Today I’ve invited Pamela Martin, mystery and thriller author, to visit Ascroft, eh? to tell us a bit about her writing and her latest series.
PM: Thank you for giving me the chance to introduce myself, along with Fay Lynn, Gayla, and Evangeline, the stars of my Every Book and Cranny mysteries.
My name is Pamela Martin, and I am a former schoolteacher. I taught multiple grades and subjects from first grade to seniors, ending in the middle and high school social studies.
The series is set in a small South Texas town. Sisters Fay Lynn and Gayla run a bookstore with a coffee shop; their best friend, Evangeline, operates an antique shop.
In All Trussed Up, the second book of the series (the first full-length novel), small-town drama catches them off-guard when the town’s mayor, a man everyone loves to hate, is murdered, and Evie ends up at the top of the suspect list. Someone takes exception to their snoop…to their investigation, and it looks like it might cost Fay Lynn everything – including her life.
People ask writers all the time, “Where do you get your ideas? How do you develop strong characters?” The second question is actually easier for me to answer, because they are all based in reality. Fay Lynn’s and Gayla’s bookstore and bistro come from my long-held thought that I’d love to do that some day. Gayla is a “feisty dame,” as she might have been described in days gone by. She and Evangeline are conglomerates of strong and yet gracious women I’ve had the privilege of knowing. And sometimes a character is a huge exaggeration of a real person or a person I’d like to meet in my own life.
Story ideas are a little harder to explain, because I don’t always know exactly where they come from. Many probably stitch together bits and pieces of news reports and other novels, I suspect. Generally, I start by choosing a victim and thinking of reasons someone might have had to hurt him or her.
Next, I choose a method of dispatching the victim; that way, as I determine the suspects I can make sure at least one of them is capable of carrying it out.
Finally, I pick the three or four reasons I liked best on the earlier list, and I create a suspect for each, deciding on a name, occupation, alibi, and secret for each. Then, the fun begins!
For this series, there is also a history connection that will help decide the weapon, motive, or other factors.
Finally, a word of advice to aspiring writers: There are two secrets you need to know – (1) read every day and (2) write every day. Reading helps you build vocabulary, and it helps you become familiar with writing styles. Writing daily is important because, quite simply, we get good at what we practice.
And, for those of you thinking, “I’d love to write, but I’m not good enough” – someone wiser than I am said, “If you’re good enough to enjoy doing it, you’re good enough to be doing it.”
Thanks for telling us about the Every Book and Cranny series and how you create your stories, Pamela, and good luck with the series.
Readers can find the books online. Click here for details: https://www.books2read.com/b/4jwlvd