My son posted a comment on Facebook recently that he wondered what people would think of him if all they knew about him was the browsing history from his computer. The same is doubly true for any writer of mystery or suspense. If anyone I know dies under suspicious circumstances, there is a possibility my computer could make me look like a potential suspect.
Luckily, I have a number of hard copy resources I can use for some of my research. The Writer’s Digest Howdunit Series might be out of print now (though I can still find them on Amazon) but the volumes I have on my shelf not only serve for research purposes, but sometimes for inspiration.
For instance, my imagination starts pumping when I read passages like this from the book “Deadly Doses: a writer’s guide to poisons.”
First used in 1952, Thorazine was found effective in psychotic disorders and still is one of the most common psychiatric drugs available.
Patients who are receiving an overdose often have extrapyramidal symptoms such as unsteady gait, slobbering, stuttering, rigid back muscles, restlessness, contraction of the face and neck muscles, and hand tremors.
So if, in one of my future books, you read about a character who is trembling, stumbling, drooling and stuttering like a zombie with a facial tic, you’ll know exactly what the poor devil has been poisoned with.
I am so disappointed that I am not yet finished with my mystery novel A Bull By The Horns. I fully intended to have it published by now, but with a snag I’ve come up against in the plot, there is a good chance I won’t even have it finished until early 2015. At least I have the comfort of knowing that I’m not the only writer who’s ever had to slog through the hard parts of this “job” that I love.
“Nothing you write, if you hope to be any good, will ever come out as you first hoped.”
American dramatist and screenwriter
“When I stepped from hard manual work to writing, I just stepped from one kind of hard work to another.”
Irish dramatist and memoirist.
I can’t remember if I mentioned this before, but if I did, it bears repeating. My first Deb Donahue novel, Through the Dark, was originally only order-able in Germany and the United Kingdom. This is because the publisher is PersonalNOVEL, a German/UK based company which sells novels you can personalize to include yourself and people you know. Yes, that’s right, you can buy a novel from them but have the main characters’ names and descriptions updated to whomever you would like.
Well, they now are able to ship to several more countries, including the United States, where most of my friends, family and fans are, so–Yay! Visit their website and check them out, then star in your very own mystery novel!
A young woman inherits her grandmother’s farm and, in need of a change, quits her high-powered job as a weather anchor to move out to the country. She gets more than she bargained for when her neighbor, Harlan Hunter, tries to persuade her to sell the farm. As if the pressure from Harlan werent enough, she is also battling nyctophobia fear of darkness and keeps seeing a mysterious stranger walking in the woods behind her house. With her faithful dog at her side, she decides to solve the mystery of why Hunter is so interested in the property, triumph over her fears, and discover who the mysterious man is.
This year I hope to establish a community of small dog owners in my area who would love an opportunity to get our dogs together to play with each other. My sweetheart, Sophie, used to love playing with her favorite friends when we lived in the big city, but in this small area people don’t seem to understand the benefits, both to dog and owner, of getting your dogs together to just simply play with one another.
Last year, the Rotary Park opened up a brand new park just outside of town that includes not only a fenced-in dog park, but a separate fenced-in area just for small dogs. I’m pushing hard on Facebook and local community sites to try to stir up interest in regular gatherings.
Here’s a picture of the postcards I made up to pass out when I see people with small dogs. I hope they attract some attention. If you want to join the Facebook group to see how I do, or just to share pictures and stories about your dog, just find us at Sophie Loves Playtime.