Every day of our lives have a bit of mystery or intrigue in it. The gas light is blinking in your car. Will you make it to the gas station or have to call someone to either pick you up or bring you gas? You're on your way home from work. What's for dinner? Did you put meat out that morning or will it be something leftover from the night before? Or You've been called to the boss' office. Are you getting a raise or are you getting the boot?
For a writer each unique person we see becomes a puzzle or mystery. We wonder about their occupation, their background, their family life. We invent lives for them and sometimes use them in a story.
It is these mysteries and our inquiring minds that bring forth books.
My first published book was inspired by thoughts of—what if an accident prone woman pretending to be a young man was made Marshal of a small town? While the story is a historical western romance there is mystery woven throughout the book. Is the Mayor really what he seems; is the hero a hero or an outlaw? What happened in the hero's past? Will the heroine keep her identity a secret when it matters most?
The first contemporary western I wrote started after I heard on the radio about a youngster who ordered items over the internet with their parent's credit cards and the parents didn’t know until the items arrived at their home. A mystery. My book started with a nanny showing up to start a job and the ranch owner not having a clue why she was there because his preteen daughter and a neighbor ordered the nanny over the internet. Mystery- Does he let her stay or send her packing? Why did she pick a remote ranch to be a nanny? Why does he not want anything to do with a woman? Why does he need a nanny? All these mysteries are solved in the book.
I enjoy reading mysteries and I enjoy incorporating mystery into the stories I write. That's why I'm branching out into a mystery series next year. I want to use even more elements of a mystery in my writing and see if I can outwit my main character and the reader.