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How I Became a Mystery Writer
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By: Mike Martin Email Article
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How I Became a Mystery Writer

A funny thing happened to me on the way to becoming a fiction writer. I ended up in mystery. I'm not really sure how I got here or why. But, after being here for a little while I think I like it.

I have been a freelance writer, ghost writer, content article churner, SEO and keyword specialist, editor, associate publisher, social policy developer, and family Christmas chronicler since forever. But my fiction works could fit into one school exercise book. And mystery was not one of my major areas of interest.

Actually that is a bit of a lie because when I discovered all of the various sub-genres of mystery and crime I found that I already liked many of them. That includes some old-time stuff like Agatha Christie's Miss Marple and Poirot. And a ton of the British series like A Touch of Frost and Midsomer Murders.

When I dug a little further I realized that I also liked detectives, police procedurals, cozies, hard-boiled, locked-room, true crime, amateur and professional sleuth, legal, medical, suspense, and historical mystery series and books. There really wasn't much mystery that I didn't like.

What appealed to me about mystery was that with the exception of true crime, and that might even be included if you think about the ingenuity of the criminals, all of these genres and subdivisions relied on one basic premise: telling a good story that was pure fiction and imagination. That drew me in and kept me prisoner every time.

It was the love of a good story that brought me into mystery writing. First, the reading and enjoying of it. And now the creation of my own. But I actually think it is the people inside this genre who will keep me here. That starts with my fellow writers, the famous and the soon to be, who have almost to a person invited me into the fraternity/sorority of mystery writers with helpful hints, advice, reviews and guidance along the way. They have encouraged me to write well, write better, and write more.

And it is the mystery lovers who sustain me. Every single one who stops by when I'm sitting alone, probably feeling sorry for myself, at a book signing, and they say hello and ask about my book. They don't have to buy it, although that's nice. They have already given me a gift by acknowledging the fact that I am a mystery writer. I am one of them.

I have one book out and another in editing and the third rolling around from back to forth in my head, sometimes waking me up in the middle of the night to look for a pad and paper. I have never been happier in my life. It may have taken me a long time to get here but I plan on staying.

Mike Martin is the author of The Walker on the Cape, a Sgt. Windflower mystery.

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