Monday, May 20, 2013

A murder mystery on Mackinac Island? Here are three reasons

Most people go to Mackinac Island because it's a beautiful, relaxing get-away from their hectic, crazy lives.

I just spent the weekend at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island with my oldest son, Michael, because we were working - hustling around in a fantasy playground working on my next novel.

Why base a murder mystery on Mackinac Island, one of Michigan's true gems and the kind of idyllic place where bad things seemingly never happen? Well, that's a good question. It's one that almost everyone asks when they find out that I'm developing a story line for another work of fiction.

I've got three reasons.

The top one is that the act of murder on Mackinac Island does not fit its image in any way. The island is like Disney World without the rides. It's Never-Never Land. It's pixie dust over and over again wherever you go on the island. In my mind, that makes it a perfect setting for a horrible crime.

Another reason is that so many people can relate to Mackinac Island. Most folks in Michigan have visited the island, or they've seen photos of the island, or they've read about the place, or they know people who have been there.

My evidence of that? On Sunday, the Detroit Free Press printed a front page story about a zoning dispute on the island that pits developers against historians. A ZONING DISPUTE?!?!? Yup, and it was the most viewed story of the day on the Freep's web page.

Lots of people care about Mackinac Island and what it represents. I discovered that when I was editor of True North Magazine. And that's the third reason I've selected the island as one of the settings in my next book. I've visited it so many times and know so much about it that I am eager to write about it.

I hope my love for the island comes through in the next book like it did for Bay City in my first novel, "A Formula for Murder."

I don't have a title for the new book yet, but I have worked out enough of the overall plot to declare that it will involve a revenge killing and the Grand Hotel will be involved in some way. The story will be filled with intrigue and suspense, as well as healthy doses of humor and romance.

Stay tuned. I'm hoping to have it finished and ready to publish by fall.

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