Today’s Thriller Thursday welcomes romantic suspense writer Pat Dale. My fellow MuseItUp Publishing author writes spine tingling suspense and drama – the kind we all love. But Pat’s no one-trick pony. He loves crossing genres, including romance, usually a woman’s domain, and is great example of a lesson all writers need to remember: write what you love!
When I first began my writing career, I made a choice that didn’t sit well with my mentor. I was advised that I should pick one genre and stick to it. Well, I’m from Missouri, stubborn in the trace, and kind of mule-headed generally. I like several genres and couldn’t pick just one. Oh, I could have, and that would have been mystery. Always loved those mystery novels of the old days.
As things progressed, I decided to prove that a man can write a successful romance (check out above Missouri references). My wife, not a romance fan, argued with me but my intransigence won out, and I wrote several romantic comedies and suspense novels. Got them published. Got some good reviews. Okay, I proved that point. Now, what?
I’m back to writing what I enjoy the most; mysteries. But, good old Missouri mule that I am, I still cannot confine myself to just one type of mystery. No problem. After a lifetime of doing things the hard way and persevering, I’m ready for this latest challenge.
I have the first of a series coming out in May, Toccata. It’s a romantic (see how corrupted I am by that genre?) adventure set in the city where I grew up: St. Louis. This is an experimental extension of the traditional whodunit novel and damn hard to put together. Book one is on the way to my readers, and book two is in the publisher’s hands, ready for editing, with book three on the drawing board as we speak. Things are moving along nicely.
So how can I screw that up? Simple. I’m beginning work on a different series, a more traditional kind of mystery, set in another city I know and love: Kansas City. Series one is written in third person, utilizing principally the voices of Dan Quinn and Sera Moreland, my male and female protagonists, to tell the tale. Series two is written in first person, in the voice of my sleuth, CT Archer, with a turn toward sarcastic enthusiasm in his pursuit of justice. St. Louis Blues Mysteries are 90-100K in length, but Archer Chronicles will be much shorter, in the 50-60K realm.
I suppose I could have written two series using much the same format, but I prefer this system. If you deem it a system, that is. Why? For much the same reason that I’ve written some very dark gritty tomes to violence and mayhem, alternating with sunny little comedies. The dark and the light – kind of a Beethoven of the written word. The Maestro wrote alternately dark and light symphonies, probably for much the same reason I do what I do.
How will it all turn out? Now, that’s a question I’d like to know the answer to, but I doubt I’ll know in the years I have left. And that’s the way it should be, in my view. If I’d undertaken to write for money and fame, I’d have listened to that mentor’s sage advice. I write because my damn head is so full of characters and plots, I have to clean them out on a regular basis. Were I mentoring today, I’d definitely give the same advice I rejected sixteen years ago. That is, unless I had some mule-headed yahoo on my hands, and then I’d tell him to write what he wanted, but don’t cry if it never made him rich. LOL
If you want to check out what makes a crazy writer tick, click on the links below to the sites where you can get a glimpse of how I’ve done so far. Happy reading, all.
Books at Amazon: http://www.tinyurl.com/78eu63o
And at Barnes & Noble: http://www.tinyurl.com/6v8wwzt
LAST COWBOY IN TEXAS
A lighthearted look at romance