I was excited to be writing the second book in the Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery Series, but also pretty alarmed at the limited timeframe for turning in the manuscript to my publisher. This would be my first experience with a production speed writing schedule.
Luckily, my engineering background served me well in breaking down the task into manageable pieces. I estimated the number of words needed for the manuscript. I then divided the word count by the number of days until it was due and, voila! The result was the number of words I needed to write each day to meet the deadline.
I struggled some days, but I usually met my writing target often enough to make me feel like a true professional writer. The exercise taught me an important lesson. Basically, for me, the lesson is that in addition to creativity, the productive author needs to embrace a writing process sprinkled with a generous helping of raw discipline.
In each of the books in the Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery series, I choose two things to help set the mood. The first is the setting for the crime and the second is which type of glass art will be taught in the shop.
The setting is extremely important to me and I’ve been attending art festivals in downtown St. Petersburg for years and years. In order to get some behind the scenes information about the running of a large festival, I volunteered to staff the information booth. Sitting behind the table, handing out maps, pointing to the nearest restrooms and nearest vendor for water, I was able to get valuable experience for the festival atmosphere.
It was easy to choose fusing glass as the featured skill for Shards of Murder. This is by far my favorite medium when working in our small glass studio behind the house. It requires access to a small kiln, lots of fusable glass and bit of imagination to create one of a kind pieces. Writing about my favorite glass art was a breeze. How fantastic is that?
About Shards of Murder:
When a glass-making competition turns deadly, glass shop owner Savannah Webb must search for a window into a criminal's mind…
As the new proprietor of Webb's Glass Shop, Savannah has been appointed to fill her late father's shoes as a judge for the Spinnaker Arts Festival, held in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. With her innovative glass works, the clear winner is Megan Loyola, a student of Savannah's former mentor.
But when Megan doesn't show up to accept her $25,000 award, rumors start flying. And when Savannah discovers the woman's dead body on festival grounds, the police immediately suspect her of murder. To keep from appearing before a judge herself, Savannah sorts through the broken pieces of glass scattered around the victim for clues as to who took this killer competition too far. . .
Meet the author:
Cheryl Hollon writes full time after she left an engineering career designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small glass studio behind the house, Cheryl and her husband George design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass and painted glass artworks.
You can visit Cheryl and her books at