Thursday, 22 November 2012

WHY I BECAME A WRITER - 14 author blog hop!



Today, 14 professional writers with blogs have gotten together to write the same post “Why I Became a Writer.” Please stop by any or all of their blogs to comment and find out what drives us in our favorite obsession.

John Brantingham and Sunny Frazier http://johnbrantingham.blogspot.com
Marta Chausee http://martachausee.blogspot.com
John Daniel http://johnmdaniel.blogspot.com
Cora Ramos http://coraramos-cora.blogspot.com
Melodie Campbell http://funnygirlmelodie.blogspot.com
Chris Swinney http://clswinney.com
Carole Avila  http://caroleavilablog.wordpress.com 

Why did I become a Mystery Writer?  It’s the Maze.

A horrible crime occurs.  Murder most foul.  The police are stumped, and it looks like the criminal will get away with it.  Then along comes an amateur detective who follows a set of clues, and with supreme logic, solves the mystery.  Justice is served.

I want to say I write mysteries and suspense because of a deep-seeded need to see justice done in the world.  I really want to say that.  But it’s not true.

I love to read and write mysteries because they are clever.  They invite me to use my brain.  Who is the killer?  Can I come to the same conclusion as the detective, at the same time, following the same trail of clues?

Traditional mystery novels are like a chess game.  In writing the novel A Purse to Die For, I discovered that mysteries must be plotted carefully, strategically.  It is a convention of mystery writing that the reader receives the information at the same time as the detective.  Anything else is considered cheating. Clues must lead to the solving of the crime.  The reader must be able to go back and see the trail, once he/she has finished reading the ending.  But the ending can’t be too obvious – that’s no fun.  So it’s the clever mix of laying several trails like those of a maze that intrigues me as both a writer and reader.  The trick: only one leads to the fateful conclusion.

A good mystery with a bang-up ending – logical, but original – gives me a kick like no other book.  I marvel at the cleverness of the author.  In short mystery fiction, I devour that twist at the end.  In my own fiction, you can count on an unexpected ending.  

I love the wonderful delight that comes from stumping the reader…in making them say “Ah! Didn’t see that coming.”  I’ve given them a challenge, and hopefully at the end, a smile.  There is no greater high.

Melodie Campbell is the author of 40 short stories and three novels, including the classic Agatha Christie-style mystery A Purse to Die For, co-authored with Cynthia St-Pierre.  She has won 6 awards for short fiction, and was a finalist for both the 2012 Derringer Awards and the Arthur Ellis Awards.

A PURSE TO DIE FOR
The victim wore haute couture…
When fashionista and television celeb Gina Monroe goes home to attend the funeral of her late grandmother, the last thing she expects to encounter is murder.  Who is the dead woman in the woods behind the family home?  And why is she dressed in Milano designer clothes?

“Fast, funny, furious. A great read and proof once again that Canadian crimewriters are among the best in the world.”  Janet Kellough, author of Sowing Poison
Ebook and paperback available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.uk and European Amazon sites.


 

17 comments:

  1. I also enjoy following the trail of a good mystery. By the way, could you please change my link to www.stephenbrayton.wordpress.com. Thanks.

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  2. Yes Melodie you are a writer how you ingrained your novels into this piece, very clever you are.

    Augie

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  3. Stephen: done! And Augie - thank you :) I'm a marketing director by trade.

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  4. I cut my teeth on writing short story mysteries. They are such fun. I love to read a good mystery, who doesn't?

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    1. Cora, for years I was told that I was throwing away really good plots on short stories (plots that could novels.) But damn, I love a good whodunit short story like nothing else.

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  5. That's so much fun. Writing as game play really. Well, that's what it should be. If it isn't fun, why bother, after all?

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    1. It's hard work, but damn, it can be fun work. Thanks, John!

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  6. Woo Hoo!!! Awesome job Melodie. I'm a big fan of humor and like your style! Great post.

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    1. Many thanks! Off to look at yours now :)

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  7. Melodie,
    I too love trying to figure out whodunnit when I read a mystery novel and I enjoy posing that question to readers of my novels. But, with me, there's also the element of justice; I love to see the bad guy, in life and in fiction, get his just rewards.

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    1. Oddly enough, Pat, most of my stories and all of my novels involve justice. Justice over the law, in fact :)

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  8. Wonderful post, Melodie! I like your style, too. Following the trail in a mystery is fun, but creating that trail is even more fun, and you do it well.
    Marja McGraw

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    1. Thank you, Marja! Yes, I love creating the trail too. Maybe that's it: those of us who read mysteries for years now get a challenge out of creating those for others.

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  9. As a reader as well as a writer of mysteries, I love being presented with a puzzle to solve, so good for you that you like to give us some really challenging ones and challenge yourself too.

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  10. Great post, Melodie, and after reading it, I feel like I need to up my game. Tally ho, the surprise ending with a twist of lime.

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  11. I'm not a mystery writer, Melodie, but your words make me wish I could be. The cleverness involved, the constant brain work to make the stories all come together, with characters and situation and conflict. I envy all you Posse mystery writers!

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  12. Eileen, Lesley and Marta: What's the difference between a mystery and a thriller? About 100,000 dollars! Don't envy mystery writers, Eileen. The money is in thrillers. Just wish I could kick the habit of needing that twist ending . Thank you so much for your comments!

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