Last week, I had the honor of meeting and speaking with two very exceptional writers.
As a member of the local California Writer’s Club, I attend monthly gatherings to network with other local writers and hear from a guest speaker who shares his/her experiences and advice.
Just over a week ago, we had special meeting. Because Victoria Zackheim and Anne Perry were in town.
Who are they, you ask? Just two of the best women writers on the market today. No, I’m not exaggerating. Victoria writes, edits, and teaches at UCLA. Anne’s books have sold over 30,000,000 worldwide. So no. I’m not exaggerating.
Y’all know I’m working on four books as we speak. I realize some people call this lunacy, but it works for me (the writing part. Not the crazy part. Well . . . maybe a little bit of that last one). Two are the compilation books, one is the fantasy and the last is NOLA.
I have each plotted out from beginning to end. The only thing left is to finish the writing.
Except I’ve been stuck with NOLA. I have the beginning, some of the middle, and the end. But I couldn’t figure out how to get from A to E because I didn’t know B, C or D.
And then I heard Anne Perry. And I talked with her and Victoria. And I realized, I’m writing a mystery novel. It’s always been a mystery. I’d just not identified it before.
It was like eating the first bite of a cake you just baked. It was like taking that first sip of coffee that you brewed in your new Keurig. It was like opening my eyes to see where I already knew I was.
When I talked with Victoria and Anne, I realized I’m writing a mystery novel. And the lights turned on. I know now how to get from A to B to C . . . all the way to Z. I know now that I need to introduce a few more characters and expand on those already in the story.
When I was in college, my favorite class was a Mystery Novel Writing class. We read The Maltese Falcon and watched the film. We read Tony Hillerman. We analyzed Double Indemnity.
Lately, I’ve been remembering that class and the material. So I watched Double Indemnity the other night. It’s a fine mystery movie. I looked at my bookshelf. I have quite a collection of mystery novels. Many by Stephen J. Cannell. Wait . . . what? Stephen Cannell’s a mystery writer? How did I not turn that light bulb on before? Collecting his books, reading them, meeting and talking with him about writing . . . and for some reason I blanked out on the mystery part? There’s another breath of fresh air. My mentor was a mystery writer.
I’d already started rewriting NOLA based on input from my critique group (another benefit of being a member of the California Writer’s Club). I need to add more dialogue. It’s okay to jump into a scene instead of leading up to it. And never, ever mention a dead body unless there’s some sort of follow-up.
Yes. I’ve finally identified who I am.
And I am a mystery writer.
And Frankly, My Dear . . . that’s all she wrote!
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Yes, indeed, he was a mystery writer and a good one!
He left behind a great legacy. I’m thankful for the opportunity to have met him when I did.
Congrats on finding who you are and the genre you feel called to write. I really enjoyed reading about your experience meeting and being mentored by those writers and how it is impacting your works in progress. I have a writing project I have been working on for years, but very inconsistently. Your words are inspiring me to get back to writing it, if only for 15 minutes a day. Thank you also for stopping by and commenting on my blog this week. It was great to see/hear from you.
Kathy recently posted..Dare to Be Great
Thank you, Kathy! I encourage everyone to write. Did you see the video query from Stephen Cannell to me? I’ve posted it a few times. I’ll put it up tonight on my Facebook page as well. He encourages everyone to write at least an hour or two a day. I used to think that was ridiculous, but since I’ve been doing it, I can’t imagine any other way of living. Writing is wonderful. Keep me posted on your progress! (And thanks for bringing the comment to my attention!)
Awesome! I am familiar with Anne Perry’s work, and S. Cannell’s work is legendary. I am glad you have found a direction for your novel! Love mysteries, look forward to reading someday.
Hope you and Dot have a blessed Easter!
Winnie recently posted..Tea Time Tuesday – Hoppy Easter!
Thank you, Winnie. I hope to enjoy tea on your terrace in between book signings in your neck of the world some day. :) Easter blessings to you and your family also.
Molly Jo recently posted..I am Defined. And I am a Mystery.