Tonight we kick off Episode 17 of the weekly Guest Post series: Medium Cool with BGinCHI.
In case you missed the introduction to the series: Culture as a Hedge Against this Soul-Sucking Political Miasma We’re Living In
You can find the whole series here: Medium Cool with BGinCHI
Tonight’s Topic: TaMara’s new TJ Wilde Mystery: Underway
Take it away, BG!
TaMara’s piece/writeup below is such a great conversation starter that it seems like any further introduction from me would just get in the way. ~BGinCHI
So take it away, TaMara!
First of all, wow, thanks for this BG and Watergirl! How much fun.
Watergirl asked me to write something up. I wasn’t sure what, then I figured I’d just tell you how the TJ Wilde mysteries evolved.
But first, let’s discuss the genre. TJ Wilde Mysteries are in the romance/mystery/beach read style, they are very adult, definitely R rated. TJ is a strong woman whose life implodes and she is a straight up mess in Run Aground and has found her footing in Underway, but things never go smoothly, because what fun would that be? So nothing too serious here.
How did this “let’s write a book” begin? Believe it or not, one morning I woke from a dream, and it was pretty much the entire first chapter and general plot of the first book, Run Aground. I am not kidding. It was bizarre. And it would not go away. I’ve been writing all my life, but a full-length book, much less a mystery, was not on my life plan calendar. I checked. And then I double-checked.
Finally, I wrote out the first chapter. Then I wrote it again. And again. By that time, I thought, well, this is kind of a fun little piece, so I sent it to a few people I knew would get the in-jokes and enjoy it. The response I got back was “more pages, please.” So I wrote more pages until I got to about chapter five, and then life got complicated – I started my own business, and that was a time-consuming undertaking – so I had less time to write. Then Bixby came…and most of you know how that went. LOL
Nevertheless, I was being nagged by both the characters who would not go away, and my friends and family who would also not go away. And five chapters seemed an awful lot to waste. So I got serious and decided, well, why not, let’s write the entire thing. It took a while. What kept me going was I found I loved visiting the world and characters I created. I was always surprised when things went in a direction I hadn’t actually planned but worked because it was organic and authentic to the characters.
No spoilers, but there is a single line in chapter eight of book one, that I wrote as a throwaway line that became a plot point that now runs through all three books. That has been my favorite part about writing, how everything finds a way to fit together. As long as I have a solid beginning and ending, the story kind of unfolds itself for me. It was like doing a very complicated jigsaw puzzle. I love that. I also love reading romance/mystery/beach reads, so writing that genre felt natural.
The second book evolved after my bestest friend in the entire world and I were driving around Boston during my yearly visit. I had described for her the general outline of book two and we were scouting locations, when we stumbled on the SoWa art district and a Cuban art gallery with the most amazing gallerist.
And then suddenly, my vague outline had substance and heart. A few days later, she and I were walking along the beach (that I have walked hundreds of times in my adult life), and we were chatting about the outer islands, and she tells me this story of a now-abandoned hospital, that I didn’t even know existed. Seriously, I’d lived in the Boston area for years and I visit regularly. And suddenly, more of the story had taken shape. By the time I flew back home, the book was all done except for the actual writing. Oh, and a trip to Cuba.
I knew early on it was a trilogy – the mysteries are stand-alone, but TJ’s evolution (and have no doubt, this is all about TJ’s evolution) would need three books. From having her entire life turned upside down to finding her way again to flourishing (that’ll be book three).
That’s it. That’s how I became an accidental mystery/romance writer. I can’t say I love writing, but I do love watching the story unfold.
I have read everything at the three links just above, and it was definitely worth it!
But first, some housekeeping. When we started Medium Cool, BG warned me that we Sunday evenings might not be great for him during the summer, and it turns out that his prediction was spot on. So until further notice, Medium Cool is changing to Wednesday evenings at 6 pm blog time.
So please mark your calendars: The next Medium Cool will be on Wednesday, June 24, at 6 pm.
And now, back to TaMara’s book. I can’t wait to ask her what it’s like to have your Dad read the sexy scenes in your book. That should be interesting.