Casey Daniels here, thrilled to be part of the Something Wicked crowd! Like Lori did yesterday, I thought this first post would be a good place to introduce myself. I’m the author of the Pepper Martin mystery series, I live in a suburb of Cleveland and I’ve been writing since just about forever.
Out of college and armed with an English degree, I worked doing corporate writing. You know, newsletters, brochures, speeches for executives. Gave up the full-time gig when my daughter was born, but still kept my fingers in, doing corporate stuff freelance and also doing some newspaper work. All the while, I wondered . . . what if . . .
What if I was writing fiction? Could I do it? What would I write?
Six years later after my son was born, it was time to give the dream a try. I knew what I wanted to write, but it wasn’t until I did some market research that I learned what publishing called it: historical romance.
I wrote that first historical romance, "Twilight Secrets," and it was published back in 1992. Since then, I’ve published 40 other books. A lot of those have been romances (historical and contemporary), but I’ve also written one childrens’ book and some YA. All the while, though, what I was reading was mysteries.
I come to the genre with a little real-life experience. My dad was a Cleveland police detective, and besides listening to his stories of life on the job, and I often went with him on his days off when he headed out onto the mean city streets to look for stolen cars. (Yeah, Dad had that kind of Type A personality.) I have long been a fan of the classic mysteries (Agatha Christie is my favorite) as well as books by Elizabeth Peters.
So I loved mysteries, but I wasn’t writing them. What was that all about? Well, my biggest stumbling block was finding a protagonist interesting enough to carry a series. Fortunately, I visited a cemetery one day, and got the idea for Pepper Martin, a cemetery tour guide who solves mysteries for the ghosts in her cemetery.
So far, there have been four books in the series: Don of the Dead, The Chick and the Dead, Tombs of Endearment, and the newest, Night of the Loving Dead. Book #5, Dead Man Talking, will be published in October and I’m contracted for four more after that.
The series is quirky, funny, and I’m having a ball writing it. And though I hadn’t anticipated it when I thought of Pepper, I’m also finding that more and more, I’m getting involved in all things that go bump in the night. As research, I’ve been on ghost hunts and ghost tours. I have always been a devotee of cemeteries, and now I have a perfect excuse to visit any one I happen on. I’ve even taken some interesting and mysterious pictures in an abandoned convent. But that’s a subject for another blog!
PS, this blog will be posted on February 7 and I will be out-of-town all weekend for book signings. I’ll try to get to a computer and check in, but if I don’t have a chance, please know I’m not being rude! I’ll try to comment as soon as I’m able.