Thursday, September 12, 2013

Writing A Mystery Series by CS Patra

Meet CS Patra, author extraordinaire. Be nice to our guest, Murderers. She knows her stuff....

Writing a Mystery Series

As a child, I have always been fascinated with the mystery genre so it’s no surprise that my first series happens to be a mystery series. Even though I’m also a fantasy and sci-fi writer, mystery is my first love and the genre I tend to want to write for. It may have to do with the fact that I do enjoy stories by Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers, Edgar Allan Poe, etc. But it took me a long time to come up with a good mystery story that I wanted to share with the world. My fantasy and sci-fi series was more or less ready; my mystery series, Cirque Macabre, had a long way to go. All the same, I wanted to complete it by this year.

The idea for Cirque Macabre really came when I was in Las Vegas about two years ago. I had the pleasure of seeing the Cirque du Soleil show, Mystere, and it was truly amazing. I was in awe at how much work went into it and I thought it might be fun to set this story in a circus. While the circus in my book isn’t exactly like Cirque du Soleil, it goes to show just how much work is put into running a great show every night. But I wanted to break their system up somehow and I figured a murder would do the trick. Not only that, I would kill off the one who ran the circus. It was like cutting off a head and trying to see if the body would work. So I had nine characters scrambling to keep their show while also trying to find out who committed such a horrible crime. As I was writing it, I realized I could not finish it all in one book. There were more twists that I wanted to throw in so I figured I would extend it. It soon became a series and not just one novel. In time, I came to see this was the best decision for my series.

I had not sought out to write a series but it soon became much easier. The trick was to find a stopping point with the first book and deciding what to save for the next one. I realized that many of my characters un-developed right now but I could give them more if I made a sequel or two. That’s what I think a lot of mystery writers who are thinking about making a series need to consider; how far do you want to go with it. If everything can be wrapped up in one book, that works fine. If you need to do more, don’t be afraid to find a cutting point with your first book and save some stuff for later. Develop your characters so everyone can enjoy reading about them. Do your research if you need to and don’t be nervous about trying new things. Take a risk like Agatha Christie if you want. Take it easy if you think that’s what will work. Just as long as you have a mystery, everything will be fine.


CS Patra's Current Book

The Gallati Family Circus has never known a world outside of the big top. All they know is how to entertain and put on spectacular shows. One night, Dante Gallati springs a surprise on them by announcing a change; he's giving them a new theme called "Cirque Macabre". No one is pleased with the change but they try not to think about it.

The next morning, Dante goes missing. Hours later, a piece of him is found and their circus has been turned into a crime scene. Knowing very little about the world outside of their shows, the performers must try to move on while trying to figure out who killed Dante. As they search, they learn that that Dante had a secrets and their old home isn't as safe as they thought.

Where it can be bought:

CS Patra has been writing books for a long time and this is her first fiction series. Although she also writes fantasy and sci-fi, mystery writing is her first love. She plans on having more books coming out in the future as well as more mysteries. She currently lives in North Carolina with her family.

Where can I be found:

Twitter: CyberPeacock
Website coming in 2014

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