To Form a Mystery by Danita Cahill
Like all fiction writers, I have an over-active imagination.
And that fantasy world doesn’t leave my head when I’m sleeping, oh no. It often grows all night into a huge, hairy, chaotic world with a mind all of its freaky own.
In other words, I have nightmares. Some real doozies.
I’ve had night visions gone wild since I can remember – bad guys chasing me with handguns; me flapping my arms to stay aloft, just above the rooftops but not quite out of reach of their grasping hands, You get the picture.
The initial idea for Mist came from a nightmare. It wasn’t bad guys with guns chasing me that night though, it was red-eyed dogs hunting me along a fog-shrouded coastline.
About the same time as that nightmare hit, I had a baby. Six months later my mom died.
The combination of the three events – nightmare, birth, and death of a loved one – was the catalyst for Mist. Thrown together, these three unrelated things became both the plotline and the main characters.
Evil red-eyed dogs are the antagonists of the story. The female leading character, Dianne Harris is a younger, hipper version of my mom. Although I gave birth to a baby boy, I gave Dianne a three-month-old daughter that she must keep safe.
Add all the elements together and the concept seemed perfect for a mystery story. The question or mystery in the story: What is happening to the citizens of this small coastal town? They keep vanishing without leaving a trace behind.
Dianne’s old flame, detective Kevin McCoffey is on the case. With the help of the town’s fortuneteller and the ghost of Dianne’s dead grandmother, Kevin and Dianne work together to try and keep Dianne’s baby safe and solve the riddle of the mysterious disappearances.
Blurb for Mist
It’s Thanksgiving, but the Roseland community doesn’t feel particularly thankful. Not when citizens of their Oregon coastal town keep disappearing. Is it aliens? A serial killer? Or a pack of evil, red-eyed dogs? Detective Kevin McCoffey is determined to solve the case.
When young, widowed photographer, Dianne Harris and her infant daughter find themselves face to face with the killer, Kevin races to yank them to safety. But is he too late? With help from both the town’s fortuneteller and the ghost of Dianne’s dead grandmother, Kevin and Dianne battle their own demons and their shared past history as they rush to save Dianne’s baby from the killer’s grip.
Learn more about Danita:
Danita Cahill is a full-time writer and photographer. She lives on a small farm in Oregon’s Willamette Valley with her husband, two young sons and their animals – a horse, several cats and guinea pigs, a herd of nine alpacas and two dogs, who thankfully don’t have red eyes.
You can find Danita on Facebook (Danita Shattuck Cahill), follow her on twitter @DanitaCahill, see her photography here: read about miracles, visions and other amazing things, or check out her website.
Questions: Do you have nightmares? If so, do you write them down? Care to share an especially memorable one with us here?