Friday, November 30, 2012

Series or Standalones by M.M. Gornell

Madeline (M.M.) Gornell has four published mystery novels—PSWA awarding winning Uncle Si’s Secret (2008); Death of a Perfect Man (2009); Eric Hoffer Fiction finalist and Honorary Mention winner, the da Vinci Eye finalist, and Montaigne Medalist finalist Reticence of Ravens (2011); and PSWA award winner and Hollywood Book Festival Honorary Mention Lies of Convenience (2012). Both Reticence of Ravens and Lies of Convenience are Route 66 mysteries.

Madeline is also a potter with a fondness for stoneware and reduction firing. She lives with her husband and assorted canines in the Mojave Desert in a town on internationally revered Route 66.
Welcome back to Mysterious Writers, Madeline. It's great to have you stop by during the Mystery We Write Blog Tour.
Oh Jean, so great being back on tour with you. I’ve so enjoyed being on “the bus” with you before (of course with Earl Staggs driving—you can’t lose!) Even though we’ve talked about so many aspects of writing on our tours—it’s a BIG topic—you’ve thankfully once again offered me the opportunity to spout-off about an aspect of writing I’m interested in. Wonderful! 

I’ve gushed over P.D. James before, and what an inspiration she has been for me. However, one of your topic possibilities that caught my eye—series or standalones—believe it or not, took me back to P.D. When I started writing novels, I wanted to emulate her, i.e., a male protagonist in a detective mystery series.
Well, the writing gods had other ideas! Instead, I’ve been inspired by various locations to right standalone mysteries. Each with a different set of characters, encountering unique circumstances, in unique locations (two are tied to California’s Mojave High-Desert.) And for protagonist, only one has been male—Hubert Champion III in Reticence of Ravens. And, my current work-in-progress is my first attempt to write a sequel—and truthfully, it’s tough going. I like jumping in, then jumping out of my character’s lives. For me, that’s so much part of the writing-fun. With Hugh, I’m taking one of his “what-if” possibilities to its short-term conclusion. I’m having to decide Hugh’s fate (admittedly only short term), but still, it’s a new experience—and turning out to be slow going. Working title, Counsel of Ravens. 

On the promotions front, part of me thinks standalones are harder to develop a reader following. But my creative inspirations have minds of their own! Alas, already developing a story idea for another location I passed recently even though  my sequel awaits!
Thanks, Jean, for inviting me back on this tour and letting me spout-off once again. Sure enjoy visiting with you.

My pleasure. You can learn more about Madeline (M.M. Gornell) and her books at, Barnes and, and Smashwords, in paper and e-book formats. And you can visit her online at her website , or her BLOG You can also email her directly at 

Book Giveaway:

Buster, Dobie, and Mugs (the latest) are each drawing a name from comments for free copies of Lies of Convenience (or a M.M. Gornell title of your choosing)

 Buy link for Lies of Convenience:


Joyce Lavene said...

Interesting blog!

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Madeline is one of my favorite people. Loved the post.

M.M. Gornell said...

Good morning! Thanks so much Joyce and Marilyn for dropping by. "Jean's place" is one of my favorite tour stops and glad you enjoyed my post.


Jean said...

I decided on a stand alone series. I love my characters so much it's hard to let 'em go. :-)

M.M. Gornell said...

Our characters, are like real people, aren't they Jean? I sure can understand not wanting to let 'em go...


WS Gager said...

Madaline: Funny how our books take over what we planned and do what they want. Seems crazy but is so true.
W.S. Gager on Writing

Collin Kelley said...

Another great post from Madeline!

john M. Daniel said...

Madeline, I approve of the standalone as a writing genre. Most of my published books are standalones, and I relish the freedom. In a way, my three Guy Mallon mysteries are all so different from each other that they're standalones, too.
Wonderful post, Madelline. good to spend time with you.