Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Guest Blogger Leann Harris

I’m excited to guest blog with a long time friend, Liz and the other ladies on this site. Y’all have some interesting stories. Cassy, I am glad you can tell us that story. I once missed a high school reunion and decided to make that into a meet of the hero/heroine.

Let me introduce myself. I write as Leann Harris but the name on my driver’s license is Barbara Harrison. I do murder. Funny murder. Now when I started writing a long, long time ago (sometimes we never mentally get past our 30th birthday) I worried that I couldn’t come up with a story without a dead body in it. I love reading romances and romantic suspense, but when I write, it’s just boring to have boy meet girl, fall in love and live happily ever after. You need action, suspense and when things get boring, put a dead body in the mix. I’ve had bodies show up in a field, floating in the Mississippi, in an antique store, in the oil fields of West Texas, in the wall of a house in Houston, and in a compost pile. And do you know how quickly a body decomposes?

For a long time, I worried about my mental health. What was wrong with me that I couldn’t come up with a story without murder? I worried about it until I started going to conferences and discovered there were other weird—no exceptional--people like me. After that, I just accepted the fact there will be dead bodies in my books and went with the flow.Now when you go to murder someone and have questions on how to do something, you simply can’t call your local cops and say, how would I go about shooting a person, then hiding the weapon? No, you have to develop some contacts with your local PD. There are now citizen police academies where you can learn about your local police. I’ve been to the one in my city, the next city, the county and the DA’s office. You simply can’t have murder without the justice part.

I met a lawyer/cop and he helped me with certain aspects of one story. All the different PD’s have been great and willing to share with me. One of the most unique things I did was spend the evening in the 911 call center listening to the different calls coming in from around the county. It was Halloween. Need I say more?I will say writing murder certainly helps me cope with being a mother. If I’m irritated with my husband or children, I can vent it on the pages of my manuscript. I remember one time when I was so mad at my husband, I went to my computer and vented. He never knew, but I can tell you exactly what book that scene is in. It certainly is cheaper than therapy.

I bet you didn’t know writing was more than telling a good story. Do y’all vent through your writing?



Kari Lee Townsend said...

Thanks for being a guest blogger with us, Leann. We're very excited to have you here.

Great post! I use writing as therapy for myself as well :-)))

Cassy Pickard said...

Leann: This is great!! I'll pick up on your theme of murder when I post tomorrow. Mary and I are switching days for this week. But, murder....hmmm...such a juicy topic.

Thanks so much for joining us today. I hope we can invite you back. Clearly we all have much to share.

P.S. I can put on the drawl as well, given I was born in Houston-- see? We've got lots to talk about.

Liz Lipperman said...

Thanks for blogging with us, Leann. A subject we all can relate to. For grins, check out my blog in January titled "Looking for Plots in all the Wrong Places." It started with me threatening my dentist and her asisistants with violent torture and probable death in my next book and ended with my dentist giving me a great plot and story line.

So, you're right. We can get free mental health with our writing.

Leann said...

Liz, I did laugh at the post at the dentist office. Plots are there if you're looking for them. Casey, how long did you live in Houston? My dad's from Conn. and I was raised in Colorado. We moved to Houston when I was a teen. The weather is nasty.

SG Redling said...

When it comes to my own writing, I've always said that some girls dream of a big wedding; I dream of a high body count. And as for the therapy aspect, well, next time somebody gives you trouble, tuck your chin, look up at them from under your dark brown and purr "It'll all be in the book." Bwah-ha-ha!

Leann said...

SG, you're a girl after my own heart.