A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!

Julie Moffet . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson . Vanessa Keir . Tonya Kappes . Julie Rowe . Joni M Fisher . Leslie Langtry

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


When I was about to begin the Murders by Design Series, I was torn about where to place it.  The old adage, “Write about what you know” echoed in my head and wouldn’t go away even though I wanted it to.  There’s a lot of wisdom in that saying, so why was I resisting?

My DH said, “Use New England as a setting. You were raised there and know it well.  Why reinvent the wheel?”  Writing pals offered much the same advice, and it’s good advice.  But that’s not where I wanted to go.

 I didn’t want to visit all the locales I once knew, not even in my mind.  The movie theater that’s no more, the church John and I were married in and that later burned to the ground, the house I grew up in . . . it’s so small now.  My father’s grave.  The high school where I met my first love . . . where is he today?

No, all of these memories come crowding in and crowding out a fresh beginning.  I needed to get in a happy zone, in a brand new place where I had no long history, just a clean canvas I could paint with humor and fresh, tongue-in-cheek colors.  So I chose my current home town, Naples, Florida.

Naples offered a sub-tropical, kind of glamorous and up-beat locale for the series, including the newest release, Rooms To Die For.  Deva Dunne, my heroine and amateur sleuth loves it there, even though the humidity plays havoc with her hair, and the sun turns her freckles into polka dots.  But on the plus side, her interior design business is thriving and so is her relationship with studly Lieutenant Victor Rossi.  In fact, Deva’s life is full and exciting as she helps Rossi live a life of crime—busting—while creating gorgeous rooms that are to die for.

To see what Deva’s up to, check out some first chapter excerpts:


Elise Warner said...

"See Naples and die." Your choice of setting reads like a perfect choice.So far, my characters and plot pick the place where the action begins and ends.

jean harrington said...

Yeah, Elise, Naples was a good locale to plunk an interior designer protag. Now I'm searching around for a quirky, off-beat location for a new story. A place not usually chosen for a setting. Any ideas? I'm open!

Toni Anderson said...

I adore settings :) I always think of settings as characters in their own right. Naples sounds perfect for you story, Jean. :)

Quirky? Newfoundland is quirky :)

Anne Marie Becker said...

Like Toni, I think Naples sounds perfect for your characters and story! I had heard the write what you know advice, too, but wanted a grittier city than San Antonio (where I grew up) for my series, so I picked Chicago. ;) But the book I'm working on now takes place in San Antonio. ;)

jean harrington said...

Newfoundland is quirky but is it fun? Chicago's gritty all right, though I was treated to a ride along GORGEOUS Sheridan Road last summer. You can do a lot with Chicago.

And San Antonio with all that history, and Spanish influence and the riverwalk. Luscious. Good suggestions, but I'm still open.

Rita said...

I wish I got to pick. My characters get to do that. If I try they make my life miserable

jean harrington said...

Rita, Enjoyed your comment. Now that's really getting into the zone!

Ana Barrons said...

I felt as though I was really taking a risk writing a book set largely in Scotland, but like you, Jean, I felt as though it was time for something new. It was refreshing to be someplace else in my head for a while (and my characters liked it too).

jean harrington said...

Yes, Ana, that's it--being someplace new in your head is like taking a vacation.

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