This weekend I was on a panel of mystery writers (Glenn Nilson, Libby Cudmore and myself) moderated by the police chief (Chief Douglas Brenner) of Oneonta, NY. Since all of us were cozy writers, it was interesting to talk about the differences between police work and the fictionalized work of amateur sleuths found in cozy mysteries. Chief Brenner is newly appointed to his position, and I’m eager to get to know him better and use him as a resource for crime information.
In the course of talking about writing a mystery, I spoke about my first manuscript which I called a “revenge manuscript” written just after I retired as a professor. I had a few axes to grind so I included characters that were based heavily upon people I knew and disliked. Having gotten all that out of my system, I went on to revise the work, removing the people I knew from it and creating characters needed for the story. I’ll bet some of you can relate to this process where we write so close to home that we’re not really writing a mystery, but actually cleaning house in our own lives. After this initial purge, we can begin the process of writing fiction, not simply engaging in emotional catharsis. Eventually that work became the first book in the Laura Murphy mysteries.
I thought we might have some fun today with Laura, so I had her devise a quiz for you. She is, after all, a college professor so testing her students is something that comes naturally to her. Below is what she came up with. To make it inviting for you, she says you can win a free eBook of either Murder is Academic or Failure is Fatal.
- I met a fellow on a road crew one summer. He became my current squeeze. His name is _________
- He is from what country?_______
- His name is ______
- His favorite mode of transportation is ________
- I teach what subject at a nearby college?_______
- My best friend’s name is ________
- The detective I work with is ______
- I love to eat _________
- The color of my hair is ______
- The individual killed in Murder is Academic is _________
The individual with the highest score and who enters the responses earliest is the winner. Laura says have fun!
Record your answers in the comments section.