Saturday, March 29, 2014

Musical Inspiration

by Julie Anne Lindsey

As a writer, my imagination is always in overdrive. I people-watch and eavesdrop and ask stranger questions in line at the checkout. I can’t help myself. People are so interesting. Why do we do the things we do? I want to know! I got a degree in psychology hoping to find out. It didn’t help. Instead I learned people are strange. We’re each unique and our perspectives skew our behavior. What makes me cry makes a psychopath laugh and a sociopath feel nothing. That’s crazy-interesting, right?

When I set out to write my first cozy mystery a few years ago, I was surprised at my source of inspiration. A love song. By Katy Perry. How a love song inspired a mystery is as strange as anything else that motivates us. I’ll never understand it, but I am thankful. The song titled The One That Got Away changed my writer-life. If you aren’t familiar, the lyrics follows the lament of a girl who lost the man of her dreams, her soul mate, because she let him get away. Given the chance, she’d have held on tighter, but she didn’t and he’s gone. Typical. Yes, but something about the music, her voice, the tone…got my mental wheels turning.

My brain twisted the love song into questions: What if he broke her heart when he left her and they met again ten years later? Would she hold a grudge or run back into his arms? What if he’s on the lam for murder and she’s in a position to help him? What about then? What if she holds a grudge? Suddenly the story was taking shape in my head. I empathized with the grudge-holding and the heart-breaking. Who hasn’t had their heart broken? I certainly have. I’m more passive then my heroine, so it was fun to watch her struggle with the choices and emotions. The history she shared with her ex made her want to help clear his name. The fact he broke her teenage-heart made her want to smash an ice cream in his nose. Ah, what’s a girl to do?

The questions were so much fun I had to complicate it further. What if her current crush and FBI Special Agent came to help out with her investigation? What if she’s harboring a fugitive ex-boyfriend and hiding a romantic interest in the agent. *wrings hands* Her ex would surely see right through her. What would he think of her new love interest? Jealousy? Relief? A combination, I think. So, he waffles between tempting her and taunting her. Given the heroine’s high-strung Type-A personality, she’s stressed to the max and in desperate need of solving the case before she kills her ex or her agent crush finds him. See? Interesting! What would I do? What would you do? I bet all that pressure makes her impetuous and that’s not good when you’re searching for a killer. Needless to say, she gets herself into some sticky situations. That are hilarious.

I can’t thank Kay Perry enough for writing the song that started my series. I’ve never enjoyed writing anything as much as writing this series. I wish the stories could go on forever, but I guess I need to focus on the now. And right now, I’m celebrating the release of book two in my series.
If you’re looking for a fun new mystery series, I hope you’ll consider Murder Comes Ashore. You’ll find mystery, chemistry and fun. Plus, who doesn’t need an island get away?

Murder Comes Ashore

Patience Price is just settling into her new life as resident counselor on Chincoteague Island when things take a sudden turn for the worse. A collection of body parts have washed up on shore and suddenly nothing feels safe on the quaint island.

Patience instinctively turns to current crush and FBI special agent Sebastian for help, but former flame Adrian is also on the case, hoping that solving the grisly crime will land him a win in the upcoming mayoral election.
When the body count rises and Patience's parents are brought in as suspects, Patience is spurred to begin her own investigation. It's not long before she starts receiving terrifying threats from the killer, and though she's determined to clear her family's name, it seems the closer Patience gets to finding answers, the closer she comes to being the killer's next victim.

The book is available at Amazon  and  Barnes and Noble      

About Julie:

Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She’s a self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun. Julie lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Today, she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world.
Murder Comes Ashore is a sequel in her new mystery series, Patience Price, Counselor at Large, from Carina Press.  

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Jean Henry Mead said...

Welcome to Mysterious Writers, Julie. It's great to have you join us here this coming week.

Julie Anne Lindsey said...

Thank you so much for having me! I'm smiling wildly in Ohio!