Saturday, March 5, 2022

A Writer’s Progression by M. E. Roche

Like many writers, I had always wanted to write, but I had little idea what that meant until I finally set the goal of finishing something. Then I had the daunting task of figuring out how to set about getting published. It all began naively enough with the desire to re-create the student nurse mysteries of the 1950’s—Cherry Ames, Sue Barton, etc. I thought there would be young readers eager to read my updated versions of life as a nurse—and written by an RN! Of course, that didn’t happen. Against all warnings, I finally went with a subsidy publisher and discovered—what is now commonplace—that publishers expect writers to do much of their own promotion. Cut to the present: I eventually turned to indie publishing. Along the way I also discovered that I loved the creative process of writing, that despite the directive to outline one’s story, I loved letting my characters take me to where a story would go.

I wrote three YA novels, updating those old student nurse mysteries. During that process, I discovered that I loved my main character, Nora Brady. I wanted to bring her into adulthood and as she had worked with law enforcement, I decided to take her into that arena. To gain a better idea of what that involved, I was lucky to work with my local sheriff’s department: I did ride-alongs and volunteered with the coroner’s division in assisting with autopsies. I also took a gun safety class, qualifying me for concealed carry! Then I wrote the first of my adult Nora Brady mysteries: The South Spit Murders. Set in a small, coastal town in northern California, Nora is now a detective with the sheriff’s department and is tasked with solving the murders of three, seemingly unrelated victims found on an isolated strip of coastal land.

As I was working on subsequent manuscripts on Nora Brady, friends brought me the story of their grandfather who was accused (rightly so) and jailed for bigamy in the 1930’s. They had numerous newspaper clippings from that time, and they thought it would make a great novel. I did further research on the story, but it took me some time to decide if I could shape the story into a book; there was no murder. What would make readers want to read about this? Eventually, I did decide to write the story, and the product is Bigamy. What’s different about this story? Both wives were full participants in the plot and that the story was true—to a point. Times were different then. No TV. No Internet. No real communication between different state departments, or different states for that matter. These people had every reason to assume their goal was achievable, but they forgot one tiny factor which proved to be their downfall. I hope my readers will enjoy!

Meet:  M. E. Roche

 After focusing on the creative component of my writing for the last twenty years or so, it became my goal over these last few of those years, to focus on learning more about marketing—what to do once I had a finished product. Unlike many writers, I didn’t have to make a living at my writing—which was a good thing—but there is that desire to get the work out there to see if it resonates with others. This time around I did the usual work of taking classes, setting up a website—which I had done in years past, but to which I had not devoted sufficient time. I joined writers’ groups, attended webinars, and then set up online connections with social media and promotional sites. I had avoided exposing much of myself, but when the recent calls came out for those interested in doing a blog, I jumped at the chance to do something with a group that called itself “Writers Who Kill.” Coincidentally, I had just begun to wonder if I had some deep-seated psychological problem in that my work always had to include murder!

To learn more about my books and me, please visit my site:


Kait said...

Welcome to the blog! Bigamy sounds wonderful – well, that doesn’t sound right at all. Bigamy the book sounds wonderful. I’m looking forward to discovering the one kernel that led to the downfall.

Thank you for reminding me of those fabulous nurse books. I devoured then as a child. Some scenes still live in my memory.

Jim Jackson said...

An interesting premise and quite the hook. I remember reading about railroad men who had wives and families at each end of the line. In the end it worked about as well as separate but equal.

Susan said...

It’s always interesting to hear how authors made that trip to published books. Congrats, and I hope this trip continues.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Bigamy is a great topic. We once had a neighbor who had families in two houses in the same area.

Grace Topping said...

Congratulations, M.E. on the publication of your book. It sounds intriguing. I often wonder how bigamists can afford to support more than one family.

Shari Randall said...

Congratulations on your publication journey, M. E. Sounds like a terrific book.

KM Rockwood said...

Always a pleasure to hear about an author whose characters become so real they dictate the paths their careers and lives will take.

I remember an army buddy of a cousin who had a "back-home" family and an "on-base" family. I don't know how the finances of that could have worked out.

Debra H. Goldstein said...

What a great concept .. and your journey sounds interesting,too.