When asked, I tell people "I'm a former advertising executive." It leads to fewer questions than "I'm an author in training." Despite what you may have heard about the wild (not really) and exciting (far too occasionally) world of ad men, it isn't as much fun as it looks.
After several years as an award-winning brand guru, I bailed without a life vest. I was able to tread water with a little teaching and some light freelance while I charted a course to Me 2.0. Looking back, I was one of the lucky ones—I was able to enjoy my freedom and still pay my bills.
So why choose writing? The written word has always been a part of who I am, first as a marketing pro and now as an entrepreneur and author. The characters populating my books were born years ago in my imagination after years of reading mystery fiction, adventure stories and thrillers. Like many nascent authors, I began to wonder "Can I do this?" More to the point, "Even if I did, would anyone want to read it?" I've said it before but it bears repeating, when I grow up I want to be John Connolly.
My inaugural series features Elle Cunningham Mackay, a professional genealogist and historian. Her Scottish-flavored mysteries immerse the reader in a world of kilts, pipes, Highland games and, regrettably, haggis. I grew up on twisty tales by Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, John Dickson Carr, Ellery Queen and other golden age greats. The Elle Mackay books are an homage to these masters, with a little modern sensibility tossed in for flavor. Elle's first adventure, Thou Shalt Not Kilt, is scheduled to print in late Summer 2019.
Other books at disparate stages of progress include a series of thrillers featuring Elle's life-long friend, curiosity store owner Emery Vaughn; a series of Christie-ish mysteries starring sleuth and former spy Mafalda Marchand; and the village-set mysteries of Vicar James Valentine.
If you are a writer (experienced, novice or intended), I'd love to connect with you. Please reach out at any time, however suits you best—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or email—and let's engage.
There really must be a murder, or at least a major felony — otherwise, what's the point? Who's ripping off the hand towels at the Dorchester Hotel is hardly the business of a mystery novel. — Howard Haycraft When I say I am a novice writer, people ask, “What kind of books do you write?” “Well,” I answer, “I’m writing a mystery.” “Ooh,” they often reply, “I love Agatha Christie.” While it’s not exactly a bullseye, it’s a good place…