Less than a week ago I finally got my sixth book in my Catherine Jewell Mystery series published and up on Amazon both as a print book and an e-book. Carnations for Cornelia solves the mystery of who killed a young girl whose skeleton was found in an Underground Railroad tunnel in my fifth book, Murder in the Corn Maze. Also, there is a new murder Father O’Shawnessy discovers in Our Lady of the Roses church one evening – a body murdered like the man in P.D. James’ Death in Holy Orders. Ironically, The Portage Falls Library book club he belongs to had just read and discussed the book that evening.
Because I write in multiple POV’s not only Catherine’s and the police chief John’s POVs, but also police officers Tony Montecalvo’s and Robin Harper’s POVs come into play. Tony is upset because his abusive father has returned after being gone over twenty years, and Robin worries about what is bothering Tony when he refuses to discuss why he’s brooding.
And now I’m ready to start my new book. Since I am going by months starting in June with my first one, this one will be in December so poinsettias will be the flower on the cover. As always, my step-granddaughter came up with another beautiful cover for the last one so I’m sure she’ll do equally well with the next one, but for now I have no idea what the title will be.
I’ve been plotting and thinking of what this next book will be for weeks now. Obviously, since it’s a December book there will be a Christmas theme. I have some of the events going on already perking in my mind. I’ve been jotting down notes, and coming up with some new characters, also. My biggest hang-up was the method of murder I wanted to use. I thought of one idea, but my sister shot it down. She suggested having the victim bundled up in one of those Christmas tree bundling machines would be better. I didn’t like that, but I still liked the idea I had if it would be viable. So on Sunday morning as I was starting out on my morning walk with Maggie, my son Joe called out to me from his back deck. I went over to talk to him and asked if the murder I was plotting could be committed that way, and he said it could be. He also gave me some ways it could be accomplished. This is my son who willingly posed as a dead body for my first book albeit without the garden fork in his back. Later that afternoon I asked my oldest grandson what he thought of the idea. He laughed. He thinks it’s funny I guess that his little, old, white-haired grandma plots murders. Anyway, he also agreed my idea would work.
My murder won’t occur for some way into the book. I read the questions asked of Ramona DeFelice Long from Guppies (a chapter of Sisters in Crime) in a recent question and answer session on the Guppy digests, and her answers to those questions. She is a remarkable editor and has edited all three of the Guppy Anthologies. The one thing that really resonated with me was there should be someone who mourns the death of the victims. I’ve tended to make my victims not very nice, in fact usually downright nasty, although some times, especially in this last book, I had mourners for both victims. So this time in book seven there will be many mourners for this latest victim of mine. Strange as it may seem, I grieve more for my murderers than for the victim. I feel horrible that they felt murder was their only way out of a situation. Not that I condone what they did, of course, but I feel sorry for those who loved the murderer and are grieving for him or her. Of course, that’s not true with every one of my books, but mostly it is. So far I have no idea who my murderer will be, although I have some ideas, but I do know my victim – that is unless I change my mind.
Of course, I will be adding new characters, and that is something I find really enjoyable. One of them is going to be a man who raises and sells Christmas trees. Murderer? Victim? Or merely a suspect? I know but you’ll have to read it to find out. And, of course, I also love bringing back familiar characters. Unfortunately, there are too many characters that both I and many of my readers like so some have been resting for a while. However, I plan on bringing back some of those earlier well-loved characters for this book again. Just who I’ll bring back, and who will be still resting off the page, I haven’t decided yet. Until I start writing and the characters demand to be heard, I won’t know.
If you’re a writer, what characters do you have a hard time getting rid of?
If you’re a reader, what characters would you like to see more of in some of the books you’ve read?