Skip to main content

IN THE BEGINNING by Jayne

<<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 (sistersincrime.org) 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

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

ALL IN THE NAME OF RESEARCH by Jayne

The number one rule writers are taught in the hard-knock school of writing is “write what you know.” Which is all fine and good, unless you are a middle-class, pushing-social-security-age, rule-following female who writes about murder. I am going to put this out there to all of my past, present and future readers, I HAVE NEVER KILLED ANYONE just to research a book (or for any reason, for that matter). Nor have I ever stumbled across a dead body lying in the garden or sitting in an empty garage or floating in the surf (my husband has, but that’s another story for another day.) The only dead bodies I have seen/touched have been prettified, with hair styled, dressed in their best Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes, lying in a casket.
          But I will admit to having done a few things, all in the name of research. For “Best Friends Help You Move the Body” in Virginia is for Mysteries, we were tasked with using a Virginia landmark as our setting for our short mystery. Living—and loving—life ne…

WHAT'S REAL IN YOUR FICTION? by Heather

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 …

IN THE NAME OF RESEARCH by Rosemary

I composed this blog while on the road to an emergency management Mass Care Symposium. Sound intriguing? Let’s begin with the definition of “mass care.” It’s the capability to provide immediate shelter, feeding centers, basic first aid, bulk distribution of needed items, and related services to persons affected by a large-scale incident. You may be comforted to know that the Federal Emergency Management Administration — FEMA — has a mass care strategy, and that FEMA, along with the American Red Cross formed a National Mass Care Council around 2010/2011. That council is co-chaired by the American Red Cross, FEMA, the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), and the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (National VOAD), and is comprised of members from Big City Emergency Managers ( bigcityem.org), federal Department of Health and Human Services, Feeding America ( feedingamerica.org), North American Mission Board–Southern Baptist Convention (with their Southern Bap…