Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Please Welcome Back Mystery Author Ginny Fite

Omnimystery News: Guest Post by Ginny Fite

We are delighted to welcome back author Ginny Fite to Omnimystery News.

Last week we had the opportunity to talk with Ginny about her first in series mystery Cromwell's Folly (Black Opal Books; September 2015 trade paperback and ebook formats) and we asked her expand on her writing process. She titles her guest post for us today, "True Lies in Cromwell's Folly".

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Ginny Fite
Photo provided courtesy of
Ginny Fite

Writing is like dreaming with our eyes open. And, it's also like lying — very convincing lying.

In our dreams, anything can happen: tumbling through the sky to our deaths, besting an enemy in battle, or being embraced by endless love. Dreams are where we practice skills (like flying), where we put two and two together, where insights come from — particularly useful for a detective like Sam Lagarde.

Writers dream on the page and, hopefully, readers find something in the story that resonates for them. When I write, I create a set of (hopefully) plausible bridges between my dreams and yours. That's where the lying comes in. For the lie to work it has to evoke a shared reality, a world we both know, or agree to believe exists. I "borrow" that reality by giving parts of my own experience to characters. For instance, like Lagarde, I love horses. Sometimes I place characters in locations where I've stood — looking out across a green meadow at the Blue Ridge Mountains fringing the wide bend of the silver Shenandoah river.

Everything I think, see, taste, smell, hear and feel gets scooped up into the huge steaming compost pile of experience in my mind. Dipping into that experience is part of the research I do for each novel. Depending on what situation characters find themselves in, they may acquire reactions I know from my own experience to be true. But it's not like placing a cut-out dress on a paper doll. I lend my experience in bits and pieces: how my mouth felt when someone disappointed me, how a man's face turned grey at hearing his mother died, what fury looked like in a friend who was betrayed. Everything else — the situation, the motivation, the resolution — is invented. And yet, it feels true because it's based on human experience.

My novels start with a "what if" scenario, often well before I know I'm even thinking about it. In the second Lagarde book, No Good Deed Left Undone, the story began for me when I started wondering "what if" a man was found in his barn with a pitchfork through his chest. I've never seen that, or read of it happening in the newspaper. To my knowledge, it's never happened here in Jefferson County, WV where there have been only three murders in the last five years. In my mind, it's a purely fictional set up.

Once the idea occurred to me, a host of other characters developed around it. How would the dead man's wife react, his children, neighbors, business partner? Who might have killed him? The story comes to life as complete strangers show up and engage in their part of the plot.

Similarly, Cromwell's Folly is pure fiction. It began with "what if" a ring on a dismembered finger was found beneath straw in a stable. None of the characters is anyone I've ever met, read about in the newspaper, or heard about from an acquaintance. They don't look like anyone I know, or talk like them.

But Beverly dresses the way an artist I know does. And Lagarde walks the way a horseman I knew walked, although the real man wasn't a detective. My characters have traits I've observed in several different people. But I've picked them up in the middle of their lives and thrown them into a terrible mess they've had to work their way through while I, mostly, watched as if in a dream and wrote down what happened.

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Ginny Fite is an award-winning journalist who has covered crime, politics, and all things human. She has been a spokesperson for a governor and a member of Congress, a few colleges and universities, and a robotics company. She has degrees from Rutgers University and Johns Hopkins University and studied at the School for Women Healers and the Maryland Poetry Therapy Institute. She lives in Harpers Ferry, WV.

For more information about the author, please visit her website at GinnyFite.com and her author page on Goodreads, or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Cromwell's Folly by Ginny Fite

Cromwell's Folly by Ginny Fite

A Sam Lagarde Mystery

Publisher: Black Opal Books

Amazon.com Print/Kindle Format(s)BN.com Print/Nook Format(s)iTunes iBook FormatKobo eBook Format

Good girls, it is commonly believed, are obsessed with bad boys. Usually, they get burned. Rarely do they get revenge …

Ben Cromwell — handsome, sexy, and ruthless — keeps a stable of women; picks them up the way someone picks up a ripe peach, consumes it in a few bites, and throws away the pit. This time, he chose the wrong peaches.

When Detective Sam Lagarde of the Charles Town, West Virginia State Police is called to the scene of a homicide, he instantly surmises the force he is facing is far beyond what he's dealt with before. A head in dumpster and a pinky finger with an emerald/diamond ring attached is all he has to go by. Doggedly following lead after lead, Lagarde stumbles upon five women who all have one thing in common …

Cromwell's Folly by Ginny Fite. Click here to take a Look Inside the book.

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