Guest Blogger- Susan Cory

How I come up with the plots for my amateur sleuth mystery series.

Have you ever wondered what could happen if you didn’t totally wipe your hard drive before getting rid of your old computer? Or what could happen if any of the blank checks sent by credit cards fell into the wrong hands?

I live in a close-knit community in Cambridge, Ma. Most of us know Joe, our long-time mail deliverer, and he knows us. So when Joe was instructed to forward a certain household’s mail to an address in a neighboring town, he knew that the family hadn’t moved. He alerted the police who discovered a ring of con artists who were diverting people’s mail in order to steal their identities and checks.

While this scam was coming to light, I was busy trying to figure out how to get rid of my old computer.  Some computer stores and charities advertise that they’ll remove your personal information before recycling your old equipment, but what if one of their employees is less than honest?

These two ideas came together to suggest a plot for my third book in the Iris Reid mystery series, DOPPELGANGER. A family of grifters uses Iris Reid’s stolen identity to commit a crime. While stripping Iris’ data off of her old computer, Rosica Bakalov, notices her own striking resemblance to this new “mark”. She becomes fascinated with Iris and starts to stalk her. Meanwhile, Iris, out on bail, is desperate to pick up her doppellgänger’s trail before her case goes to trial.

Kirkus reviews says: “The plot becomes more unnerving as it progresses, and an impressive twist leads to a lengthy final act featuring Rosica (the Doppelgänger) at her most ferocious…Cory’s concise prose establishes a consistent pace that never wavers, and even her descriptions of architecture are exhilarating. An engagingly nerve-wracking tale with gradually escalating suspense.”

I’d love to know how YOU get rid of your old computers, and also, what you think of DOPPELGANGER.

By the way, my husband smashed my hard drive with a hammer before I took my last computer to be recycled. I wasn’t taking any chances…

Let me know on my author’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/authorsusancory

or check out my author’s website: http://www.susancory.com/

CONUNDRUM, FACADE and DOPPELGANGER are all available here:https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075V2LWNX/

Susan Cory is the author of the Iris Reid mystery series of Conundrum, Façade and Doppelgänger. She is a member of Sisters in Crime National, a local member of Sisters in Crime New England, and a regular attendee at Crime Bake. Like her sleuth, she is a residential architect practicing out of her turreted office in Cambridge. Also, like Iris Reid, she has a brown belt in karate. She lives in Cambridge with her architect husband and a bossy mutt.

Why I Write Mysteries by Saralyn Richard

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I love reading and writing in all genres. I’ve taught creative writing to high schoolers and adults, and I’ve rarely met a story or a writer that I didn’t enjoy getting to know, but when it comes to writing novels of my own, I choose to write mysteries. I could tell you the reasons have to do with suspense and tension, tight plots, clues, character motivations, themes of good vs. evil, or other such elements, but the truth is simpler.

I love mysteries, because in no other genre is the connection between reader and writer so vivid. When an author lays out a mystery, she is ever-mindful of the reader. She unfolds the crime and investigation clue by clue, scene by scene, in a sometimes tortuous path toward solution. She hopes that the reader is traveling along the path, enjoying the adventure every step of the way. If she plants a clue in one chapter, will the thoughtful reader recall it in a subsequent chapter? Will the red herrings be identified as such? The author hopes to strike the perfect balance between foreshadowing and surprise, so the reader is captivated and delighted.

Every single time a reader responds to one of my books, I feel a new thrill, as if seeing the story through new eyes creates a wholly new perspective, one that I may never have considered before. A mystery is an invitation to the reader to come along with the detective, to match wits with the criminal, to bring his own clever ideas to bear upon solving the puzzle. The synergy created by the author-reader partnership is intellectually and emotionally stimulating and rewarding.

In MURDER IN THE ONE PERCENT, a group of the country’s wealthiest and most powerful elite gather for a birthday party in the lush, peaceful Brandywine Valley of Pennsylvania. When one of them is killed, and almost everyone has a motive, young Detective Oliver Parrott realizes this will be the case to challenge his intellect and to test his moral compass. Figuring out who comes to the party with murder in his heart and poison in his pocket becomes an active mental exercise for the reader. As the author, I am literally one step ahead of the reader, leading him by the hand, with an enigmatic smile on my face.

Book Blurb:

Final cover w quoteSomeone comes to the party with murder in their heart and poison in their pocket…

A powerful and rich playboy, a rare but naturally occurring poison, a newly divorced woman with an axe to grind, and pressure from the former President of the US—these are just a few of the challenges that African-American Detective Oliver Parrott faces when he answers a routine call for back-up and discovers someone died at a country estate the morning after an elaborate birthday party. When Parrott learns the deceased is the wealthy former US Secretary of the Treasury and just about everyone at the party had a motive to kill him, he realizes this will be the investigation to make—or break—his career.

Buy Links:

https://www.amazon.com/Murder-One-Percent-Saralyn-Richard/dp/1626947716/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1517072668&sr=8-2&keywords=murder+in+the+one+percent

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/murder-in-the-one-percent-saralyn-richard/1127890200?ean=9781626947719

https://black-opal-books.myshopify.com/products/murder-in-the-one-percent

http://www.saralynrichard.com/bookstore/ 

Author Bio:

Galveston Author Saralyn RichardAward-winning mystery and children’s book author, Saralyn Richard, is a writer who teaches on the side. Her children’s picture book, Naughty Nana, has reached thousands of children worldwide.

Murder in the One Percent, ©2018 Black Opal Books, pulls back the curtain on the privileged and powerful rich. Set on a gentleman’s farm in Pennsylvania and in the tony areas of New York, the book introduces Detective Oliver Parrott, who matches wits with the country’s elite.

A member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America, Saralyn has  completed the sequel to Murder in the One Percent, entitled A Palette for Murder. Her standalone mystery, A Murder of Principal, will be released soon. Her website is www.saralynrichard.com. 

Social Media Links:

My author’s website is http://www.saralynrichard.com. https://www.facebook.com/saralyn.richard,

https://www.twitter.com/SaralynRichard,

https://www.linkedin.com/in/saralyn-richard-b06b6355/,

https://www.pinterest.com/saralynrichard/,

https://www.instagram.com/naughty_nana_sheepdog/ and https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7338961.Saralyn_Richard.

I am available to meet with book clubs and organization members. Contact me at saralyn@saralynrichard.com.

How Crime Novelists Come Up with Ideas by Richard Armstrong

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Where do writers come up with the ideas for crime and mystery novels?  It’s a bit of mystery itself, isn’t it!  I’m sure for some writers the crime section of the local newspaper is a rich source of inspiration.  Others may turn to history books and classical literature (like Macbeth) for ideas.  I even had an idea for a mystery novel come to me in a dream not long ago.  Unfortunately, the dream only gave me the title; I have to work out the rest myself.

It just so happens, however, that I remember the exact time and place when I got the idea for my new caper novel, THE DON CON.   My wife and I were in Rockport, Maine at a restaurant called “Shepherd’s Pie,” and we were having dinner with an old friend.  You may know him.  His name is Jonathan Frakes and he played Commander William T. Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation.  I’ve known Jonathan for more than 40 years when we acted in a play together.

I asked Jonathan what he was doing nowadays and he told me he was directing a lot of network TV shows.  He also said that one of his sources of income was going to Star Trek conventions and signing autographs for money.  He regaled us with many funny stories about his experiences at these so-called “cons.”   At one of them, for example, he was annoyed to find a booth on the convention floor where they were selling Star Trek action figures.  A sign on the table said:

            “Buy any three action figures, and get one Commander Riker FREE!”

But the part of Jonathan’s story that really stuck with me was how much cash he was bringing home.   At $35 a pop for an autograph (more if you wanted a picture), Jonathan was leaving these conventions with his pockets, shirts, even his shoes stuffed with cash.  That’s when the idea occurred to me:

What if someone tried to steal all that money?

Not long afterwards, I began writing THE DON CON.  It’s a comedy thriller that tells the story of a washed-up actor who hit the high watermark of his career when he played a bit part as a gangster on The Sopranos.  Now he makes a living signing autographs at fan conventions.  One day, there’s a real gangster in his autograph line and he makes the actor an offer he can’t refuse: “You’re going to help me rob the celebrities at the next fan convention—or else.”

Jonathan was kind enough to write a blurb for THE DON CON, which will appear on the front cover when it’s released by Linden/Pace on April 1st.  Jonathan also invited me to join him at a small private dinner (during the Louisville “Supercon”) with William Shatner, Henry Winkler, and LeVar Burton.  Meeting Captain Kirk, Kunta Kinte, and The Fonz was like hitting the trifecta of iconic television stars, and it gave me some insight into what fan conventions are like from the celebrities’ point of view.

So how do mystery and crime writers come up with ideas for their novels?  The answer is to always ask yourself the “What if …” question.

But after that, it’s mostly a matter of sheer, dumb luck!

The Mafia comes to Comic-Con in a fast-paced suspense caper
The Don Con CoverJoey Volpe hit the high watermark of his acting career when he played a small role as a mobster on The Sopranos. If you blinked, you missed it.
But now he’s unemployed, broke, and forced to make a living by signing autographs at pop-culture fan conventions, or “Fan-Cons,” for $35 a pop. His lack of income, along with his chronic womanizing, has put his marriage at risk, too.
Joey’s life gets even worse when real mobster Tony Rosetti shows up in the autograph line with a plan to rob the next Fan-Con –an offer Joey can’t refuse. When the heist goes awry, Joey is left with a beef with Rosetti and two long years to plan.
Partnered with a smooth-talking con man, Joey is using all his acting skills on new projects: Revenge. Money. And saving his marriage.
The Don Con is pure a pure-entertainment caper novel with all the intrigue of Ocean’s 11 and The Bank Job –as well as a smart, witty pop culture satire that riffs on The SopranosThe Godfather, Comic-Con, Star Trek, and The Sting.
Releasing in April 2019

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Richard Armstrong is also the author of another crime novel “God Doesn’t Shoot Craps,” in addition to two non-fiction books published by William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins.  For more about Richard (and to get a free copy of his special report, HOW TO TALK ANYBODY INTO ANYTHING: Persuasion Secrets of the World’s Greatest Con Artists, please visit www.thedoncon.com

 

Guest Blogger-Kathleen Kaska

Truth in Fiction
Readers often ask me if my mysteries are based on real-life crimes and circumstances. My answer is that my imagination provides what I need for my plots, so using actual cases is not necessary. However, there are several elements in the stories that are based on fact.

For my Sydney Lockhart Mysteries, set in historic hotels in the 1950s, I research what the hotels were like back then: the menu items and prices, the cost of a room and its décor. I search for old photos and articles of the hotels. In Murder at the Arlington, I describe what the restaurants, bars, bathhouses, and tourist’s sight were like seventy years ago. In Murder at the Luther (the Luther Hotel in Palacios, Texas) I drew on the colorful history of this once-thriving little town on the Texas coast. President and Lady Bird Johnson were regulars at the Luther Hotel back when LBJ was a Texas state senator. During WWII, Camp Hulen, located nearby, housed almost 15,000 personnel and interred thousands of German prisoners. The government brought in celebrities like Guy Lombardo, Rita Hayworth, Shirley Temple, and Carol Lombard to entertain. I wove these facts into the story. The same is true for Murder at the Galvez (Galveston) and Murder at the Driskill (Austin).

I don’t use people I know as models for my characters, but I do use strangers that grab my attention. Once I witnessed a domestic dispute while driving through the countryside. A wild-haired woman dressed, in orange T-shirt and pink tights, was throwing pine cones and profanity at her retreating husband, a fellow who looked as if he’d suffered years of spousal abuse. She told him if he got drunk and forgot to pick up the kids at school again (This couple had kids?), she was going to shoot him. Alas, Paula Steiner, was born and she’ll make her debut in my third Kate Caraway mystery, Eagle Crossing, which will be released in a little more than a year.

I also give my own feelings, experiences, and passions to my main characters. In my latest Kate Caraway animal-rights mystery, A Two Horse Town, Kate experiences a couple of hair-raising moments when she is traveling along a steep switchback mountain road. Her fear of heights is based on my own acrophobic experiences.

However, some writers fictionalize the truth, creating an even better story. Think of it this way: reading about an actual crime, adventure, heartwarming story, or heroic gesture in a magazine article, newspaper, or blog is captivating, but the readers are only provided limited points of view. A fiction writer can take a situation and delve deeper into telling the story, using multiple points of view, a compelling background, and a wide range of other emotions like suspense, thrill, fear, humor, something a reporter or writer of nonfiction might not do.

For instance, the Gothic novel, Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier, is a story of jealously, misunderstanding, heartache, and tragedy wrapped up in one of the best mysteries ever written. Du Maurier loosely based the story’s origin on her own suspicions that her husband, Lieutenant General Frederick “Tommy” Browning, was still attracted to the striking woman he’d once been engaged to. Du Maurier also admitted that she and Browning had not been faithful to one another during their marriage. The couple’s infidelity was also used in the novel. Max De Winter and his first wife, Rebeca, (deceased) had cheated on one another, and De Winter’s his second wife’s jealously intensified as he became withdrawn and secretive, filling the story with tension strong enough to snap one’s nerves.

I’ve also read the excellent biography, Manderley Forever: A Biography of Daphne du Maurier. Author Tatiana de Rosnay’s book has received raved reviews, but it was Rebecca, the fictional account of an obsessively jealous and fearful wife, that sold almost three million copies. I’m not as bold as Du Marnier to use my private life in a story—but then she’s sold a lot more books than me. So maybe I’ll rethink this.

front coverBlurb:
With her coffee-guzzling dogs and a welcome mat that starts at the business end of a shotgun, Ida Springfield weathers all the challenges life hands her. Until the local government gets the idea to build a dam to help the ranchers, a dam that would dry up the water on her ranch and destroy the habitat for the herd of mustangs living there. After further alienating the “goofballs at town hall,” Ida lets go of her pride and accepts the help of animal rights activist Kate Caraway. Kate feels a need to escape life in Chicago after so many years in her beloved Africa. She’s eager to get to Montana and find some peace from rural surroundings. After tumbling down a mountain, finding a body, and getting warned off by the mayor, Kate understands why her husband wants her to come home. But Kate can’t leave without saving the mustangs and helping the 82-year-old woman and her mentally challenged twin sister stand up to the town bigwigs. To do that, she has to find out who killed Ida’s estranged son and why town officials believe her great-grandson committed the crime.

Buy Links:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Black Opal books

Bio:
161118_003 small 2Kathleen Kaska is the author two awarding-winning mystery series: the Sydney Lockhart Mystery Series set in the 1950s and the Classic Triviography Mystery Series, which includes The Sherlock Holmes Triviography and Quiz Book. A Two Horse Town, Kathleen’s second mystery in the new Kate Caraway animal-rights series, was released in December 2018. She is also a writer and marketing director for Cave Art Press. Her collection of blog posts was released in September 2017 under the title, Do You Have a Catharsis Handy? Five-Minute Writing Tips.

Social Media Links:

http://www.kathleenkaska.com
http://www.blackopalbooks.com
https://twitter.com/KKaskaAuthor
http://www.facebook.com/kathleenkaska
https://www.instagram.com/kathleenkaska/
www.caveartpress.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kathleen-kaska-942aa511/

Guest Blogger – Eileen Watkins

PersianCover_HiResMy Cat Groomer Mystery series evolved from a theme suggested by my publisher, but animals always have been a passion for me. As an only child, I grew up with pets instead of siblings, and related to them almost as brothers and sisters. I’ve never worked with animals professionally, but felt that with a little research I could step into the shoes of someone who did.

My amateur sleuth, Cassie McGlone, is in her late 20s when the series begins. Her psychology degree didn’t net her any jobs after college, so she took further training as a vet tech, an animal behaviorist and a cat groomer. Along the way, she learned that cats have different grooming and boarding needs from dogs. In the first book, The Persian Always Meows Twice, she has just set up an all-feline grooming and boarding business in the fictional rural/suburban town of Chadwick, N.J.

I’d read a few cozy mysteries featuring cats, usually pets who loitered on the fringes of things. They often had psychic links with their owners and provided clues to help solve crimes. In some books, cats communicated with other animals; they all seemed more aware than most humans of what was going on in their town, including people’s motives for murder.

I prefer to emphasize my sleuth’s realistic understanding of and compassion for animals, and how those traits compel her to investigate murders that involve her human clients. I also like to slip in lesser-known tips about cat care and behavior and to touch on some serious issues. I feel that Cassie’s work and the humans and felines she deals with can be interesting enough without any fantasy elements.

One of the things I enjoy most about writing cozies is the freedom to include a few laughs. My sense of humor is a bit dark, which works for murder mysteries, and I project that onto Cassie and her friends. When things get a little too weird or dangerous, I let someone crack a joke to lighten the mood.

I also like evolving the series. By now, Cassie has built up a solid circle of supporters including her assistant Sarah; her veterinarian boyfriend Mark; her over-protective mother Barbara; her best friend Dawn; Det. Angela Bonelli of the Chadwick police; faithful handyman Nick and his computer-genius son Dion; and members of the local shelter, Friend of Chadwick Animals (FOCA). In each book, I’ve tried to give one or two of these secondary characters larger roles than they’ve had so far. Cassie’s relationships with them also grow and deepen along the way.

In the first three books, Cassie stays pretty close to home (she lives above her shop). I worried about the series developing Cabot Cove Syndrome, with a ridiculous number of murders taking place in a supposedly “safe” small town. So by Book 4, Gone, Kitty, Gone, she’ll acquire a grooming van that lets her travel farther afield and get into a wider variety of scrapes.

Hope you’ll come along for the ride!

The Persian Always Meows Twice

A Cat Groomer Mystery

Cat lovers are thrilled to welcome an expert groomer to the picturesque town of Chadwick, N.J. But scratch below the surface, and unmasking a killer becomes a game of cat and mouse…

Professional cat grooming isn’t all fluff. When the fur starts flying, Cassie McGlone, owner of Cassie’s Comfy Cats, handles her feistiest four-legged clients with a caring touch and nerves of steel. While these qualities help keep her business purring, they also come in handy when she makes a house call to her best client, millionaire George DeLeuw, and discovers his murdered body next to his newly orphaned Persian, Harpo.

To help the local police find the killer, Cassie begins her own investigation. But no one, from George’s housekeeper to his vindictive ex-wife, is giving up clues. Not until Cassie is given permission to temporarily board Harpo does anyone show interest in the Persian’s well-being. Someone is desperate to get their paws on Harpo before the feline helps untangle a felony. Are there deadly truths that a cat whisperer like Cassie can coax out? She needs to tread lightly and remember that she gets one life, not nine!

The buy links for the book are:

EFW_Trees_TightShot_BestEileen Watkins specializes in mystery and suspense fiction. In 2017 she launched the Cat Groomer Mysteries, starting with The Persian Always Meows Twice, from Kensington Publishing. The Bengal Identity came out in spring of 2018 and Feral Attraction this fall. The Persian Always Meows Twice won the David G. Sasher Award for Best Mystery of 2017 at the Deadly Ink Mystery Conference, and received a Certificate of Excellence for 2017 from the Cat Writers’ Association, Inc. Eileen previously published eight novels through Amber Quill Press, most of them paranormal suspense, as “E. F. Watkins.”

Eileen is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Liberty States Fiction Writers and Sisters in Crime. She serves as publicist for Sisters in Crime Central Jersey and also for New Jersey’s annual Deadly Ink Mystery Conference. Eileen comes from a journalistic background, having written on art, architecture, interior design and home improvement for daily newspapers and major magazines. Besides these topics, her interests include the paranormal and spirituality as well as animal training and rescue. She is seldom without at least one cat in the house and pays regular visits to the nearest riding stable. Visit her web site at http://www.efwatkins.com.

Her website is www.efwatkins.com, and her Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/EileenWatkinsAuthor.

Guest Blogger- Wendy Tyson

Giving Back Gives Back

By Wendy Tyson

My family moved from Philadelphia to Vermont last year, and I’ve spent the last ten months getting further acquainted with our new hometown. Small-town living is quite different from life in the sprawling suburb where we used to live. Everyone has been welcoming, and I’ve had the chance to get to know many of my neighbors, including the local florist. She and I found we have a mutual interest in plants and gardening. One conversation led to another and we decided to do a joint event: a book sale and signing at her shop with proceeds of the sale going to a local food bank. She would promote my books through consignment sales, and I would promote her shop by advertising the event. Hopefully the real winner will be the food bank we sponsor.

This obviously is a small event, and writers paying it forward is nothing new. Dean Koontz, Jonathan and Faye Kellerman, J.K. Rowling, John Grisham, James Patterson…these are just a few of the authors who have made donating to charities a priority. But giving back doesn’t have to mean major philanthropy. Looking to get more involved? Here are a few ways I’ve enjoyed contributing to the larger writing community—and the general public:

  • Get to know local libraries and independent bookstores. If I’m lucky enough to have a great indie bookstore nearby, I visit it frequently—attending events, buying books, mentioning it online, and offering to do signings.  Same for public libraries.  I’ve found local libraries to be a great support and resource.  You can offer to help the library by holding workshops and participating in speaking events. I’ve also donated signed books and Greenhous Mysteries-related items for raffles and auctions that benefit the library.
  • Mentor other writers. Once published, other writers will reach out—for guidance, support, even endorsements.  Taking the time to respond to them will mean a lot, even if you can’t do what they’re asking.  We’ve all been new authors at some point.  It can be difficult deciphering the confusing world of publishing, and new and aspiring authors appreciate the benefit of others’ experience.
  • Teach a class. Sharing your insight is a great way to give back. This can be done individually, but also through workshops and at conferences.  If you have a particular skill, offer to teach a class. Writing festivals are often looking for workshop leaders, as are libraries. Teaching is also a great way to make connections.
  • Visit book clubs. I love book clubs, and I’ve found book club visits to be a terrific way to connect with readers.  Plus, in my experience, book club members are incredibly appreciative of an author’s time.  Every time I attend one, I learn something new about my own work—and I make new friends.  You don’t have to go to someone’s house.  You can offer to meet in a public place (such as a library, coffee shop, or bookstore), or you can do it online via Skype or another platform.
  • Help kids. One of my favorite ways of giving back is by teaching kids and talking to kids about writing.  I’ve found kids of all ages eager to learn and excited about the possibilities.  Stop by your local schools and offer to talk to students, or reach out to local libraries or camps.
  • Do you write about a particular hobby? Children’s’ books? Does your day job offer a special skillset? Find a way to use your platform to raise money for a worthy cause related to your work—or a cause close to your heart. I love to raise money for a local animal rescue at my signings. Sometimes fund raising can be as simple as doing a book signing at a nonprofit event or donating proceeds on a given date to a charity of choice.
  • There really are endless ways you can volunteer to use your writing abilities to benefit others.  From taking on a role in a writing organization, to writing brochures for a local charity, to donating your time during a writing convention, you’ll likely find people eager for your help and expertise.
  • Organize around a cause. Last year I was invited to write a short story for an anthology that would benefit survivors of violent crime, especially domestic abuse survivors. The task was straight forward: write a short story that touches on domestic violence. The result was Betrayed: Powerful Stories of Kick-Ass Crime Survivors. Twenty-two crime authors, including Allison Brennan, donated their time and words to the anthology, and many other people gave marketing, design, or other expertise. The book came out last November and I can honestly say it was one of the most rewarding things I have been part of as an author. It all came together because of one woman’s vision and passion. Don’t be afraid to rally the troops for a good cause—or contribute to another’s project.

For me, a writing career has been a life-long dream. The chance to pay that opportunity forward? Priceless.

 

 

Guest Blogger- Christoph Burmeister

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The Poetic Murderer, and me — How the Book Came to Be

Fear will learn to fear you.

Last winter I got the news: Lionel Ross wanted to publish my first novel. I was overjoyed and humbled beyond my ability to express myself. Then gradually I gained an understanding of what was happening. Engaging style. Humorous. Smiles. An unreliable narrator reveals himself as a lyrical mastermind known as … Of course! The book was scheduled to appear in January 2018. January came like a dream, and marvellous as it may seem, soon I held a copy of The Poetic Murderer in my hands.

I was a shy child with a “vivid imagination,” as my grandmother Liesel used to say. Then I was an anxious teenager who didn’t write at all because of a lack of confidence. In my late twenties, I moved to Copenhagen, where I was awarded a master’s degree in Environmental Economics and Natural Resource Management (A title that is killer like a whale to the attention.) Unsatisfied with the job prospects I attended the Creative Writing School at Cambridge University, where my passion for drawing stories from my imagination re-emerged. I was hooked. I decided that I wanted to write a book. Back then, my professor complimented the energy in my writing, but also suggested that I should write in my mother tongue German as it would be too far a stretch for me to write a novel in English. Challenge accepted!

I started with an image — a young, enigmatic, and successful detective, having to solve a mystical murder case on a quest of a dream and fulfilment of his own destiny, and that idea wouldn’t leave me alone. I wrote the first manuscript in a flash. After six weeks I was ready, and contacted my friend from Cambridge, who wanted to become an editor. I was very positive and awaited her response. Everything changed when she replied. The manuscript was full of inconsistencies, mistakes, and bizarre phrases. But nothing that couldn’t be fixed. I’m human. Humans make mistakes.

I worked on the story obsessively. I’d been a person who enjoyed to achieve his goals with ease, offhandedly. When the novel took over for the first time in my life I had the feeling that I was properly challenged really. I purchased a small notebook and scribbled notes like a maniac, no matter where I was. If I thought of something while cycling, I’d jump off as soon as the traffic permitted it, and put it to paper. It became second nature to me. It felt so real.

From the crazy rush at the beginning, soon my literary journey turned into a devoted drafting of each chapter, and then I’d send each revised version of the manuscript to my friend in England, whose opinion I feared and wait for her response. While all this editing was going on, I continued filling notebooks and drawing the story before the inner eye. I wrote far more than I ever did before. I also discovered that style is a continuous distillation. How can I be me? Honestly expressing myself. No lies. That became the bottom line of all my endeavours. The book slowly took shape, however, due to my inexperience, a fear of failure attended me and intensified.

The detective character was what kept me hooked. He’s my hero, mysterious, funny, impulsive, vulnerable, dreamy, and in love with his laissez-faire lifestyle. When Detective 00 Hansen has to deal with his disturbingly poetic case, much hate from the police force, and that his wife left him, he questions everything. A period of doubt studied me too, especially when friends and family had hard times understanding my yet fictitious ambitions. But I wouldn’t give up.

I worked on the novel through the year, and when I was sure I’d gotten the manuscript into shape, I contacted agents and publishers, and eventually was chosen as one among many talented writers. High times!

Well, that is what I would call a miracle, one that a shy child with a “vivid imagination,” wouldn’t have dreamt of or an honoured professor at Cambridge University wouldn’t have predicted.

Now will anyone buy the book, unravel the deeper meaning of it, smile when I’m acquainting them with a funny line, and feel inspired to follow their own dreams?

That remains to be seen. At least The Poetic Murderer made my own dream become true.

And as you shall see, fear will learn to fear you too.

FINAL COVER (1)The Poetic Murderer

“Fear will learn to fear you.”

If you liked Paul Coelho’s The Alchemist, you will love The Poetic Murderer.

Detective 00 Hansen is an enigmatic dreamer in the streets of Copenhagen, riding a fast antelope, and living a slow life (not always to the delight of his wife)…

In The Poetic Murderer, Hansen and Don Cindy’s first mystery, the duo are informed by Denmark’s Queen Marmalade II and Prince Sandwich about an unimaginable murder at the supermarket. The body is marked by violence and the murder weapon an unhygienic rainbow trout.

The police are baffled by the mysterious poem at the crime scene. But when Detective 00 Hansen applies his vivid imagination to the problem he uncovers a tragic tale of unrequited love and ruthless ambition… Will he stop the poetic murderer on the quest of a dream and fulfilment of his own destiny?

An unaesthetic fear of the unknown haunts us, namely the unforeseen. A fear that shapes our lives. No human can unlearn to fear; we all have to learn how to deal with it. By picking up this novel, the reader travels a new route and learns to lead a fearless life by trusting in the own reality.

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Christoph colChristoph Burmeister was born on the 16 April 1987 in Bad Oldesloe on the river Trave. That’s why he originally wanted to become a clown.
On school days he dreamed wholeheartedly. University was no hindrance to him; it was his hobby. He would carefully fashion his appearance as an eager student.
After graduation, the money bell rang, and he started working for a shipping company as a treasury manager. One day he took a glimpse into the mirror and did not recognise himself, so he left home and moved to Copenhagen.
All of a sudden: Hygge!
2015—Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge, then Improv theatre. Now his first novel: The Poetic Murderer.
Christoph likes Jazz and his simplistic life-style resonates with mystery and beauty. His right hand is the instrument of his daily writing practise.

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