Mystery We Write Blog Tour: The Inconvenient Corpse by Jackie King
The Inconvenient Corpse is a great title and I asked Jackie to tell us what inspired her to write this book, and here she is, Jacking King.
Good Morning Marilyn, I’m delighted to spend a day with you and your and Readers. Thanks so much for inviting me into your world of musings. Nothing more exciting to me than to be privy to what a writer is thinking.
You asked me what inspired me to write my book. What a fun question! My writer’s mind (and perhaps yours too) is a bit like the kitchen sink…everything drains through it (or flows, if that’s more pleasant to your sensibilities). Unusual thoughts and ideas and stories flash through my imagination. This has been true as far back as I can remember. My earliest memory (I must have been about three) was lying in bed imagining myself to be a princess who lived an adventurous life. Sometimes I had beautiful blond hair and sometimes I had beautiful black hair; never red, my natural color. (God forbid we women should like anything about ourselves, even as a toddler.)
It was in this manner that the opening scene for THE INCONVENIENT CORPSE came to me. I was resting in my room at a Bed and Breakfast in Northern California, not far from San Francisco. (Lounging in bed, actually.) I had spent the morning wandering through the Victorian neighborhood and traipsing down to the ocean, stopping at a charming shopping center to indulge in yummy pastry and strong coffee. (You’ll recognize my character Grace Cassidy doing these same things in my book, only she’ll be trying to solve a murder.)
My body rested and my mind filled with questions. What if I had found a dead body lying on my bed? I wondered, and what if he were a naked male? And what if his clothes couldn’t be found? Oh, I’ll make it worse! What if I were stranded in this strange town with no friends, no money, and no job skills? Could I survive using my own determination, brains, and moxie?
These were the questions that started me plotting THE INCONVENIENT CORPSE. I felt impelled to write the novel to learn the answers. Later, I added a teenaged son, my own experience as a woman who unexpectedly finds herself single again, and a rescued cat to make Grace’s life even more complicated. And, because I love a touch of romance, I added a jaded police sergeant who was about Grace’s age.
THE INCONVENIENT CORPSE began with the following sentence, then I built the whole book around these words:
“Grace Cassidy stared at the stranger’s body. He was about sixty, pot-bellied, naked, and very dead. She knew he was dead because his skin was the color of concrete. Worst of all, he was lying smack dab in the middle of her bed.”
The title came from a conversation between Grace and one of her new best friends, Pansy Postelwaite. The sentence had to do with another friend, the eccentric Theodora Westmacott, a 60ish English teacher.
“Don’t be silly. Theodora wouldn’t hurt a fly.” Pansy paused, frowned, and then reconsidered her words. “Well, she wouldn’t kill anyone in a fit of anger, anyway. She would calmly think it through and then execute them in some painless and tidy sort of way.”
Tidy? A tidy murder? Grace shivered. Huxley’s death had indeed been tidy. Inconvenient but very neat.
I fell in love with my protagonist Grace, her son, her friends and her cat. They had become my close friends. Thus I had to develop the idea into a series. I’m almost finished with the second Grace Cassidy mystery SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET.
The story begins where the last book ended and in the same setting. My subsequent books in the series will be moving from one town to another, as Grace’s developing vocation, a professional Inn-Sitter, requires. Grace also begins to grow and change from a helpless socialite into a strong woman.
The third book will be set in Oklahoma, her home state, where she will deal with her divorce and other legal problems.
What Marcia Preston says about The Inconvenient Corpse:
“A naked corpse in her bed is only the first surprise for our heroine in Jackie King’s charming bed-and-breakfast mystery. Cozy readers will be happy guests among these lively characters.”
--Marcia Preston, winner of the 2004 Mary Higgins Clark Award
The story in a nutshell:
…No credit cards, no cash, no resources, no job skills. Fleeced and abandoned by her husband, Grace Cassidy learns she is the prime suspect in a bizarre murder.
More about Jackie:
Jackie loves books, words, and writing tall tales. She especially enjoys murdering the people she dislikes on paper. King is a full time writer who also teaches writing at Tulsa Community College. Her latest novel, THE INCONVENIENT CORPSE is a traditional mystery. King has also written five novellas as co-author of the Foxy Hens Series. Warm Love on Cold Streets is her latest novella and is included in the anthology THE FOXY HENS MEET A ROMANTIC ADVENTURER. Her only nonfiction book is DEVOTED TO COOKING. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, Oklahoma Writers Federation, and Tulsa Night Writers. She can be found at her website:
Her blog: Cozy Mysteries and Other Madness: http://bnbmysteries.blogspot.com
Jackie would also love to have readers ‘friend’ her on Facebook where she’s listed as Jacqueline King
Thank you so much, Jackie for visiting with me today. You and your book are delightful.