Guest Post: Alyssa Drake & Bella Emy
Who used to hide under their covers with a flashlight to read?
When I was young, my genre of choice was mysteries; my bookshelves were stocked with Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew (now they’re stocked with JD Robb and Sue Grafton). I always tried to figure out who did it before the culprit was revealed; it became a game, me against the author. The first thing I always did was try to weed out the “red herrings”, those clues (or people) who purposely mislead the reader (that really is the best part of the mystery, detecting the truth between the lies). As a mystery lover, it was only natural that I write them as well.
First, I’d like to say that writing mysteries is hard. It’s not just about writing a story; it involves creating motive, laying clues (both real and false), planning a timeline, and managing the cast of characters (which is my favorite part) as they move through the story…and pulling that off with a co-writer.
As Bella and I plotted out Virtually Yours, we started with the cast; killer, heroine, and then red herring (the most important part of the story–misdirection). Now you must forgive Bella and me our little joke, we gave a hint to the reader so they would know which character was the red herring. HINT: It’s the name.
I hesitate to reveal too much, as I don’t want to ruin the story. So, good luck to all of you and let us know if you figure out who did it (or if you discover who the “red herring” is).