This month’s story of luck and how it steers us (even when we try to ignore it) comes from the delightful, lovely, and talented author Julie Eberhart Painter. Julie is the Champagne Books author of Mortal Coil, Tangled Web, and the 2011 Book of the Year, Kill Fee. The sequel, Medium Rare, was released in 2012. Julie’s Tahitian side is represented in Daughters of the Sea and Morning After Midnight from MuseItUpPublishing.
Fate: Three coins in the “Fate-train”, and how I ignored them for 15 years.
Remember that sinking sensation when you know something is right, but you fear getting off the designated track to pick up on it? This happened to me more than a decade ago. It may have been a Friday the 13th, certainly it was fate related.
At a writer’s conference in Orlando, Florida, I ignored my obvious message from the fates to plunge on and pitch another book. I was in Tahitian mode (Daughters of the Sea, MuseItUp Publishing, 2013): orange suit and orchid headdress. Not a bad thing, but as I was told for many years more, a hard sell, too exotic for those days. Agents wanted a more identifiable Don Ho (pun intended), a Hawaiian romantic splash with cliché waves of “come to me and back away” fiction.
Upon preparing to pitch the Tahitian book, I spruced up in the ladies’ lounge. There on the floor were three new copper pennies winking. (Yes I kept them; no I didn’t take the hint.)
My “Three Penny mysteries” lay dormant in a drawer. I considered it at the time to be a three part mystery with colorful characters: a loosey-goosey heroine and bridge director looking for love in all the wrong places, some nutty old folks and my heroine’s beloved bird, Bilgewater, the foul-mouthed fowl, her reprobate from a seaside barroom.
I used to play a lot of Tournament Bridge. In fact I was an ACBL (American Contract Bridge League) duplicate bridge director, the one with the rule book in hand. I used that knowledge to give my character Penny in Kill Fee a hobby while she worked for the EPA (Environmental Protection Association) and solved her first two mysteries.
In 2011, Penny made her debut with Champagne Books. Bilgewater created a splash far greater than that of my Polynesian pretty. Kill Fee received several awards, and in 2012, the last of the series, Medium Rare, appeared: “Fearing one of her coworkers at a local hospice had done the deed, Penny is thrust into yet another mystery, to find the killer of her psychic friend.”
Eventually Daughters of the Sea, now also in paperback, was published by MuseItUp Publishing, an adventurous small press, and the rest is paranormal—fate.
Visit Julie’s Web site at www.books-jepainter.com