Guest Post with Giveaway ~ Mrs. Jeffries Rights A Wrong by Emily Brightwell

Who dun it?

            “How on earth do you come up with your stories?” That’s the question I get asked more often than anything else.  Actually, at one point in my career, I wasn’t really sure how I did it, I just sat my butt down in front of the computer and the story seemed to flow…no, that’s actually a big fat lie.  The story only flows when the story knows where to go.  But as to the mechanics of how I do it for each and every mystery I write, I start with a question:  What do I want to say in this book?

            Now, don’t get me wrong, I know what I write and I know it’s not a philosophical tome or the great American novel, it’s entertainment pure and simple.  I write genre fiction and I love what I do…but I’ll admit I’m a tad opinionated and I have a lot to say.

            When I sat down to write “Mrs. Jeffries Rights a Wrong”, I knew I wanted to craft a story that examined hubris and arrogance; you know, that guy born with a silver spoon in his mouth who then brags to anyone who’ll stand still for ten seconds that he earned it all on his own, that it was his own brilliance that made him rich and successful.  So that was step one in my process, I decided what I wanted to say.  Then I asked myself why I wanted to say it – and that was easy.   I was sick and tired of the way the rich always think they did it on their own – when they didn’t. Study after study has shown that most wealth attainment is done via inheritance, not hard work and effort.  Mind you, some fortunes are earned by individual effort but that’s another story, not this one.

             Step two – I decide the ‘milieu’ for the crime – this isn’t just the setting, it’s a setting allied with my theme – oh, didn’t I tell you that step one is really a ‘theme’…sorry, should have mentioned that but the word seems to remind people of their sophomore English classes so I tend to avoid it.  But I’m digressing again…sorry.   The victim in “Mrs. Jeffries Rights a Wrong” is murdered in an upper class hotel and this provided the perfect background for the book.   I wanted the setting to reflect the world I wanted to play with.

            Step three – I give my characters names and the names are always meaningful – at least to me.  I sit down and have a good think and then I do a quick write up of the victim and the suspects.  I do a physical description and then, just for the fun of it, I borrow an old fashioned technique from the late, great Earle Stanley Gardner’s “Perry Mason” novels and write up a ‘cast of characters’ roster.  This is never part of the final book it’s just for me. The list is a tongue-in-cheek couple of sentences about the personality of all the major players in the story.

            Step four – I write my first ‘crime line’…this is where I sit down, decide how the murder is committed and then walk my killer through the steps he/she takes to do the evil deed.  I keep this very general.

            Step five – I start the book.  I plunge straight in and write like mad – after all, it’s a first draft and I know I’ll be making lots of changes.  The hardest part is coming up with the opening line.

            Step six – When I’m halfway through the first draft, I stop and redo the crime line.  But this crime line is very detailed…so detailed that it will be the instrument that gives me the clues that my sleuths will use to solve the mystery.

            Step seven – finish the first draft (except for the last two chapters)

            Step eight – do the second draft including the last two chapters.

            Step nine – do the third and final draft (I do this intensely, working flat out for hours at a time and keeping my head completely in the story – frankly, by the time I’m finished, I’m a bit of a zombie)

            Step ten – send the manuscript to my editor and hope that she likes it!

            Step eleven – make any changes suggested by the editor

            So for those of you who have curious about my process, this is it in a nutshell…there’s only one step left and of course, it’s the most important one.

            Step twelve – cross my fingers and hope that my readers will enjoy what I’ve written.

Guest post provided by the publisher.

Series: A Victorian Mystery (Book 35)
Publisher: Berkley (May 2, 2017)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
ISBN-10: 039958420X
ISBN-13: 978-0399584206
ASIN: B01KGZVUJS
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository

mrs-jeffries-rights-a-wrong

Mrs. Jeffries is back in the New York Times bestselling Victorian Mytery series, perfect for fans of Downton Abbey.


Thomas Mundy checks in to London’s Wrexley Hotel, but he never checks out. The maid finds him on the floor of his room, bludgeoned to death by his own walking stick. Inspector Witherspoon is soon on the case and learns Mundy had a reputation for being polite, charming, and diligent—an unlikely victim for such a violent crime.
 
But Mrs. Jeffries and the household staff uncover that Mundy was less an amiable businessman and more a duplicitous con man with enemies on both sides of the Atlantic. Now Witherspoon and his staff must determine who on their lengthy list of suspects had the motive to put Mundy in the red.
 
A Mrs. Jeffries Mystery
 
She keeps house for Inspector Witherspoon . . . and keeps him on his toes. Everyone’s awed by his Scotland Yard successes—but they don’t know about his secret weapon. No matter how messy the murder or how dirty the deed, Mrs. Jeffries’ polished detection skills are up to the task . . . proving that behind every great man there’s a woman—and that a crimesolver’s work is never done.

Thanks to the publisher I have one (1) copy of Mrs. Jeffries Rights a Wrong to give away.

Giveaway open to residents of the US only.
Giveaway ends on May 22nd


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

emilyEmily Brightwell was born in West Virginia, the middle sister to Nanette and Linda. Her family moved to Los Angeles in the early sixties, where she graduated from Pasadena High School.

After her high school years, Emily went to California State UniversityFullerton and earned a Degree in American Studies.

On a visit to England in 1975, one January morning in Leeds, Yorkshire she met the Englishman who would become her husband, Richard. They were married in May 1976 and returned to California in September 1977.

In 1988 Emily decided to try fiction writing and make a new career as a writer.

This was always a dream of hers so she began by writing romances and became a member of the Romance Writers of America. After her entry in the “unpublished authors” contest run by the Orange County chapter of the RWA, was a finalist, she was delighted, but the editor who read my manuscript was scathing in her criticism.

She was crushed for a day or so, but it hardened my resolve to continue writing. It was her very next proposal that sold to Silhouette and was published as a Special Edition under the pen name of Sarah Temple.

Emily wrote two more Special Editions for Silhouette but always wanted to write other kinds of fiction so when her agent asked if she would be interested in writing a Victorian mystery series for Prime Crime she jumped at the chance.

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Comments

  1. I have enjoyed many Mrs. Jeffries books over the years, and this one is no exception. The plot moves along fairly well, with not a lot of extraneous detail, and the author provides enough clues to make a good guess at the solution, along with Mrs. Jeffries. The author does not necessarily take us inside the character's minds, except on occasion doing so for Mrs. Jeffries, but I do not feel that this takes away from the story at all. This is not really the type of book that benefits from getting to know the characters deeply. There are some side stories within the overall plot that let us get to know some of the household staff better or provide a backstory for them, so we do come to care about the characters over time. I think that the books are well-written and intelligent. I have read many mystery series over the years, and have noticed that at times the plots begin to become stale after a while. This is certainly not the case with the Mrs. Jeffries series even though this is the 35th in the series.

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