In addition to her series set in the northern panhandle of West Virginia, Lauren Carr has also written the Mac Faraday Mysteries, set on Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland, and the Thorny Rose Mysteries, set in Washington DC. The second installment in the Thorny Rose Mysteries, which features Joshua Thornton’s son Murphy and Jessica Faraday, Mac’s daughter, A Fine Year for Murder, was released in January 2017.
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 four dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV. Visit Lauren Carr’s website at http://www.mysterylady.net to learn more about Lauren and her upcoming mysteries.
After working more than thirty years to make it to best-selling status and having consistent sales and fabulous reviews from readers and book reviewers, I can understand the fear that some successful authors may have about changing anything in their books, especially if it is a series, for fear of losing devoted readers.
Most likely, this may explain why I have heard many readers say about some of their favorite, or rather one-time favorite authors, “All of her/his books are the same. Each one has the same general plot. All she/he does is change the names.”
These authors are afraid of messing with success. “Why fix what isn’t broken?”
That’s not me. When I was nineteen years old, I went up in an airplane for the first time and jumped out. Fortunately, I was wearing a parachute. Even more fortunately, it opened. I didn’t go up in a plane and land in it until I went to Washington, D.C. four years later.
If I wasn’t fearless I would never have struck out on my own to be an independent author and tried to make my way without the benefit of a literary agent or traditional publisher. Since I am not dependent on either, I am free to strike out to challenge writing skills with every new work-in-progress.
Authors are like athletes. We need to write every day or our writing muscles lose their strength. Also, like athletes, we need to push ourselves harder in order to reach bigger goals in our craft. This means writing outside our comfort zones—refusing to get stuck writing what our readers can come to view as formula.
When authors get content to write at the same level, without pushing themselves (and even their characters), then their writing becomes stale, not only for the writer penning it, but for their readers.
Despite the risk, in my heart, I’m still the same girl who jumped out of an airplane at nineteen.
I admit, I do keep my readers in mind when I pen my mysteries. With them in mind, I don’t expect my readers to have any more fun reading the same book over and over again than I would have writing it over and over again. So, it is not only for my own selfish reasons that I am currently writing—
I can hear you saying, “Twofer murder? What’s a twofer murder?”
Twofer Murder will be a treat for mystery lovers because it is two mysteries in one novel. This book will contain all of the characters from the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose mysteries. The guys go fishing and get embroiled in a murder mystery. Meanwhile, the ladies go off to a murder mystery writers conference and end up wrapped up in their own mystery when an up and coming mystery writer ends up dead! Can’t beat that! Two mysteries for the price of one!
Is it a challenge writing two murder mysteries with two sets of characters in the same novel? Yes, very much so! That’s why I am having so much fun with this work in progress.
What if your readers don’t like it? What if it ends up being a flop? I look at it this way. Sometimes, when you jump out of an airplane, your chute doesn’t open. But when it does, you get to enjoy a wonderful ride that others can only wish they could experience.
So far, Twofer Murder is proving to be just such a ride!
Dear readers, look for your ticket for this ride later this summer! If you’re open to adventures, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the wild ride reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!