Two Mystery Writers and What they Have in Common

Marilyn and I were talking about subjects for blogs, and for some unfathomable reason I suggested we discuss the things we have in common. Could be fun, right?

Of course, first of all we’re both authors and we both write mysteries. Marilyn’s are a little more serious and mine are a little lighter, so we give you a choice. However, I have to admit, Marilyn’s stories have made me smile more than once. Yes, we are fans of each other’s books.

I believe we take special care when creating our characters. We’ve both created characters who we’ve allowed to grow and change – just like real life people.

We both do a lot of research, and we enjoy it. Although we each write fiction, the stories still need to be believable. Researching and including information in our stories can be tricky sometimes, but our books are a work of love, so it’s worth the effort.

Although my family is much smaller, Marilyn and I are both family-oriented. We care about our families and friends. I think sometimes this shows through in our writing, making the readers relate more to our characters.

As Marilyn mentioned in her blog, our initials are both MM. Small point, but there ya go. I love chocolate, and MM is just a short jump from M&Ms. But I digress.

We both do all the promoting and marketing we can possibly do, and we each cross our fingers several times a week, or at least I do. I’m sure Marilyn does, too. I think we’re both optimists, which is a good trait to have.

We have a few mutual friends in the world of authors and publishers, and we share a publisher, Oak Tree Press.

What else do we have in common? Well, we’re both relatively short, but I guess that’s a stretch when it comes to common ground.

We both have new books out. I can’t wait to read Marilyn’s Dangerous Impulses. By the time you read this, I’ll have already seen Marilyn at the San Gabriel Valley Literary Festival where I hope to have her sign a copy of the book for me. My new book is They Call Me Ace, and I had a lot of fun writing it, which I hope translates to you’ll have a lot of fun reading it.

They Call Me Ace blurb:

Marguerite Turnbal was a bestselling gothic mystery writer in the 1950s. A little on the eccentric side, she had her home renovated, adding secret compartments. In her later years she told her twin daughters, Coral and Carol, that there was a treasure to be found, and she gave them only one clue to its whereabouts.

Over twenty years after Marguerite’s death a young woman is murdered in the old empty house. Chris Cross’s parents have come for a visit. His mother, Judith, and his son, Mikey, want to solve their own mystery in true Cross family tradition. Judith, also a little eccentric, breaks into the house after seeing strange lights and finds the body – not quite the mystery she was hoping to find. The Bogey Man and his family are soon gumshoeing their way through life again, looking for a murderer and hidden treasure.

Thank you for allowing me to visit today, Marilyn. Now it’s time to sit down with Dangerous Impulses and have some quiet reading time.


A name from the comments on this post will be randomly selected to win a copy of They Call Me Ace.

Marja McGraw website:
Marja’s Mystery Blog:

My friend and fellow mystery writer, Marja McGraw

You can read what I wrote on the same subject on Marja's blog today.


marja said…
Marilyn, Thank you for having as a guest today. Unfortunately, I have to be away from the computer until this afternoon, but I'll check for comments as soon as possible.
Marja McGraw
I'm so glad you're visiting me today, Marja! I'm heading off to Sisters in Crime myself. Looking forward to seeing who all visits while we're gone.

WS Gager said…
Marja: You and Marilyn are a perfect example of why mystery writers are so great. You both missed a key comparison. You both are so willing to help other writers and I know I appreciate it and so do hundreds of others! Thank you both!
W.S. Gager on Writing
john M. Daniel said…
You two obviously appreciate the fellowship of the community of mystery writers. We support one another, which is a wonderful thing.
I had so much help along the way and still get plenty--I could do nothing less than help others. You are a sweetie, Wendy.

And John, we are pretty good at supporting one another, aren't we?
Palmaltas said…
I enjoyed reading both blogs and appreciate how much you have in common.
Theresa Varela said…
This was so much fun, reading the two posts. I've enjoyed both of your writings and look forward to more reads.
C.L. Swinney said…
You two are truly similar. I loved your blogs today (and every time you post)! Thanks for sharing and I already ordered both of you latest books :)
James Callan said…
Thanks Marja and Marilyn. Interesting. Of course, now I know why Oak Tree Press is doing well - great authors. Glad to be a part of OTP. And on characters, I think they are so important, I just published (with OTP, of course) a book on character development - CHARACTER: THE HEARTBEAT OF THE NOVEL.
Great to read this and to have met you at the San Gabriel festival. Marja, I love all your promotional items and the pen came in handy in Puerto Vallarta with its Led-lit top! I enjoyed hanging out with you and hearing both of you read from your work.
Jake said…
I know another common thing which you both share. Yes it is me as a fan. As a big reader always delighted to receive a new book with MM initials. Makes my week because I like to stretch out the fun. Thank you both for another great blogging.
Jake said…
I know another common thing which you both share. Yes it is me as a fan. As a big reader always delighted to receive a new book with MM initials. Makes my week because I like to stretch out the fun. Thank you both for another great blogging.
marja said…
Wendy, What a sweet thing to say. Thank you so much!

John, You're so right. Without the support of other writers, I'd still be floundering somewhere off the beaten path.

Tricia, Thank you so much for taking the time to read them both. You're one of those who always offers support.

Theresa, Thank you! It was fun and something different.

Oh, Chris, thank you so much! It seems like you're always around with kind words, too.

James, I saw your book when I was in West Covina. Best wishes with it. That's the kind of book that helps so many.

Eileen, It was such a pleasure to meet you, and to hear you read, too. You're goin' places, kid!

Jake, I wish all fans were like you! You always make me smile.

I'm always up for a new adventure with Bogey and a handful (or twelve) of M&m's, Marja.

You and I have a first initial in common, not to mention a few other things, too.

Loved these posts. Marta
Thank you, everyone who commented on Marja's post. I've been gone most of the day, but read the comments on my Blackberry. Not as easy to comment back on it.

And for those of you who might not know, Jake appears as a 17 year old in Dangerous Impulses.
marja said…
Thank you, Marta! It was wonderful getting to know you at the literary festival. Yes, we have a few things in common. Can't wait to read your book.
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