A Catherine O’Brien Mystery.
When Jonathan and Susan Luther are murdered in their home, St. Paul homicide detective Catherine O’Brien and her partner Louise discover this isn’t the first time the Luther family has been visited by tragedy. Is it a case of bad family luck or is there something more?
Caution No Spoilers Ahead
by Stacy Verdick Case
When you write a series people fall in love with your characters, which is awesome. Inevitably, I get tons of questions about what’s going to happen to them in upcoming books. The people who ask these questions are the same ones who read the last chapter of a mystery first or look for spoilers online (you know who you are). They don’t want to be surprised and when the author is sitting in front of them they think they have the perfect opportunity to be in the know.
Will Catherine and Gavin ever have kids? Will Louise and Diggs ever get together? How many books will be in the series? These are the three most popular questions I get asked.
Frankly when I’m asked these questions it makes me a little giddy, because it means that there are people out there who are anticipating the next book in the series. I offer them a smile and a shake of my head as I say guess we’ll have to wait and see.
The person asking the question will try a little harder to get me to give them an answer. “Please just tell me. I promise I won’t tell anyone. I laugh and shake my head. The reason I’m laughing is what they don’t understand is I don’t know. And that’s the truth.
When I started to write the first Catherine O’Brien book I knew it would be a series. I wanted to follow the characters for a long time, but I’m a complete pantser. I don’t plan out anything, so I literally don’t know what’s going to happen until it’s on the page.
I don’t know if Gavin and Catherine will have kids. I don’t know if Louise and Diggs will get together (although I kinda want them to),and I don’t know how many books will be in the series.
Those of you who are readers and not writers, or those of you who are plotters and not pantser are probably rolling your eyes right now and saying, “Oh come on! You don’t know?”
No, I don’t.
I’m as surprised as you are when things happen to my characters. For instance in A Luring Murder Gavin and Catherine got a dog. Who knew! When the dog showed up I thought he was just a funny little aggravation for Catherine. I didn’t realize Gavin was going to take him home, and he would become an intricate part of the series.
Though I would like for Louise and Diggs to be together, it has to feel organic to me just like Gavin and Catherine acquiring the dog. Their relationship will come about naturally because the story warrants it, not because everybody really wants them to get together. I don’t know when or if that will happen. It could happen in the next book. I could start writing and Oh! There they are together, a couple for the whole world to see.
How many books will be in the series? It depends. When the end does come, it will happen naturally. It will feel right to me and there’s no other way I can explain that.
For me writing these characters is like living another life. I didn’t get married until it felt right to me and these characters aren’t going to start a relationship, or have a kid, or anything else until it feels right for them to do so, in my opinion.
So for all of you who are looking for spoilers, I’m sorry I really don’t have any to offer until it’s on the page. Know that when I smile at you, and shake my head, I’m not trying to frustrate you. I really don’t have any answers to give.
About the Author
Stacy has written all her life earning a High School Writer Award and a Daphne Du Mauier Award for excellence in Mainstream Mystery/Suspense.
Stacy currently lives in a suburb of St. Paul with her husband of twenty-years, her five-year-old daughter, and their two cats.
An Intimate Murder is the third book in the Catherine O’Brien series.
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