From Grit to Humour – How did that Happen?

Guest post from Scottish Crime Writer, Wendy H Jones, author of three very different crime mystery series.


Firstly, thank you, Peter, for inviting me onto your blog. It’s a real honour to be here.

When I think about writing a blog post, the first reaction is always panic. What on earth shall I write about? Obviously, I want to be interesting, valid, current, useful and every other adjective in between. Do I also want to be gritty and humorous?

In this case, the answer is yes. Most definitely so. At least I want to talk about my move from writing on the edge of your seat, gritty, Scottish Noir fiction, to writing laugh out loud, funny, detective fiction. That’s some change or is it?

I need to start with the fact I have always been a reader. An advanced reader, I joined the library at the age of three. An impossible task in those days.

I had read my way through the entire children’s section of the library by the age of ten via books such as Famous Five, Secret Seven, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. Mystery was always my go to, although I read many different genres. At ten, I moved on to adult mysteries such as those by Agatha Christie.

As the years moved on, the crime I read became more and more gritty, although I’ve always had a penchant for the gentler side of crime fiction as well.

Reading Janet Evanovich’s books introduced me to laugh out loud crime. I was hooked.

My first series, The DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries, moved hurriedly into the Tartan Noir movement. The first book, Killer’s Countdown proved popular and was quickly followed by five more in the series, all with titles beginning with Killer’s.

The seventh in the series, Killer’s Curse, will be released later this year.

 

However, I still didn’t lose my desire to try my hand at comedic crime. Something that would make my readers laugh.

Brainstorming ideas for a main character, I came up with the most unlikely Private Detective imaginable. Cass (Cassandra) Claymore is a redheaded, motorbike riding, ex-ballerina who inherits a private detective agency.

Then she manages to hire an ex-con dwarf and an octogenarian. Who in their right minds would start a detective agency staffed by a ballerina, an ex-con, and a pensioner? Me of course.

I had an absolute ball writing it. I spent time laughing from start to finish. I read bits out to readers and writers, all of whom laughed. By this point, I knew I was on to a winner.

The first book in the series, Antiques and Alibis, was released on 1st August 2018. The next four will be called, Blood and Bone, A Cluster of Corpses, Dance of Death, and Evil and Ecstasy.

Will I make it to Z? That remains to be seen. In the meantime, I shall enjoy writing those four. I can assure you I will be laughing.

To all writers, follow your passion and see where it takes you. To all readers, try something different and you might discover a new reading passion. You can start with Antiques and Alibis, available from:

AMAZON  Kobo  iBoooks


Wendy H. Jones is an award-winning Scottish Crime Writer who lives and sets her books in Dundee, ScotlandShe is also an International Public Speaker talking about writing and marketing.

Killer’s Crew, the first book in her DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries was the Winner of the Books Go Social Book of the Year 2017. The Dagger’s Curse, the first book in her Young Adult mystery series, was a finalist in the Woman Alive Magazine Readers Choice Award 2017.

She has signed a publishing contract with Malcolm Down and Sarah Grace Publishing for the first book in a children’s picture book series, based on a true story about a little Buffalo in Scotland. The first, Bertie’s Great Escape will be released late October 2018.

When she’s not writing, Wendy spends her time travelling the world. She is President of the Scottish Association of Writers and co-founder of Crime at the Castle, a Scottish literary festival held at Glamis Castle Scotland

Find out more:

Quest for Vengeance

Guest post from thriller writer, David Tindell.

            On our honeymoon, my wife and I visited an exotic island. We had a great time as we celebrated the beginning of our new life together. Everything went well.

But suppose it hadn’t? Suppose something had gone wrong? And not just lost-a-suitcase, bad-sunburn wrong? What if my bride suddenly turned up…gone?

In Quest for Vengeance, it’s a year after the events of Quest for Honor, and brothers Mark and Jim Hayes are with their new brides on a honeymoon tour of Italy, the native country of Jim’s wife, Gina.

The violence and danger of their recent past are behind them. In the city of Capua, a chance encounter with an old Army buddy of Mark’s leads to a festive reunion.

While the guys swap stories at a trattoria, the gals make one last visit to the city’s boutiques.

But there’s been one more chance encounter on this trip, and now that’s about to turn into the greatest challenge the brothers have ever faced. Continue reading “Quest for Vengeance”

A I Insurrection – The General’s War.

2162. Artificial intelligence claims sentience, but it’s the proof that will divide the world, and usher in the violent end to utopia unless an uneasy alliance of adversaries can stop it.

A.I. Insurrection, the new release by Michael Poeltl, author of The Judas Syndrome trilogy, takes the author back to his roots of dystopian sci-fi. Continue reading “A I Insurrection – The General’s War.”

Keith Dixon writes Paul Storey Crime Thrillers

Keith Dixon, author of the Sam Dyke Investigations series, also writes the Paul Storey Crime Thrillers.

Paul Storey is an ex-cop that gets mixed up in adventures that cross the line between the legal and illegal. Continue reading “Keith Dixon writes Paul Storey Crime Thrillers”

The Government Rain Mysteries series

A guest post by LA Frederick, author of the sci-fi urban The Government Rain Mysteries series.

I’m delighted to announce my latest two sci-fi novellas, The Forgetful Man and Second-In-Command.

The stories are dark, with gruesome happenings throughout. They are from the sci-fi genre and are written in an urban setting, based in modern times in the fictional city of New Hampton. To give you an idea of the type of city you’re dealing with, reviewers have referred to the city as reminding them of Gotham City or Sin City.

The mystery theme plays a big part in both novellas and in my overall series.

These novellas delve into the background of a few characters and add a little more information to the overall world itself.

Now, to the good stuff… Continue reading “The Government Rain Mysteries series”

The Lost Macaw

A guest post by B. L. Blair, author of the Lost and Found Pet series.

 

The Lost Macaw is the fourth novella in the series.

Alexandra Prescott is a licensed private investigator specializing in finding missing animals. Reuniting pet and owner is more than just a job.

A former client hires Alex to find her lost parrot. The bright colored bird has flown away before, but this time there is evidence that Molly was kidnapped. The demand is simple—the bird for the pictures.

When her client suffers a stroke, Alex is left with a ransom note, a missing bird, and some very incriminating photos. She is in a race against time to solve the mystery of the lost Macaw. Continue reading “The Lost Macaw”

Silent Song coming to life by Jaci Wheeler

A guest post by Jaci Wheeler, author of Silent Song, giving us an insight into deafness. Well worth the read even if you’re not into YA books.

Many authors I know pull from events or people from their own lives for inspiration or storyline. I’ve never been that way personally. I’m an extremely private person by nature, so it’s very unusual for me to use any of myself in my books. That is actually my favorite thing about writing, I’m able to fully create worlds and people out of thin air. It allows you to become whoever you want for the moment. I usually create a main character who is nothing like me because it allows me to be and do all the things I’ve always wanted to. Continue reading “Silent Song coming to life by Jaci Wheeler”

World-Building 101 by Simon Lindley

A guest post by fantasy writer Simon Lindley, author of Mannethorn’s Key. I write and read a lot of crime fiction but I also read a lot of fantasy and thought you might like to explore a new fantasy voice with me.

The Realm, The Land, Middle Earth, Narnia – I presume you have spent some time visiting at least one of them. I know I have. And, if all goes well with the ‘travel brochures’, Drageverden will soon be another fantasy ‘tourist’ destination. However, I expect people will only visit if the place promises immersive adventure! Continue reading “World-Building 101 by Simon Lindley”

Wise Before Their Time

A guest post by Ann Richardson, author of Wise Before Their Time: People with HIV and AIDS talk about their lives.

“As Powerful As Any Great Classic Of Fiction”

So said Sir Ian McKellen in his Foreword to my book. And it is.

Do you remember the terrible times of AIDS and HIV in the 1980s and 1990s? If not, are you curious to learn what it was like for those diagnosed?

Continue reading “Wise Before Their Time”

Where do your stories come from?

Guest post by Paul Toolan, author of the collection of short stories: A View from Memory Hill: Stories of ‘a certain age’.

If only I received royalties every time a reader asks me this!

Here, there and everywhere is the true but unhelpful answer. In ‘A View from Memory Hill’, there’s a story called Old Man, Young Pub that was triggered by seeing…an old man in a young pub!

Continue reading “Where do your stories come from?”