Sunday, February 19, 2012

Romancing A Mystery

I rarely read anything other than western Historical Romance and am a closet wanna-be Historical Romance writer.  However, I do read and am a huge fan of mystery writer J.A. Jance, in particular her Joanna Brady series.   The character, Brady, is a modern day female sheriff in Cochise County, Arizona and centers around the town of Bisbee.  I got 'hooked' on these books thanks to my dad who is also an avid fan. 

Last Saturday, Ms. Jance was scheduled to appear at the Apache Junction Public Library.  I tried to talk dad into going.  I even drove over to the library ahead of time to see how far he might have to walk.  Unfortunatley, it was a bit far and he decided he would rather not attend.  I was disappointed but admitedly it would have been very difficult to get him in. 

My neighbor encouraged me to go without him as afterall dad would likely be napping while I would be away.  It makes me nervous to be gone when I think I might not be there when he wakes up but....I decided to do it!

I hustled back over to the library and grabbed a chair and waited anxiously as if I was about to meet a huge celebrity!  At the appointed time, Ms. Jance walked right beside me and up to the podium.  It was doubly exciting for me, being the rescue dog person I am,  as she had Bella the Tour Dog with her.  Bella, a mini Dachschund was rescued by the author and now attends tours with her everywhere she goes! 

Bella's outline standing on the table beside Ms. Jance

Bella and the author's husband

She related how the little dog had come into her life and now attends all her book signings.  I already knew Bella's story because I follow Ms. Jance's Blog but I enjoyed listening to her every word on the subject as well as the discussion about her newest book (not a Joanna Brady book, book but I didn't care!).  I even managed to be the first one to ask her a question after the discussion was over. 

My dream for years has been to write a western romance set in the Superstition Mountains but lately, before I even knew Ms. Jance was coming to town, I've been toying with the idea of trying my hand at a modern day murder mystery.  I have some ideas about people and some scene ideas but that's about it.  I asked Ms. Jance if, when she sits down to write a book, does she have it all worked out in her head before she ever starts or do her characters write the book for her.  Basically she told the audience, her characters write the story for her.  She does start with a dead body in mind though, as she is afterall, "a murder mystery writer!"  That was like a light bulb going off in my head....."ahhhh so that's how you do it!"  Get the body first and solve the mystery from there!  Kinda like the CSI shows on TV.  I get it now!!!

After all the questions had been answered, Ms Jance would be signing copies of her books.   I waited patiently (and excitedly) in a long line to meet the author and have my book signed.  It was finally my turn!  I handed over my book, and told her how much I love the Joanna Brady series and that I was just as excited to meet Bella as I was her since I am a dog rescue person myself. 

I'm not sure she was all that pleased that I was equally excited about meeting her dog as well as her!  Since the book she was promoting was a character from another series that I don't read, I didn't purchase the book being sold. Instead had taken a paperback book from the Joanna Brady series that I love.  Many other people had purchased her new book just out in hardback and were getting their photos taken behind the trio with Ms. Jance holding up the new book.  However, when it came time for my photo, she took the next person in line and started signing his posing! 

I don't know if it was because I hadn't purchased her new book or that I was a fan of Bella's!  At first I was taken aback thinking to myself,  "hey wait a minute you didn't pose for me!"  But then.....take a look where my hand ended up in the photo.  Yep....right there petting Bella!  At that point it didn't matter that she wasn't looking directly at my camera.  I got an afternoon out to do something for me!  I met an author that I enjoy reading!  I learned something about the craft of writing......and......I got to pet the dog!  

Doesn't get much better than that now does it!!


  1. Isn't nice to have a pleasant afternoon doing something fun. I have never had the opportunity to meet any of my favorite authors. Adorable dog too!

  2. After reading the post I'd say you got the BEST photo shot in her book signing. Your win her loss. Plus rescue pup knew who was special as you were petting her.


  3. Karen, that was unprofessional of the author. Am I to understand that she did not signed your book? Maybe she was blinded by dollar signs. It almost looks like she's wearing a dollar sign around her neck. Maybe she has an attitude of self importance. Who knows.

    Besides you are much better than any murder mystery author, you are a very caring and loving person and you can't put a price on that. Just ask your foster dogs and dad. Heck, just ask us. Hugs. JB

  4. Karen ~
    So glad you were able to take the time to do something for YOU!
    Hugs :)

  5. Karen,
    I urge you to pursue your dream of writing a mystery novel! That sounds exciting to me!! You could work in your love of rescue animals..... We would all expect you to sign your book for us!
    Sounds like you had a great time and glad you decided to go!
    Cathy G

  6. Hi Karen, I am happy to read you jumped on the opportunity and took advantage of some "me time." May I add well earned and deserved. How exciting for you to meet an author that you are such a fan of and also obtain a bit of free advice. Good luck, keep us posted. Greetings from Maine, Julie.


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