My Mystery Series (in progress)
In addition to writing various short stories, I am working on several mystery series (at various stages of completion). I will be seeking agent representation after polishing my draft. I am also active in the mystery community.
I am revising the first book in my planned “Railroad Museum Detective Series” called “Deadman’s Switch.” Liz McKenzie, a recent widow of a Chicago policeman, returns home to Tarocco Heights (a town on the outskirts of Riverside, CA) and the railroad museum she grew up volunteering with family.
Her cousin, Ron, pleads for her help because he believes a volunteer is stealing from the train collection, including some of his father’s display, which he and Liz inherited after his death a few years ago. Liz goes to confront the volunteer when she finds him on the floor of the group’s new building, a rail spike through his back.
Now Liz is on the track of a killer. When a second volunteer dies, she realizes what rage and grief can cause some people to do. Will she be able to stop the killer, clear her cousin’s name, keep the railroad museum open, and stop this runaway train of death before the killer strikes again?
Set in 1914 Gilded Age New York, the story is also shadowed by past events, including the 1906 murder of Stanford White by millionaire Harry Thaw because of his wife, model Evelyn Nesbit (the girl on the red velvet swing).
An up-and-coming artist, Henry Richard Boehm, rushes upstairs during a heated discussion with his wife. Minutes later a gunshot echoes from his office. He is dead of an apparent suicide—shot through the heart with the gun beside him.
His death shocks author Edward Stratemeyer. Boehm was his favorite book illustrator and a friend. The artist also had in his possession the only copy of a manuscript dear to the author’s heart. This manuscript is now apparently missing.
Fellow artist, Walter S. Rogers, and Boehm’s young daughter insist that the illustrator’s death is actually murder.
While looking for his missing manuscript, Stratemeyer soon finds himself entangled in an elaborate conspiracy as more people die. Will he be able to sketch in the details before he or someone he loves is painted out of the picture entirely?
This story is the first in a series and is currently being completed and is going through a read and critique group. It is a fictional account of some real-world people and real deaths.
My involvement in the writing community:
- Participant in multiple California Crime Writers Conference
- Participant in Left Coast Crime 2019 in Vancouver
- Co-Organizer and Designer for Left Coast Crime 2020 in San Diego
- Participant in multiple San Diego State University Writer’s Conferences (including in 2016 when I won a “Conference Choice Award” from Martin Biro, editor at Kensington Press)
- President of the local chapter of Sisters in Crime: Partners in Crime
- Member of the Guppies (online) chapter of Sisters in Crime (and of course the National Sisters in Crime organization)
- National Novel Writing Month participant (and winner) multiple years (and instructor and lecturer on “how to NaNoWriMo”)
- Have taught classes on Brainstorming, NaNoWriMo, Scrivener writing software, and more for San Diego Writers, Ink and as a private consultant