This Week’s Round Up Question: What is the Most Difficult Part of the Artistic/Writing Process?

December 5th, 2018 → 8:54 pm @

My Donna Leigh Mystery series revolves around a menopausal ad agency owner in Omaha, Nebraska. Although each book encompasses the murder of someone known to the protagonist, the books are actually comedies. With three books in the series, the challenges have been in finding credible enough yet over-the-top comedic events, without an over-abundance of similarity, and in keeping the plot fresh enough overall that the books don’t start to feel formulaic.

Evanovich’s protagonist, Stephanie Plum, pretty much always sets a car on fire, it’s her signature comedic move. Perhaps I should have set a precedent like that, because creating new and outrageous scenarios is increasingly a challenge.

Each book requires approximately six comedic events to keep things moving at a fast pace. I realized this would be a daunting task as early as my second book, and the third book was that much more intimidating.

Along those same lines, it is a genuine challenge to keep my plots from becoming formulaic. The same characters want to say and do the same things. It is imperative to find ways to pull them out of their comfort zone without pulling them out of character.

Folks have suggested that I move on from Donna Leigh and start a whole new series, but my gut is telling me to stick with her for at least another book or two. And if I’ve learned one thing in this whole experience, it’s to trust my gut.

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Check out my “hardest scene to write” in this week’s author Round Up

November 26th, 2018 → 4:24 pm @

Question: What Was Your Hardest Scene to Write?

In my first book Is It Still Murder Even If She Was A Bitch? I wrote a scene featuring a remodeling contractor from a small town in Nebraska. I wanted to change his pattern of speech from the arguably more urban patterns of the characters residing in Omaha. I wanted there to be a distinction.

I wasn’t trying to make this character sound distinctly back woods, rural because that’s not really a thing in Nebraska, so finding a distinction was challenging. He wasn’t uneducated, so giving him bad grammar was not the solution, and we tend to be accent neutral in Nebraska so I didn’t have much with which to work.

Bookdisplay

Bookdisplay

I wanted this character to be sweet and just a tad naïve. How does that sound? As I wrote, I found myself slipping into the cadence of a southern twang – NO! edit, edit, edit.

A great panel

A great panel

 

After finishing the book it officially went into editing. On the fourth round, my editor commented “you have this contractor who starts out talking like a hick and almost immediately evolves into having the elocution of a Harvard grad. Fix it.” Wow, how I not see that?

So, I was back at the drawing board. That short scene was the hardest I’ve ever written or rewritten – before or since. I labored over every word he spoke. In the end, I had to invent some speech patterns based on imagination and fleeting experience with folks in rural areas either through road trips across the state, or films about the Midwest. I think it works – but even now I’m not positive. In fact I can feel myself starting to perspire as I write the response to this question.

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Thank B2B For The Great Article!

June 7th, 2016 → 6:33 pm @

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Another Council Bluffs Author’s Fair

November 23rd, 2015 → 9:59 pm @

It was the first Author’s Fair for Book 2: I Didn’t Kill Her But That May Have Been Shortsighted – and it was fun to share the limelight with Cedric and his first novel – here we are at the Council Bluffs Author’s Fair:

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Council Bluffs Public Library

Council Bluffs Public Library

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I Didn’t Kill Her But That May Have Been Shortsighted is Now on Amazon!

October 24th, 2015 → 5:52 pm @

The second book in the Donna Leigh Mystery series is now available in paperback on Amazon – Kindle is soon to follow.

Get it here: http://www.amazon.com/Didnt-Shortsighted-Donna-Leigh-Mysteries/dp/1943976007/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1445709551&sr=1-1&keywords=robin+leemann+donovan

Available NowBackCoverCheck

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Checking Copy for Book 2 Has Finally Arrived!

October 14th, 2015 → 3:40 pm @

I Didn’t Kill Her But That May Have Been Short Sighted is days away from being available on Amazon!

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Thank you, Angela, for the great review!

August 24th, 2015 → 7:56 pm @

Angela Shockley (Reviewer) has just completed feedback for Is It Still Murder Even If She Was a Bitch?.

Add positive reviews to your NetGalley title record by following this link: https://www.netgalley.com/publisher/viewReview/review_id/1915713

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Full Text: Did the title catch your attention? That’s the whole reason I requested this title in NetGalley! I quickly read through Is It Still Murder Even If She Was A Bitch. Like most mysteries, the investigators suck at their job and the heroine/hero has to figure it out before they’re killed, too! What you get here is a dash of The Devil Wears Prada and Murder She Wrote. It’s a fun story and I would recommend it to anyone who loves a good little mystery.

Additional Questions:

Are you reviewing this title for a publication? No

Would you purchase this book for yourself or a friend? Yes

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Thanks J Rit for a wonderful review!

January 4th, 2015 → 8:08 pm @

It was just another workday for Donna Leigh, ad executive at her own firm, when a colleague asks if she has heard the news– their former colleague, Claire, is dead and she has been murdered! Claire was a well hated person in the ad game, and it seemed everyone who ever came in contact with her might have enough motive, including Donna and the folks at Marcel. As problem solvers and people movers, Donna and the team at Marcel start looking into solving this mystery, mainly to keep themselves off the long suspect list. While their techniques are not always appreciated by the police, they do turn up information that helps and know they are getting too close to the answer when Donna begins getting threats. Ms. Donovan deftly negotiates the tightrope between suspense and humor in relaying this multi-character tale. Description sets the stage in Omaha and makes the characters come to life or, in Claire’s case, death. Through the teams missteps, blunders, and problem solving competition, the case is solved just in the nick of time for Donna. This is a delightful, fast-paced read which I recommend to all amateur sleuths with a good sense of humor. As I read, it was easy to cast characters and imagine this story on the screen.

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Check Out My Latest 4 out of 5 Star Review

December 14th, 2014 → 8:11 pm @

A quick light fun read. Well written, with a host of unlikely sleuth characters (mainly women) who get themselves into very awkward situations but who somehow manage to get to the bottom of it all. To be enjoyed sitting back with a nice glass of wine.

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Thank you Janis Levonitis for a wonderful review!

November 16th, 2014 → 9:12 pm @

Janis Levonitis

Recommends This Book

Yes

WOOHOO, for all us menopausal ladies over 50. Robin Leemann Donovan’s: Is It Still Murder Even If She Was Bitch?, is a hilarious story of a group of menopausal co-workers and a few male coworkers thrown in, who decide to investigate the murder of a former coworker, Claire, who was a back-stabbing, manipulative, hateful excuse of a human being. WHY? To keep suspicion off themselves, because they all could have had motive to do the deed. Lead by Donna, whose inner monologue rolls with humorous observations of others as she deals with God awful hot flashes, memory issues and the ever dreaded hormonal induced emotions that strike at the most inopportune times. But through various misadventures, destruction of public property, they actually, inadvertently catch the killer. This book takes water cooler office talks to a new level. The characters are quirky and a special mention of Clovis, just to help her out with her extreme narcissism. She would be over the moon with happiness with the very mention of her name. This book starts out slow like a day at work that ends up being an extra exceptional day! I liked this book, as an over 50 gal myself, I’d like to think I’ve still got an adventure or two left to experience. I look forward to more of Donna’s adventures.
This book was provided by the publisher and Netgalley for an honest review.
Go to this link to see it in its original form: http://tinyurl.com/mcmercd

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