Fair warning: this post isn’t really about crime fiction (well, except for the crime fiction I write). So if you’d rather wait until I get back to my usual posts about the genre, then please go on with the rest of your blog round and stop back tomorrow. I’ll understand completely.
…Haven’t left? Thank you. I’ve been tagged for The Next Big Thing, which is an opportunity for writers to share what’s going on with their manuscripts and writing. Writers who are tagged are asked to answer ten questions about their writing and then pass the baton to other writers.
I’ll get to those questions in just a moment. But first let me tell you a bit about K.B. Owen, who tagged me. Like me she’s got a background in academia. And like me, she writes crime fiction. Her historical mystery series features Concordia Wells, who teaches at a women’s college in late-19th Century Connecticut. You can find out more about K.B. Owen, Concordia Wells and the late 19th Century at K.B. Owen’s website. G’wan – I’ll wait while you go check it out and follow her blog.
… Back now? Thanks. Now, on to the ten questions I was asked:
1. What is the working title of your book?
The working title I’ve chosen is Past Tense.
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
So many social changes came about during the early- and mid-1970’s that I thought it would be interesting to look at a few of them and see how they’d have played out on a college campus. I’ve also always liked mysteries that link past crimes to present crimes. So I decided to combine those two things and create a modern-day mystery that’s linked with a mid-1970’s crime.
3. What genre does your book come under?
I write crime fiction and that’s how I would label this book. It’s part of my Joel Williams series.
4. Which actors would you choose to play your character in a movie rendition?
Now that’s a really interesting question! At the risk of sounding coy, I’m specifically not going to name actors. I would rather readers form their own mental pictures of what Joel Williams and the other characters look like. Sorry if that’s being difficult…
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Former police officer turned college professor Joel Williams gets involved in a murder investigation when the nearly forty-year-old remains of a former student turn up on the campus of Tilton University.
6. Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
My book hasn’t been published yet. I am truly hoping it will be accepted sometime this year.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Now, that’s an interesting question. You see, I had the first few chapters written. Then my computer hard drive died, taking all of my data with it. So I had to start all over again with this novel. It ended up taking me a year to write it, what with that delay.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
That’s probably the most difficult question of all. I don’t really like to compare authors. But that said, I can say that the book is an academic mystery (it takes place mostly on a college campus and in a college town) with an amateur sleuth. It’s low on violence (OK, it’s a murder mystery, so people do get killed. But still… ) and takes a sort of character-based, whodunit kind of approach to the mystery.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I very much admire Martin Edwards’ Lake District mysteries and Elly Griffiths’ Ruth Galloway mysteries in which sleuths investigate old cases that end up being related to murders in the present. That idea and my own interest in the ‘70’s and some of the big changes at that time got me putting the pieces of this story together.
10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Several of the characters in the novel were involved in some of the ‘70’s movements such as the women’s movement and the rise of interest in journalism as a result of Robert Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s work on the Watergate scandal. I’m hoping readers will want a peek at how those things might have played out on campus. Oh, and there’s a long-buried skeleton, a rather creepy basement storage area and the old archives of the university’s library.
Now, I’m supposed to pass along the baton to other writers so they too get the chance to ‘shine.’ And honestly I love supporting other writers. But at the same time I don’t want to put anyone on the spot. So here’s what I’ll do. Want to share what’s going on with your work? Want to tell us what to expect? Feel free to use these questions and then link back to this post so we can all see what you’re working on.
*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Peter Gabriel’s Big Time.