How to Craft a Mystery

by Bethany Maines
Step One:  Read the paper and/or listen to your weird uncle
to learn about strange ways people have died recently.  This usually involves blurting out something
like “ooh, another dead body!” while snatching up the paper in the middle of
the busy hour at a coffee shop. 
Bonus Points: If
someone shuffles away from you at the coffee shop, collect an additional 20 Murderer Alert points!
Step Two: Having
decided on your method of death it’s time for research! Start googling all
sorts of things that will help you cover up your crime.  Also, go on a vacation to the place that you
plan on putting your dead body. 
Bonus Points: If
you can say “This is a good place to kill someone!” in an aggressively cheerful
manner to the person at the tourist bureau who just wants to help, collect an
additional 20 Walking Sociopath points!
Step Three: Sit
down and write the book.  This is the
boring bit, but it does come with fun voices in your head to talk to.
Bonus Points: If
you finish the manuscript, collect an additional 20 I Have No Life points!
Step Four:  Realize that there is a plot-hole in your
book and go back to step three.
Bonus Points: If
you don’t become an alcoholic, collect an additional 20 At Least I’m Not an Asshole Like Hemingway points!
Step Five: Get
your book back from the editor and give back your Hemingway points while you
try to get over the stupid, stupid, stupid edits.
Bonus Points: Look,
you’ve got a complete book at this points, you shouldn’t need stupid bonus
points, but hey, if that’s what keeps you going, then take 5 I Need a Cookie points.
Step Six: Release
the book into the wild and realize that you are a winner!
An Unfamiliar Sea will be available on 1.21.20
Tish Yearly just opened a wedding venue on Orcas Island in
Washington State and one of her employees just drowned in four inches of water.
Now it’s up to Tish and her grandfather Tobias Yearly, the 79-year-old ex-CIA
agent and current private investigator, to find out who could have wanted the
sweet waitress dead. 



Bethany Maines is the award-winning author of the Carrie Mae Mysteries, San Juan Islands Mysteries, Shark Santoyo Crime Series, and numerous
short stories. When she’s not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some
serious butt with her black belt in karate, she can be found chasing her
daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel.
You can also catch up with her on Twitter, FacebookInstagram, and BookBub.

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