Spent a week-end with a bunch of writers (what do you call a gaggle of writers?). The writer-in-residence was Julie Ann Lindsey. She was brilliant. The first night she showed us her outline. (BTW - Claudia Taller - the woman who creates the week-ends, is awesome.)
BACKTRACK - I was concerned about attending this 'retreat' because the first order of business was outlines and I am not a fan of outlines.
Julie showed us her outline and I took note. She uses color-coding, she's probably not the only one, but most folk I talk to (or have listened to in seminars) spend so much time on their outline and make it beyond complicated that I thought, how can I enjoy writing if I've already written my book in outline form?
Next book I start, I'm using an outline - but my own kind. I am stubborn.
The rest of the week-end was as exciting as the first. Mary Bodnar showed us some really great moves to prepare our bodies for writing and our souls for creativity. It was fun, even if I had to sit in a chair to do it. (Still recovering).
The murder and mayhem mentioned in the posting title is due to Julie's books. She is a mystery writer. I'd love to share my love of mysteries at the moment, but I want to concentrate on the book I read.
When I go to these week-end affairs, I almost always buy one book by the author's attending. I bought one of Julie's that intrigued me. It is the third book in her Patience Price mystery series. 'Murder in Real Time' was a blast to read. The characters are each different and Julie makes it easy to discern who is talking or doing or having fun or getting murdered. The backdrop, the scenes, all take place on an island that is usually filled with tourists or birders. The plot is good and kept me wondering. I love to figure out who the killer is, but Julie surprised me. I'd had a thought, but I didn't follow through with it.
A former FBI counselor moves back to her home when she is 'let go' - redacted as the Brits say. I think. She finds her childhood friends and is followed by an FBI special agent who might have a crush on her.
The island is transformed form the wondrous, serene and comfortable home that Patience longed for and expected. Not this time - some fool has invited a realty TV producer and his entourage to film a 'Halloween' segment on the island and mayhem happens on Day 1. Two of the cast are found dead in a locked room. Shades of Sherlock Holmes.
Patience tries to agree with her FBI friend to not investigate the murders, but her own curiosity, and the needs of her friends and fellow-townspeople force her into action.
And what action it is. Great book. Lots of fun. I refuse to divulge anything else because -- spoilers.
Here's her blog. I plan on buying the first book in the series and then finishing the second and then on to her other series. She writes well and kept me questioning every twist and turn. Not too many to stupefy but enough to keep me on edge.
Hope you enjoy. Very glad Julie started writing and sharing her stories with the world.