"All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality -- the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape."
--Author Christopher Benson



Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Special Tuesday Edition of Cozy Wednesday with Elaine Viets (Giveaway too!)

Last month I reviewed Elaine Viets latest edition to her Dead End Job Mystery Series Pumped for Murder.  I  was chair dancing a few days later when I was contacted by Berkley Prime Crime wondering if I would like Elaine to do a Guest Post.  LIKE??? I would LOVE for Elaine to Guest Post.  So she is here today with a very special post.

For Better or Worse: What Happens When Your Character Marries
By Elaine Viets
 Now I’ve done it. 

 Helen Hawthorne finally married Phil, her true love.

In “Pumped for Murder,” my tenth Dead-End Job mystery, they start their new life together.
I want them to live happily ever after – but not too happily. Even good marriages have bad days, and I’m suspicious of couples who say “We never fight.”

Helen and Phil aren’t the Bickersons. They are madly in love, which is why my tenth Dead-End Job mystery opens in their bedroom. They’ve spent “a sizzling September afternoon in his bedroom, listening to Eric Clapton sing about hopeful love, hopeless love, and shameful sinful love while they indulged in legal, married love.”

Now Helen is sure she’s about to have the first fight of their 33-day-old marriage. She tells Phil she hates listening to Clapton drone “Cocaine.” 

 “He sounds bored,” she says, expecting the ceiling to fall in on her.

 But Phil doesn’t defend his guitar hero.

 He says, “You’re right.” He switches to “White Room,” and the first crisis of their new marriage is averted.

I’m in for a rocky time. Writing dialogue for happily married couples can be the kiss of death for mystery series. It’s one reason why Sue Grafton refuses to marry her private eye, Kinsey Milhone. “Kinsey’s happy as she is and she doesn’t need to be rescued, improved, or saved,” Grafton told an interviewer.

Helen wasn’t happy. She brooded on her bad marriage to Rob, her ex-husband. She was on the run from the law, since the court said she had to give her no-good spouse half of her future income.

Like many South Florida single women, Helen dated her share of druggies, drunks and deadbeats before she found her dream lover, Phil. She met the silver-haired private eye in my third Dead-end Job mystery, “Dying to Call You.” Helen was working as a topless bartender — undercover. Or uncovered. She hastily held up two liter soda bottles. (For the record: Topless bartender is one dead-end job I did NOT work.)

For the next seven mysteries, Helen tries to find the courage to marry the man she loves, while I tried to find the courage to write about a marriage between equals. 

By book nine, Helen and I were both ready for marriage. 

But what kind of wedding would Helen and Phil have? I’d been to too many weddings where the bride and groom where so exhausted from the preparations they couldn’t enjoy their ceremony.

 So I gave Helen and Phil the wedding I’d always wanted:

They married on the spur of the moment at the beach. Helen wore the dress that Phil loved best. He wore the blue shirt that Helen thought brought out the blue in his eyes.

Their friends fixed the wedding feast and they celebrated far into the night.

I hope we’ll live in blissful togetherness for many novels.

This is a fantastic series!!!  Elaine is a wonderful author and person and I am so happy she could find time to Guest Post on my blog.  

PUMPED FOR MURDER is available as a hardcover and an e-book. Win a $50 gift certificate to your favorite bookstores. Click on Contests at www.elaineviets.com.


mamabunny13 said...

This really does sound like a good series. Thanks for the giveaway
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

Steve Capell said...

I like the first Chapter of this book. This looks like a fun read. Thanks for posting this review and contest.


Julie P said...

I would enter, but I can't start off with book 10 in the series! I have added the first book to my wishlist.....

Donna said...

Sounds like a great series. Please enter me. I am a new follower. Would love a visit at my blog. http://mylife-in-stories.blogspot.com

Liz V. said...

Enjoyed your Annapolis book signing, w/ your cohorts in crime. Have enjoyed both dead-end and mystery-shopper series.

Carol N Wong said...

I am so glad that you gave them the wedding that you always wanted. Great idea. The beach is such great place with the sound of the surf in the background. I am jealous!


Tore said...

Thanks for the great giveaway. Your book sounds really good. Tore923@aol.com

Linda Kish said...

This sounds like such fun.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Liz V. said...

Have enjoyed both mystery-shopper and dead-end series, enough to see Viets, w/ her cohorts, at first ever book signing.

cyn209 said...

thank you for doing what you do, Elaine!!
good luck to you!!!
thank you for the giveaway!!!


Carol M said...

I'd love to read this! It sounds really good! Thank you for the giveaway!

Tina said...

I haven't read the earlier ones, but I'm ready to do so because you were smart enough to let them get married. I detest series that drag on forever with dead-end romances, so this one is going on my list.

tbranco24 AT gmail DOT com

Maria (pronounced Mariah) I blame my mother... said...

This soundslike a great read. I have been trying to post for a week & my computer kept locking up. Glad I tried again!

Stacie said...

I love both of Elaine's series. I can't wait to read about the wedding. I could have swore I posted on here but the blogspot glitch must have sent it into cyber space. :(
Thanks again for the interview & the awesome giveaway!


Faith Hope Cherrytea said...

Elaine, you've got my attention and interest piqued! thanks for doing what you love!