Jackie King Discusses Creating Setting for the Grace Cassidy Mysteries
Good Morning Marilyn. I’m delighted to once again visit your blog and discuss fictional settings. Next to writing, my favorite thing is talking about writing, so thanks for inviting me.
The setting for my cozy mystery THE INCONVENIENT CORPSE is a bed and breakfast on the northern California coast. Oddly enough, the setting picked me. While vacationing in the area I stopped at a picturesque B and B in a neighborhood filled with Victorian mansions. The air was crisp and called for a walk, but I got carried away and wandered too far. After a couple of hours trekking to the beach and back, I sprawled on my bed, completely pooped. Suddenly, as though I’d turned on the TV, the opening scene for THE INCONVENIENT CORPSE flashed through my mind. What I imagined seemed so vivid that I was compelled to create a character named Grace Cassidy and to write her story.
The book opens just as Grace’s life has self-destructed. While it was horrible to find a naked dead guy in her bed, her greatest fear was getting a roof over her head so she didn’t end up on the streets. That’s how she becomes, much to her own surprise, an inn-sitter.
I decided upon this occupation for my protagonist so I could move her from one scenic location to another. I love to travel, but to my regret, most of my wanderings have been vicarious. Since Grace is much younger, slimmer and prettier than I am, she and I have agreed that I’ll visit her locations for research and for a few days of luxurious living. When Grace follows later, she’ll be required to work her butt off, since I’m told that’s what inn-sitters usually do.
Grace is one of those gals who become emotionally attached rather easily. In the first book she adopts a stray cat named Trouble, who travels with her as she moves from job to job. (Trouble works too, he’s available to ‘lap sit’ for guests who miss their felines back home.) Grace also has acquired a sidekick called Theodora, plus a teenaged son. Both characters tend to drive Grace bonkers, even without the littering of dead bodies.
The third book will be set in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Grace will deal with her divorce and other legal problems. Oh…and those pesky murders, of course.
Many thanks for letting me share.
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.
Author of THE INCONVENIENT CORPSE
Blogsite: Cozy Mysteries and Other Madness:
Available on Amazon (including Kindle for $2.99) http://amzn.to/gMv7CH
Barnes & Noble (including Nook for $2.99) http://bit.ly/fovbLR
I’d love to have readers ‘friend’ me on Facebook. I’m listed as Jacqueline King
Jackie King loves books, words, and writing tall tales. She especially enjoys murdering the people she dislikes on paper. King is a full time writer who sometimes 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.
Marilyn: Thanks for visiting, Jackie. What a great idea for a series!