Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Mystery- To Form a Mystery by Danita Cahill

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?


ellaquinnauthor said...

Wow, what a series of live changing events in such a short time. I often wish my dreams would produce something I want to write, but not anything scary.

lauren said...

Very intriguing plot that already has me hooked.

Yes, I have nightmares and sometimes write them down. One recurring dream is of being an FBI agent who has driven into an ambush. Car is stopped, partner shot and dying, Me, shot and crawling toward an open warehouse in hopes of finding sanctuary - or at least a defendable position. But I can't leave my partner and turn back only to find . . .

I'm awake.

Thank you for sharing with us!

Laurel N

Danita Cahill said...

Paty, thanks so much for hosting me here today. I love the new title and header of your blog!

Ella, I dreamed last night that someone was chasing me with a rifle. I had to scurry to run and hide. This dream was a little different though - it wasn't a bad guy chasing me, it was a whacko woman.

Here's hoping you dream a good, novel-worthy dream tonight! And here's hoping I don't have nightmares again tonight!

Danita Cahill said...

Ooh, Laurel that is definitely a dream/nightmare worthy of a story. If I were you, I'd have to write it all out so I could find out what happens!

And I like your name. Laurel is the name of the heroine in the book I'm writing now. The working title is Daisies are True. This one is from a nice dream, though. It's a romance with paranormal elements.

More about that at my miracles blog if anyone is curious.

Roxy Boroughs said...

When I was ill as a child, I used to have the standard dream of being chased. Nowadays, my dreams are just strange. No red-eyed dogs, though. At least, not so far.

Danita Cahill said...

Well Roxy, you could read Mist and that might change. Ha!

My youngest son, who is four, must have gotten the dream gene from me. He has some weird scary dreams. Last night he dreamed of tornados that were shooting off of someone's back. The night before it was a purple monster that invaded his sleep. "But I punched it," he told me the next morning.

Good for him!

So whether you punch your nightmares or write them right out of your head, here's hoping you find the method that works best for you.

Sarah Raplee said...

Hi Danita,

I love the premise of MIST! Blending elements of Horror with Romance is hard to do, but this book sounds AWESOME!

I seldom have nightmares any more, but as a child I had them of spiders. I was swimming in a lack and the spiders were all crawling on me to get out of the water. I'm allergic to spider bites!

Fun post!

Diana Mcc. said...

Hi, Danita,
Your book sounds like a real thriller!! I often have dreams, some horrible, some weird and some just peculiar. In lots of dreams someone will be telling me something I need to know. Last dream, my dad who died 8 yrs ago kept telling me "it's time to go!". Don't know where we were going, but it was time to go.

Melia Alexander said...

Hi Danita.

What an amazing series of life events that became the catalyst for an intriguing story! I need to pay more attention to my dreams/nightmares.

Happy writing,

Danita Cahill said...

Thanks Sarah!

I don't have a fear of spiders, but if I had a dream like yours that might change. What a great premise for a Stephen King-esque short story.

Danita Cahill said...

Diana, how cool that your dad gives you dream messages. I hope you figure out what he meant and where you are going. I love it when I have a dream and my mom is in it. Like in real life, she is usually standing quietly off to the side. She was never one to enjoy the spotlight.

If you ever wanted to write up something about your dream messages from loved ones, I'd invite you to post as a guest on my miracles, visions and signs blog.

Danita Cahill said...

Melia - sweet (or not) dreams to you!

Danita Cahill said...

Thanks everyone for sharing your dreams. So interesting.

And thanks again for hosting me, Paty. Such fun!

Karen Duvall said...

Hey, Danita, I have MIST loaded on my Kindle and I can't wait to read it.

I think dreams are a wonderful source of inspiration. That's where I got the idea for my latest book.

Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel said...

Oh, Danita, I have a terrible confession. I think it's great that you've published a novel! But because I love my beautiful doggies, I simply can't get past the red-eyed dogs to read this. So I'll just cheer you on and hope you have good dreams that will result in a novel I'm not too wimpy to read. I've read part of your other stories and know what a talented writer you are! Much, much success to you!