Earl Staggs, Mystery We Write Blog Tour
(Please stop in at http://anne-k-albert.blogspot.com/ and check out my guest blog for today.)
The Mystery We Write
Blog Tour continues and today Earl Staggs is my guest. I haven’t read any of
Earl’s books yet, but after reading this blog you can bet I will. Welcome,
Thank you, Marja, for letting me visit here with you and your readers. You asked for “in depth idea of how you come up with your story ideas,” so here are some recollections of mine.
I find story ideas everywhere. All I have to do is look around until I see something interesting or something that sparks an idea for a story and then play “What if?”
One idea came while watching a movie on TV. The story concerned a killer for hire who had a contract on the wife of a prominent businessman. While the hit man planned how he was going to take out the man’s wife, my mind wandered. What if the hit man completed his contract, collected his fee, and sometime later, saw the wife walking, talking and breathing, still very much alive? That led to a story called “Dead Wife Walking,” which begins with this:
* * * * *
Her auburn hair was longer, but she was still beautiful and still moved with the flowing grace of a runway model. There was no doubt in my mind. The woman who had just entered my favorite restaurant in Tarpon Springs, Florida, was Janice Whitmore.
Four months ago, Janice Whitmore’s car went over an embankment and exploded in Fort Worth, Texas. The car blazed for thirty minutes before emergency equipment arrived. She was not thrown from the car and she did not escape from it. There was nothing left of her but ashes. I know. I watched.
* * * * *
Another story idea popped up when I read a novel about a District Attorney who fell in love with a woman and then had to prosecute her in court. An interesting predicament, I thought, and my mind began what-iffing. The result is a story I called, “The Waitress.” Police Chief Harry Winfield, a long-time bachelor, finally meets a woman who interests him, but he is pulled into an investigation of her past. Her story begins to unfold when Harry is visited by cops from another jurisdiction.
* * * * *
“Chief Winfield, do you remember back in March when a prominent attorney named Vernon Cowsill was found shot to death in a motel room?”
Harry nodded. “Vaguely. What does that have to do with Pam Wilson?”
“We have evidence that Miss Wilson was in the room with him at the time of his death.
Her fingerprints were found in the room.”
“That only proves she was in that room, not when she was there or who she was with.”
“Her prints were also in Cowsill’s BMW, the passenger side.”
“So, at some time, she must have ridden in his -- ”
“. . .and on a condom wrapper found by the bed.”
* * * * *
(Sorry, Earl. Your cover is white and so is my background.)
The stories mentioned above are included in a collection called Short Stories of Earl Staggs, available in ebook form for 99 cents until the end of April. Complete details available at: http://tinyurl.com/7fz8u6m
Another story idea led to a novel I hope to finish soon. Like everyone else, I want to cry every time I hear about innocent people being killed by terrorists and the fruitless efforts afterwards to find those responsible and exact justice. What if someone tracked down these potential murderers and put them out of business BEFORE they did their horrendous deeds? Tall Chambers and a select few other trained professionals do exactly that as part of a secretive agency. If the terrorists prefer to fight and die for their cause, the agency is happy to grant their wish.
Part of Tall’s assignment is to stop one particular terrorist, but it becomes personal when Tall learns that terrorist is responsible for the deaths of his wife and son. Tall’s quest for vengeance leads him to the discovery of a plot to put the wrong person in the office of President of the United States. I hope to have Tall Chambers: Justified Action available by this summer.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by. Please leave a comment while you’re here and you may win a free book. On April 29, I’ll put the names in a hat and draw two of them. The first one drawn will receive a signed print copy of my novel, Memory of a Murder. The second name drawn will have a choice of a print version or ebook of my collection, Short Stories of Earl Staggs.
You’re also invited to visit my website at http://earlwstaggs.wordpress.com You’ll find Chapter One of Memory of a Murder there. You’ll also find a short story called “The Day I Almost Became a Great Writer.” Some say it’s the funniest story I’ve ever written. There’s also one called “White Hats and Happy Trails,” about the day I spent with a boyhood idol, Roy Rogers.
Thanks again, Marja, for giving me the run of the place for these few minutes. Best regards and good reading to all.
Bio: Derringer Award winning author Earl Staggs has seen many of his short stories published in magazines and anthologies. His novel Memory of a Murder earned a long list of Five Star reviews. He served as Managing Editor of Futures Mystery Magazine and as President of the Short Mystery Fiction Society. He is also a contributing blog member of Murderous Musings and Make Mine Mystery and is a frequent speaker at conferences and writers groups. Email: email@example.com Website: http://earlwstaggs.wordpress.com
Thank you for visiting today, Earl. I’ve enjoyed what you shared with us, and now I’m off to read “The Day I Almost Became a Great Writer”. I do love humor, and I hope you’ll drop in again one day.
The Blog Tour winds up on April 27 with Mary Martinez. You won't want to miss this one.
CLICK HERE to visit Marja McGraw’s website
CLICK HERE to view the book trailer for Bogey’s Ace in the Hole
CLICK HERE for a trip to Amazon.com