There are the books everyone had heard about: Twilight, Hunger Games, Fifty Shades of Gray. But what about all those books written by people you’ve never heard of? Some of them are treasures, just waiting to be found, and that’s what this blog hop is all about: the books you might not have heard about, but that you might end up loving.
This blog hop is like a game of tag. One author posts and tags five other authors who link back to their website the next week and tag five new authors. If you follow the blog hop long enough, you’re bound to find some books you’ll love! Maybe you’ll even discover a book that ends up being the next big thing.
I was tagged by Sally Deskins. You can learn more about her fascinating series Les Femmes Folles: The Women, 2012 on her website: Les Femmes Folles: The Women, 2011. The blog hop includes ten questions to help you learn more about an author’s current work in progress, so here’s a little info about my current project:
1: What is the working title of your book?
I Didn’t Kill Her, But That May Have Been Short-Sighted.
2: Where did the idea come from for the book?
has really encouraged me to write a second and I’m even working on a third (I Don’t Know Why They Killed Him, He Wasn’t Really That Annoying) in the series.
The initial idea for the Donna Leigh Mystery series came from the fact that I’ve been an avid murder mystery buff since I was a kid; enjoying both dramatic and comedic treatments. With years of experience as a reader in the genre, I developed some pet peeves about certain types of plot treatments, e.g. it never failed to amaze me that brilliant and acclaimed women would invariably walk right into a killer’s trap with no means of defense and no back up. I felt many of the mechanisms used by authors were “easy” but didn’t always make sense or lend to the credibility of the plot.
In the Donna Leigh Mystery series I had the creative license to craft my plot in such a way as to be light and humorous, yet not completely out of the realm of possibility. My characters are not superhuman and recklessly heroic, they are normal people who behave in a normal and often excessively narcissistic (that may be redundant) way.
3: What genre does your book fall under?
Cozy mystery – although there is a slightly higher propensity for realism in the Donna Leigh series than in some of the cozy mysteries.
4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
My protagontist, Donna Leigh is a tough one as many, including myself, identify her as me. To flatter myself I’ll say Meryl Streep or Glen Close could easily handle the role – I think Emma Thompson with a blond wig and an American accent would be brilliant!
My murder victim, BJ Thornton could be played by Shelley Duval – with a mass of long tight curls and a bad make-up job.
Detective Warren could be played by Eliza Coupe of Happy Endings fame. She has the beauty as well as the hard edged, obsessively focused characteristics of the lead detective.
Clovis Cordoba Seville, the totally narcissistic pain in the rear is custom-made for Angela Kinsey of The Office, who can be brilliantly self-involved as well as somewhat acerbic. A slightly younger Shelly Long would have been the perfect fit for Clovis, however she lacks the diminutive stature required.
And finally, Peg and Babs. Peg’s role could easily be handled by Better Midler, or Sherri Shepherd. That no nonsense “don’t get in my way and I’ll fix this” attitude they both exude would enable either to play Peg to perfection! Cathy Najimy as the consummate support person would serve well in the role of Babs as she quietly labors to support and sometimes correct Peg’s continual well-meaning meddling. Debra Monk, Sherri Shepherd’s co-star in the Evanovich film One For The Money might also make an excellent, laid back, Babs.
5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A comedic romp through murder, mayhem and menopause that may change your viewpoint of menopausal women forever!
6: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
My book will be published by WriteLife, http://www.writelife.com/. They published the first Donna Leigh Mystery: Is It Still Murder Even If She Was A Bitch?.
7: How long did it take you to write the first draft?
Although the first draft of the premier Donna Leigh mystery took only three months to write, the second in the series took considerably longer – probably about a year all told. There are a few reasons why the second book took as long as it did. The first and most compelling reason is that I had to stop writing when book number one came back to me for edits. All systems were ‘go’ on book number one and nothing stood in the way of getting it finalized for publication.
The second reason had more to do with self-confidence. I wasn’t positive my first book would actually get published until the eleventh hour. On some level I feared my publisher coming back to me saying they’d changed their minds and it had been shelved. It was hard to motivate myself to finish that second book until I knew the first one was really happening!
The third reason my second book took so much longer than the first was that I genuinely enjoyed the writing process itself and I wanted to prolong the pleasure. I know I could have finished the second book and begun the third – but I really wanted to see that first book in print before embarking on a third.
8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
A lot of cozy mysteries are kind of sloppy and loose with the facts. They don’t try to create realistic characters that are outrageous – they go all the way to ridiculous.
Phyllis Richman has published The Washington Post Dining Guides and she also has a food-related series of cozy murder mysteries such as: The Butter Did It, Murder On The Gravy Train and Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Ham? Phyllis’ books are sophisticated yet funny and compelling. They portray a protagonist who’s cool, smart and edgy even though she’s closer to menopause than her coming out party.
9: Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Authors like Phyllis Richman, Janet Evanovich, JK Rowling, Agatha Christie and Pat Cornwall were an absolute inspiration to me. They all share a gift of engaging the reader and giving them an experience that transcends the simple story in some way. Often it’s a lesson in humankind – sometimes it’s about how to relax and not take oneself too seriously.
10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
The Donna Leigh Mysteries are all about not taking others at face value and realizing that things are often different from how they appear. Some of the recurring themes are: older women really can be cool, women who aren’t skinny can be chic and desirable, living in Omaha is something many people choose to do, very capable people are not perfect, and intensely self-involved people do function at some level – just not the level they credit themselves for achieving.
The books are mysteries on multiple levels. Yes, people are murdered and those murders must be solved; but the characters and how and why they function are often mysteries in and of themselves since virtually any genuine account of people interacting often proves to be pretty strange - if we’re to be totally honest with ourselves.
Donna Leigh Mysteries are designed to make you laugh and take your mind off your troubles for a bit by illustrating the value of taking ourselves less seriously and laughing at ourselves once in awhile. Thanks for reading. Your support is greatly appreciated!
Here is a list of authors who will be joining the hop for week of December 24. I hope you’ll visit their blogs next week and learn more about their books. Maybe one of them will become your new favorite author!
Causes Robin Donovan Supports
I am on the board of the Alzheimer's of the Midlands
Hearts United for Animals