Kim Smith is the hostess with the mostest for the popular radio show, Introducing WRITERS! on Blog Talk Radio. Her show http://www.blogtalkradio.com.kims has been hailed as the most fun, most relaxing, and best show for an author to let their hair down and talk shop. She is also the author of the zany, Shannon Wallace mystery series available now from Red Rose Publishing, and many romances short and long.
I started writing mystery novels because I love puzzles. It may take me a month to put one together, but I enjoy every step of the way. It’s satisfying to find that one piece that was missing for so long.
I learned to write mysteries first by reading them, (and believe me, there is one to fit every taste out there today), and then, by writing one myself. In my opinion, writing a mystery is a lot like gardening. It’s all about the planting. You have to plant clues, raise suspicions, create rabbit tunnels.
I am the “I-Don’t-Have-Any-Idea” sort of writer. That means, I write the entire book from my hip, never knowing who the guilty party is until I get pretty far into it. Then, once the killer unveils himself, I go back and plant clues to point the reader to where they need to go.
There is no right or wrong way to write a mystery in my opinion. Some people use outlines and some do not. I do not. I want to try and make the book into something that will make the reader slap their forehead and say “aha”! I try to make it something they knew about, but didn’t put the thoughts together until I point it out at the end.
In the immortal words of Janet Evanovich (I am reported to write like her) I work really hard to make the writing look simple. My adage has always been KISS, keep it simple, silly.
I have learned through the process that it is important to withhold information from my amateur sleuth, or detective, but it is suicide to keep this info from the reader. Keep the reader involved and you will have them from first page to last!
You can visit Kim’s website at: http://www.mkimsmith.com/