It’s the end of November as I write this, and I had hoped to have my fifth and final book in the Crystal Coast Case Series complete and ready to publish next month, but my muse had different ideas. The fifth book is outlined and even started, but I had another, different project, begun a few years ago clamoring for my attention. Rather than force myself to write the book I needed to write, I chose to let the stories inside to make that decision for me.
This other, more insistent book, a historical mystery, started as eleven pages that were written over a period of maybe three days — without an outline, without character studies, without research — and then stuck in a drawer for a while. How very unlike me!
I went on to complete book four of the Crystal Coast Case Series, “Sunsets, Scripts, and Murder,” and released it in September of last year. Outlined, researched, edited, formatted, published. Done and dusted.
Then in October, I went to Italy for a much-anticipated writing retreat. A week in the rolling hills of Tuscany at a villa with four-course, chef-cooked meals. I couldn’t be further from the beaches of the Crystal Coast of North Carolina, so I chose to pick up that eleven-page historical mystery and see where it led. By the end of the week, my fellow writers were hooked on my story, and I was bewildered. How was I doing this?
When I returned home to the realities of everyday life, that bewilderment combined with my very real responsibilities and turned into a period of burnout. I couldn’t write anything. This had happened to me once before, and I recognized that I just needed time. It was uncomfortable, I was unhappy, but I wasn’t going to add more stress to the situation by creating arbitrary goals to get back to my work.
With some outside help and coaching, I gradually returned to my story, and continued to write intuitively. No one was more surprised than me. My entire process was different, but the story was appearing before me on the blank page. I only had to follow its lead and put it into words.
Now my draft is done, and my critique partners, my beloved writing circle, tell me it’s the best book I’ve written. And it isn’t even near its final form yet.
In April, I go to Germany, in part to do some on-the-ground research for this historical mystery, and I know it may be some months before this book is complete. But I’m truly excited about it, and I can’t wait to share it with the world.
In the meantime, I’ll get back to the series finale my readers have been eagerly anticipating. If you’d like to get caught up on this series, so that you’ll be ready for book five when it comes out, please click on the accompanying links.
A dead actress. A big secret. And Allie Fox is on the case.
Tired of couch-surfing with friends, PI Allie Fox heads to the beach on an overcast, off-season day to do some house hunting.
But when she stumbles onto a dead body in an empty rental, she’s plunged straight into another case of foul play.
Up and coming actor Aisha Carter’s stay in Emerald Isle had been a secret, and only a select few knew she was here. When her agent hires Allie to investigate, she finds the actor was keeping everyone in the dark, and hiding much more than her whereabouts.
As she digs deeper into Aisha’s past, nothing seems to add up. Then Allie uncovers a shocking clue that puts everyone she loves on the killer’s list.
Sunsets, Scripts, and Murder continues the story of the Crystal Coast Case series. If you like Melinda Leigh, Lisa Gray, or Claire McGowan, you’ll love A. M. Ialacci’s gripping story of bright lights, big secrets, and murder.
Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09H5JMS84
Growing up on a steady diet of Murder She Wrote and Nancy Drew, it wasn’t until Anna left her twenty-year teaching career that she realized she might be able to write her own mystery. Single mom to a young man on the autism spectrum, and living in a multigenerational household, she loves the beach, reading Scandinavian crime fiction, and binging on Netflix. Anna is the winner of the Occasions, Just Write Writing Contest 2018, and a runner up in the Writer’s Domain One Sentence Story Contest 2018.