Saturday, January 11, 2014

Beginning and Ending of Poe's Deadly Daughters

by Lonnie Cruise
Founding member of Poe's Deadly Daughters 

I was extremely honored to be a part of Poe’s Deadly Daughters when we began the blog and only left the group when I retired from writing mysteries. Each of us Daughters wrote very diverse kinds of mysteries yet there was that “Poe’s thread” that ran throughout.  Sort of like a dark cloak surrounding the group, holding us together.  If you’ve read Poe’s work, you know what I mean.  If not, you should get a copy of his works right away.  You won’t be disappointed.
I still write non-fiction for women, but mysteries are my first and greatest love.  I retired from writing mysteries because I’d pretty much said all I had to say in that genre, writing novels takes a lot out of everything in me, and getting published is tough, at best!  Still, I wouldn’t trade those years for anything.  Holding the very first hardback copy of my first published book in my hands just one month shy of my sixtieth birthday, wow, that was something!  Meeting fans who were as excited to meet me as I was to meet them.  Signing autographs.  Giving talks.  Appearing on panels at mystery conferences.  Teaching classes on writing.  I dreamed of writing but I never dreamed those kinds of wonderful perks came with it!

Most of my life I enjoyed reading various mystery authors with wildly varied points of view and dreamed of writing my own mystery novels one day. But in the back of my mind I thought authors had to attend college for the purpose of becoming an author, and that if I tried my hand at it, the journalism police would show up on my front door step.  Thankfully that never happened.  What did happen was that I read two mysteries by different well-known authors but each with HUGE plot errors that their well-paid editors didn’t catch.  Hmmmm.  Could I do any worse?  Probably, but why not give it a try?  I did.  And five years later, after many rejections, tears, long hours at the keyboard, encouragement and help from other writers (writers’ groups ARE your friends) I had my first manuscript published by a small but up-and-coming publisher.  

I now have six mysteries in print, still available on, the cyber-heaven for all readers and writers. And I still pinch myself now and then when I think of those books, like this morning when I walked by one of the many bookshelves in this home and saw them safely snuggled in there.  Wow! I actually wrote six books and someone actually published them!  And people bought them, read them, and let me know they enjoyed them!  MY books.  MY thoughts.  Who’da ever believed that would happen?
Do I have a point here?  Yeah, stick with me, we’re nearly there.  I preach this to any and everyone who will listen.  Is there something you dream of doing? No matter your age, education, experience, or current circumstances? Writing a book, climbing a mountain, traveling to a distant dream place, starting a different career? The list is endless.  My point is:  GO FOR IT!  You might fall flat on your face.  So what?  You learned something, right?  And probably had fun while you tried?  And supposing you succeed?  Then, what happens to you after will have endless varieties and endless surprises! And endless possibilities to lead you elsewhere.  One of my fondest dreams had been to write non-fiction for Christian women, and being published in the mystery genre opened the door for that dream to become reality.  Two published non-fictions, one in the works! So go after your dreams and enjoy the ride, for the journey is as much fun as getting there! 

Thank you all for your loyalty to Poe’s Deadly Daughters.  May all your life’s mysteries be enjoyable and solvable!  And may all your good dreams come true!


Unknown said...

Still sorry to see the blog end, but it's good to see a post from Lonnie again.

Elizabeth Zelvin said...

Nice to see you, Lonnie, glad to know you're doing well. And I so agree about pursuing your dreams.

Julia Buckley said...

Thanks for the great post, Lonnie! I am happy that I was able to meet you in person at two different mystery events. I look forward to investigating your new books!

Jan Christensen said...

Lonnie, you are so inspiring. I enjoyed learning a bit more about you here. Wishing you great success with your nonfiction!

Pat Browning said...

Oh, Lonnie, you made me cry! I wish you much success with your non-fiction writing, but I will always love your mysteries.

MALICE IN METROPOLIS is a longtime favorite and a book that helped me understand how to gradually work backstory into a narrative without slowing the action. My print copy disappeared during a move so I just downloaded the Kindle version and plan to re-read it.

Good luck, kiddo!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Lonnie,

It is so nice to have you here this weekend. Seems like old times. Big hugs.

Chester Campbell said...

Really enjoyed your post, Lonnie. Had been wondering what you were up to these days. I fondly remember my Christmas season signing in Paducah when you came over and helped us sell books. Good luck with your current pursuit.