Posted on December 20, 2016
Guest Post on JBronder Book Reviews
My sister asks me after diving into one of my novels, “Where do you get these ideas?”
“My mind is a dangerous place to be,” I respond.
“No kidding,” she says. She should know. She grew up with me and observed first-hand the things I was capable of imagining. We didn’t have electronic games then, and there’s only so much monopoly anyone can stand, so we had to make up our own.
Game devising requires story-building skills and a fair amount of persuasive ability, since there were four of us and everyone had to be convinced before we donned costumes, picked up sabers, and went outside to hunt tigers. In case you’re wondering, I was never the helpless princess stuck in a tower waiting to be saved.
Perhaps a part of me got stuck in childhood, where anything can be true, any story can be spun out of sheer air and spoken into the world as if it were real.
Fiction writing is different from lying in only one respect: in the real world we lie to protect ourselves or get something (an advantage, revenge, out of a jam). Story-making is simply for the love of it.
If you close your eyes, breathe deeply, and simply let your mind talk to you, a story will begin to develop. Perhaps that’s all the mystery there is to fiction writing. Those of us who write novels listen to those ancient stories that bubble up from our deep memories of childhood where any game might be as real as it gets.
Certainly, I was influenced. There were all those fairytales we read, over and over out loud to each other. Pretty scary ones, too. I mean, now that we’re all adults here, imagine being abandoned by your parents in a forest when you’re six. You come upon a house made of cakes and candy, are rescued from starvation, and then watch the woman you trusted stuff your brother into a cage to fatten him up.
There’s no telephone to call for the police. You alone must save your brother. There’s an open oven that woman means to push you both into. What other recourse do you have?
Motive, means, opportunity. Nowadays, I would send Detective Sam Lagarde to investigate the murder of that old witch.
To see JBronder’s 5 star review of No Good Deed Left Undone, click here JBronder Book Reviews
Guest post on Cheryl’s Book Nook
Imagine I’ve survived a shipwreck—thrown into churning water, the ship sinking before my eyes, huge waves, sharp rocks, dragged across coral to be washed up on the beach, gasping like a dying fish exposed to air.
And yet, I’ve managed to preserve three books to keep me company while airplanes search for survivors 500 miles in the wrong direction.
I must have put these favorite books in a waterproof envelope, taped it closed, and strapped it to my body before I flung on the life preserver. Because, of course, what else would I save in a disaster besides my three favorite books?
Let’s hope I also had the presence of mind to place a flashlight, flip flops, lighter, and a few packets of meals-ready-to-eat in that waterproof bundle.
So we’ll go with that. I’ve made it onto the beach, stopped screaming for help, and decided to do something about my crisis. I gather whatever natural material burns and light a signal fire. From the beach, I pick up any useful implements that have washed up from the boat. I find a fresh water source, invent a way to contain the water, build a shelter, eat sparingly from my MREs, settle down on the sand, and…whip out my favorite book.
You see this now, right? The light from my fire illuminates the page. There’s a gentle after-storm breeze. Palms sway above me. And I’m reading…Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe because here’s a protagonist who’s been through this before and knows all the tricks to survive. This is my encyclopedia for living on a desert island. I’ll consult it daily.
The next morning, in a slightly lighter mood, I begin to read One Hundred Years of Solitude, just as a pick me up, something to take my mind off the fact that there’s no one else around. It whisks me away to a magical realm where anything can happen. Gabriel Garcia Marquez takes my breath away, even in the middle of a disaster.
I plan to make my own island into a utopia…somehow. Even if it takes generations. Of course, for that, I’d need at least one other person to show up, but I can imagine, can’t I? After all, I saved these three books. Imagination must count for something.
A year goes by. I’m a slow reader. I’m now walking around wearing the skin of some poor indigenous animal I’ve killed, or if I can’t bear to do that, the remaining rags of the clothes on my back when the ship went down. But I’ve learned how to fish and grill seaweed, so I’m good.
I’m reading All the Light We Cannot See, an absolutely delicious tale of things going really badly for two young people during World War II. I plan to read Anthony Doerr’s novel again and again, even if I’m rescued.
For Cheryl’s review of my second Sam Lagarde mystery, No Good Deed Left Undone, go to Cheryl’s Book Nook
In some ways, writing novels is like spending all day, every day, with your imaginary friends—the way you did when you were a child and poured a cup of imaginary tea for a friend no one could see, or insisted your mother kiss the invisible Emily goodnight or leave a seat for Jim at the dinner table.
(for more of this guest post, go to Library of Clean Reads)
Posted on December 1, 2016
There’s nothing like seeing your book show up in one of the world’s biggest magazines about mystery and thriller novels!
You can read it here: No Good Deed Left Undone Spotlight
Book Signing – Ginny Fite: No Good Deed Left Undone
When Grant Wodehouse went to the barn that fine morning, he had no idea what would happen–saddle a couple of horses, a little S&M with his neighbor, get a pitchfork rammed through his chest…He never expected the latter, although he bedded every female he saw and cheated everyone he did business with. Plenty of suspects, but who killed him?
Sam Lagarde Myysteries #2
Event date: Saturday, November 5, 2016 – 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Winchester Book Gallery
185 North Loudoun Street
Winchester, VA 22601
I’ll be at the following events as we launch my new mystery, NO GOOD DEED LEFT UNDONE. Come out and give a listen or ask your questions about writing, mysteries, or Sam Lagarde. All events are free and open to the public.
100 Thousand Poets for Change, Sept. 24, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The Timber Frame Folly, 301 Big Oak Drive, Shepherdstown, WV
Four Seasons Books, Oct. 2, 2 p.m.
116 W. German Street, Shepherdstown, WV
Charles Town Library, Oct. 13, 5 p.m.
200 E. Washington St., Charles Town, WV
St. Andrews Mountain Community Center Library, Oct. 15, 11 a.m.
58 Mission Road, Harpers Ferry
The Christmas Marketplace, Nov. 26 and Dec. 3, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
100 Washington St. Charles Town, WV
Writing is like dreaming with our eyes open. And, it’s also like lying — very convincing lying.
In our dreams, anything can happen: tumbling through the sky to our deaths, besting an enemy in battle, or being embraced by endless love. Dreams are where we practice skills (like flying), where we put two and two together, where insights come from — particularly useful for a detective like Sam Lagarde.
For more of this guest blog on Omnimystery.com go here: http://www.omnimysterynews.com/2016/03/please-welcome-back-mystery-author-ginny-fite-5f8f5c50.html
In the middle of the night several years ago, I was researching how to write a murder mystery. I
came upon a set of guidelines which began, “Find the body.” There may have been more to that
instruction, but that’s what I wrote down on a pink Post-it note along with six other brief mystery milestones that fit on a two-by-two inch piece of paper. I put the note on my desk, and from time to time read it over when my mind strayed from other tasks.
For the rest of this guest blog on bkstevensmysteries.com, click here: http://www.bkstevensmysteries.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/ginny.pdf