A fan told us yesterday that as much as he enjoyed “Murder Becomes Manhattan,” he thinks “Murder Becomes Miami” is even better.
Not only do you struggle to determine who killed college football’s most successful coach (he was sure he knew after Chapter 3 but was, ahem, dead wrong). You also learn fun trivia about the Art Deco hotels on Miami Beach AND how to make the perfect vesper martini.
Available in Kindle and hardback versions (paperback version available later this year). The perfect thriller for your summer vacation.
On November 13, “Murder Becomes Miami” will go on sale. The terror amps up in the second installment in the “Murder Becomes” series, as The Lee Group tries to deduce who murdered a reviled college football coach (and why). Find out more at murdermiami.com.
We are already starting to turn our attention to Book 3. To that end, we’re having fun recently asking YOU, the reader, to help us decide where that book should take place.
The two criteria for a “Murder Becomes” location are 1) The location must begin with the letter ‘M’ and 2) The location must have architecture of note. Given that, here are 10 possible locations for the next book. Which one do you think would make the best setting for Book 3 in the series?
Let us know, by sending a quick email to: email@example.com
1. Monte Carlo, Monaco
2. Milan, Italy
3. Maui, USA
4. Madrid, Spain
5. Macau, China
6. Mardi Gras, USA
7. Montreal, Canada
8. Moscow, Russia
9, Mykonos, Greece
10. Malibu, USA
This fall, I have at least three book clubs reading “Murder Becomes Manhattan.” When I appear at a book club, one question I am always asked is, “How do you go about writing one of your novels? Do you pretty much have the plot laid out when you start? Or do you change it along the way?”
The answer is ‘yes.’ And, ‘no.’
I am a linear thinker, so my tendency is to produce a book in a linear way. But it is almost impossible to write a good mystery thriller that way. That’s because you want the stray comment offered by someone in Chapter 17 to become the vital clue unearthed in Chapter 46. You want the subplot between two characters carefully developed in the first half of the book to take a sudden veer into unexpected territory in the second half.
But that requires some serious planning, some meaningful forethought, and sometimes what we in the industry call “backwriting”. I have backwritten a lot in “Murder Becomes Miami,” which comes out in November. That means I thought of a very cool way to shake things up late in the book, but for the shake-up to make sense, I had to go back and insert a few elements earlier in the book. The result I think is a book that’s more rich, I think, and something different to some degree from what I thought it would be when I launched into it.
That said, if I constantly stopped and shifted and backwrote, I might never finish a book. So here is what I do: I tend to charge forward with a general idea of the plot. I allow for the possibility of twists and turns I didn’t expect along the way but continue barreling forward with the goal of getting the entire story told.
THEN, I go back and refine, and shape, and sculpt, inserting some elements and discarding others, until the final story is ready for you to read.
How do you write? Similarly, or somehow different?
Last night I sat down to a plate of calamari and a glass of pinot grigio at my favorite Italian restaurant to map out the plot to my next book, “Murder Becomes Miami.” Even though “Murder Becomes Manhattan” just landed a few weeks ago, I am itchin’ to carry on the tale of Dalton Lee and the architect/detectives who make up The Lee Group.
Mapping out a plot is, I believe, one of the most exciting parts of crafting a book, for it by itself bathes me in a mood of mystery and intrigue well before I have written the first word.
Who will I select as the murderer and how will they be connected to this strange cult known as The Organization? What plot is The Organization hatching and how was the victim connected to it? How will I hide the murderer within the community of people you will meet? Who else will I put forward as possible suspects and how can I best make them suspect without making their innocence too obvious to you?
And most important, how can I push myself to ensure the reading experience I give you delivers twists and turns neither of us saw coming?
Whereas the architecture of the skyscrapers in Manhattan took center stage in the first book, in this next book it will be the Art Deco motifs found in Miami. But an architectural detail will once again play a key role in the solving of the murder.
I look forward to the tale unfolding and to your feedback as to how I can improve on the debut effort found in “Murder Becomes Manhattan.”