Guest Post: Author @mlred219 on the #publishing process #amwriting


Five dead women in fifteen months. Each of their bodies—discovered by hikers in Vantage Woods in the small town of Lyons, Ohio—suffered a single but fatal gunshot to the head. But there are no shell casings at the scenes. There are no fingerprints, no evidence, no suspects.

Detective Lacey Mills doesn’t know where to turn.

In the course of her investigation, she meets Alison Rhodes, a captivating woman who went on a date with the most recent victim less than 48 hours before her demise.

As the murders become more intense, so do Lacey’s feelings for Alison, along with her suspicion that Ali may be more than just a potential witness.

When it appears that Ali could be the killer’s next target, Lacey puts everything at risk—including her own life—to protect her.

But it’s what she eventually uncovers about Ali that might truly kill her.

Guest post:

Since being published, I’m often asked about the process. It’s a long and tough road between coming up with an idea and seeing your words in book form. 

My method may vary from other authors, but my process starts with thinking of an emotionally charged scene between two people. If I can come up with an interesting plot and character arc from there, then I’ll research potential characters’ names then create a playlist of music for each character to inspire scenes or character development. Then I’ll write the chapter summaries. 

Those summaries are never written in stone. Sight Lines actually made a complete 180 from what I originally intended it to be, especially the killer’s identity. Coming up with the chapter summaries and writing the manuscript intertwine because the story can always change—and it will. Even though I’m the writer, sometimes I feel like I’m just the messenger between the characters and the reader. The characters sometimes have more control over their lives than I do. 

Oh, and I also recommend occasionally typing “I’m researching a novel!” into Google when you’re searching for things like, “How long does it take for a dead body to decompose” or “What caliber bullet would you use to shoot a human from a long distance” to try to avoid being red-flagged by the FBI. I’m still waiting for them to come knocking on my door. 

Once the manuscript is finished, it’s time to query agents and publishers. This will be the biggest blow to your ego because you’re going to be rejected. A lot. I queried more than two dozen publishers and only received positive responses from three of them. 

Some people may think that once the novel is published, the work is done. But that’s far from the truth. If you want to be a professional writer, learn how to market yourself. Don’t rely on a few tweets to spread the word. I’ve found marketing the book to be more exhausting than writing the novel itself. But knowing that I’m entertaining a few people at a time with my story makes it all worth it. I’m an entertainer at heart, and I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to let me entertain them.

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