I’m writing under two names: L.L. Bartlett writes the Jeff Resnick Mysteries, which are either psychological suspense or paranormal thrillers, and Lorna Barrett, who writes the Booktown cozy mysteries.
I’m also promoting in harmony:
How the heck did both books happen to come out so close to each other? Karma? Just plain dumb luck? It would’ve been better had they been half a year apart, but that isn’t what fate handed me.
So while I’m pushing one, the other is always on my mind.
It’s been a little over a week since Murder Is Binding came out (my cozy), but in eight weeks, Dead In Red (the second in my Jeff Resnick series) will debut. I should be concentrating on pushing MIB, but DIR is coming up fast.
My solution? Push them both.
The problem is–they’re two distinctly different kinds of stories. The Booktown mysteries are set in a small town, where “everybody knows your name” (a la Cheers), and it’s also the first murder in over sixty years in the safest town in the state. The Jeff Resnick series is set in the second biggest city in New York; Buffalo–and my protagonist is definitely NOT known by anyone except his family in the book…until Page 1. And crime in a big city isn’t as “personal” as it is in a small town. Except for those people it directly affects.
So what’s the common ground?
Actually, there is one. The Booktown mysteries feature sisters–Tricia and Angelica; the Jeff Resnick books feature brothers–Jeff and Richard.
For some reason, sibling relationships fascinate me. What makes me qualified to write about brothers? I have two. One older; one younger. Growing up, I had a first-hand view of the relationship between my brothers–the ups and the downs–and how that relationship changed as they became adults.
So what makes me qualified to write about sisters when I have none? Wishful thinking? Maybe. Observing my friends and their sisters? Definitely.
The thing about siblings is–come hell or high water–they will be there for you. (At least one hopes so.) And that’s a recurring theme in my work. When the worst happens, the brothers–and the sisters–can be sure that one person in the world will risk everything for them.
Has that ever happened to me in real life? Kinda…sorta. I saved my younger brother’s life twice. (Once from drowning.) When I was in my early twenties, I moved away from home. Not just across town, but two states over. It didn’t take long before I realized I wasn’t prepared to leave the nest. Who came and bailed me out? My big brother. Now that my Dad can no longer help me with home chores, who do I call? My younger brother. (He has neat things like chain saws and can take down an ailing tree during his lunch hour. What a guy!)
These are the kinds of real-life situations that inspire the relationships my characters have–be they brothers or sisters. True, no brother of mine has had to take a bullet for me, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they did.
Lorraine Bartlett/L.L. Bartlett/Lorna Barrett