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?