Monday, June 21, 2010
I recently wrote an article for Mystery Lover’s Journal (put out by the incomparable mystery fan Janet Rudolph) on paranormal in mysteries. My second book for Poisoned Pen Press, Burden of Memory, contains traces of a ghost story. The question throughout the book is, is there a ghost? Or does someone have an over-active imagination?
It was fun to scan through Burden of Memory looking for some parts to include with the article.
Writing standalones is funny in that way – you spend a year, maybe more, intimately involved with the characters. You know everything about them. Their loves, their hates, their fears. That they set their bed on fire when they were four and closed the door hoping no one would notice. You take them through one of the most intense experiences of their lives, maybe even play matchmaker or midwife for them. Once the book is published, you hit the road to spend another several months out promoting them, telling everyone you meet about them and their adventures.
Then they’re gone. You’re onto another book and these characters are never thought of again.
Burden of Memory concerns an elderly, wealthy lady named Moira Madison who hires a biographer, one Elaine Benson, to come to her cottage on Lake Muskoka, Ontario, to live there and spend several months writing Miss Madison’s memoirs of when she was a Canadian Army Nursing Sister in World War II.
It is only when Elaine arrives at the cottage that she realizes she was the second choice for biographer. The first drowned in the lake her second day on the job. Elaine begins to suspect that someone in the powerful close-knit family does not want the memoirs to be written.
Flashbacks to the idyllic Muskoka summer of 1939, London during the Blitz, the Canadian Army’s push through Italy. Family loyalty and betrayal.
And today – new loves, new friendships, old enemies. Same family, but different generations. Still struggling with loyalty and betrayal.
Something is moving in the woods.
Or is there?
Nice to have a trip down memory lane with these characters once again.