Today I’d like to welcome Rita Moreau to Ascroft, eh?. She has dropped by to tell us about her writing process as she created The House on Xenia, her latest novel in the Mary Catherine Mahoney mystery series.
Welcome, Rita. Without any preamble, I’ll turn it over to you:
The Writing Process
One question my readers always ask me is “How do you write a novel?” I usually respond, “You write a novel one page at a time.”
The House on Xenia is my latest novel in the Mary Catherine Mahoney mystery series. I am proud that my readers enjoy my writing and tell me that they enjoy learning something along the way. My novels do fit the definition of cozy in that we have a whodunit featuring an amateur sleuth (Mary Catherine Mahoney), a distinctive setting (Florida), no explicit sex or violence. With that said I would venture to say my novels are a hybrid genre since I do employ large impersonal groups like drug cartels or secret government agencies. I like to call it a cozy with an edge. My novels all contain humor and are light and quick reads. No dark themes although I do have a theme in most of my novels. In The House on Xenia I celebrate the strength of a single Mom and in doing so I celebrate my mother who was one of the strongest women I have known in my life.
In The House on Xenia I introduce some new characters along with the zany and quirky characters my readers have come to enjoy. One is Mabel Gold and she will be the protagonist in a new series I am working on currently.
I also employ what is called the fourth wall, in writing The House on Xenia. The fourth wall is a conceptual barrier between those presenting some kind of a communication and those receiving it. The term originated in the theater, where it refers to the imaginary wall at the front of the stage separating the audience from the performers.
Xenia, (the house on Xenia) is a character in the book that breaks the fourth wall and speaks directly to the reader. This is employed in films where the characters in films break the fourth wall and talk to us, meaning they ignore the imaginary “wall” that keeps the actors from the audience.
In the movie, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” the lovable Ferris Bueller (played by Matthew Broderick) is constantly talking to the audience like they’re his best friends. The film makes it clear in the very beginning that it’ll be ignoring the rule of audience movie subject separation. More recently the villainous Frank Underwood breaks the fourth wall in the Netflix series, “House of Cards.”
I also introduced aliens in The House on Xenia. I am from Dayton, Ohio and nearby Dayton is Wright Patterson AFB. I researched the crash at Roswell and Area 51 and how it tied into Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio, which was (and may still be) the headquarters of government sponsored UFO investigations. I weaved that long held rumor into The House on Xenia.
I also hired a house historian who gave me the history of the house I grew up in on Xenia Avenue in Dayton, Ohio. That was very interesting to know the history of the house. I think we all have memories of the house or neighborhood we grew up in that stays with us throughout our life.
I’m always happy to hear my readers tell me that they found humor in my writing and escape from their worries. My job is done.
Thanks for sharing an insight into your writing with us, Rita, and good luck with The House on Xenia, the latest book in the Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery series.
The novel is available online on Amazon
About Rita Moreau: A workaholic by nature, upon retirement, Rita Moreau began work on her bucket list, writing a book. Traveling the national parks with her husband George in a vintage Bluebird motor home, (on George’s list), Rita completed her first novel Bribing Saint Anthony. Back home she completed Nuns! Psychics! & Gypsies! OH! NO, Feisty Nuns, The Russian & Aunt Sophia and The House on Xenia. Rita and her husband live in a postcard called Florida where he has fun telling everyone he is the author’s husband. When not writing she joins PatZi Gil on the Joy on Paper radio program with Book Buzz Mysteries or you can find her teaching fitness classes and doing her best to keep busy. She loves connecting with readers.