We are having company today! An old friend (not chronologically) is stopping by. Caitlin from Caitlin Hamilton Marketing and Publicity is visiting so that she can introduce us to one of her authors. So please hep me welcome them to the CMash blog.
REBECCA YOUNT trained from childhood as a concert pianist, is a published poet, and worked in education reform, but she always nurtured a passion for storytelling which she has indulged only late in life. Coming from a family of writers, it wasn’t hard for her to put pen to paper, but it took an actual unsolved murder to give her the idea for her first novel. On a home exchange in England—something she and her husband regularly do—a villager told her about a local murder that remained unsolved, even by New Scotland Yard. Sitting under a tree in a fallow field one day, Rebecca began to imagine what might have happened. The result is A DEATH IN C MINOR.
In 2010, Rebecca underwent open heart surgery, which left her unable to write for two years. After this hiatus, she returned to writing, deciding to put the entire Mick Chandra series out herself as e-books. She is retired and lives in Virginia with her husband, writer David Yount.
Rebecca Yount is available for talks and presentations, and she is happy to meet with book clubs.
To schedule an appearance or to learn more about Rebecca Yount and her books, please visit www.rebeccayount.com.
THE ONGOING STORY
How A One-Off Crime Novel Became A Series
I had originally planned to write a one-off crime novel based on the protagonist of my series, Detective Inspector Mick Chandra. But as I launched into terra incognita with A Death in C Minor, I realized that the story had become more expansive than originally conceived. In fact, the book had vastly outgrown its own author. By the time I had completed the first draft of the book, I realized that the process had become something like a new life form growing in a laboratory petri dish.
As I wove the plot and developed my four main characters — Mick; his American love interest, Jess; his partner, Elizabeth; and Jamie, his undercover agent — the story was no longer under my control. Like wading into a rushing river, I had to go with the current even as I risked drowning.
At the outset I had constructed the storyline around Jess, who stumbled upon a murder in the English village where she had taken refuge from her troubled life. As she became increasingly caught up in the murder of Peter Chandler, a neighbor, I planned to have her travel to Cambridge to meet with a professor of forensic science. That plot never materialized.
Instead, I introduced Mick in chapter two, sitting in his office in New Scotland Yard, attempting to master a trick from Blackwell’s Book of Magic and Illusion. This transition in the story surprised me. Even today I am not certain where I got the confidence to roll with it.
There was a real-life “Mick,” whom my husband and I had met during a home exchange on the English Channel. He was a forensic specialist on leave from Scotland Yard, attempting to recover from burnout. David and I soon became fast friends with our friendly neighbor. Still, after we returned home, Mick did not suggest himself as a character until I began writing the opening chapters of the book. Strange how our memories come back to haunt us.
So instead of a novel centered solely on Jess, I introduced the Mick character, establishing a scenario that promised a conflicted and passionate love story, as well as a complex murder investigation.
I found I had traversed Mount Olympus, where the ancient gods guided my hand over the page and I had no dominion over the text, inflated as that may sound. It was the most incredible rush!
For weeks I wrote like the proverbial bat out of hell, laboring for at least four hours in the afternoon, going to bed around 10 PM, then getting up at 3 AM to write until 5:30 AM. This brutal schedule continued until I had completed the first draft of A Death in C Minor.
After putting the book away for a short period of time, I rescued it from my desk drawer, then started all over again on rewrites, keeping the same punishing schedule. Finally, after four years, I had trimmed the book from 52 to 37 chapters. Since then there have been multiple rewrites.
My Mick Chandra series now consists of seven books. The second in the series, The Erlking, is due for publication as an e-book in early fall of 2012.
Rebecca Yount’s debut crime novel, A Death in C Minor: A Mick Chandra Mystery, will be published in e-book format on June 26 and available at Amazon.com; Apple iBookstore for iPad; Barnes and Noble for Nook; Sony Reader Store; Kobo; Copia; Baker and Taylor; eBookPie.
ABOUT THE BOOK
(June 26, 2012, Knoxville, TN) We are pleased to announce the publication of Rebecca Yount’s debut novel, A DEATH IN C MINOR: A Mick Chandra Mystery. This is the first title in a seven book series. The other six novels, which are already written, also will be published as e-books, with the second title in the series, THE ERLKING, scheduled for release in fall 2012.
A DEATH IN C MINOR follows young American concert pianist Jessica Beaumont. Determined to rebuild her life following the death of her young son, a bitter divorce and a suicide attempt, Jessica retreats to a 17th century cottage in rural England. But she soon learns that life in the village of Kenwick isn’t the idyll she imagined. A year earlier, Peter Chandler, a mysterious newcomer to the village, had been hacked to death in his manor house with his own kitchen cleaver. The case remains unsolved until it’s reopened by Detective Inspector Mick Chandra of New Scotland Yard.
Like Jess, Mick Chandra harbors a few ghosts of his own—a childhood spent on the mean streets of industrial Liverpool and a father murdered in a robbery. Welsh on his mother’s side and Kerala Indian on his father’s, Mick attributes his keen instincts as an investigator to his grandmother, who was a seer in her village in India. He has succeeded as an investigator despite the racial tensions that still divide England’s most elite police force.
As Mick begins to question the villagers, his list of suspects grows to include an adulterous vicar; an unscrupulous Cambridge don; a neglected, love-starved wife; a retired octogenarian army colonel; a loss-stricken daughter; and Adam Marr, a devastatingly handsome wealthy landowner with whom Jess had a brief affair when she first arrived in Kenwick.
Against the backdrop of Chandler’s violent murder, and though deeply wounded from failed marriages, Mick and Jess find themselves falling in love. Consequently Jess stirs the hostility of the villagers.
Under pressure from his superiors to close the case, Mick must find Peter Chandler’s murderer and bring him to justice. But who is the murderer: the local laird, the cheating vicar, or perhaps the wealthy commodities trader? Or does it take a village to commit a murder?
A DEATH IN C MINOR takes the reader on a journey fraught with danger, love, and intrigue, where the unexpected becomes the norm. The surprise ending will astonish even the most jaded readers of mystery fiction.
THANKS TO AUTHOR, REBECCA YOUNT AND CAITLIN, FROM
CAITLIN HAMILTON MARKETING AND PUBLICITY, I HAVE
ONE (1) EBOOK EDITION TO GIVE AWAY. OPEN TO ALL.
CLICK HERE TO BRING YOU TO
THE GIVEAWAY ENTRY PAGE.
No items that I receive
are ever sold…they are kept by me,
or given to family and/or friends.