Not to show my age, but over 30 years ago, after writing short stories for kindergarten classes and writing freelance human interest stories for the local newspapers, I decided to try my hand at writing a novel. I had always been a reader and fan of mystery novels but it was after reading A is for Alibi, by Sue Grafton and a personal experience that left me filled with anger that I decided to write a murder mystery book.
As I was percolating the idea of writing this book and trying to figure out how I could make the amateur sleuth credible, I happened to be folding clothes and watching a talk show. On the show was a woman who decided to get to the bottom of her husbands activities. She talked to a Private Investigator and learned all the ways she, a regular housewife, could be her own P.I. She didn't have the money to pay one, but this one was willing to give her suggestions.
After the experience she wrote a book, "How to be Your Own Detective". I had an aha moment. The next time I was in a book store I purchased the book- this was before Amazon and one click! Using that book, I had a single mom, freelance photographer, use that book to discover who killed the woman her ex-husband was being framed for killing.
|Research for the Shandra book I'm working on now.|
And the dead woman? Was the person who had filled me with anger. After writing the first book, I went ahead and wrote a second one, and after that, the anger I felt toward the person was gone. It took two books to kill off the person I had been betrayed by, but the murder on the pages of a manuscript worked.
However, the books didn't see the light of day. After a bad round with, what I now know as an unscrupulous agent, I turned to writing romance.
But the desire to write murder mystery never left. I am in my happy place now! I have two mystery series that are being well received by readers, and I enjoy coming up with the unique murders and twisted endings. For that reason I am taking a hiatus from writing romance.
I know this blog is titled Smart Girls Read Romance. And if you don't want to hear about mystery books, let me know in the comments and I'll come up with other topics to write about.
Until I hear differently, you will be seeing posts on here about my research for my mystery books and things that I have been doing for my writing.
Happy 2020 everyone!
Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 43 novels, 8 novellas, and numerous anthologies of murder mystery and western romance. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Paty and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. Riding horses and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.
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