Candidate for Murder Spotlight and Guest Post from Author Lauren Carr

I truly enjoy Lauren Carr's mysteries. I will be sharing a review of her latest book, Candidate for Murder, a little later--but, today--I wanted to spotlight this book and share a guest post from the author! Enjoy learning about this book and reading the author's post on a day in the life of a mystery writer--and enter to win a prize in the book tour giveaway at the end of the post!

Quick Summary of Candidate for Murder. It’s election time in Spencer, Maryland, and the race for mayor is not a pretty one. In recent years, the small resort town has become divided between the local year-round residents who have enjoyed their rural way of life and the city dwellers moving into their mansions, taking over the town council, and proceeding to turn Deep Creek Lake into a closed gate community—complete with a host of regulations for everything from speed limits to clothes lines.

When the political parties force-feed two unsavory mayoral nominees on the town residents, Police Chief David O’Callaghan decides to make a statement—by nominating Gnarly, Mac Faraday’s German shepherd, to run as mayor of Spencer!

What starts out as a joke turns into a disaster when overnight Gnarly becomes the front runner—at which point his political enemies take a page straight out of Politics 101. What do you do when you’re behind in a race? Dig up dirt on the front runner, of course.

Seemingly, someone is not content to rest with simply embarrassing the front runner by publicizing his dishonorable discharge from the United States Army, but to throw in a murder for good measure. With murder on the ballot, Mac Faraday and the gang—including old friends from past cases—dive in to clear Gnarly’s name, catch a killer, and save Spencer! 

A Day in the Life of a Mystery Writer

By Lauren Carr

For some reason, the general population is curious about the daily life of a writer. 

What goes on in our lives from sun rise to sunset? Do we simply sit in front of the computer transmitting literary greatness from our brains, down our arms, and out through our fingertips to the keyboard?

Or is our lives more like a Neil Simon play (most of his protagonists were writers based on himself) with quirky characters coming in and out throughout the day to annoy and inspire us? Have you ever noticed how little time Neil’s protagonists actually spent writing?

Or maybe we live like John-Boy Walton from The Waltons, where every day is filled with a wondrous insight into this thing called life?

As a young girl aspiring to one day be a mystery writer, I had fantasized that my life would be like that of Jessica Fletcher in It’s Murder, She Wrote, or Ellery Queen. Not a week would go by without a dead body and mystery popping up for me to solve.

With the release of my twelfth Mac Faraday mystery, Candidate for Murder, and three mystery series (Mac Faraday Mysteries, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries) I have given up all hope of tripping over a dead body on the way to the coffeemaker in the morning. Frankly, there’s not enough time in my schedule to nab real killers.

So, you may ask, what is the day in the life of a mystery writer really like? Well, I have found that it takes a daily routine and a commitment to sticking to it in order to write books.

Here’s how I do it:

6:00 am: Each day starts with a vigorous run at the crack of dawn. To reveille performed by my security team [aka four dogs, Gnarly (German Shepherd/Chief of Security), Storm (German Shepherd/Deputy Chief of Security, Ziggy (Australian Shepherd/Desk Sergeant), and Beagle Bailey (beagle/retiree)], I jump out of bed and run for the door to let them outside, where they immediately secure the perimeter from any invading squirrels, deer, or low-flying birds.
Hit the button to start the coffee brewing on the way to the door.

6:15-6:30 am: Prepare mess (breakfast for the security team).

6:30-7:00 am: Wake-up to coffee while reviewing e-mails and checking books sales. Read the important stuff. Example of important: Recipe from a friend for Oreos Truffles.

7:00 am: Security announces that the perimeter is secure, and they are now ready for breakfast. The Chief of Security (Gnarly) remains outside to direct deer traffic taking the expressway on the south end of the property. (Every now and then, one of those does has a collision while trying to text and drive from Route 115 to the river. Will they ever learn?)

Grab another cup of coffee and move from emails into social media.

Book promotion. Writers are expected to spend some time every day promoting their books. The best way to expand readership is to keep up on what other authors are doing through social media and blogging. But writers need to be careful not to get so sucked into social media and end up not having any time to write.

The social media and blogging are also great research tools. Friends and followers on social media are always sending me links to great blogs and videos with information that I can put in my books. 

Like this one I got just today:

Of course, this video will demand in-depth research before I can put it in a book (in other words, numerous viewings.)

7:30 am: Husband wakes up to discover that the coffee pot is empty and that I have once again set up camp in the corner of the living room instead of working in my writer’s studio.

After making another pot of coffee, I send the Chief of Security (Gnarly) outside to once again check the perimeters. The Deputy Chief has gone back to bed, which annoys the chief to no end. Gnarly is anal about security. After all, his master is a mystery writer with a following. There could be an obsessed fan out there in a squirrel suit. Meanwhile, Ziggy, the executive officer, and Beagle Bailey, the retiree, take their morning naps. We won’t see them again until 1 pm.

Back to writing guest blog posts and getting the word out to my followers on social media about Mac Faraday’s latest mystery. What a cute picture of a husky pup! I need to retweet that! … A nun killed a priest in Texas? Need to read that news article—research potential!

10:00 am: Husband wants breakfast and another cup of coffee—stares at me until I pick up the message telepathically. Storm announces that squirrels threatening an advance from the Northeast ridge and needs back up. Imperative that I take a break from writing to go take care of my family before they completely fall apart. Hey, got a new follower on Twitter! She’s a mystery writer. Let me check out her books!

11:00 am: Discover that I am now five hours into my day and I am still in my bathrobe and slippers. You can’t expect to go far in your writing career if you don’t treat it seriously. You need to dress for it. Shower, dress, and get ready to work on my latest work in progress.

12 Noon: Husband asks what’s for lunch. Discover that I was so busy with my book promotion that I have not had breakfast. It is a busy life for a mystery writer!

1:00 pm: After cooking and eating lunch, I sit down to my laptop to work on my book. Email pops in from friend with link to article about an old man who kills wife of sixty years because he got sick of listening to her yap. That’s research potential!

2:15 pm: Gnarly announces that it is time to play catch. As Chief of Security, it is important that he stay at the top of his game by keeping his reflexes in tip-top shape with exercise. Go outside to play catch.

3:00 pm: Now it is time to get to work on my book.

4:00 pm: Husband asks, “What’s for dinner?” Unable to answer, I open the freezer door and stare into the interior until something jumps out at me. Husband rejects that. Back to staring into the freezer. Next thing that moves gets thawed.

5:00 pm: Move from freezer to the computer screen--Staring at the computer screen until drops of blood form on my forehead from thinking so hard.

5:35 pm: Inspiration breaks through and greatness pours from my fingertips onto the keyboard.

5:45 pm: Beagle Bailey finds his way to my desk and stares up at me. Telepathically he communicates. Feed me.

6:00 pm: Feed dogs and cook dinner.

8:00 pm: After Dinner. The quiet of the evening is a great time to get those creative juices flowing. Now is the time to let my characters come to life and write late into the evening.

8:30 pm: Security team announces that it is time to secure the perimeter for the night. On the way through the kitchen, a carton of ice cream calls to me from the freezer. A hot fudge sundae would surely give me strength to write late into the night.

9:00 pm: Security declares the boundaries safe for the night and come to call it a night. The Chief (Gnarly) critiques the team on their day’s performance. The Deputy Chief (Storm) disagrees with the Chief’s evaluation. She is not lazy! She just has a different style than he does. An argument results. Gnarly feels Storm over reacted. I’m called in to negotiate. Everyone retreats to their beds in disgust.

With the sundae devoured, I return to the laptop with the full intention to write late into the night … or until the pillow starts calling out that it’s my bedtime (around 12 Midnight).

How did Jessica Fletcher write so many books in It’s Murder, She Wrote with mysteries to solve every week?

Meet the Author: Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries. The twelfth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series, Candidate for Murder will be released June 2016.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with Lauren: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

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