Tag Archive | murder scene

Writers: We shouldn’t always say what we think

Today my guest is Linda Shenton Matchett, an author, speaker, and history geek. A native of Baltimore, Maryland she was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry (of Star Spangled Banner fame) and has lived in historic places all her life. Linda is a member of ACFW, RWA, and Sisters in Crime. She volunteers as a docent at the Wright Museum of WWII and as a trustee for her local public library.

I’m not going to ruin it, so I’m not going to say too much because the topic of this post kind of says it all. Here’s what Linda has shared with us.

Last month I attended Crimebake, a mystery writing conference held outside Boston which is about a two hour drive from where I live. My husband and I currently own only one car, which is not usually a problem because we work walking distance from our home. But when either of us goes out of town for an extended period of time, we rent a car so the other person isn’t stranded.

Being the “frugal” person that I am, I typically rent the compact (read: cheapest) car option. Not typically a problem. However, this year I was in charge of the conference game for the New England Chapter of Sisters in Crime. We decided on a twisted version of “Pin the tail on the donkey” called “Pin the wound on the corpse.” I purchased a 4’X2’ piece of foam insulation, wrapped it in gray fabric that was supposed to look like pavement, and had a friend of mine who is an artist draw the chalk outline of the victim.

Fast forward to the day I was leaving. My husband drove me to the rental car agency in our SUV. (Can you see where this is going yet?). The representative offered me a couple of vehicles to choose from, one of which was a Kia Soul. Not familiar with the car, I looked at my husband and blurted, “Do you think the corpse will fit in the back?”

The woman gasped, and her hands froze above the computer keyboard for a fraction of a second before she cleared her throat and continued to type. Even after my explanation, she looked skeptical and perhaps a tad bit nervous. Or maybe that was my imagination.

Next time, I’ll keep my question to myself.

Yeah, she sure had me, gotta love it.  Here’s some links I hope you will check out.

Website: http://www.LindaShentonMatchett.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/LindaShentonMatchettAuthor

Twitter: http://twitter.com/lindasmatchett

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/lindasmatchett

Newsletter signup (receive a free short story for signing up): https://mailchi.mp/74bb7b34c9c2/lindashentonmatchettnewsletter


Murder of Convenience Purchase Link: www.amazon.com/dp/B07JVT42FW

A Writer’s Mind – Observation Mode

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and —maybe one day—the chocolate. She’s the author of ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past, and ENGAGED: Surrendering the Future. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. Her latest releases, YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL, is a book for girls ages 10-100, written with her teenaged daughter, Hannah, and A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER is a boxed set featuring Julie and some of the authors from the Inspy Romance blog. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read, as well as monthly with Inspy Romance. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities.

As a writer, like many of us, Julie Arduni has a different way of watching the world around her, and interacting with it. Here’s what she has to say

My husband once joked that I never see a parking lot. Always in observation mode, that normal parking lot to most people is a possible crime scene to me. Perhaps it’s a makeshift landing strip. As a romance author, that lot might be a first meet between hero and heroine. It also might be the scene for a goodbye. The bottom line is I don’t see anything “as is.” I’m always thinking about the possibilities.

A recent example was when I took a tour of Castle Noel, a Christmas-themed tourist attraction in northeast Ohio. During the guided tour we saw exhibit after exhibit of movie props from Cindy Lou Who’s bedroom in Ron Howard’s The Grinch, to Cousin Eddie’s RV from Christmas Vacation. Guests even have the opportunity to slide down the exact slide Ralphie clung to when he found the nerve to tell Santa he wanted a Red Ryder BB gun in A Christmas Story.

I tried, I really tried to focus on the Christmas magic and the movie trivia as we traveled from room to room. The battle was in my mind where ideas were forming. As several traveled through my active imagination, one question stood out that didn’t let go, even after the tour was over. What if you worked at a Christmas-themed place and hated Christmas?

The blessing is I was able to answer that question quickly as Kimberly Rose Johnson invited Inspy Romance authors that were able to participate in a Christmas boxed set. This was a dream of mine, so I jumped at the chance and started creating.

My writer’s mind was able to take that question and create twists, turns, and conflicts to place the reader on a journey. The result was Restoring Christmas, and it is included in the boxed set, A Christmas to Remember. Instead of Ohio, I used Upstate NY as a setting, basing Geneseo Valley off the real Geneseo, where I graduated from college. The Christmas Mansion is a staple in the community, but Holly Christmas left the area as soon as she could. She resented the time her parents spent at the mansion, and after her mother passed away, her father worked even harder at the mansion. When Holly has to return, a child discerns the truth about Ms. Christmas. She hates the holiday.

All that came from a simple visit to a Christmas attraction.

With a parking lot!

I have a feeling the next time I go into a parking lot, I’m going to keep my eyes open for anyone watching me, and I’m going to be wondering what they’re thinking. And for sure, I don’t hate Christmas.

There are a lot of ways to find Julie Arduini

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