Hello everyone and thanks for coming back to my blog. To any newcomers, welcome and I hope you'll like what you read. If this is your first visit to my site, you need to know that I'm a debut novelist looking for a literary agent that is willing to offer me representation, so I can move toward my goal of becoming a published author.My purpose in writing this blog is to chronicle my journey for myself, family, friends, and maybe even some other hopeful authors. If along the way my blog makes someone laugh, smile, or even cry; then I've done my job as a writer.
I finished writing "Murder By The Books" in June of 2018, the first in a cozy mystery series. I've been querying agents and writing the next book in the mystery series since August of that same year. To bring everyone up to speed quickly (pun intended), I've had a total of 4 partial manuscript requests and 4 full requests, which people tell me is a good sign. It shows there is a lot of interest in my book. Not so good is that all 4 partial requests and 2 of the full requests have come back as rejections. So, I'm currently waiting to hear from the remaining 2 agents that have my manuscript. I was feeling pretty low about all these rejections, and I shared my frustrations with a friend. She said the simplest, yet most enlightening thing to me. "Jodi," she said, "Why are you focusing on these rejections? You only need one to say yes!
It was like a lightbulb when on over my head! She was right. I only need one agent to say yes and take a chance on me! Why was I looking at it from the glass half empty perspective? I'm usually more of a glass half full kind of girl, and I was letting this process completely change my frame of mind. Well, no more! As the saying goes, "That which does not kill you makes you stronger." I'm going to be the strongest new author on the bookstore shelves after handling all these rejections! How's that for positive thinking?
My series main character, Jillian, is a pretty upbeat, positive person, too. She tries her best to find the good in people; but in today's book teaser, she's having a hard time finding that good in her new neighbor, Mr. Erickson.
~~~ Jillian plastered her brightest smile on her face and then reached out to knock on Mr. Erickson’s door. Surprisingly, the door was wrenched open before her knuckles met wood.
“Who are you? What do you want? I’m not buying whatever you’re selling in that box, so don’t even bother,” grumbled Mr. Erickson.
Jillian’s first impression of her neighbor was less than positive. He’d met her at the door with nothing but a wrinkled white t-shirt, a pair of dingy boxer shorts, and a scowl on his face. His greeting was nothing short of rude, but Jillian continued to smile and offered an introduction.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Erickson. I’m Jillian Edwards and …”
“And I told you I’m not interested in whatever you’re selling,” growled the old man.
“Mr. Erickson, I’m not selling anything. I’m the owner of the new children’s bookstore across the street from your house,” Jillian turned and pointed.
“Oh, you’re that book lady,” he interrupted. “And you’re the one that’s gonna be invitin’ all those loud, obnoxious kids into your store. This neighborhood is quiet and it had better stay that way, missy.” He crossed his arms over his scrawny chest as if he were drawing a line in the sand between them and daring her to cross it.
Jillian took a deep breath and tried again. “Mr. Erickson, I just came over to introduce myself and bring you some cookies that I baked earlier today. I can assure you that my bookstore will not cause any disruption to this lovely neighborhood. As a matter of fact, most of the other homeowners on this street are thrilled with the idea of my store.” Jillian looked the old man squarely in the eye as she delivered this speech.
“Well, the other people on this street are idiots! Don’t have much use for any of them,” he said. “Cookies? You said you brought me cookies. What are they a bribe? You think you can buy my cooperation with a few cookies? They’re probably as hard as hockey pucks.” But he reached out and snatched the box out of Jillian’s hands anyway. Then he tried to slam the door shut almost catching Jillian’s hand in the process.
“Uh, Mr. Erickson. I would like to talk to you for just a few minutes about the accident last night,” Jillian said.
“Accident, hmm. That wasn’t no accident. That car came speeding down the street, never made no attempt to stop, and then ran right over that lady in the white coat,” the old man said.
“Wait, you saw the car hit Maggie? Have you told the police about what you saw?” asked Jillian.
“Po-lice! I ain’t talking to the po-lice. They came knocking on my door, and I didn’t answer it. Nothing good comes from talking to them,” grunted Mr. Erickson.
“Please, sir. The woman that was killed was my friend. Her name was Maggie, and she was a sweet, kind, and wonderful person. She did not deserve to be run down in the street. The police really need your help to find the person who did this,” pleaded Jillian.
“Killed? You say that poor girl was killed? But I saw them load her into the ambulance and take her away,” he mumbled as his face paled slightly.
“She was still alive when they put her in the ambulance, but she died during surgery at the hospital. Her internal injuries were too extensive,” explained Jillian.
Jillian noticed a slight softening of the old man’s features as he realized someone had indeed been killed. Maybe there was some compassion under his crusty exterior.
“My best friend’s husband is a detective on the police department. His name is Ethan Harden. Could I send him to speak with you? You could hold a very important piece of information that could solve this case,” Jillian said.
“Me? Help the cops solve a case? Well, that would be something, wouldn’t it? I’ve never done nothing like that before,” Mr. Erickson said warming up to the idea of talking to the police. “Ok, I’ll talk to this friend of yours, but nobody else. You bring him over here and I’ll see what I can do.” He began closing the door to indicate that he was done talking to her, but then he changed his mind and opened it just a bit. “Ms. Edwards? Uh, thanks for the cookies,” Mr. Erickson said begrudgingly before closing the door completely.
Wow, Jillian thought. Maybe there is some hope for that old man after all. And maybe he’ll have some information for Ethan that will lead to Maggie’s killer. She’d call Ethan as soon as she got home from the bookstore. ~~~
Kind of a grouchy old fart, isn't he? I really enjoy writing the scenes with Mr. Erickson because he's a combination of qualities from 3 of my favorite fellas. He'll continue to be a part of upcoming novels. Who knows? Maybe he'll even be accused of a murder in the future!
I think I'll wrap things up for today, but I'll leave you with this thought. Mr. Erickson says what he means and means what he says. You always know where you stand with him. Is that really such a bad quality in a person? Think about it. As always, I"d love to hear from you so feel free to leave me a comment.
Until next time,