At the direction of my good friend, Judith Cassis, who is a professional writer and marketer, I have just finished three eBooks of about 10,000 words on the topic of writing your first mystery.
Have I revealed secrets known only to a few bestselling crime novelists? Hardly. The only secret that I could disclose to aspiring mystery authors is that a 300-page novel requires the sustained ability to apply seat of pants to chair for long periods of time with fingers on the keyboard. But I suspect you already know that.
The first: Writing Your First Mystery is an overview of the basic structure of a whodunit or thriller. The second: Plotting Your First Mystery, is the elements of plotting, obviously enough. And the third: Creating Killer Characters: Writing Your First Mystery is a digest of characterization techniques.
Has this been done before? Oh my, yes. And done well, I might add. I’ve written it in my own words, carved it according to my special flair, but I have no illusions that these are the definitive statement on writing your first mystery. But they’re damned good for the beginner.
Why do it then? First of all, I didn’t intend to write three eBooks. I wasn’t sure I had that much to say. However, in the process of writing four unpublishable novels, five successful whodunits, and many short stories, I have learned something.
I’ve learned something about the rules of mystery genre writing and deep structure of a satisfying crime novel. I’ve learned a great deal about what goes on behind the blue curtain of law enforcement, especially in Santa Monica. I’ve learned that you can’t be a shy person who lives in a remote California village and sell the crime novels you’re proud of without some marketing edge.
So I am advised by my savvy marketing friend to make the first available for free and box up the other two in the sets that are becoming popular. This is not an announcement that they’re available. I just sent the third one to the graphic artist this morning.
These eBooks are a trial. We’ll see what happens. I’ll keep you posted.
Here is the Amazon link to my books as of 2014. Expect A Very Private High School late 2014.