Monthly Archives: August 2015

Not Exactly How To Get Away With Murder

Florida has sinkholes that shock people with their sudden severity. I wonder whether I could hide a body in one of them. Or can I kill someone “by sinkhole?” That’d be a new twist.

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Not that you thought I would, but I’m not going to teach you how to escape capture if you decide to become a murderer. I’ll remind you I’m a novelist, not a killer, even though I hash out my occasionally violent imaginings on paper and computer screen.

People wonder where and how I get my ideas, especially when it comes to killing. Friends and family would—I daresay—call me sweet and silly, a good person. So how come all the murder and madness? Because writing and releasing into the cosmos the emotions associated with those subjects, and writing about so many other feelings, is powerful and fulfilling and entertaining on a level that’s manageable and acceptable. People enjoy being scared to a certain extent, and writing in the realm of fiction is one safe way to encounter that fear and overcome it.

And, gosh, stories are everywhere.

No, I don’t have hundreds and thousands of good homicidal schemes running through my brain at any particular point. I’m no executioner. But curious notions come at me in the most random manners. True; murder by sinkhole—it could happen. All I have to do is turn on the news or surf the Internet. Whee … ideas aplenty.

A major point to remember, though, is that coming up with ideas is only part of the writing battle. And a battle it truly is at times.

An author must finesse the story into something logical, entertaining, suspenseful and heartfelt.

Just because I can kill someone with a sinkhole doesn’t mean I can write it gracefully and alluringly enough for you to want to read it. That’s one of many things I love about great authors. Their words make you part of the story. Their stories take you around the room, around the world, around the universe and leave you wanting more. You’re transported. Love that.

My tales aren’t only about killers, though they add a certain something to writing mysteries. I also enjoy writing about adventures, fun locations and food. I think that combination makes my stories engaging on different levels and appealing to people who love an escapist read.

I grew up on Staten Island, one of the boroughs of New York, and lived in Manhattan for many years, but I’ve always been a beach bum at heart. Now that I live in St. Augustine, I can draw material from both worlds: the vibrant city experience and the relaxed vibe of a small town. This gives me a fun, unique perspective from which to write and explore. How great is that?

My next stories—yep, I have a few swirling—will take my characters and me back to the Caribbean, solving old mysteries in one and trying to uncover long-buried Spanish maritime secrets in another. Well, that’s the idea right now.

I hope you’ll stay tuned to learn how I manage to kill off a few folks. It wouldn’t be quite the same mystery without a little bloodshed, now would it? And if you have any dispatching suggestions you’d like to offer, please add them in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.