A huge welcome to my friend, Heather Weidner, who writes a wonderful series about one of the most beautiful settings in the world–the Blue Ridge Mountains. Anyone for glamping?
Guest Post by Heather Weidner, Author of the Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries and the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries
I’m first-generation Sesame Street and M-TV. I’m a Gen-Xer who watched way too much television in the 1970s and 80s, but all those hours in front of the magic box (with no cable or remote) taught me some things about mysteries and the writing life.
I have been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo, Josie and the Pussycats, and The Funky Phantom. Saturday morning cartoons were part of every week’s ritual, along with the required bowl of overly sugared cereal. The sleuths in these shows were every-day kids (or a dog or a ghost). These cartoons showed me that you didn’t have to be an adult with a lot of training to solve a mystery and right wrongs. You could be heroic at any age. You just needed your wits and some creativity.
Use Your Assets – In most of these shows, the kids used what they had in the moment. Start with what’s already in your toolbox. You just need to put in the time and energy to hone your skills and build your platform.
Everyone Needs Friends – Find Your Group – Scooby and Shaggy, Archie and Jughead, the Super Friends, Speed Buggy, and the Groovie Ghoulies – The writing journey is a long (often solitary one), you need friends, mentors, coaches, and cheerleaders. Find your crew and support each other. Make sure that you’re an active participant with the writing community. You don’t have to do everything, but you need to do something. Share ideas, experiences, and contacts. Provide feedback and guidance and make sure to support other writers.
People (or Dogs, Ghosts, Ghoulies) Are Willing to Help – The Writing Community is full of authors at different stages in their careers who are gracious with their time and advice. Find your writing allies and cherish them.
Often It’s Scary – How many scary monsters did the Mystery Inc. group battle in Scooby-Doo? (Hundreds!) Most of them turned out to be evil adults who were thwarted by a bunch of kids and a Great Dane. There are some rough patches and scary stuff along the writing journey. Rejections, bad critiques, and nasty reviews aren’t pleasant. Learn what you can from them and keep going.
Be Flexible and Resourceful – Most of the characters on Saturday morning cartoons were amateurs, and not everything went according to plan (Wile E. Coyote, Hong Kong Phooey, The Hair Bear Bunch, Pebbles and Bam-Bam, …) You are going to run into all kinds of roadblocks and dead ends. Figure out ways to move forward and to advance your goals. Use your gifts. Be creative and find your way out of the spooky castle, the creepy swamp, or the eerie abandoned theme park.
Writing and publishing are a business. You writing life is a rollercoaster of a journey just like those cartoons from decades ago. It’ll be chock-full of thrills and anticipation along with a few dips and hair-raising twists and turns. Arm yourself and hone your skills for the adventure.
Through the years, Heather Weidner has been a cop’s kid, technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager. Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers is the first in her cozy mystery series, the Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries. She also writes the Delanie Fitzgerald mystery series set in Virginia.
Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, Deadly Southern Charm, and Murder by the Glass, and her novellas appear in The Mutt Mysteries series.
Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.
There is nothing like finding a dead body, clad only in a red satin thong, on your property to jolt you from a quiet routine. Jules Keene, owner of the posh Fern Valley Camping Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is thrust into the world of the Dark Web when one of her guests, Ira Perkins, is found murdered in the woods near her vintage trailers. Jules quickly discovers that the man who claimed to be on a writing retreat was not what he seemed, and someone will go to any length to find what he left at her resort. Jules, along with her Jack Russell Terrier sidekick Bijou, has to put the rest of the missing pieces of a blackmailing scheme together before her business is ruined.
Jules’s resort, set in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains near Charlottesville in the quaint town of Fern Valley, offers guests a unique vacation in refurbished and upcycled vintage trailers. Hoping to expand her offerings, she partners with her maintenance/security guy to create a village of tiny houses, the latest home DIY craze, but a second murder of a reporter interrupts Jules’s expansion plans. Curiosity gets the best of her, and she steps up her sleuthing to find out what Ira Perkins was really up to and what he was hiding at her resort.
Social Media Links
Website and Blog: http://www.heatherweidner.com
Amazon Authors: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HOYR0MQ
Apple Books: Vintage Trailers and Blackmailers on Apple Books