The premise for your story is intriguing. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I’ve been a blogger for about ten years now, so I thought it would be fun to make blogging the occupation of the main character. Once I determined that, I asked myself, “What does this character blog about?” The idea of blogging about unsolved cold cases came to mind, and I decided then that I would enjoy reading such a blog, so it just seemed like the perfect start to developing an interesting character who finds herself embroiled within one of the cold cases she is researching.
The easy answer would be to say that I was born and raised in South Louisiana, so it’s less challenging to write about familiar territory. However, while that’s true, it’s not the entire reason. South Louisiana, with its many bayous and its haunting past, provides a natural setting for a mystery / suspense novel. In addition, the Cajun population naturally contains its share of “quirky” characters, and I wanted to infuse the tense drama with some lighter, sometimes funny, moments. Finally, I believe readers enjoy learning about new places and cultures, without having to think too hard or being made to feel as though they are being educated. South Louisiana provides plenty of rich experience through landscape, history, and culture that keeps readers engaged and interested.
The biggest challenge in writing The Grave Blogger was my own propensity for second-guessing myself. Since this was my first novel, I was constantly wondering if this thing was any good or not. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to distance myself enough from my writing to be a completely objective judge, but hopefully, the second-guessing will lessen to some degree over time.
The other main challenge is one that I’m sure is all too common – time – or the lack thereof. My “day job” and life in general makes it difficult to devote much time to writing, so the majority of the book was written late at night. I suppose the late night writing sessions may have even contributed to some of the darker moments in the book.
The Grave Blogger is the first in a series. I’ll be writing several more that involve the same main cast of characters. Each subsequent book, however, will focus on a different character than the others. So, for example, The Grave Blogger’s main character was Raya. While she will still play a significant role in every book of the series, she won’t be the main focus. Nick, Dustin, Sharon, Elise, and perhaps others will get their share of the spotlight in future novels.
Absolutely! That’s not to say I would necessarily turn down a publishing deal, but I do love the control that comes with self-publishing. There are benefits and drawbacks to both traditional publishing and self-publishing, but I don’t regret taking the self-publishing route at all. It’s been a very positive experience for me.
I love a good mystery! I’m not terribly picky about the sub-genre. Traditional mystery, hard-boiled detective, police procedural, suspense, or thriller…I’m happy with them all.
My sister told me about it. I have no idea how she discovered indieBRAG, but obviously word of mouth is still a powerful force in marketing.
“You’ll never shine if you don’t glow”. This is a lyric from an old Smash Mouth song called “All Star”. The video is a little silly, but the lyrics really do pack a lot of meaning. This particular quote is actually my motto; it’s definitely one of my life’s guiding principles. That line can probably be taken any number of ways, but I interpret it this way: Find the spark within you; the joy, the life, the wonder of yourself and let it out! Share those special parts of yourself with the world, and you’ll find that the tiny spark begins to glow, eventually resulting in a light that shines brightly in many positive ways.
A message from BRAG: