Four writers generously invited me to appear on their blogs to celebrate the release of Show Me the Sinister Snowman March 31. Writing to fit their needs and their readers’ preferences proved an interesting challenge.
Below are excerpts from and links to each blog. You may well find other appealing posts there.
April 10: “How I Chose My Imaginary Best Friend”: Debra Goldstein’s It’s Not Always a Mystery: http://www.debrahgoldstein.com/guest-blogger-carolyn-mulford-chose-imaginary-best-friend-click-comments/
The right name [for my protagonist] didn’t come to me until I envisioned the incidents that brought her back to her hometown and compelled her to investigate a murder. So what happened? She was severely wounded during a post-retirement freelance mission in Istanbul and sent home to recover and to be off the shooter’s radar. She adapts her tradecraft to help a lifelong friend unearth the truth about her husband’s violent death.
I named my imaginary best friend Phoenix Smith. Phoenix symbolizes crashing and rising again from flames. Smith is a good name for a spy because it sounds fake.
April 7: Liz Milliron’s Interview: Mysteristas; https://mysteristas.wordpress.com
Do you listen to music when you write?
Only if it’s related to what I’m writing, as when my protagonist plays Mozart on the piano to help her analyze her findings. In the first book, Show Me the Murder, she plays classic country in a bar while undercover. In my new book, Show Me the Sinister Snowman, people trapped by a blizzard entertain themselves by singing Gilbert & Sullivan songs.
April 2: Judy Hogan’s Interview: Postmenopausal Zest; http://postmenopausalzest.blogspot.com
I love the dog, Achilles, and how he and Phoenix relate to and rely on each other. Have other readers responded the same way?
Yes, many readers tell me how much they like Achilles. He functions not only as a pet but also as a comforter and sidekick. He brings out her softer side, and she encourages him to use his skills. He becomes secure enough to dispute her judgment. For example, he pulls her back when she’s rushing into danger, and he barks his disapproval when she’s impatient with her friends.
March 27: “Beware of 10 Common Mistakes”: Kristina Stanley’s Mystery Mondays; https://kristinastanley.com/2017/03/27/mystery-mondays-author-carolyn-mulford-on-10-common-mistakes/#comment-18812
- A lack of action
Something must happen in every chapter. Check that by writing chapter headlines. Be sure you have a plot point and conflict—in solving the crime, in reaching the protagonist’s goals, in personal and professional interactions.
You can see the variety. Check out the one(s) that fits your interest.