Lisa Rayns Guest Post
Dina, thanks for the invitation to be a guest poster on your blog today. As a writer of vampire paranormals you know that tension, conflict and, yes, violence are all part of the writer’s toolbox. There’s a fine line I try to walk as a writer of mysteries. My goal is to create a compelling story filled with ever-rising tension and conflict as background for a cast of memorable characters. Together, the characters and plot should jump off the page and hook the reader. It’s often difficult to be objective about our own work (isn’t that why the editor was invented?), but we usually know when the story rings true. When we’ve created a powerful illusion of realism in our fiction.
And that’s part of the balancing act between fiction and reality. How far should we push the realism? After all, the real world overflows with so much “in your face” realism of death and destruction it can leave us emotionally desiccated. The media’s 24-hour news cycle bombards us with realism, inching us closer and closer to paranoia, one gruesome story at a time.
Although lighter in tone than MATANZAS BAY, my first Quint Mitchell Mystery, BRING DOWN THE FURIES has more than it’s share of violence. Bad things happen, there’s murder most foul. Yet, the violence factor is tame compared to the grisly cases real life cops see. Even so, most people read to be entertained, not grossed out. These are the folks who might enjoy cozy mysteries where the violence usually happens off stage, and an amateur detective solves the crime.
I don’t think writers are much different than ordinary people. What was it that Shylock said in The Merchant of Venice? “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?”
True enough, particularly the poison part. Yet when I sit down at the computer it’s more likely I’m communing with the dark side rather than with the better angels of my nature. That’s one of the job requirements when crafting realistic mysteries. Writers want to create inspiring characters, unpredictable plots and satisfying dialogue. Donald Maass calls it writing with passion. He had this to say about passionate writing in the introduction to his book, The Fire in Fiction.
“Passionate writing makes every word a shaft of light, every sentence a crack of thunder, every scene a tectonic shift.”
In the end, I’m sure most readers understand fictional violence is just that—fiction. And as writers of books with a darker side, we shouldn’t be confused with our characters. Although people may have their doubts when they read that noted horror writer Stephen King once said, “I have the heart of a young boy. And I keep it in a jar on my desk.”
Sherman’s troops burned it the first time. Now a serial arsonist threatens
a small South Carolina town and private investigator Quint Mitchell is
caught in the backdraft. When Quint follows the “Heartthrob Bandit” to the
hamlet of Allendale, he finds himself in the crossfire of an ugly cultural
war between an ultraconservative minister and the scientist who may have
discovered proof of the oldest humans ever found in North America.
As the heat grows more intense, arson turns to murder, and Quint is
embroiled in a growing firestorm that threatens to destroy Allendale for
the second time. A media frenzy surrounding the clash of faith and science
whips emotions to a fiery crescendo. With time running out, Quint is the only man standing between a vicious killer with nothing to lose and his plan to bring down the furies on Allendale and Quint.
Purchase Bring Down The Furies on Amazon. Kindle Paperback
About Author Parker Francis
Parker Francis is the pen name of author Victor DiGenti. As Parker, I write
gritty, fast-paced mysteries filled with murder, violence and laced with
humor. The first in my Quint Mitchell Mystery series was MATANZAS BAY, an
award-winning adventure set in the nation’s oldest city. The second in the
series, BRING DOWN THE FURIES, takes PI Mitchell to Allendale, SC where he
becomes embroiled in an ugly cultural war and comes face to face with a
In my first life I worked for the Public Broadcasting stations in NE
Florida with diverse duties that included public affairs producer,
director, reporter, fundraiser and producer of the Jacksonville Jazz
Festival. My first three books were written using my real name. They were
adventure/fantasies with a feline protagonist. The WINDRUSHER trilogy won
multiple awards and attracted readers of all ages.
Parker (aka Vic) lives in NE Florida with his wife and their rescued cats
who tolerate them as long as their bowls are filled and litter boxes
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The author is giving away $50 Amazon gift card, $25 Barnes and Noble gift
card and autographed copies of the two Quint Mitchell Mystery books,
MATANZAS BAY and BRING DOWN THE FURIES. Fill out the form below to enter!
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