if you enjoy listening to your murder and mayhem, here's a a link you'll find most rewarding. (PS: There's a new story every week, from writers like Lawrence Block and Steve Hockensmith . . . so if you like what you hear, subscribe and enjoy! And it's all free!):


I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed writing it!