WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW!
How do you follow the rule to Write What You Know and then write a murder mystery? It's not as if I have firsthand knowledge of murder, honest, I've never committed one. What I have done is study the motives, the methods, and the psychology of murder. My resources include:
Book of Poisons by Serita Stevens and Anne Bannon
Police Procedure & Investigation by Lee Lofland
Scene of the Crime by Anne Wingate
Forensics for Dummies by D. P. Lyle
As soon as I was old enough to have a library card, I've enjoyed mysteries, Nancy Drew, Judy Bolton, Hardy Brothers, Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, Mary Higgins-Clark, and J. D. Robb, and my newest favorites Jennifer Hillier, K. J. Larsen, and Dana Stabenow.
Therefore, I definitely felt qualified to write a mystery. Murder, Madness & Love, the first book in my suspenseful / romantic trilogy is set in Anchorage, Alaska and Washington State. It features a Detective who not only loves his job, he is determined to have the white picket fence—wife and kids. The only problem he keeps falling for the wrong women, and then when he meets the right one, she's accused of murder.
Exactly what do I know about murder, romance, and Alaska? Well, without giving away too many secrets, I have been in love, I have lived in Alaska and Washington State, and as I said, I have studied murder. When I created my antagonist, I chose a person or combination of people from my life experiences. I have met some true characters—some very scary people and while none of them have murdered anyone, with the help of my resources I molded them into characters that do.
While no one will be able to read my book and say, "Hey, that's me," I did use family names for most all of my characters, except of course the most dastardly. Although I molded my characters from real people, they are combinations of several, no one is an exact copy, but one – and that will always be my secret. Many of the scenes in my book are from incidents in my own life, but which, you will just have to guess.
Therefore, to the best of my ability, I wrote a murder mystery with more than a touch of romance and while you may find it hard to believe, I wrote it based on what I know!
Murder, Madness & Love by Yolanda Renée
To be Re-released - August 19, 2013
After a gritty detective becomes involved with a beautiful widow suspected of murder, slander and obsession obstruct his quest for justice.
A killer plays cat and mouse with a young widow against the snowy backdrop of an Alaskan winter. Branded a black widow after the suspicious death of her millionaire husband, Sarah Palmer flees Seattle for Anchorage. But the peace and quiet she hoped to enjoy in her hometown is soon shattered. The killer is murdering Sarah look-alikes on the 14th of each month, taunting Sarah with a valentine of evidence.
After her experiences in Seattle, Sarah is slow to go to the police. When she finally does, she finds Detective Steven Quaid. Called on to protect the beautiful widow from a stalker intent on her destruction, Steven is convinced he can solve Michael Palmer's murder and arrest the stalker. However, crime is never simple, and before long Sarah has Steven wound up tighter than barbed wire. Is Sarah a victim or a very skilled manipulator? With a killer on the loose and a climbing body count, Steven cannot afford to hedge his bets-or his life.
Thank you, David, for allowing me to share a few of my secrets.
Murder, Madness & Love the first book in the trilogy was self-published in 2008, but is scheduled for re-release by Curiosity Quills Press on August 5, 2013.
Curiosity Quills Press has scheduled the second book in the trilogy, Memories of Murder for release on September 5, 2013.