Guest Post with Giveaway ~ A Shattering Crime by Jennifer McAndrews


A Certain Kind of Writer

In the writing world theres a bit of a divide between those who consider themselves plotters and those who consider themselves pantsers. Simply put, its those who take the time to plot out the story in varying degrees of detail before the actual writing begins on one side and those who write by the seat of the pants going on a wild unpredictable ride from Once upon a time to the end on the other. Authors tend to fall into one or the other category. But at this years Left Coast Crime convention, the fabulous Jenn McKinlay introduced us all to another category: the faker.

The minute I heard the definition I had to fight the urge to jump onto the nearest table and shout Im a faker! In retrospect that may have been a bit painful and humiliating given my height plus the height of the table plus the low ceiling. So it was a good thing I kept my glee to myself. But more than being happy to learn there is a term for how I operate, I was relieved to learn I am not alone. See, the faker is the person who takes the time to do all the work of creating a plotcharacter studies, location notes, index cards of random knowledgethen sits down to write and completely ignores the entire thing. 

In this regard I can confidently state that I totally faked A Shattering Crime, the latest in my stained glass mystery series. Each of the books takes place in the small town of Wenwood, NY, a town trying to pull itself out of its rundown past to once again become a thriving, desirable destination. As Shattering opens, the main character Georgia Kelly is attending a ground breaking for a new shopping promenade along the riverfront. According to the outline I put together, that first shovel full of dirt cast aside was going to expose a dead body which, now that I think on it, reminds me a lot of an opening sequence of TVs Bones. Still, that was the plan. I cant tell you the rest of the plan because I may still need that dead body. But suffice to say, the notation of an excavator at the ground-breaking is the last bit of text spawned from the outline for Shattering. Once that paragraph is closed, the rest of the story is all faked. Theres a party tent where I never envisioned one, a dead political activist I only just met, and a smattering of poisoned pastry that takes the story into a direction I had never imagined.

Now, I feel the need to point out that I wasnt always a faker. The first book in the series, Ill-Gotten Panes, was closer to a pantsed novel than a truly plotted one. I had a good sense of who killed the hardware store owner and how Georgia would come to be friends with Carrie and Diana, but the rest was discovered as I wrote. Conversely, Death Under Glass, the second book, was carefully plottedcomplete with index cards of random knowledge and post it notes with legal facts. Whether because I had already taken my cast of characters through one book and thus knew them well or because all the up-front work gave me a good grasp of my story, I found a strange sort of comfort in working from an outline, a sense of confidence. So it was natural for me to plan on repeating that experience in writing A Shattering Crime. But thats not even close to what happened.

How does the saying go? Man plans and God laughs? Yeah, that one probably pertains to big life issues, but turns out its equally true for me and writing. Which, apparently, makes me a faker. Oh, sure, I could probably call myself a plotter or a pantser and be equally correct. But theres something about being able to (theoretically) stand up and shout Im a faker! that is oddly satisfying. It takes the pressure off. It reflects how I sometimes truly feel. And most of all it makes me laugh.

In the end I suppose they're all just labels. The important thing is the ability to take a story from beginning to end. The method you use to take the journey is no better or worse than the method someone else chooses as long as you take the journey. But for me, a little tabletop fist pump and laughter may just be the best way to go.

Guest post provided by the publisher.

post-divider rightshatteringSeries: A Stained-Glass Mystery (Book 3)
Publisher: Berkley (June 7, 2016)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
ISBN-10: 0425267970
ISBN-13: 978-0425267974
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository


It’s death by Danish in the newest mystery from the national bestselling author of Death Under Glass, featuring stained-glass enthusiast and amateur sleuth Georgia Kelly.

Life in Wenwood, New York, sparkles for Georgia, but for one of her neighbors, it’s about to lose its luster…
Georgia’s day-to-day routine finally seems to be lining up. Stained-glass projects in the morning, clerical work for a law office in the afternoon, and waitressing in the evening. Best of all she gets to spend relaxing Sundays with her new boyfriend. But that comfortable pattern is about to be broken.
First Georgia’s cat goes into heat and literally disturbs the peace. Then Georgia’s mother drops in for a visit with her new husband in tow. But everything falls to pieces after a local activist is found dead from a poisoned danish. Authorities quickly put the heat on Rozelle, owner of the local bakery, but no one in town believes Rozelle capable of murder. Now it’s up to Georgia to crack the case and foil the real killer’s plans before the tranquility of Wenwood is shattered.

post-divider leftThanks to the publisher I have one (1) copy of A Shattering Crime to give away.

Giveaway open to residents of the US only.
Giveaway ends on July 2nd



a Rafflecopter giveaway



Winner will have 48 hours, from the time of notification to confirm their win or another winner will be chosen.

post-divider right

jenniferJennifer McAndrews has been writing since the seventh grade and totally refuses to divulge how many years have passed since then.

After serving on the newspaper and dabbling in specatularly bad poetry during high school, she took creative writing classes at Nassau Community College and studied the art of the essay under the tutelage of the incomparable June Jordan while at SUNY Stony Brook. In her professional life, Jennifer has worked in legal, medical, and scientific publishing, but is dedicated to fiction in her private life. She lives in the greater New York Metro area with three dogs, four cats, kids, husband, and dumbo rat called Owen.
Jennifer is currently at work on the next book in her Stained Glass Mystery series as well as the follow-up to Deadly Farce.
Stained Glass Mysteries




Facebook Twitter Email Linkedin Reddit Tumblr Digg Stumbleupon Delicious Pinterest


  1. I didn't realize there were three categories to writing, but I want to submit a fourth: I start out being a plotter—doing all the research, having an outline (even if only in my head), I know where I want the story to go and what I want my characters to do—but then partway through they surprise me by taking the story in an entirely different direction, and the next thing you know I've gone off on 30 different tangents, that will hopefully all lead back to the original plotline and ideas, but somehow that's not what usually happens.  So what is this fourth category called?  Tangential writing?  ADD of the keyboard?  Who knows, but whatever it is, I seem to be an expert at it. 😛

  2. Gloria Walshver says:

    Love the book cover cats and dogs are my favorite animals thank you.

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge

Social links powered by Ecreative Internet Marketing