Who Am I?
I have something in common with Francis Dolarhyde, the killer in Red Dragon by Thomas Harris. He was becoming. So am I. I’m less sure of what I am becoming than he is, but still. The big difference between us is that he is a serial killer, whereas, I was almost a victim of one. Back in the eighties, a man who had raped seven women, and killed six of them, came after me. Not an experience I care to repeat, but I really learned a lot from it.
Before starting the Trey Fontaine Mystery series, I wrote seven books. Historical, women’s fiction, romance and western. They fit neatly under the bed. Then one day when it was time to go to critique group and all my books had been critiqued, I was empty handed. I sat down and quickly punched out two pages of gore. When the group read them, they all responded, “Why in the world have you been writing all that other stuff? This is what you’re supposed to write.” Who’d a thunk it? A person who had studied and worked in law for twenty years writing police procedurals or mysteries?
So I chose topics I was familiar with: killers, rapists, child molesters, thieves, sociopaths, prostitutes, drug abusers and alcoholics. My first published book, Ultimate Justice, A Trey Fontaine Mystery, was released in June of 2011 and features FBI Special Agent Trey Fontaine, a stickler for the rules who happens to be hooked on pain meds.
While in his small hometown, recuperating from a gunshot wound, Trey’s godfather, homicide detective Russell Coleman, is thrown into the cases of several murders. Russ’s new partner, Gemini Taylor has just moved back to town, determined to get Russ, the man who investigated her father’s murder, to re-open the case and find the real killer. Boredom and curiosity get the better of Trey and soon he is knee deep in bodies.
Having gotten the writing done, it was time to send my baby out into the world. After a nightmare of having an editor take eighteen months to read my manuscript, just so she could tell me it wasn’t her cup of tea, I decided to try small presses. It took a few submissions before I found the perfect fit with LL-Publications.
Next spring, Ultimate Game, A Trey Fontaine Mystery will be released by the same publisher. Again, Trey Fontaine is back in his hometown, taking a backseat in the investigation of the disappearance of several young women. His new partner is not a stickler for the rules, which makes Trey a little crazy. When a close friend’s sister disappears, Trey goes against all he believes in to find the girl. Both of these books have recurring themes of parent-child relationships, loss, and change.
I love my laptop for writing, but I always start with a spiral notebook for developing characters and plot points, as well as notes on research. I know it seems old fashioned to actually use a pen and paper, but I love the portability of it, and having gone through university and law school without the aid of a computer, I learned to take notes with my trusty pen.
When not writing, I love to read and have an eclectic library. I have a lovely organic garden in the summer, and home-canned organic veggies all year round. I live a quiet life with my family and friends, my pets, my garden and my cozy kitchen. And I don’t need to seek excitement. I have my characters for that.
You can find my website at www.ryderislington.libroville.com
My blog is at www.ryderislington.wordpress.com
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