Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Importance of Pacing Suspense by guest blogger Jean Henry Mead

Murder at the Mansion by Jean Henry Mead 

Writing a series can be an asset as well as a hindrance. An asset because your readers look forward to each new novel and your continuing characters. But you can become bored with your character(s) as Agatha Christie did with Hercule Poirot. In fact, she came to hate the arrogant little detective.

My protagonists have become old friends that I enjoy tuning into each day to listen in on their conversations, no matter how scatterbrained they happen to be. But I've also become bored at times writing about my two older women amateur sleuths, who get themselves into situations that I have a difficult time writing them out of.

I don't outline, unless it's a nonfiction book, and my characters have free rein, so they lead me on some wild adventures. Murder at the Mansion is my wildest novel to date, with my protagonists, Dana and Sarah, running for their lives from Wyoming to Texas, Alaska, Colorado, and back again.

The more I get to know my characters, the more I trust that they won't paint me into a corner or refuse to do what I want them to. In my new release, some of the people they helped to place in prison return to seek revenge, and Sarah decides to dissolve a hasty marriage that she regrets. None of these things occurred to me when I sat down to write, so I blame the devious minds of my two protagonists.

Combine mystery, humor, romance, murder, a quirky character or two, and you have the Logan and Cafferty series, which I hope to continue writing for quite some time.

by Jean Henry Mead

Jean Henry Mead
Bio: Jean Henry Mead is a former news reporter and photojournalist. She’s the author of 21 books, half of them novels, which include the Logan & Cafferty series, Hamilton Kid’s mysteries, Wyoming historical novels, and nonfiction interview and history books, one of which served as a college textbook. She has also served as a news, magazine and small press editor, contributor to the Denver Post, and has been published in magazines domestically as well as abroad.

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