This morning, pre-orders became available for the e-book of my forthcoming mystery, MISSED CUE, with the official release happening on August 8th. I’m excited and thrilled that Melange Books took a chance on my fifth novel, my first written for adults.
I’m also a bit stunned that this is happening because this is a book I hadn’t intended to write! As many of you know, my writing niche has been young adult romantic mysteries. In fact, as I’ve done several interviews about the book coming out, one of the most common questions I get is: How did you come to write a police procedural?
Honestly, I think of this as my “accidental” novel. Since my background was in the performing arts, a dear writing friend challenged me to write a short story for Malice Domestic’s anthology, MURDER MOST THEATRICAL.
I hesitated. The sum total of my short fiction writing experience was my seventh-grade story, “Woman in the Dugout.” But then I got this idea that a revered ballerina would suspiciously die onstage. Since the autopsy would reveal no apparent cause of death, my homicide detective would not only have to figure out who killed the dancer, but how they did it.
After the story came out, I didn’t feel I was done. The confines of short fiction meant I really couldn’t deeply explore the character and personal challenges of the detective, Caitlin O’Connor, and character has always been what has fascinated me the most. So, I decided to expand the story into a novel. By the time I finished writing the novel, even the identity of the murderer had changed!
As I immersed myself in Caitlin’s world and her issues, I became very attached to her. She’s a highly competent and caring character who keeps entangling herself in unhealthy relationships with married men. She finally goes into therapy to figure out why she keeps doing this to herself.
Meantime, she’s struggling with how to help her on-the-job partner Stan whose drinking has spiraled out of control in the wake of his wife’s abandonment.
And then there’s that attractive man who appears in her life who’s actually available. She doesn’t do relationships with single guys, but he shows no signs of being put off by her reluctance to get involved.
In other words, Caitlin’s case and her life are both complicated. I’d love for you to check out MISSED CUE and witness her journey. She doesn’t just solve the most complicated case of her career. She grows and matures as a human being. I hope you’ll find Caitlin’s story as satisfying to read as it was to write it!