Saturday, November 26, 2011

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.

Happy reading,
Jackie

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.

=======================================================


Jackie King
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


Bio:
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!


26 comments:

Jackie King said...

Marilyn, Thanks so much for hosting me today. It's an honor to be on MARILYN'S MUSINGS.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

It's my pleasure, Jackie.

Chris V. said...

Good luck on the tour. Love the book theme too!

Jean Henry Mead said...

Hi, Jackie. I loved reading THE INCONVENIENT CORPS nd your quirky characters. I hope your next book is out soon.

M.M. Gornell said...

So glad the posts are about setting on your blog, Marilyn. I'm with you on thinking how important setting is for taking the reader there!

Great getting to know you better, and enjoyed visiting on your blog today.

What fun this is!

Madeline

Patricia Gligor said...

Marilyn,
If only I could read twenty-four hours a day! In your interviews, you consistently provide me with authors whose novels I want to read - now. Jackie's Grace Cassidy Mystery series is another one of them. Oh well, I'll just have to add it to my must read list.

Marja McGraw said...

What a fun way to find a setting for your books! Interesting comments, and I thoroughly enjoyed An Inconvenient Corpse.

Timothy Hallinan said...

A great topic, Marilyn, and one that I don't think people pay enough attention to. And Jackie's piece is spot on, just like the one she posted over at my place yesterday.

Good work, everyone.

Anne K. Albert said...

I love that you live vicariously through your books, Jackie, because we get to do it, too!

Great post, ladies.

Jackie King said...

Hi Chris,
Thanks for stopping by. I see that you're a writer, too. Horror, maybe, because I saw that was one of the things you like. Some of my nicest friends write horror, and that always amuses me.

You, and all the others who post, are in the hat (my black fedora) for a free-book drawing.
Hugs

Jackie King said...

Marilyn, Jean, Madeline, Timothy and Anne--a few of my talented team members--thanks a million for taking the time to pen a note. Most especially, thanks for the kind things you said about me. I am blessed.

Jackie King said...

Patricia, I always said that I wanted a job where they paid me to read! Reading is an important part of writing, but not what they pay for. :-)

And thanks for adding my book to your wish list. I am honored.
Jackie

Jackie King said...

Marja, Our old Blog-Buddy! Thanks for dropping by. I love hearing from you.

Debra H. Goldstein said...

Can't wait to see all the scenic places Grace gets to visit!

Jackie King said...

Hi Debra, Thanks for stopping by. Grace will be in Northern California for one more book, then she's she'll be moving somewhere new in each new book.
Hugs,
Jackie

pennyt said...

I also travel vicariously through the books I read and can't wait to see where we get to go next. Great post!

Earl Staggs said...

Grace sounds absolutely delightful, Jackie. And so do you, by the way. I've enjoyed all your posts so far, and I'm sure I won't be disappointed as the tour rolls on.

Alice Duncan said...

I love Grace! She sounds just like me -- you know, poor, abandoned, alone, no skills -- sigh. It's amazing Grace and I survived at all! :-)

Jackie King said...

Hi pennyt, Thanks for stopping by. As always, your name is being dropped into my black fedora as we speak, for a chance to win a print copy of THE INCONVENIENT CORPSE or a print copy of THE SPINSTER, THE ORPHAN AND THE PIG. (My novella that's included in the anthology STATEHOOD FOXY HENS AND MURDER MOST FOWL.) The novella is set in 1889 Guthrie, Oklahoma Territory. The story involves an unlikely friendship between two women, both trying to make a new start in the Land Run. And of course murder and more murder.
Hugs,
Jackie

Jackie King said...

Earl, Thanks for stopping by and for all the kind things you said. Our Tour Team Rocks!
Jackie

Jackie King said...

Oh Alice, your comment made me smile. Glad you have a lot in common with Grace. So do I. (But you probably guessed that.)
Hugs,
Jackie

WS Gager said...

Jackie: I love the Inn sitter and the visual of the dead body. Such a gribber. Can't wait to read the book. I hope I sell some books in the tour to make up for the books I'm buying!
Wendy
W.S. Gager on Writing

Jackie King said...

Wendy, You're just like me! I sometimes say that I have to write to support my reading habit. But reading and writing is what makes me happy.

Thanks for stopping by.
Jackie

Prentiss Garner said...

I look forward to reading your book.

Jackie King said...

Prentiss, Thanks so much for leaving a comment. I hope you like Grace and THE INCONVENIENT CORPSE. I just checked out your Blogsite and I love it!
Hugs,
Jackie

Jackie King said...

Prentiss, Whoops! I looked once again at ME AND READING, belatedly realizing it's a blog you follow. But, still, I did like it.

(Like my character Grace Cassidy, I sort of muddle through things...)

Also, forgot to mention, your name is going into a hat (my black fedora) for a chance at winning a free book.

Jackie