Circle City Mystery, #1
Publisher: M&B Literary Creations
Date of Publication: December 10, 2013
Number of pages: 293
SECRETS THAT KILLInterview:
Mandy Stevenson was a high school senior when tragedy struck. Her brother, an officer with the Indianapolis PD who'd followed in the law-enforcement footsteps of their father and uncle, was shot in the line of duty. Mandy's family never recovered, even after his killer was caught and put on death row. And now Mandy's mother has vanished without a trace.
While the Missing Persons Unit investigates, Mandy starts her own unofficial digging. Uncovering painful evidence that her mother was leading an illicit double life only convinces her that Cassandra Stevenson met with foul play. With her town rocked by secret affairs and multiple murders, the people Mandy has known all her life suddenly seem like strangers. But the most shattering betrayal is still to come, one that Mandy may not survive…
Today, we welcome M. E. (Michele) May to Musings and Ramblings. Let's all give a big Geeky welcome!
Thank you so much for having me as your guest today.
Let's start with some writer specific questions before moving into the fun stuff. That way everyone can really get to know the person behind the writer. We will finish things off with a round of Think Fast. Ready for the interrogation to begin?
Writing SpecificIs your writing style more plotter or pantser?
I’m definitely a plotter. Although I’ve been told that readers find my stories character driven, I must have an idea of where I’m taking them before I can write their stories. I think writing crime thrillers gives me a slight advantage, because the plot follows a crime investigation from beginning to end. My task is to make the story interesting and exciting for those reading it.
When is your favorite time/place to write? Do you write structured or patch worked?
I do my best writing at home in the morning after my husband leaves for work. I’ve always been a morning person and having been a secretary for many years, I’ve learned to focus and not let things distract me when I am home.
My method of writing has varied and as I continue to write, I perfect that method. My first novel, Perfidy, was definitely patch worked. I knew how I wanted the story to begin and climax so I wrote those chapters first. Then I found I needed to fill in the blanks of how I got from here to there. It took two years to finish the final manuscript. Subsequent novels have come along faster because I decided I needed more structure. Two of those novels, Inconspicuous and Purged, I wrote from beginning to end with very little fill in. For some reason they simply came to me. The third novel, Ensconced and the one I’m writing now, I outlined first.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I like to read. There are so many good books out there and not enough time to read them all. Besides mystery, I love to read fantasies such as the A Song of Ice and Fire series by G. R. R. Martin; The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins; and the Harry Potter series. The way that such authors as J. R. R. Tolkein can create a new world, keep track of that world and all its characters is amazing. I’m not sure I could do it.
How did you choose the genres you write in?
I think most genres possess an element of mystery in them, however, I found that other genres just didn’t work for me. I’m a puzzle solver. Whether it’s a crossword, jumble, or jigsaw puzzle, I like to “figure it out.” So, what could be more fun and satisfying than to be the creator of a puzzle filled with twists and turns and who done its? I’ll tell you what—having readers tell you how much they loved your puzzle.
Is there any particular author or book that has influenced you or your writing?
An author who inspired me to start writing and to not to take rejection to heart, was J. K. Rowling. She knew she had great stories and conquered a lot of adversity to complete them and then get someone in the publishing business to believe in them. Look at her now.
As far as my style, I’ve always liked the short chapters in James Patterson’s work. As a reader, I feel that I’ve accomplished something by reading a whole chapter even though it’s only 2-3 pages. My chapters are a little bigger than his are, but I’ve received many compliments from readers stating my same sentiments. They love to feel like they’re getting somewhere.
Fun StuffWhat was the last movie/concert/show that you saw?
My twenty-two-year old grandson and I went to see Jurassic World early this summer. Movies with special effects are my favorite. From Star Wars to Harry Potter to the Hunger Games and more, I never wait for the DVD. To experience the full affect, I have to see them in a theater.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
The power to heal. Watching people suffer through debilitating illness is heartbreaking. Of course, I wouldn’t have much time for writing if I had such a power. My talent would be in constant demand.
What was the name of the last book you read?
Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie. I’ve been told my mysteries are like Agatha Christie plus Alfred Hitchcock. I’ve seen almost every movie Hitchcock has made, but hadn’t read much of Agatha’s work. I started with Murder on the Orient Express and immediately became an Hercule Poirot fan. Talk about someone who can create a puzzle—Agatha is the best and I won’t stop until I’ve read them all.
If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, fictional or real, who would it be and why?
I think it would have to be the dwarf, Tyrion Lanaster, from the A Song of Ice and Fire Series I mentioned earlier. In my opinion, Tyrion is one of G. R. R. Martin’s most complex and intriguing characters in this series. He is intelligent with a quick sharp wit. Tyrion has a huge heart and would treat any woman, even a prostitute, like a lady. For me his kindness certainly overshadows his physical features and makes him a most desirable character. I think he and I could be great friends.
Pick two celebrities to be your parents. Who are they and why?
I think I’d choose Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Not because they are rich or that they are both gorgeous, but for their hearts. Even before these two people got together, I admired how Angelina had turned her life around and started her humanitarian efforts. Then Brad built all those homes in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. The two of them are great examples of human kindness. I think the world needs more of that right now.
Think FastElvis or Sinatra? Sinatra
AM or PM? AM
Mountains or Sea? Sea
Meat or Veggies? Veggies
Car or Truck? Car
Thanks for coming by and spending some time with us. Any final words of wisdom to pass along?
To those who feel the urge to write, do it. Don’t wait until you think you have the time or you think you can finish a novel. If it takes, ten years to finish, do it. If you do, you won’t regret it later. If this is your dream start working on it now and above all be patient. It takes a long time to get a publisher to recognize your talent or to obtain an agent. Don’t take all of the rejections to heart because there is a lot of competition out there. If you have the urge to write, and it doesn’t go away, you are an author. Do it.
M. E. May lives in the Far Northwest Suburbs of Chicago with her husband, Paul, and their white Husky, Iris. Born in Indianapolis, she spent most of her years there or in a suburban town near there. Although she has physically moved away, her heart still lives in her hometown. She has a son, daughter, and four wonderful grandsons living in central Indiana.
She attended Indiana University in Kokomo, Indiana, studying Social and Behavioral Sciences. Her interest in the psychology of humans sparked the curiosity to ask why they commit such heinous acts upon one another. Other interests in such areas as criminology and forensics have moved her to put her vast imagination to work writing crime fiction that is as accurate as possible. In doing so, she depicts societal struggles that pit those who understand humanity with those who are lost in a strange and dangerous world of their own making.
In creating the Circle City Mystery Series, she brings to life fictional characters who work diligently to bring justice to victims of crime in the city of Indianapolis. Michele also hopes her readers will witness through her eyes, the wonderful city she calls her hometown. Learn more about Michele at www.memay-mysteries.com.
To connect with the author online:
Website | Twitter | Goodreads