Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Trail of Defects (Cold Springs Mysteries) by Sara Caudell

Cozy Mystery 4th in Series 
 - Author Notes - It is a series but can stand alone. 
Self Published (May 23, 2016) 
Paperback: 260 pages 
ISBN-13: 978-1541057531 

This modern day mystery contains unpredictable elements, reminiscent of earlier days in the Wild West. Crime waves in a small town can be confusing but it is especially daunting for Sheriff Hobson. It is unclear which side of the law his townspeople are on. Starting with an armed robbery of Kelly’s Lounge, elder abuse, and a runaway child, strange happenings pileup.

 Guest Post by Sara Caudell.

I didn’t start writing books until five years ago and I like to encourage readers to try their hand at writing.  I believe that to be a good writer, you have to be a good storyteller first.  Do you like to relate events in your life to friends?  Give a few details; that is storytelling.

My suggestions for writing YOUR mystery:

Read many, many mysteries and ask yourself which ones you liked and what you liked about them. Make a list. Ask yourself which ones you didn’t like and why. Make a list.  Note: mysteries don’t have to start with or even contain a murder. 

How to get inspired: watch people and think what if that had happened differently.  Read newspaper events: what if that had gone terribly wrong? 

Bars, airports, and music events are great places to get people descriptions.  Always carry a pen and paper. You never know when that perfect character for your next book is going to appear.

Write what you know (era, geographical and social place), you will have less research and a better plot flow if you don’t have to stop to check each detail.

Let your mind go through a period of incubation where you get an overall idea of the story and your characters.

Get your husband, kids, and overly friendly neighbors out of town for at least five days. Make them take your cell phone and the TV with them.

Sit down and write.  This is a FIRST draft.  There will be at least three more.  Nothing has to be perfect. That goes for spelling, punctuation and description.  Just get the story plot down and get into your characters.

Never stop writing in the middle of a scene; it breaks your train of thought.  Remember this is the first draft.  I make an outline as I go and plan about two scenes ahead of where I am writing. (Most writers do not do it this way but it works for me. Use a method that works for you. Yes, trial and error is the only way to find your own method. Don’t get bogged down in other people’s methods.)

Action is better than description. Always keep this in mind.

The best way to bring in background information on a character is gossip.  Yes, gossip! Or, if it is between men I guess you can call it something else. This is a good way to provide various opinions and events to develop your characters. This provides a resourceful way of avoiding writing in first person.

When you get to the point where you know what your ending is going to be, contact your writers group and either let them read what you have so far or tell them the story line.  Let them guess who the villain is; then make sure that person is not the villain.  You never want the ending to be obvious.  Yes, you may have to go back and change a few things but your story will be better.

Let your mind flow. Be funny. Be absurd. Be right down crazy.  Enjoy writing.  If you enjoy writing your story your reader will probably enjoy it too.

When you think you have finished your book, there are various programs that you can use to help make your story stronger and correct errors. You may want to use more then one. 

After all of this and you can’t stand the story any more, ask several beta readers to read your work. Take their comments seriously but remember this is your story.  Don’t allow them to talk you into major changes unless you agree.

Independent publishing is a good way to get inexpensive feedback.  If people find flaws in your book, make changes and give the book a different title.  You can do anything you want. 

If you have great story ideas but have difficulty writing, find a writer to co-write with you.

Try writing, you might really enjoy it.

About The Author
I grew up in a small ranching community in Colorado where I learned to judge beef on the hoof and under wrap. After moving around the country for my husband’s career and catching college courses as I could, I finally found myself in one place long enough to finish my degree. 
I was an artist (acrylic), raised three children, managed offices, and started my own genealogy resource business before weaving my stories and experiences into novels. 
I now live in central Texas with my patient husband and four cats. 
In my spare time I do genealogy and historical research and nurse orphan kittens back to health for the local animal shelter.
  Links: www.saracaudell.com
 Twitter: @CaudellSara
 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/caudellsara/
 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14009926.Sara_Caudell

  Purchase links Amazon B&N

  Other Books in the Series


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