Please welcome Evelyn Cullet, author of “Masterpiece of Murder,” “Love Lies and Murder,” and “Once Upon a Crime.” She has become quite adept at weaving romance into a mystery and will explain how and why she does it.
I’ve been an aspiring author since high school when I enjoyed writing short stories. I began my first novel while attending college later in life, and while working in the offices of a major soft drink company. After taking early retirement, I finally have the chance to do what I love best: write full time.
As a life-long mystery buff, I was a former member of the Agatha Christie Society, and am a current member of Sisters In Crime. When I’m not writing mysteries, reading them or reviewing them, I host guest authors and their novels on my writer’s blog. You can visit my blog at: http://evelyncullet.com/blog/.
In my spare time, I play the piano, am an amateur Lapidary, and an organic gardener. My husband and I live in a suburb of Chicago with our black lab, Bailey.
Writing Romance in a Mystery
I’ve always loved reading mysteries. Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and Author Conan Doyle have all influenced my writing in many ways. And so I tried writing novels in the cozy mystery genre. But being a hopeless romantic, I couldn’t keep the romance out. While I realize that all mystery lovers enjoy the puzzle aspect to a mystery, I also feel that adding romance makes the reader’s ties to the characters even stronger, and a love interest spices up the plot, adding another dimension to the story.
While some readers like their romances hot and steamy, there are others who like it light and sweet. Where does a mystery writer draw the line? I take my cue from what I like to read: mysteries with romance on the lighter side. But sometimes my characters take on a life of their own, and they’ll dictate to me just how much of their love lives they want to reveal to the reader, and how much they want to leave to the reader’s imagination.
So, there are times when I’m walking a fine line between the two, and I try not to cross it. How do I fit light romance into my mysteries?
Studies show that proximity is a predictor of why people fall in love. Throw two people together for any length of time and the physical closeness alone can lead to increased emotions. That’s why it’s not unusual to hear about office romances. And that’s what happens to my protagonist, Charlotte Ross, who see’s her world about to crumble when the man she’s in love with–her boss–announces his engagement to someone else, in “Love, Lies and Murder.” But can love triumph when it’s built on a foundation of lies and murder? That’s a question only my characters can answer.
Timing also significantly influences love. Individuals are more likely to fall in love if they are looking for adventure, feeling lonely, or are displaced in a foreign country, like when they’re on vacation. This is the case in “Masterpiece of Murder,” the sequel to “Love, Lies and Murder,” where Charlotte follows her errant fiancé to Bariloche, Argentina in an attempt to win him back.And in the process, she accidently stumbles into a downward spiral of deceit, art forgery and murder.
Does the course of true love ever run smooth in my mysteries? Not if I can help it. I love writing mysteries with light romance and a little humor, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading my kind of story. To learn more about my novels, visit my website: http://evelyncullet.com/
My next novel, “Once Upon a Crime,” will be released this summer. MASTERPIECE OF MURDER and LOVE, LIES AND MURDER are both available in print and ebook from:
Amazon – http://tinyurl.com/9jjl5xc http://tinyurl.com/kbdpxg3
Web Site: http://evelyncullet.com/
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/TVKgOmwyGB4
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/EvculletsAuthorPage