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audience-clipart-lecturer-3For the past two years, I’ve been presenting my Author Talk centered around how I learned to write a mystery. I was thrilled recently to receive an invitation from the Friends group for my local senior center to speak to them again this April with an update on my writing career and my work in progress.

Obviously, my original outline will not be appropriate for this return engagement, so I need to re-create my notes, adjusting the various aspects of writing as it now relates to a series.  Some of the topics will remain the same, but the content will be adjusted to move past the first story and into the next.

For instance, I will talk about choosing names for the characters, but for the second story, when some first story characters remain, and others drop off, I had to create new characters to support the new plot, being mindful of beginnings and endings, number of syllables. etc.

When speaking about the plot, this second talk will share that although the fictional town and main character will remain the same, the location within Harbor Falls will change, along with the season.

I need to be sure nothing from the first presentation is duplicated. Don’t want to bore audience members who attended my original Author Talk!

 

 

 

 

 

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For my followers who live on the central Gulf Coast of Florida, I’m pleased to share that I’ll be presenting my author talk titled ‘Have you Ever Wondered How a Mystery is Written?’ not once, but twice, this Wednesday, February 21.

The afternoon presentation to the Caribbean Isles residents will begin at 2pm in the clubhouse on St. Croix.  Park addresscaribbean isles logo.png for your GPS: 10900 Walsingham Road, Largo, FL.

The evening presentation to members of the Creative Writing Group will begin at 6pm. Location: Safety Harbor Public Library, 101 2nd St N, Safety Harbor, FL.Safety Harbor Public Library.jpg

After both events, autographed copies of both ‘The Uninvited Guest’ and ‘Where There’s Smoke, There’s Trouble’ will be available.

Meeting new people who are interested in a writer’s journey and appreciate a good mystery is always a satisfying venture for me.

I hope to see you there!

Debi

 

 

waitingBecause my first two published mysteries are set in a fictitious Massachusetts town, I’ve had no resistance from New England library directors or senior complex program organizers to schedule my Author Talk about the writing process. I’ve even had success in Pennsylvania and Delaware because I have siblings living in both states.

Similarly, New England bookstore managers have been open to placing my books on their shelves as either an outright buy or consignment.

But down here in Florida, where I’m a first-time snowbird for these winter months, stirring up interest in mysteries that do not take place in Florida are a hard sell. In all fairness, most library calendars are set months ahead of time, and I’ve been encouraged to make contact this fall for possible appearance in the 2019 calendar of events.

One of the most fascinating old-style bookstores in this area is ‘Haslam’s Book Store’ in St. Petersburg, FL. After a lengthy chat, the owner advised me in the nicest way possible that he doesn’t deal with out-of staters. He did offer to consider a future novel if I place the story down here on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

I’ve cast my net far and wide along the Gulf Coast towns in search of readers who might want to learn what it takes to write a mystery, for I know they will enjoy the learning experience, and perhaps be inspired to write that story that’s rattling around in their head.

My only option seems to be patience. Oh, yea, and planning ahead for next year.

 

 

Back in October, a week after I returned to Massachusetts from my 50th Class Reunion in Delaware, I tumbled from my bicycle into some frightful bushes edging a bike path and broke my wrist in three places. This injury put a big dent in my plans to place Gwen’s second story into the hands of readers.

Burdened with a purple cast, a swollen hand, and not a little pain, I chose to cancel three author events in November with great sadness. One of them will be rescheduled. The other two were unfortunately one-time events.

My cast is now gone, and I’m regaining strength and flexibility in my right hand. I’m finally able to grasp a pen, although a signed autograph still appears a little funky with the restriction of three stiff fingers.

For those of you who enjoyed Gwen’s debut mystery, ‘The Uninvited Guest’, you may want to follow her next adventure in ‘Where There’s Smoke, There’s Trouble’, which takes place the following spring. As the story creator, I imbued Gwen with my personal dislike of cigar smoke and built a story around that aversion.

Here’s a link for your convenience:

Thanks to all of you who continue to support my writing journey!

Debi Graham-Leard

 

 

 

 

For those of you who live in mid-state Delaware, I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be returning to my hometown of Smyrna for my 50th J.B. Moore High School Reunion next weekend.

I’m traveling south a few days early to present my Author Talk to the Bon Ayre Complex in Smyrna on Wed morning, as well as the Nobles Pond Complex in Dover on Thursday afternoon.

On Thursday evening, October 12, at 6:30 pm, I’ll be sitting in with the Book Club at the Smyrna Public Library. We’ll be discussing the writing process for my debut mystery ‘The Uninvited  Guest’.

The Book Club meeting is open to the public, and promises to be an interactive session of questions and answers about my writing journey, the story specifics, and plans for future books in the Gwen Andrews series.

After the meeting, copies of ‘The Uninvited Guest’ will be available for purchase and autographing.

Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

 

 

Do you live in the southeastern Massachusetts area?

If you have no plans for this Wednesday evening, September 20, join me at the 7pm meeting of the Mansfield Women of Today, HarborOne Bank, 131 Copeland Drive, Mansfield!

I’ll be presenting my author talk about the writing process as I created my debut mystery ‘The Uninvited Guest’. Hope to see you there!

As I’ve been creating mystery #3, taking place in mid-December New England, I discovered I was mixing up Colonial timelines and character names with the later Victorian architecture.

I had to make a decision so I could write the opening scene in the appropriate location.

Victorian period would allow the story to unfold in a beautifully appointed bed & breakfast, converted from a generations-old family home.

Colonial architecture would age the bed & breakfast, allowing centuries-old family history to filter into the story.

Earlier this week, my husband and I visited the Daniel Webster Estate in Marshfield, MA, to help narrow my choice. And yesterday, I stopped by the Society of Mayflower Descendants in Plymouth, MA, for a nice chat with the two women behind the desk and a man sitting at a research table.

In the end, because my fictional Harbor Falls series is located on the coast of Massachusetts, I settled on a Colonial backstory. Connections to the Mayflower pilgrims, a sad eighteenth century ghost, and parallels to current times will round out the main mystery plot with ghostly connections to my amateur sleuth’s personal subplot.

Such fun!