Thursday, September 18, 2008

HUSH . . . My first Middlesex Mystery

I'm a multi-published author in another genre under a different pen name, but HUSH is my first suspense. The craft of writing is the same, where ever the final product might be shelved in a bookstore, but writing suspense poses some unique challenges. How much to hold back, what clues to hide in plain sight, how much blood is too much . . . the trick is always to make a path in the prose, a series of literary bread crumbs that keep the reader turning pages and guessing what comes next along with the sleuth.

My sleuth in HUSH faces some unique challenges. For one thing, she's only got 60% of normal hearing with two hearing aids. Without them, her hearing is classified as profound loss. And she's only 26. Meningitis in her sophomore year of college nearly killed Megan Kelley, but she won't let her impairment stop her from achieving. She graduated from Boston College with honors. The only real casualty was her marriage to her high school sweetheart.

I first became interested in the challenges of the Deaf and hearing-impaired as a child. One of my friends had Deaf grandparents. My friend taught me to finger-spell. Then later as an adult, one of my close friends was an interpreter. I tried to learn some ASL, but was less successful with that than finger-spelling. ASL is a language all its own, not just English by hand.

My heroine Megan straddles two worlds--the hearing one she was born to and the Deaf one she still feels uncomfortable with. The tension between the two is a difficult tightrope to walk. Add in accidentally speechreading a murder-for-hire contract, and she's got a terrific balancing act.

Visit my website at to read more.

No comments: