Skip to main content


<<This is the story of how four mystery writers met, and how the friendships 
that developed led to collaboration on To Fetch a Thief.>>

     Writers seek out writers. It’s what we do. We join writing groups, not just to give us someone to hang out with on a Saturday afternoon, but because other writers get the angst of writing, the frustration when the words won’t come, the disappointment with each rejection. Perhaps most importantly, these communities give like-minded mystery writers a chance to discuss the various ways to kill people . . . in the literary sense!
     One national community that supports our passion is Sisters in Crime ( and offers chapters that meet locally. Mystery by the Sea serves southeastern Virginia, and Central Virginia chapter serves the Richmond area. The two chapters collaborated on three short-mystery collections; Virginia is for Mysteries, Virginia is for Mysteries Volume 2, and 50 Shades of Cabernet.
     We hit the road, literally, driving all over the state to promote the books. After the first book, planning and strategizing meetings were needed for continued marketing efforts and compiling future books. It made sense to meet halfway between the chapter locations. That meant Williamsburg, Virginia. Lucky for us. Even luckier, Williamsburg has its own winery, nestled in a bucolic vineyard setting which has a nice restaurant. It turns out good food and good wine lead to good writing projects.
     After one such road trip to the historic Williamsburg area, four of the authors went out to eat.  One of the writers challenged us to each write a novella (word count about 15,000 words, which is about triple the length of the short stories they had previously worked on.) The title would be To Fetch a Thief, and each story would involve a dog (we’re all dog lovers!), a theft (to tie in to the title), and a murder (we are all mystery writers!)
     The rest, they say, is history.
     Teresa Inge threw the  challenge down in 2016. It was a long and winding writing road, but finally, we are happy to announce the birth of the collaborative efforts of Teresa Inge, Heather Weidner, Jayne Ormerod and Rosemary Shomaker: To Fetch a Thief, Four Fun “Tails” of Theft and Murder. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoyed writing (and meeting about) them!

To Fetch a Thief authors Jayne Ormerod, Rosemary Shomaker, Heather Weidner and Teresa Inge
meeting at the Williamsburg Winery


Popular posts from this blog

What’s Real in Your Fiction? by Heather Weidner

Recently, I was asked, "How much research do you actually do for fiction and how much of your work is true?” There’s quite a bit of research that goes into writing mysteries. I want to make sure that my stories are plausible and as accurate as possible. Readers notice when writers make mistakes. I mix quite a bit of “real” in my short stories and novels. All of my settings are actual places. I tend to put my works in Virginia cities and counties because I write what I know.  If a crime occurs, I make up that location's name. I wouldn't put a horrific or violent event at a real restaurant or store. But if you've been to the cities, you'll recognize landmarks, neighborhoods, and street names. I get ideas for crimes and capers from real cases, but I usually take liberties with the details. In my short story, "Washed up," in Virginia is for Mysteries, a beat up suitcase washes up on Chick's Beach, and it's filled with some mysterious contents. Back in …

IT'S ALL ABOUT OUR DOGS Interview with Heather

Tell us about the furry members of your family. I have a pair of Jack Russell Terriers from the same litter. The dynamic duo includes Disney, the brunette, and her brother Riley who looks a lot like Petey from the “Our Gang Comedies.” They are high energy, inquisitive little dogs. And they keep us on our toes.
How did your dog pick you to be his fur-ever mom? We had two older dogs who passed within three months of each other. Our house was so lonely without them. We went looking one day at puppies. My husband picked up Disney, and I picked up Riley. We couldn’t decide, so both of them joined our family. They are sister and brother from the same litter.
What is your dog’s favorite toy? These two are obsessed with sock monkey toys. We have about ten of them around the house. They are JRTs, so everything is a game to them.
Is the dog in your story in To Fetch a Thief based at all on your dog? It is. It’s based on my little female JRT. She’s a bundle of energy, a great companion, and she always …