Marilyn, thank you for letting me appear on your blog! 

You asked about the spark that created the idea for A CASE OF VOLATILE DEEDS. It was more like an explosion.  

I don’t remember where or what, but my ideas come like that. It was a news program about a gas explosion but what caught my interest was how the first responders took precautions in the post-911 climate.  I wanted to show that. Make people remember how 911 changed everyone--took our innocence away.  I try not to get too heavy with themes but tried for a light touch. Did I succeed?

The other key part of the plot is about relationships.  In A CASE OF HOMETOWN BLUES, my main sleuth, Mitch Malone, went home and faced some truths about his childhood and how he handles life. I wanted him to grow a bit more than he had in the past, so I gave him a date. 

The opening scene is Mitch responding to a five alarm explosion at the office where his date works. He blows off his date to cover the big story not knowing his date was involved. He spends the first part of the book feeling guilty for not showing up and vowing to get revenge.  Here are the first few paragraphs of A CASE OF VOLATILE DEEDS. Did I succeed?
The police scanner next to my computer screen squawked tones that dispatched the Grand River 
Fire Department. Late Friday afternoon wasn’t the usual time for me to at my desk but I was 
trying to write some sappy features for the weekend edition. I wanted the evening off for a hot 
date. In the newspaper business these days, the mantra is: do more with less. While feature 
writing didn’t galvanize my creativity, I could string some adjectives together that weren’t half 
bad, if I do say so myself. 

The newspaper business was changing and I needed to appear to toe the line and be more 
versatile in the tough economic times or I would be the next good reportercollecting 
unemployment like several of my former colleagues.

When the tones continued calling a second station and then a third, I reached for my jacket. 
Fluffy features were fine but I was a crime beat reporter and fires were big news.

My adrenaline kicked in as I snagged the long-thin notebook and shoved a pen in its 
 spine across the top. The tools of my trade slipped into the back pocket of my jeans.
I paused and waited for the dispatcher to announce more information to tell me where 
this monster fire was, if it needed three stations. Instead, another set of tones sounded. 
The honking sounds didn’t finish until five stations had been called--a record in my years 
at the Grand River Journal.

My nerves tingled and I felt in my pocket for other essentials. Cell phone, check. Camera, 
got it. I grabbed another empty notebook and put it inside my leather jacket. 

“Explosion. Fifth and Division. Unknown casualties.” The nasal sound clipped out its sharp
 message telling me this was no ordinary dispatch but was akin to a nuclear disaster.

“Shit.” The excitement of a major story momentarily made me forget the reason I was stuck 
in the office on a Friday afternoon struggling to find the right flowery language. My date.

“Is the building stable, is it safe?” Agitation clear in the voice that responded to the missive.

“Unknown.” The dispatcher’s voice stressed.

                A CASE OF VOLATILE DEEDS will be out in February.  Here is more information about the story.

Mitch finally got a date on a weekend instead of chasing crime, but an explosion in a high rise office building makes him stand up his date as he goes running for an exclusive.  When he investigates he learns his date is the only casualty in a botched attempt to steal from the real estate office where she works. The clues lead to city hall politics Mitch has always avoided. When city employees are killed, Mitch must unravel the local politics or a cute dog with a knack for finding dead bodies will be sniffing out his corpse--the next casualty of murder and governmental corruption.

Award winning mystery author W.S. Gager has lived in Michigan for most of her life except when she was interviewing race car drivers or professional woman's golfers. She enjoyed the fast-paced life of a newspaper reporter until deciding to settle down and realized babies didn't adapt well to running down story details on deadline. Since then she honed her skills on other forms of writing before deciding to do what she always wanted with her life and that was to write mystery novels. Her main character is Mitch Malone who is an edgy crime-beat reporter always on the hunt for the next Pulitzer and won't let anyone stop him. Her third book, A CASE OF HOMETOWN BLUES, was a finalist in the 2012 Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. A CASE OF VOLATILE DEEDS, her fourth in the Mitch series will be out this February.

 Yes, Wendy aka W. S. Gager, you succeeded.


WS Gager said…
Marilyn: It is always so great to be on your blog. I can't wait to see what your readers think of the beginning.
W.S. Gager on Writing
Yes, I've read Hometown Blues. Very enjoyable book.
The odd formatting is my fault, I've tried to fix it three times.
Morgan Mandel said…
Thanks for sharing. Interesting concept. Is it a weakness or strength that he gives up something in his personal life to follow something that might advance his career?

Morgan Mandel
WS Gager said…
Stephen: Thanks for stopping by and the great endorsement!
WS Gager said…
Marilyn: I know that formatting stuff can be a bugger. Not sure why it does that either.
WS Gager said…
Morgan: It is a little bit of both a strength and a weakness. Mitch seems very sure of himself and confident and then ends up questioning everything.
marja said…
Wendy, You succeeded and then some. Gonna be another terrific book!
Marja McGraw
WS Gager said…
Thanks Marja! That means a lot. I'm having a case of writer's remorse/fear. Never have I felt like this before!

Popular posts from this blog

it's Not a Cozy! by Mar Preston


The Power of Identity by Donna Urbikas