Yes I finally got a review on the my new novel. Thanks, guys. Need more, though. Don’t be afraid to tell me what you think.

Now for today’s thoughts:

You know you’ve come a long way when your research leads you to Home Depot to look at tools that could cut someone up. In my new book my very bad guy has to have a tool that he can carry in a backpack while hiking deep into the Grand Canyon. I’ve also called doctors to find out about poisons from plant material. I’ve gone back through all my old notes from interviews with real killers to understand their minds and what would lead up to a spree killing. I’m giving myself nightmares. I’ve researched the areas where I want the story to happen. I’ve written tons of notes and have a crazy outline and an even crazier beginning (compared to the first mystery in this series and the non-fiction book which had a detailed outline, story plot and were researched to the nth degree. So the questions I pose to other writers are:

How real should it be? Do readers want all the sordid details that are in my head? How much information is enough before it is overload? When will a reader stop reading? When do they want to figure it out for themselves. What’s the fine line?

How plausible should it be? When does a reader simply stop reading the story because it is poorly researched and is just not believable?

Mystery readers want certain things to happen. So, I’m searching for all those things in other mysteries which I love to read. I’ve found that I love all the little details. I love the depth of the characters’ psyches. I love the surprise—but not too much surprise. And, I love the wrap up. No, not like on a TV series, but actually solving the current case. There can still be unanswered questions that will lead to the next book in a series, but it’s nice to have an ending, and hopefully, one where the good guy wins.

So, dear readers, give me some clues. What is it that you want to read in mystery novels? I’m very curious. It may not completely change the way I write—some things are ingrained, but I will always research your comments, and what is really interesting to the population out there. Who knows where that path will lead?

Thanks and Happy New Year everyone.

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