A Day in the Life of a Mystery Writer—and a Giveaway!

Lauren and Gnarly

Lauren and Gnarly

Lauren Carr is the best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. A Wedding and a Killing is the eight installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series.

In addition to her series set on Deep Creek Lake, Lauren Carr has also written the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates, who were introduced in Shades of Murder, the third book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. They also make an appearance in The Lady Who Cried Murder.

Lauren launched the Lovers in Crime (first introduced in Shades of Murder) mystery series in September 2012 with Dead on Ice. Real Murder is the second installment in this series.

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:

E-Mail: writerlaurencarr@gmail.net
Websites: http://acornbookservices.com/   //   http://mysterylady.net/
Blog: Literary Wealth
Facebook   //  Gnarly’s Facebook Page
Lovers in Crime Facebook Page   //  Acorn Book Services Facebook Page
Twitter: @TheMysteryLadie

For some reason, the general population is curious about the daily life of a writer.

What goes on in our lives from sunrise to sunset? Do we simply sit in front of the computer transmitting literary greatness from our brains, down our arms, and out through our fingertips to the keyboard?

Or are our lives more like a Neil Simon play (most of his protagonists were writers) with quirky characters coming in and out throughout the day to annoy and inspire us? Have you ever noticed how little time Neil’s protagonists actually spend writing? Or maybe we live like John-Boy Walton from “The Waltons”, where every day is filled with a wondrous discovery about life?

As a young girl aspiring to one day be a mystery writer, I had fantasized that my life would be like that of Jessica Fletcher in “It’s Murder, She Wrote”, or Ellery Queen. Not a week would go by without a dead body and mystery popping up for me to solve.

With my twelfth mystery, A Wedding and a Killing, released in September, and my thirteenth book, Three Days to Forever, scheduled for release in mid-January, I have given up all hope of tripping over a dead body during the course of my day. Frankly, there is not enough time in my schedule to nab real killers.

So, you may ask, what is the day in the life of a mystery writer like? Well, I have found that it takes a daily routine and a commitment to sticking to it in order to write books.

Here’s how I do it:

6:00 am: Each day starts with a vigorous run at the crack of dawn. To reveille performed by my security team [aka three dogs, Gnarly (German Shepherd/Chief of Security), Ziggy (Australian Shepherd/Deputy Chief), and Beagle Bailey (beagle/retiree)], I jump out of bed and run for the door to let them outside, where they immediately secure the perimeter from any invading squirrels, deer, or low-flying birds.

Hit the button to start the coffee brewing on the way to the door.

6:15-6:30 am: Start on the StairMaster with trips up and down the stairs at five-minute intervals to wake up teenaged son for school. End this exercise cycle with wrestling match from the bed to the floor. Winner pins her opponent.

6:30-7:00 am: Wake-up to coffee while reviewing e-mails. Delete junk e-mail; read the important stuff. Example of important: the forwarded stuff from friends that contain lots of jokes and cute animal pictures. It is important to start your day off in a good mood. This sets a positive tone for literary creation.

7:00 am: Security announces that the perimeter is secure, and they are now ready for breakfast. The Deputy Chief of Security (Ziggy) remains outside to direct deer traffic taking the expressway on the south end of the property. (Every now and then, one of those does has a collision while trying to text and drive from Route 115 to the river. Will they ever learn?)

Grab another cup of coffee and move from emails into social media.

Book promotion. Writers are expected to spend some time every day promoting their books. I use social media and guest blog posts. But writers need to be careful not to get so sucked into social media and end up not having any time to write. So I set the limit of three hours a day on social media. The rest of my day is spent writing.

7:30 am: Husband wakes up to discover that the coffee pot is empty and that I have once again set up camp in the corner of the living room instead of working in my writer’s studio, which has been occupied by son.

After making another pot of coffee, I send the Chief of Security (Gnarly) outside to once again check the perimeters. The Deputy Chief claims the area is secure, but Gnarly is a micromanager and feels the need to check it himself. After all, his master is a mystery writer with a following. There could be an obsessed fan out there in a squirrel suit. Meanwhile, Beagle Bailey, the retiree, takes his morning nap. We won’t see him again until 1 pm.

Back to writing guest blog posts and getting the word out to my followers on social media about Mac Faraday’s latest mystery. What a cute picture of a husky pup! I need to retweet that! … A nun killed a priest in Texas? Need to read that news article—research potential!

9:00 am: Son texts that he needs to stay after school for a meeting and husband has a meeting so I need to re-arrange my schedule. Husband wants breakfast and another cup of coffee—stares at me until I pick up the message telepathically. Ziggy announces that squirrels are threatening an advance from the Northeast ridge and needs back up. Imperative that I take a break from writing to go take care of my family before they completely fall apart. Hey, got a new follower on Twitter! She’s a mystery writer. Let me check out her books!

11:00 am: Discover that I am now five hours into my day and I am still in my bathrobe and slippers. You can’t expect to go far in your writing career if you don’t treat it seriously. You need to dress for it. Shower, dress, and get ready to work on my latest work in progress.

12 Noon: Husband asks what’s for lunch. Discover that I was so busy with my book promotion that I have not had breakfast. It is a busy life for a mystery writer!

1:00 pm: After cooking and eating lunch, I sit down to my laptop to work on my book. Email pops in from friend with link to article about an old man who kills wife of sixty years because he got sick of listening to her yap. That’s research potential!

1:15 pm: Gnarly announces that it is time to play catch. As Chief of Security, it is important that he stay at the top of his game by keeping his reflexes in tip-top shape with exercise. Go outside to play catch.

A Wedding and a Killing2:00 pm: Now it is time to get to work on my book.

3:00 pm: Husband asks, “What’s for dinner?” Unable to answer, I open the freezer door and stare into the interior until something jumps out at me. Husband rejects that. Back to staring into the freezer. Next thing that moves gets thawed.

3:30 pm: Move from freezer to the computer screen–Staring at the computer screen until drops of blood form on my forehead from thinking so hard.

3:35 pm: Inspiration breaks through and greatness pours from my fingertips onto the keyboard.

3:45 pm: Son texts: Aren’t U going to pick me up? I fly out the door.

4:00 pm: Pick up son at school. He announces that he’s hungry. Race home to cook dinner before he collapses from hunger.

7:00 pm: After Dinner. The quiet of the evening is a great time to get those creative juices flowing. Now is the time to let my characters come to life and write late into the evening.

8:30 pm: Security team announces that it is time to secure the perimeter for the night. On the way through the kitchen, a carton of ice cream calls to me from the freezer. A hot fudge sundae would surely give me strength to write late into the night.

9:00 pm: Security declares the boundaries safe for the night and come in to call it a night. The Chief (Gnarly) critiques the team on their day’s performance. The Deputy Chief (Ziggy) disagrees with the Chief’s evaluation. That bird had violated our airspace and needed to be reprimanded. An argument results. Gnarly feels Ziggy over reacted. I’m called in to negotiate. Everyone retreats to their beds in disgust.

With the sundae devoured, I return to the laptop with the full intention to write late into the night … or until the pillow starts calling out that it’s my bedtime (around 12 Midnight).

How did Jessica Fletcher write so many books in “It’s Murder, She Wrote” with mysteries to solve every week?

 

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Giveaway:
Three ebook copies of Lauren Carr’s
A Wedding and a Killing!
To enter the
drawing, just leave a comment below
about what keeps interrupting your day.
The three winning names will be drawn
on Monday evening, November 17th.