There’s a huge background for the question, why I decided to write the book, Murder for Kicks.
I’ve written for as far back as I can remember; however, I didn’t get really serious about getting published until around 1988. I spent a number of years learning the craft, writing stories eventually relegated to the circular file, and then started on the one for which I received a contract, namely, Murder by Mistake.
Since I couldn’t let go of the characters in Murder by Mistake, I made the decision to do a series. In considering various themes for the second book, seeking one that would work for me, I discarded one after another, until an idea hit me square on. My ideas come from all sorts of places and this one stems from a TV show where a female detective resorted to kickboxing to take down a suspect. That was it. I got excited, pictured all sorts of scenarios with my less than athletic protagonist (much like myself) and began working on the plot.
My character, Mollie Fenwick, is a thirty-two year old widow who wants to change her life and become much more independent. No more controlling men—she’ll do what she wants, when she wants, as long as it isn’t illegal or immoral. She believes she’s on the right path. She has a new apartment in an upscale building, is an illustrator for a publisher, and works part time as a bus driver for a company serving the elderly and the disabled, a job she only acquired after her husband’s death. Much to her astonishment, she’s pretty successful at that job, despite being directionally challenged.
However, something else she acquired after her husband’s death was the gift of clairvoyance. She sees things before they happen and when one vision is of a murder in her apartment, she investigates on her own. How can she reveal details from the vision to the hunky homicide detective living next door to her? He’d think she was there (Murder by Mistake).
So, in deciding on the plot for the second book, I imagined a vision set in front of a martial arts studio in a strip mall. When Mollie sees a man force a woman into a car, she tells the detective. Unfortunately, he can’t investigate something that hasn’t happened yet, and Mollie again dives into the mystery—or should I say kicks her way, for she signs up for a kickboxing class in order to be on the scene in case she spots the abductor.
Research for this second book, Murder for Kicks, was a lot of fun. Being non-athletic and way too old to try such antics, I got two videos from the library, watched them, and wrote down pertinent facts so my kickboxing class scenes would be realistic.
While I had the basic story line planned ahead, I wrote this book without a detailed outline, which meant it sometimes went in a direction that even surprised me. But that’s the fun of writing a mystery.
I’m currently working on book three, Murder by Spook, which involves CIA spies.
Joan K. Maze
Murder By Mistake, book 1 in the Mollie Fenwick Mystery Series, available as an ebook from Red Rose Publishing, B&N, Fictionwise and Amazon
Murder By Mistake, book 1 in the Mollie Fenwick Mystery Series, available in paperback from Amazon
Murder For Kicks, book 2 in the Mollie Fenwick Mystery Series, available as an ebook from Red Rose Publishing,
Fictionwise and Amazon
Framed In Fear, romantic suspense, available from Red Rose Publishing, Fictionwise and Amazon
Flight of the Hawk, shapeshifter paranormal novella written under the name Jaye Leyel
Murder By Spook, book 3 in the Mollie Fenwick Mystery Series, in progress