It may come as a surprise to readers to know that plotting a story is easy for me. I’ve always had a rampant imagination, and from the time I was a child, whenever somebody really hurt me, I would get even with them by concocting the best revenges. Putting Nair in the shampoo bottle of a particularly vain boyfriend, or leaving a bottomless Styrofoam cup full of paint remover on the hood of a creepy but proud car owner. But the truth is, I never, ever carried out any of my vengeances. I would have to be really mean to have done any of the above, and anybody who knows me will tell you that I’m a sweetheart. (Anybody who doesn’t will get itching powder in their underwear drawer! :-D ) I got all my satisfaction out of imagining my revenge. Maybe that’s why murder mysteries come naturally to me. (I just hope nothing ever happens to anyone around me, or I’ll be the first suspect.)
Strangely enough, as easy as plotting is, what really gets me stumped is coming up with names for my characters. Which is why I’ve started using friends names in my books. Of course the characters never resemble those friends in any way (I sometimes think of giving them a similar physical description too, but haven’t dared) And the fun part is that my friends are thrilled. They love picking up a book and seeing their names in print.
The main reason I find it so difficult to name my characters is that readers get an immediate visual with a name. For example, a Jennifer will not look the same as a Wilma, or a Doris cannot possibly be sixteen years old. Until I began using the names of people I know, I would spend hours going over names on the internet, trying to choose just the right one.
By the same token, when Obsidian asked me to choose a pen name, since my real name was being used for another book series with a different publisher, I was stumped. And then I decided to use my daughter’s name, Carol Ann, and my son’s Martin, and combine them. It’s also a way of dedicating all my books to them.
So if any of you are interested, please write me and let me know why you would like to find your name in a book and you just might get your wish.
But when a shady local businessman is found murdered, Briar Hollow suddenly appears a lot less idyllic. And when one of her weaving students is suspected of the crime, Della can’t help getting entangled in the investigation—with some help from her criminologist friend, Matthew. But can she weave together clues as well as she weaves together yarn—and stop a killer from striking again?
Carol Ann Martin is a pen name. The author lives with her husband and an ever expanding family of dogs. They travel extensively and she is never seen without her laptop. When is not writing or traveling, she bakes and weaves.
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