Wednesday, October 12, 2016

HOW TO COME UP WITH A "KILLER" STORY



 Ever since my husband and I discovered the joy of kayaking, we've spent more time camping than ever before. There is something completely relaxing about skimming across a glass-like surface of water. Unless you're a suspense writer. Then, your traitorous mind goes off in all kinds of directions.





During this particular camping trip, we saw wild donkeys, mallards, eagles, pelicans, cranes, and a skunk. 

Yep. I got up at night to visit the toilet and almost stepped on the little bugger. Luckily, all he gave me was a dirty look as he dug through our garbage. I was half asleep and too afraid to take a picture, but he was kind of cute. Our neighbor campers weren’t so lucky. Pepe Lapew made them a visit inside their tent! And off my mind raced again.







Then, on the final day of kayaking, early in the morning, I found this gnarly tree that spent much of the year submerged under water. Hanging from a branch was a lone lure. The what ifs started flying.

What if…you were camping and a crazed killer was hiding in the desert and your only route of escape was by kayak?

What if a group of people took an annual camping trip, bringing along a friend who was not at all who he appeared to be?

What if the gnarly tree was a hanging tree?

What if it were used in strange rituals?

As a writer, I use all my life experiences to come up with a ‘killer’ story. Leave a comment about your favorite camping experience to win a print copy of Mountain of Fear.

Widowed and broke, Rachel Kent collects her two children, packs up their belongings, and heads across the Ozarks to stay with her parents. They stop for the night at a newly opened campground, then take a short hike. The three return to find the other occupants of the campground murdered. They flee the campsite and stumble upon a ranger’s cabin, where they enlist the help of handsome, former-Army Ranger, Wesley Ward, who informs them a survivalist group laid claim to the mountain. Only God can help them now. Can a man who wants only to escape his past and be left alone and a woman damaged by life forge a love that survives a flight through the Ozark Mountains?
  

Multi-published and Amazon Best-Selling author Cynthia Hickey had three cozy mysteries and two novellas published through Barbour Publishing. Her first mystery, Fudge-Laced Felonies, won first place in the inspirational category of the Great Expectations contest in 2007. Her third cozy, Chocolate-Covered Crime, received a four-star review from Romantic Times. All three cozies have been re-released as ebooks through the MacGregor Literary Agency, along with a new cozy series, all of which stay in the top 50 of Amazon’s ebooks for their genre. She had several historical romances release through Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents, and has sold close to a million copies of her works since 2013. She has taught a Continuing Education class at the 2015 American Christian Fiction Writers conference. You can find her on FB, twitter, and Goodreads, and is a contributor to Cozy Mystery Magazine blog and Suspense Sisters blog. She and her husband run the small press, Forget Me Not Romances, which includes some of the CBA’s best well-known authors. She lives in Arizona with her husband, one of their seven children, two dogs, two cats, three box turtles, and two Sulcata tortoises. She has seven grandchildren who keep her busy and tell everyone they know that “Nana is a writer”.


15 comments:

  1. I am not a tent camper but I do enjoy nature walks. Whether it's the rugged countryside of Arizona or the peaceful mountain trails in Colorado, I love them all. A goal of retirement at one time was to travel the byways in an RV, using the different venues as background to stories.
    I love your books. Count me in the drawing
    lill dot kohler at gmail dot com

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  2. My most memorable camping trip happened many years ago. We were living in Arizona and on the spur of the moment we decided to go camping in Bloody Basin. We became stranded there in the mountains with a flat tire low on gas and not enough food or water to last us. We were actually found by a couple of Rangers and needless to say I made sure we were never in that kind of predicament again. spotts06(at)comcast(dot)net

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  3. I am not a camper but enjoy the idea of it. My granddaughters like it a lot

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  4. Beverly Duell-MooreOctober 12, 2016 at 8:50 AM

    I can remember going camping once when I was a teen! I hated it!! Although, the camp food was good. I was never a very adventurous kid and I'm still not.
    Your book sounds sooooo good!

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  5. I love camping. Getting away to discover the beauty in other places is wonderful. Mu husband loves the outdoors and can't wait to set up our camp so he can start cooking. It seems everything tastes better when you are camping.
    Jhdwayne(at)peoplepc(dot)com

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  6. I prefer my own bed and a roof over my head, but when I was younger my favorite memories of camping were the times spent on the pontoon! Loved being out on the water with family.

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  7. I camped while as a girl scout many years ago and then again at church camp. My favorite memories are sitting around the campfire cooking SMores and just visiting..donitacorman@yahoo.com

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  8. I did a lot of camping as a child. It rained every time, or so it seemed. I do not equate camping with any kind of favorite.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  9. My favorite camp out was at the ocean. My sister and I spent hours around the campfire at night listening to the ocean waves. It sounded like the waves were going to hit our camp...yet it was a long way from where we were. Spooky yet cool.
    Thanks for the opportunity to win.
    debsbunch777(at)gmail(dot)com

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  10. I was in a MN campground years ago with my mother.Most of the night I heard whipperwills. Martha T.
    CRPrairie1@imonmail.com

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  11. Camping with two small boys and two dogs - lots of work, but the boys enjoyed it - many years ago - now they can take their children camping and I'll opt for the nearest hotel.
    betsylu2@msn.com

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  12. I remember camping overnight in the Blue Ridge Mountains and deciding to take a picture in my mind of a beautiful meadow scene. It was a picture I would like to have forever!

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  13. I camped overnight once.Slept on a mattress on the floor of a tent with my husband who kept stealing all the covers. Haven't camped since, and have no desire to ever do it again. choirlady27(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  14. I have never been a camper and i probably never will be one now but I know that camping is,the only way some people want to vacation. I admire them!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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  15. Donita Corman is the winner of Mountain of Fear! Congrats

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