From Grit to Humour – How did that Happen?
Guest post from Scottish Crime Writer, Wendy H Jones, author of three very different crime mystery series.
Firstly, thank you, Peter, for inviting me onto your blog. It’s a real honour to be here.
When I think about writing a blog post, the first reaction is always panic. What on earth shall I write about? Obviously, I want to be interesting, valid, current, useful and every other adjective in between. Do I also want to be gritty and humorous?
In this case, the answer is yes. Most definitely so. At least I want to talk about my move from writing on the edge of your seat, gritty, Scottish Noir fiction, to writing laugh out loud, funny, detective fiction. That’s some change or is it?
I need to start with the fact I have always been a reader. An advanced reader, I joined the library at the age of three. An impossible task in those days.
I had read my way through the entire children’s section of the library by the age of ten via books such as Famous Five, Secret Seven, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. Mystery was always my go to, although I read many different genres. At ten, I moved on to adult mysteries such as those by Agatha Christie.
As the years moved on, the crime I read became more and more gritty, although I’ve always had a penchant for the gentler side of crime fiction as well.
Reading Janet Evanovich’s books introduced me to laugh out loud crime. I was hooked.
My first series, The DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries, moved hurriedly into the Tartan Noir movement. The first book, Killer’s Countdown proved popular and was quickly followed by five more in the series, all with titles beginning with Killer’s.
The seventh in the series, Killer’s Curse, will be released later this year.
However, I still didn’t lose my desire to try my hand at comedic crime. Something that would make my readers laugh.
Brainstorming ideas for a main character, I came up with the most unlikely Private Detective imaginable. Cass (Cassandra) Claymore is a redheaded, motorbike riding, ex-ballerina who inherits a private detective agency.
Then she manages to hire an ex-con dwarf and an octogenarian. Who in their right minds would start a detective agency staffed by a ballerina, an ex-con, and a pensioner? Me of course.
I had an absolute ball writing it. I spent time laughing from start to finish. I read bits out to readers and writers, all of whom laughed. By this point, I knew I was on to a winner.
The first book in the series, Antiques and Alibis, was released on 1st August 2018. The next four will be called, Blood and Bone, A Cluster of Corpses, Dance of Death, and Evil and Ecstasy.
Will I make it to Z? That remains to be seen. In the meantime, I shall enjoy writing those four. I can assure you I will be laughing.
To all writers, follow your passion and see where it takes you. To all readers, try something different and you might discover a new reading passion. You can start with Antiques and Alibis, available from:
Wendy H. Jones is an award-winning Scottish Crime Writer who lives and sets her books in Dundee, Scotland. She is also an International Public Speaker talking about writing and marketing.
Killer’s Crew, the first book in her DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries was the Winner of the Books Go Social Book of the Year 2017. The Dagger’s Curse, the first book in her Young Adult mystery series, was a finalist in the Woman Alive Magazine Readers Choice Award 2017.
She has signed a publishing contract with Malcolm Down and Sarah Grace Publishing for the first book in a children’s picture book series, based on a true story about a little Buffalo in Scotland. The first, Bertie’s Great Escape will be released late October 2018.
When she’s not writing, Wendy spends her time travelling the world. She is President of the Scottish Association of Writers and co-founder of Crime at the Castle, a Scottish literary festival held at Glamis Castle Scotland
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