What Inspired Ultimate Justice, A Trey Fontaine Mystery
|Author, Ryder Islington|
I was fortunate enough to be a part of a wonderful critique group full of published authors, teachers, and women with vivid imaginations and vast experiences. I miss them terribly.
I had written three women’s fiction novels, three romances, and one western, and none were worth sending out. They had mostly viable plots and characterization and I was developing the skill of description and the senses, but none of them were really good. The first three didn’t have satisfying ending. The next two were very blah. The sixth one had a strong plot, but I just couldn’t make it interesting. The western ended up being more funny than adventurous. All seven of these books were historicals.
I’d finished the western and was due at the critique group but had nothing to share. So I sat in front of a blank screen and started with the what ifs. Being a big fan of mysteries and thrillers, I thought maybe I’d try something new. My what ifs landed on these questions: What if the bad guy was unique? Maybe very young? What if the good guys were very flawed? I had a couple of other what ifs that worked out, but they would give the mystery away, so I’ll keep them to myself.
With these few questions in my head, I whipped out two pages, not even taking time to spell check or revise, and headed off to critique group. When it was my turn, I read the two pages aloud while the other members read their copies. I was stunned when I heard them say, “Why have you been wasting your time trying to write romance? This is what you’re supposed to write.”
And then there was the time I had an encounter with a serial killer. No kidding! At a time in my life when I refused to watch the news or read the paper because the world was so horrible. Had I paid attention, I would have known that there was a man who was drove a little white pick-up along Interstate between the town I worked in and the town I lived in. He would ram a car from behind, then stop to exchange insurance information. Always late at night, or early in the morning. Always cars with a woman alone. Six women were raped and killed, and a seventh raped and left for dead. She gave a lot of details to the police.
I would have been number eight. But when he hit me, a voice said, “Don’t stop!” and I didn’t. I hit the gas, and didn’t follow his lead when he passed me and pulled over several times. Several law enforcement agencies later, I needed a drink. Let me tell you, I learned to pay attention to the news.
Those first two pages became the opening of chapter two. I went through thirty-five revisions before I had a product worth publication. I learned as much in the editing process with the publishing company, as I learned writing the first million words in my writing career. I call this success.
I wrote the kind of book I would read. I’ve only had one reader with a critical remark and that remark was about the vividness of a disgusting scene. And it’s published. I’m pleased to be working on book two with the same main character, and the ‘what ifs’ are piling up in anticipation of a possible series. Stay tuned for Ultimate Game, A Trey Fontaine Mystery.
Ultimate Justice, A Trey Fontaine Mystery is receiving rave reviews from readers. http://www.ll-publications.com/ultimatejustice.html
The small town of Raven Bayou, Louisiana explodes as old money meets racial tension, and tortured children turn the table on abusive men. FBI Special Agent Trey Fontaine returns home to find the town turned upside down with mutilated bodies. Working with local homicide detectives, Trey is determined to get to the truth. A believer in empirical evidence, Trey ignores his instincts until he stares into the face of the impossible, and has to choose between what he wants to believe and the ugly truth.
A graduate of the University of California and former officer for a large sheriff’s department, RYDER ISLINGTON is now retired and doing what she loves: reading, writing, and gardening. She lives in Louisiana with her family, including a very large English Chocolate Lab, a very small Chinese pug, and a houseful of demanding cats. She can be contacted at RyderIslington@yahoo.com or visit her blog at http://ryderislington.wordpress.com
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