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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Week Number Four of Richard Lowe’s Round Up – Check out my Response

November 7th, 2018 → 4:44 pm @

My primary goal has always been to entertain my readers and make them laugh, while also making them think. To give them an escape from the troubles in their lives. Based on feedback (and not just from my mother), I am grateful that I seem to be on track with that goal. There is no better feeling than when a reader is genuinely effusive about my work.

When I read this Roundup question, it got me thinking about my goals beyond the readers’ reaction and I realized it’s a very basic goal. I want to enjoy the writing experience even more.

That’s not as simple as it sounds.

I enjoy writing cozy murder mysteries and I enjoy doing the speaking and signing engagements, hell, I even enjoy editing, but all these components can interconnect in a way that makes writing either a joy or an exercise in self-debasement or both – kind of like a seesaw.

To start with I enjoy the writing, but feeling pressure to hurry up can bring that enjoyment to a screeching halt. Once the book is released there’s a huge amount of work to gain any level of awareness. I actually enjoy guest blogging and interviewing, I genuinely enjoy public speaking. But if you’ve ever done an author event to an audience of two, even considering there are torrential rains outside, you know how demoralizing that can be.

Although many of us don’t get into writing for the money (a lot of you are laughing out loud right now) it is nice to actually see some return on your investment. There was a time when I referred to my writing as a “very costly hobby.” Although I still don’t rely on my writing as my livelihood, there’s no denying that monetary gain is a measure of success, and when you’ve poured your guts out to create your masterpiece, any measure of success is a plus.

One day euphoric success, the next day humbling disappointment, and repeat. My great grandmother had a saying that seems to fit “what never makes you laugh will never make you cry.”

My goal would be to see the scales a bit more heavily weighted toward the laughing.

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Check out my guest blog on Jerrica Reads

October 2nd, 2018 → 2:40 pm @

Why Do You Write About Murder?

That’s a question I get asked all the time and the answer grows as I add more books to my Donna Leigh Mystery series. At first, I thought it was because my mom got me hooked on Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes from a very young age, and that’s part of it. But another very real reason is that I get to kill people I’m not allowed to kill in real life.

I’ve always wanted to write and I’ve always preferred to deal with issues through humor, but I never put the two together until life got really hard. Owning a business and losing a business partner is, I’m told, a lot like a divorce – only it’s a lot more public. During the months, and even years, leading up to the split, there were some tense times. I might even have had some murderous thoughts about the partner in question. Although, I wouldn’t allow myself to realize them until after his departure.

In the meantime, I was able to escape the tension by looking back on those people who had garnered the bulk of my murderous thoughts in the past. Killing them was pure catharsis. Not to mention that I was able to create fictional characters who readers would want to join me in killing.

Read the rest here:

https://www.facebook.com/rldonovanauthorpage/

 

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Finally, Donna Leigh Mysteries is a Series of Three

March 5th, 2017 → 4:07 pm @

With the recent Amazon release of the paperback version of I Don’t Know Why They Killed Him He Wasn’t Really That Annoying, Donna Leigh Mysteries has become a series of three murder mysteries. The Kindle version is coming soon.

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