Guest Post with Giveaway ~ Wrong Side Of The Paw by Laurie Cass

How People I Know Get Into My Books

The short answer? They don’t.

The longer answer? They don’t. Well, not really.

The complete answer is a bit complicated, but here goes. Back in the day, lo these many years ago, before I was published, before I’d submitted a single query letter to an agent, before I’d started writing any book at all, I realized that I had no clue how to write.

I desperately wanted to be a writer, and made a solemn vow to become a published author, but I had absolutely no idea how to, you know, actually do it.

So I did what a lot of people do:  I started reading. Not the mystery that I longed to write—though I did that, too—but books about writing. Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, Robert Ray’s The Weekend Novelist, Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, and numerous others that I could name if I got out of this comfortable chair and walked all the way over to the bookcase. I read all that advice—inhaled it—and when I sat down to put pencil to paper, I still had no clue what I was doing.

Thus started my pre-published era of writing. This was when I wrote the 6.3 books that are now languishing in the deep dark corners of my computer. This was when I joined the Guppies, an online chapter of Sisters in Crime. This was when I joined a local writers group. This was when I started hearing people say things like, “That guy who fired me, yeah, I put him in my first book as the murder victim. It was cathartic,” and “In one of my books I made the mean girl in high school into a waitress in a run-down diner. It felt great.”

I thought about all that, but when I finally got brave enough to start writing my own stuff, I never got around to thinking about inserting people I know into my books. My characters tend to develop first as a skeletal role—best friend, neighbor, aunt, coworker, whatever—and then I figure out what personality would best fit the story. Shoving someone I know into one of those roles isn’t likely to fit. If I dropped a friend into a book, she would walk and talk like my friend, and that could drive the entire thing in a direction I didn’t intend.

That said, there have been times when I’ve used bits of people, but not so much personalities as physical attributes. It works like this. I’ll be writing a scene and a new characters walks in. “Huh,” I’ll think, pausing in my typing and staring off into space. “What does he look like? Hmm…” (I need to have some idea, even if it doesn’t get on the page.) “Let’s see…how about that summer intern I worked with 15 years ago? Don’t remember his name, but I remember what he looked like. Sort of. That’ll work.” And I’m on my way.

So that teeshirt you might have seen; “Be nice to me or I’ll put you in my novel”? With me, you don’t have to worry about that happening.

Not really, anyway.

Guest post provided by the publisher.

Series: A Bookmobile Cat Mystery (Book 6)
Publisher: Berkley (July 25, 2017)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
ISBN-10: 0451476565
ISBN-13: 978-0451476562
ASIN: B01N8OIZDF
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository

wrong-side-of-the-paw

As Laurie Cass continues the national bestselling Bookmobile Cat mystery series, librarian Minnie Hamilton is happy to take her bookmobile for a spin with her rescue cat, Eddie—but her tenacious tabby always seems to find trouble…

As the bookmobile rolls along the hills of Chilson, Michigan, Minnie and Eddie spread good cheer and good reads. But when her faithful feline finds his way into the middle of a murder, Minnie is there, like any good librarian, to check it out.
 
Eddie turns a routine bookmobile stop into anything but when he makes a quick escape and hops into a pickup truck…with a dead body in the flatbed. The friendly local lawyer who was driving the pickup falls under suspicion. But Minnie and Eddie think there's more to this case than meets the eye, and the dynamic duo sets out to leave no page unturned.

Thanks to the publisher I have one (1) copy of Wrong Side of the Paw (A Bookmobile Cat Mystery) to give away.

Giveaway open to residents of the US only.
Giveaway ends on September 9th

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

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

lauraPseudonym for Laura Alden.

I was one of those kids who was always being told to “Get your nose out of that book and go outside.” So I did. Book in hand, I’d climb the maple tree next to the garage and spend hours among the rustling leaves and swaying branches. Sadly, those idyllic years didn’t last long.

In the part of Michigan where I grew up, the prime agricultural products are blueberries and Christmas trees. Back in those days, kids could work in the fields picking berries at age 12, so the day after I turned 12, off I was sent.

The main thing I learned from those summers was that sitting in a classroom isn’t so bad compared to standing in the blazing sun for eight hours. The other thing I learned was that while Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden were fun, there was a whole world out there filled with books by authors such as Dick Francis, Josephine Tey, Ellis Peters, and John D. MacDonald.

I stated writing seriously in the late nineties. After a number of years in management, I felt the need to move on and took a job with fewer responsibilities. A month later, I was dead bored. I desperately needed something to wake up my brain; what could be better than writing? I started reading a lot of books on writing and happened across a particular sentence: “What’s it going to be, reasons or results?”

The phrase practically stuck me in the eye. I printed it out, framed it, and put it next to my computer. “Reasons or results?” At the end of my life, was I going to have a pile of reasons for not having done what I really wanted to do but was scared I couldn’t? Or was I going to sit down and write a book? Once I started looking at it that way, the decision was easy. A short 13 years later, my first book (Murder at the PTA, published under the pen name of Laura Alden) was published.

Except for a year in Connecticut, I have always lived in Michigan. Thanks to my maternal grandparents, my husband and I, Eddie, and Sinii, our six-pound killer cat, have the great good fortune to live on a lake in northern lower Michigan. We spend summers entertaining weekend guests and winters guessing which day the lake is going to freeze over.

When I’m not writing, I’m working at my day job, reading, yanking weeds out of the garden, or doing some variety of skiing. I also play the piano and violin and dabble in photography, but most of the time, almost all of the time, what I really want to do is write.

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Comments

  1. Della Williamson says:

    Read the first one in the series and it was fantastic! Would love to read another in the series. So hoping

  2. I'd like to win it

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