Book Three of my Film Milieu Thriller series is finally out in the world. Yay!
Writing mysteries is tricky and my hat’s off to those writers who turn out so many clever and compelling stories. My series is both mystery and thriller with paranormal and suspense elements, so they are not the “cozy” variety. But I came to love the characters in the first two books and took the unprecedented step of bringing both their worlds together in the third so I could have them interact with each other.
Admittedly, for a long time, I didn’t think I could pull off this sleight of hand. Combining the two books meant bringing a lot of characters together and, while most of my book series sport numerous characters, I’ve never tried writing a mystery thriller with so many. The goal of such books is to keep the story moving, introduce red herrings, depict attempts to knock off key characters, but also, as with any story, to flesh out the characters along the way.
Sidelined by surgery, I took a long, convoluted path toward completing this book, but the end result shocked me by being one of my favorites. I somehow managed to give all the characters a three-dimensional presence, and I loved how they chose to interact with each other. As with most stories, the characters take on a life of their own and some make choices I hadn’t originally mapped out for them. This is probably what makes the often lonely job of writing so fulfilling, when characters become so real to the author that they dictate their own choices and drive the story forward.
I think They Know When The Killer Will Strike is the best of this series and one of my best books, period, so I hope everyone gets a chance to meet my fun cast of characters. However, they’re first introduced in the previous two books, along with plot points important to this story, so it’s best, as one teen reviewer put it, to read the other books first to fully enjoy the latest installment. Besides, you see how the characters grow along the way.
Despite wrapping up the major plot elements in this third book, my mind immediately began formulating stories to continue exploring the lives of my young characters in future installments, and I hope readers will long to know becomes of Leo and his friends as much as I do.