Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why I Write Mysteries - W. S. Gager

*Editor's Note: Welcome W. S. (Wendy) Gager today to the irregular Tuesday 'Why I Write Mysteries' column. I identify with her 'why' in part because I, too, imagine things when I'm out and about. Ideas lurk around every corner, as you'll find when you read on. Enjoy!

Why I Write Mysteries

by: W. S. Gager

I have always loved getting lost within the pages of a book, any book. Books fed my own imagination. I always imagined myself as an innocent bystander pulled into some type of intrigue. I, of course, would manage to solve the mystery without the help of the professionals by sheer brainpower alone. That being said, I am no genius, just filled with a fanciful imagination that can picture intrigue around any corner.

Such as:

  • A car in front of you is moving slowly because they are looking for a likely place to dump a body and are hoping you pass them and they can get on with it.
  • A woman is looking frantic at the grocery store and instead of just not having enough time, she is looking for the one clue that will save her husband who is being held by terrorists.
  • A large pile of leaves along the curb begins to move slowly and out pops a man covered in blood left for dead.

These are the crazy things that I think of as I go about my “normal day.” If people only knew, they would cross the street as they come across me or shield their children from my eyes. Lucky for me, they have to buy a book to see how my crazy brain works. In my debut novel, A Case of Infatuation, crime beat reporter Mitch Malone is hoodwinked into helping a small witness escape from the scene of the crime and ends up babysitting, much to his dismay. He must use his reporting skills to get rid of his baggage and win his freedom.

I have always been a voracious reader having read nearly every fiction book in my middle school library (It was a small library). I had a whole set of Nancy Drews at home and they were the ones I pulled out when my library stash was finished and it was a weekend. As I got older, I started reading romance. Figured it would be best to write romance as a first book. After several attempts, I finally finished a full story. I gave my first finished manuscript to a woman in my writer’s group to critic. I will never forget her first words. She reached over and grabbed my hand (mainly so I couldn’t run away). “Honey, you are not a romance writer, you’re a mystery writer. “ I was crushed but thought about what she said and I loved writing the mystery part of my book and struggled with the romantic elements. (My kissing scenes were so bad they were funny!)

That book has never seen the light of day and probably never will because I had so much to learn. But I always will think fondly of it because a mystery writer was born within its pages.

W.S. Gager
A Case of Infatuation-Now Available

Author Bio

W.S. Gager has lived in West Michigan for most of her life except for stints early in her career as a newspaper reporter and editor. Now she enjoys creating villains instead of crossing police lines to get the story. She teaches English at a local college and is a soccer chauffeur for her children. During her driving time she spins webs of intrigue for Mitch Malone's next crime-
solving adventure.

facebook: wsgager

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  1. Fun! I really enjoyed reading this. Interesting way to become a mystery writer - a very wise reader I guess.

  2. Many a romance writer has a mystery writing seething under the skin!!!

  3. Thanks so much for the post Donna! Wendy