Friday, November 20, 2009

How to Commit a Good Murder and Keep It a Mystery

© Gale Laure 2009 all rights reserved

As a murder and mystery author, I always start with a villain--a . I like mine to be a mysterious person. He or she should be realistic, and maybe even a wee bit likable. In my current murder, mystery and romance novel, I start with the murder in the first chapter. I want my readers to wonder why she is murdered. The killer enters through a locked door. Thus, I add the mystery of how the killer entered.

I add a victim who is usually a pretty nice person. Strength is something I like to see in my victims – sometimes physical and sometimes mental. I like the angle that even a tough broad or a macho man could be victimized. This adds a tiny degree of suspense for my reader. Kizzy, the main character in my murder mystery book, is a unique character. She is invulnerable at times as the reader discovers throughout the story.

I put my characters in a good location. I like to use a location that is usually a safe place or a fun place - a place you would not expect murder to happen. Kizzy was in her own home. People usually feel safe in their own homes. In my next novel, due out in 2010, the victim is in a fun place, a golf course.

To get inside the heads of my killer and my victim, I start with each one separately. I try to see, feel, think and respond just like each of them. I concentrate on the anger or the planning of the killer. Does my killer touch the doorknob? What does my killer hear, see or smell? Is my killer thrilled with this kill? This is important.

Subsequently, I go inside my victim. Does the victim feel fear, curiosity or anger? Do they feel trapped? Do they try to defend themselves? What do they see, smell or hear? All this is vital to a good story.

Next, I put my killer and victim together. How do they interact? What happens between them?

Violence is the next ingredient to stir into my murder and mystery story. I attempt to make the reader ask why this violence is occurring. I want them to question the reason for the killer’s actions. This brings in a psychological element from the reader. In my current novel, the reader understands why the murder has happened before the end of the book.

Blood is the source of life. I always add blood in my books. Blood, so rich and dark red actually stirs a passion in us. The smell of it repulses us. Whatever blood does, it causes a reaction within the human. I want my readers to react. I want them to imagine the sight, smell and even touch of the blood. There is plenty of blood in my current book.

Emotion must be blended within the pages of your murder mystery. The reader must care about the victim, the other characters and maybe even the killer. I use love, frustration, and self-doubt in my novel. My characters have a human factor that makes them doubt their actions. When a person is under a lot of stress I believe they do doubt themselves. We question ourselves. Do we find the answers?

I enjoy a little crime detective in my books. Woven within the pages of my novel are the investigators. Sometimes they are police detectives. In current novel I used two police detectives and four novices. My novices were average men. I want my readers to experience the professional knowledge of the detectives and the amateur clues of the novices.

Betwixt and between the pages of my murder mystery books, I always sprinkle a small amount of romance. Romance is the biggest mystery of all. No one ever has all the answers to love. We search for them our entire lives. I like to tug at my reader’s hearts a little with love. My current novel has five men who love the same beautiful woman, Kizzy. These men are strangers. Imagine the meeting of these five men. Would they compare love notes? Did their love for her lead to her murder? Romance and love are powerful implements for murder.

As I write my novels, I commit murder everyday. It is my life! What a wonderful thing it is to commit murder and keep it a great mystery!

About the Author:

Gale Laure is the International selling author of EVOLUTION OF A SAD WOMAN. A native Texan, she was born along the coast of Texas in an area called the Golden Triangle. Laure has resided in a small suburban town in the Houston  rea for more than twenty years with her husband and family.

As mysterious as her mystery, suspense, thriller book, Laure writes under a pseudonym. Adamant about maintaining her privacy and the privacy of her family, she keeps her identity a mystery!

With an attitude that you can do anything you set your mind to, Laure travels forward in life fulfilling all of her dreams. She credits her huge imagination and true love for research for taking her to this career decision to be an author. She also credits some special people in her life that offered her the encouragement to become a writer of mystery, romance and suspense.

Laure gained her experience for writing from her careers including owner of a business service, marketing and consulting company, owner of her own travel agency, employment in the medical field including office manager, a short time as a legal assistant, a paralegal, and employment in an insurance office and CPA's office.

Gale Laure enjoys her career and life as an author. She finds inspiration from her readers, friends and family. Laure’s hobbies include genealogical research, movies, creating stories for the children around her, involvement in her church and people watching. By watching people she obtains ideas for the characters in her books. So watch out! You may see some of your own traits in a character in her mystery, romance, and suspense thriller books. She loves the human being and everything about them, both good and bad.

Gale Laure is known for her informal Southern style of writing. Books written by Gale Laure include her current debut, mystery,suspense, thriller romance, EVOLUTION OF A SAD WOMAN. It is selling as an ebook, Kindle and as a trade softcover paperback internationally.

For more information about Gale Laure visit  (website),  (blog) or the following:


Anonymous said...

You are an international selling mystery author. Do you ever feel sad about having murder in your novel for readers to read about all over the world?

Gale Laure said...

Good morning, bloggers and readers.

It is a rainy, cold day here in Houston, Texas. But the weather will not stop us from being warm inside and blogging our hearts out.

I look forward to your questions and comments.


Cheryl said...

Excellent post Gale. I have a crime fiction piece that I am working on, and the biggest challenge is in trying to figure out my villian. I don't think like they do, so it's been hard for me to make motives seem realistic or to develop the villian deeply enough to make him believeable.

Keep up the great work!


Anonymous said...

Do you have a crime or detective background that helped you write your murder mystery story?

Marta Stephens said...

"Emotion must be blended within the pages of your murder mystery. ... My characters have a human factor that makes them doubt their actions."

Absolutely! It can thunder all it wants, but the tension must be internal. Thanks for sharing!

Gale Laure said...

I'm glad you agree, Marta. I try to keep my tension internal and sometimes it explodes externally also.

Thanks for blogging in.


s.w. vaughn said...

Very intriguing post. I like how you've described the use of blood.

Gale Laure said...

I think as children blood is always frightening to us. As we age it takes on the angle of importance as we need it to survive. I use blood in my novels to spur both in my readers. I want them to feel the fright of childhood and the need and importance of adulthood.
Thanks for your comment S.W.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

You've given us a great recipe for the perfect mystery. Thanks, Gale. Looking forward to your book. Best of luck.

Gale Laure said...

Thanks, Joylene. Glad you enjoyed it. Hope you will enjoy the book.
Thanks for blogging in. Good to hear from you.


Gale Laure said...

Good night, everyone.

Thank you, Marta and Murder by 4, for hosting me. I have to say I love the name of your blog.


Marta Stephens said...

Again, many thanks for your post, Gale. All the best with, "Evolution of a Sad Woman!"

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Gale, welcome to MB4! Great to have you here and best of luck with your new book. (I love the title, by the way!) All this talk of blood has me thinking about my life 35 years ago... I wanted to be a physician, or perhaps a psychiatrist. But I had to make it through Autopsy 101 and I knew I wouldn't be able to handle... the blood! LOL. Best wishes - Aaron