Building a New World in a Cozy Mystery

World Building Happy 2015!  I’ve been on the quiet side for the last month, but that’s actually a good thing.  I’m hard at work on my next book, which will be the first in my Piney Woods Series.  When starting a series, not only am I creating new characters, but I’m building a world for them to live, love, grow and of course, murder each other in.  When I finished with Pecan Bayou, I had folders full of pictures of almost every location in the six books, along with characters and even objects.

When creating new characters I love to go to Internet Movie Database and “cast” my character.  (I figure whenever Lifetime or Hallmark calls me to tell me they want to make one of my books into a movie, I have my casting decisions made, right?).  I may look up someone I remember from a movie or tv show, or I may toss the dice and go through the people on the “Born Today” page.  I need to see the person to get into my character’s head, movements, and even fashion sense, whatever.  I also need to see the setting.  This can be a geographical location or something small like a diner.  I can’t drive to every place I write about, but with the internet and  Google Earth, I can go for a little virtual drive.  All of this may sound like I’m playing, and to tell the truth, I’m have fun doing it, but it does lead to the world building needed to write a mystery.

I also keep tabs on crime stories around the world.  Today, I found an article about a woman who got drunk on Vanilla and received a DUI, or would it be DUIV?  What a great idea for one of my homey characters.  That goes in the “Wacky People” file.

Animal rustling is alive and well in the sleepy little town of Pecan Bayou, Texas--but with a particularly peculiar spin. Only the fake livestock seem to be at risk. First, cowboy legend Charlie Loper's  larger-than-life fiberglass horse disappears from the town square, but before the police can get any solid leads, the cow in front of the local steak house gets pinched.   Betsy Livingston Fitzpatrick, local helpful hints columnist for the Pecan Bayou Gazette, is trying keep her mind off of being nine months pregnant in the blistering Texas summer heat. Troubled by haunting dreams, she pursues the odd animal thefts in a case that soon turns into murder. As Betsy closes in on the killer, a hurricane is headed straight for the Gulf Coast sending spin-off storms and tornadoes to the little town of Pecan Bayou. "Hunker down" with Betsy and the lovable characters of Pecan Bayou in the latest Betsy Livingston mystery from cozy author Teresa Trent. Recipes and helpful hints included.

My Latest Book: #6 in the Pecan Bayou Series/Murder for a Rainy Day available on Amazon. Good News- Murder for a Rainy Day will be available on Nook, Sony, Apple and Smashwords in February.  Reviews are always welcomed and appreciated!

Betsy Livingston Fitzpatrick, local helpful hints columnist for the Pecan Bayou Gazette, is trying keep her mind off of being nine months pregnant in the blistering Texas summer heat. Troubled by haunting dreams, she pursues the odd animal thefts in a case that soon turns into murder. As Betsy closes in on the killer, a hurricane is headed straight for the Gulf Coast sending spin-off storms and tornadoes to the little town of Pecan Bayou. 

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