Endurance, Illinois: Only in My Mind

“Setting” is a key word on Mostly Mystery this month, and the setting of my upcoming novel, Three May Keep a Secret, is the small town of Endurance, Illinois. Because I’ve lived in the Midwest—specifically Illinois—most of my life, I wanted to write about a place with which I’m familiar. I realize people on the East and West Coasts feel like the middle of the country is a boring place to fly over, but I find a great deal of pleasure living in this part of America in a small town.

Winter’s Last Gasp – Please say it’s so!!!

I knew we were going to have snow again.  I knew and yet, I hoped that the weather person was wrong.  I love an occasional snow.  They were rare for me growing up in Texas.  But this winter has really been more than I wanted.

Buddha in snow (800x600) (640x480)I started out taking a few pictures but that wasn’t enough.  After being snowed in several days – I live out a bit on a gravel drive that is way more than I would ever shovel – I decided that I… Continue reading

Spring into Writing

My favorite seasons are spring, summer, and early fall. In New England those are the seasons with warmth and light. And, surprise, those are the seasons in which my books are situated.

Some of my writing leans toward the darker side. You’d think that I’d want to spin my plot in a more suitable season, perhaps at the end of October when spirits are said to roam. Not so far. I’ve been more comfortable writing settings with birds, butterflies, and happy tourists. I like my characters to perspire, dive into pools, and wear sandals with their sundresses. Of course… Continue reading

Setting the Scene

Elements of Setting

According to this article in Writers Digest the main elements of a fiction story are plot, character, and setting.  The setting is the where of a story, although it can also be the what, who, why, when, and how.

The WD article lists the fundamentals of setting as: locale, time of year, time of day, elapsed time, mood and atmosphere, climate, geography, man-made geography, era of historical importance, social/political/cultural environment, population, and ancestral influences.

Tips for Setting

Here are a couple of tips I have picked up during my research… Continue reading

Research: Interviewing Expert Sources

My first mystery, Three May Keep a Secret, is coming out this November from Five Star Publishing.  I did mounds of research both for this book and the second one in progress. Experts in the field were my best resources when it came to getting accurate details. An English teacher and college professor until 2011, I really didn’t know much about bullet calibers, dead bodies, rigor mortis, or police procedure. While I could read about these online and in books, I found it very profitable to ask questions of experts.

My books take place in the small town of… Continue reading

Enjoying The Research

detectiveIn my first serious attempt at writing fiction, I decided to go with a mystery and an amateur sleuth. That type of book is called a Cozy.

I chose that genre because I’d read it for years. So, here’s what I did. In my mind I pictured the setting on the street where I grew up. The protagonist had two friends who were very much like my friends. And, the protagonist had a job in the same field I had worked. The only research I had to do was to… Continue reading

My views on Points of View

Point of View

Point of View

There are many points of view that we, as writers, can use to craft our stories:  third person (close or omniscient), first person, and second person.  I think it may have to do with how we view ourselves, and the world around us.

We have our internal viewpoint, where we are inside ourselves looking out at the world.  This is our subjective point of view, where emotions and thoughts are internal – sometimes expressed and sometimes kept hidden.  This is the… Continue reading