From Neighborhood Bully to Killer … or Murder Victim

Lauren Carr 2Lauren Carr fell in love with mysteries when her mother read Perry Mason to her at bedtime. The first installment in the Joshua Thornton mysteries, A Small Case of Murder, was a finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award.

Lauren is also the author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. It’s Murder, My Son, Old Loves Die Hard, and Shades of Murder have all been getting rave reviews from readers and reviewers. Blast from the Past is the fourth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series. The next installment in the Mac Faraday series will be released in October of this year.

Released September 1012, Dead on Ice introduces a new series entitled Lovers in Crime, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates. The second installment in the Lovers in Crime series will be out in 2013.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Visit Lauren’s websites and blog at:
Websites:   and
Blog: Literary Wealth:
Gnarly’s Facebook Page:
Lovers in Crime Facebook Page:
Twitter: @TheMysteryLadie



The other day, I was sharing a hearty loud laugh with my good friend Fay Moore, whose first book is coming out this summer; and Tom Logan, another great friend. We were meeting for lunch at Panera Bread and I couldn’t resist telling them about my latest encounter with our neighborhood bully.

Yep, bullies aren’t confined to big rude kids picking on smaller children to steal their milk money … maybe nowadays it’s cell phones. Have you ever wondered what becomes of those bullies when they grow up?

Three things can happen:

1.    He can encounter a bigger guy willing to take the time to give him an attitude adjustment, after which he will become a contributing member of society, or—
2.    He can end up in jail or dead after bullying the wrong person, and/or—
3.    He can move him and his bad attitude into a nice neighborhood where he’ll end up becoming a victim or killer in a murder mystery writer’s books.

Blast from the PastMy husband has given me a shirt that reads: CAREFUL, YOU MIGHT END UP IN ONE OF MY BOOKS. It’s the truth. Writers study people and situations to put into their books. Drawing traits from real people, these writers are better able to bring their books to life for the readers. It is situations like these that will make readers sit up and say, “I know a guy just like that.”

One reader told me that she was floored when Gnarly made his den under Mac Faraday’s bed in It’s Murder, My Son. Her dog does that same thing. She had no idea other dogs do that. Well, I drew that trait from my dog Ziggy. Now, the real life Gnarly is making his den under my bed.

Therefore, it should not be surprising that murder mystery writers will vent their anger or frustration at a foe by killing them or making them the killer in their books. One writer I read in a forum confessed to killing his boss four times. Another author I saw on a panel at a conference admitted to killing a stranger who had cut her off on the expressway. I made an ex-friend a killer in one of my books. In another book, I used a mean girl I had gone to school with. I hadn’t seen her in over twenty years, but it sure felt good to have my revenge.

In Blast from the Past, I killed a writer with horrible body odor and bad breath who had me pinned in a corner with bad ventilation at a workshop. I knew nothing about him except that he needed a really good shower.

In The Murders at Astaire Castle (coming September 2013), one of the murder victims is the billionaire owner of a software company whose program gave me grief for several days.

This particular bully has lived in our neighborhood for twelve years, during which he has never said one civil word to me in our half-dozen encounters. The words he has said have all been in a volume way above conversational. Plus, he’s never short of personal insults to direct at me. Ironically, after twelve years, we still don’t know the bully’s name.

However, Bully has said not one word to my husband, which proves that there is truth to the soothing words parents tell their children: Bullies really are cowards.( I never pictured husbands saying that to their wives about grown-up neighbors.) Obviously, Bully fears that my husband would give his attitude a really good adjustment if he were to strike out at him for being so rude as to exhale carbon dioxide in the direction of his property.

With no warning of any issues that I may be causing, Bully strikes like a mugger in the dark of the night to verbally assault me. Once his complaint was about one of my dogs peeing in his driveway the first week that he had moved in. This attack occurred several years after he had moved in and the dog had passed away years earlier. Obviously, Bully has too much time on his hands if he was stewing about that urine in his driveway all those years.

The Murders at Astaire CastleThat was the first time I killed him in It’s Murder, My Son. After blowing him and his house up, I had closure and was able to move on with my life.

This latest attack came again early in the morning, before I had my first cup of coffee while I was out walking Gnarly.

So … I need to kill him AGAIN. Luckily, he struck while I was putting together my next Mac Faraday Mystery which I am releasing in November: The Lady Who Cried Murder. Bully and his nasty ways fit perfectly into my plotline. He filled the role I needed to perfection.

Oh, this time I’m going to kill him in a deliciously violent manner befitting a neighborhood bully. Of course, I’m not going to tell you how I kill him. You’re going to have to read The Lady Who Cried Murder  (coming in November 2013) to find out.

I actually came out of this attack better than in our previous encounters. For days after this attack, I giggled with delight while molding Bully into my storyline. He had inspired me in a way that nice people don’t.

That was when I made a discovery. Murder mystery writers need bullies. Upon that discovery, I wrote this dedication for The Lady Who Cried Murder:

To the arrogant, envious, rude, self-centered, demented, and twisted souls amongst us. For without you, murder mystery writers would be without inspiration.

What would murder mystery writers do if everyone just got along?


From Writers to Published Authors Conference

To Be Held Saturday, October 5

The first annual From Writers to Published Authors Conference

is scheduled for Saturday, October 5 from 8:45 am to 5:00 pm.


This writers conference will be held at Oakland Church, located on 70 Oakland Terrace in Charles Town, WV.

The From Writers to Published Authors Conference offers writers the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of writing and

publishing directly from those who have gone before them. At this first annual event, authors and publishers will gather

together to spend the day helping new writers to reach their goal of not only publishing their books, but doing it right.


For further information, please see the brochure here—

Contact Lauren Carr at for more information about submissions to

Acorn Book Services or about attending the From Writers to Published Authors Conference.