Author Mary Stanton, who also writes as Claudia Bishop, has published more than forty stories. Now the author shares “the absolute low-down, dirty-dog truth” about writing mystery novels.
Late in the spring of 1993, my agent called me to tell me Berkley Prime Crime had made an offer on the partial of my first mystery novel, A Taste for Murder. And they wanted two more after that.
I remember yelling for joy. I remember blessing my agent and all of his progeny to come. I remember shouting that this was my big chance.
I hung up the phone, danced around the kitchen, ran into the dining room and danced around that, then stopped smack in the middle of the living room floor and pulled my hair in complete and utter panic.
I didn’t even have one complete mystery novel, and Berkley wanted THREE?
I grabbed a brown paper bag from the storage bin, breathed into it, and tried to get a grip. I didn’t know how to write a mystery novel. Berkley had made the offer based on the other novels I’d published and none of it, not one single book, was a mystery novel, and I was absolutely positively certain I was going to make a complete and utter ass of myself.