Checkered Crime by Tonya Kappes
From ideas to the page. . .
I write by the seat of my pants. Not literally, but really—I don’t plot before I sit down, but I do think a lot.
Writing is definitely a job that is solitary. It’s just me and my made up world all day long. And just like in a regular job, whether it be a desk job, teacher, or stay at home mom, I have to make the commitment every single day to show up at my job—bring my fictitious world out of my head and on the page.
Since I write murder, it’s a little different than a novel in a different genre. I have to know the ending and the whodunit and the why before I even type a word on the page. This is when I scour crime scene interviews, reasons people are murdered, motives, news stories and zany ways to kill people.
Checkered Crime is the first novel in my latest mystery series, A Laurel London Mystery, and I knew there had to be a hook besides a mob guy kills because things didn’t go his way. So the “what-if” game starts.
I tape a big sheet of white paper on the wall in my office and I make bullet points of the what if’s with the answers. I’m leaving the answers out here because I don’t want to give away any of the fun details of the novel. You are going to have to buy and read the book for all the fun!
*What if the mob guy was missing a finger? Why is he missing a finger? How can I use that in the murder or the crime?
*What is unique about my heroine? What is her quirk? What if she lost her job and needed an old beater car? What if the car is yellow? What if the mob guy thought it was a taxi? What if he hired her to be his driver? OMG! What if the FBI is watching him? The FBI guy jumps in her car and forces her to work for the FBI…then she’d be working for both sides?
*What is in it for the heroine?
*What is the crime? Why is the crime so important that it needs to be solved?
This game goes on and on. I talk to myself and put the quirkiest answers next to the question. It may or may not make it into the book, but my ideas start to flow and the plot begins to take place.
This is when I sit down and begin to write the first draft or the “bones” of the novel. It takes me about one month, sitting butt in chair, and eight hour days to get it finished. After this draft is complete, I go back through the draft and add in all the little quirky or funny parts since I inject humor into the story. This is how I put the “meat on the bones.” The story deepens. My characters deepen and come to life. The dialogue tags take shape and the story begins to form into a solid novel.
This process takes me two – three weeks. After that, I will print out the novel and read it out loud, taking me another week. Here I begin to change around scenes or add more storyline or details.
This is the last before I send it off to my editor for the first round of edits. This is a back and forth process until it’s ready for my beta readers. With the feedback, I complete the novel for one last round of edits before it’s sent out into the world for readers.
Jump on over and buy CHECKERED CRIME. Keep in mind my writing process as you read and see if you can picture me adding the layers to the story line. Happy reading!!
About Checkered Crime by Tonya Kappes
Laurel London is one tough cookie. Orphaned and with one heckuva checkered past, she’s grown street smart and no one is going to tell her different, even if it means getting tangled up with the wrong side of the law. After terrorizing Walnut Grove, Kentucky all her adolescent life, she’s back and she’s ready to go on the up and up. Make something of herself. Prove the citizens of Walnut Grove wrong and make them admit she’s somebody.
But when mobster Trigger Finger Tony Cardozza jumps in the back of Laurel London’s car mistaking it for a taxi, she’s up to her ears in no good.
Recently fired and checkbook in the red, when Trigger offers to pay Laurel large wads of cash to drive him where he needs to go and keep her mouth shut, she’s all in. That is, until FBI agent Jax Jackson jumps in the back of Laurel London’s car threatening to take her to jail for her past crimes if she doesn’t cooperate with the FBI by going undercover to help bring down the mob.
Laurel finds herself battling the past and good vs evil and she’s not sure which is more deadly.
About Tonya Kappes
“Full of wit, humor and colorful characters, Tonya Kappes delivers a fun, fast-paced story that will leave you hooked!” Bestselling Author, Jane Porter
“A GHOSTLY UNDERTAKING is hauntingly good read with authentic Southern charm.” -Heather Webber Author Heather Webber
“Tonya Kappes strings together the perfect blend of family, friends, and fun.” Author Misa Ramirez
USA Today Bestselling Author, Tonya Kappes writes humorous cozy mystery and women’s fiction that involves quirky characters in quirky situations. Not only have her novels made the USA Today bestsellers list, but they are an Amazon Top 100 author, Amazon Movers and Shakers, and International bestsellers.
Splitsville.com, the first novel in the Olivia Davis Mystery Series, is a double finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Mystery and Humorous Categories.
Carpe Bead ‘em is 2012 winner in Amazon’s eFestival of Words in the Women’s Fiction Category.
A Charming Crime, the first novel in the Magical Cures, is the 2013 eFestival of Words in the Fantasy Category Winner.
A New Tradition the Indie Romance Convention 2013 novella of the year.
When not being the princess, queen, and jester of her family of three teenage boys, an adoring husband, and three fury kids, she travels to various writing groups as guest speaker on “How to Market and Promote Your Novels Effectively,” where she is known as a marketing guru.
Become a member of Tonya’s STREET TEAM! It’s a gathering place of readers who love Tonya Kappes novels and Tonya gives away monthly prizes! To sign up for Tonya’s STREET TEAM, newsletter, view book trailer, and upcoming news, check out Tonya’s website, Tonyakappes.com.
Also by Tonya Kappes:
Carpe Bead ‘em
The Perfect Ten Box Set
An Olivia Davis Paranormal Mystery
Color Me a Crime
Color Me Love Short Story
Bluegrass Romance Series
Grooming Mr. Right
Grandberry Falls Series
The Ladybug Jinx
Happy New Life
A Superstitious Christmas
Never Tell Your Dreams
A Divorced Diva Mystery Series
A Bead of Doubt Short Story
Strung Out To Die
Crimped to Death
A Magical Cures Mystery
A Charming Crime
A Charming Cure
A Charming Potion Short Story
A Charming Wish
A Charming Spell
A Charming Magic
Beyond the Grave Series
A Ghostly Undertaking
A Laurel London Mystery
Small Town Romance Short Story Series
A New Tradition
The Dare Me Date
The Tricked-Out Toolbox~Promotional and Marketing Tools Every Writer Needs
I was lucky enough to meet the beautiful, sweet and fun Tonya Kappes in April this year at the Barbara Vey Readers Luncheon. It is awesome to meet one of your favorite authors and discover they’re just as awesome in person as you hoped. 🙂 Tonya not only writes great stories, she is an all-around great person. I love connecting with her on social media and being a part of her awesome Street Team! Tonya interacts with her fans and really makes you a part of her book world. Love her!
Tonya is offering an autographed copy of Checkered Crime for a giveaway!! Woohoo! 🙂 Leave a comment on this post for your chance to win. 😉 Tonya is the Queen of Book Swag and fun giveaways! A winner will be randomly chosen with random.org around 6/12/2014 and notified via email.