Wednesday 7 July 2021

#IWSG post - Yolanda Renee on writing a #ries - and finishing it!

Welcome to IWSG for July! 

Alex's  awesome co-hosts for the July 7 posting of the IWSG are Pat Garcia, Victoria Marie Lees, and Louise – Fundy Blue!

Today I've handed over my blog to Yolanda Renee. I'm not sure what she's got to feel insecure about, and she certainly would never let anything make her quit writing,  but let's find out. Because I write series myself, I'm always interested in how other authors go about writing them. 

How My Murder Mystery Series Came to Be!

Denise asked me to write a guest post on "How to Write a Series - what worked for you, kind of thing." And she said, "I'm especially interested in how it feels to have written your last book in the series."

I had several emotions at once. Immediate excitement, then relief, and finally a sense of accomplishment. However, I was also hit by a touch of anxiety. Had I released it too soon?

But I shook that off because what I really wanted to do was celebrate. Pop the cork, laugh, shout, dance, and tell the world. It felt much the same way after I published the first book, but like then, I was alone. The highs and lows of the writer's life are seldom shared.

That's why holding a launch party is so important. Even though I won't have one for this book. I did for the first, and it was a blast! But immediate gratification, that pat on the back, or 'you go girl' response, just isn't there for most writers. So, my friends, get it when you can! Like this guest post, thanks, Denise. It means the world to be able to share my experience and the results!

Keeping with the phrase 'what worked for me' - the real secret to my series, or the method to my madness, is this, pure happenstance...

Once the first novel was written, I submitted it to publishers. One even called. She said she liked the premise, and had I considered writing a trilogy? Of course, I said yes, although it was a lie. But not for long, because she'd given me a great idea. Why not a trilogy. So, before the first book, Murder, Madness & Love, was published, I'd written the rough draft of books two and three, Memories of Murder and Obsession & Murder. While it took me years to write book one, It only took me a few months to write the next two.

Once the trilogy reached publication. I was looking for ways to draw attention to it. So, writing a prequel came to mind, and since I'd mentioned the first case, Detective Quaid solved, The Snowman, in Murder, Madness & Love, the first book. It just made sense to elaborate on that. But instead of a short story, it became a novella. Now, it will become the draw for the series when I offer it free just for signing up for my newsletter. (Now under construction)

But the most shocking thing about The Snowman was the villain, Stowy Jenkins. He had a voice that wouldn't let go. I always assumed it was because he went to prison. In the other books, the villains all died at the end of the book. But Stowy lived, and because of that, he wouldn't let go. So, I had to write his whole story. (You know how it is, some characters just won't shut up.)

Therefore, book 5, Murder, Just Because came into being. Stowy escapes prison to wreak more havoc on Anchorage. It's a brutal book. Some would claim too brutal, so I couldn't let the series end there.

And now I have the perfect final book. A Passion for Murder highlights Detective Quaid's passion for his job and the murderer's provocation for his crimes. A Passion for Murder also wraps up beautifully what I consider to be an epic love story.

Now I'm off and running on the next series, thus far titled A Murder Beach Read, and the first in the series called Her Mona Lisa Smile!

 Thanks, Denise, for always being an encouragement and an inspiration during my entire writing journey.


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Looking for a new adventure, Renee recently moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. A storyteller from a very early age, an avid reader, and with an education and background in business and accounting, becoming a writer only made sense. And writing mysteries pure logic.

A Passion for Murder: Another heinous crime occurs in Alaska, and with no time to heal from the last brutal case of The Snowman, and Stowy Jenkins, Detective Quaid returns to his job. PTSD, a former lover, and an odious villain test his mettle and his sanity.


A cold pre-autumn rain fell in straight lines from the swollen gray clouds sitting over the valley. The residents of Anchorage thanked their personal deity an early snowstorm hadn't fallen. While in one lone cabin, a fire burned bright. Warmth and coziness reflected off the colorful furnishings. The man working diligently at his desk hummed his favorite rhyme.


Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe

Grab a slut by the Toe

Blonde-Blue Brown, or Green,

Who's ready to meet Killer Clean?


He chuckled as he turned the pages of a scrapbook.


Choosing from among his collection of beauties was as much fun as planning just how they would die. Although nothing could really compete with seeing them take their last breath. Except, of course, that final thrust of the knife. Still, today was a special day. Making his choice most important. He’d have to choose someone as close to the original as possible. Which meant it would be the beauty with the green eyes. Her golden hair, career choice, and availability hit all tens on his list of go points.

A perfect thirty meant she had to die today!

Here's my review on Goodreads.

Yolanda Renee is a winner when it comes to writing murder! I've loved her hero, Detective Quaid, as he solved his way through many murders during Renee's six books. Even with PTSD in book six, he still managed to solve the horrific crimes. Don't read this at night! Be warned!