Or maybe I should call it a bat cave, because thatâ€™s what it looks like these days.
Stacks of paper everywhere. Boxes of books. Kind of dim because an overhead light burned
out and Iâ€™ve been too dang busy to fix it.
Glamorous, huh? Before I became a full time author, I always figured my office would have
a fabulous old-world feel to it. You know what Iâ€™m talking about â€“ oak paneling, leather-
bound books, a roaring fireplace.
Hah! Right now Iâ€™m lucky if I can stumble from my desk to my printer. In fact, I canâ€™t
get there right now because my two Shar-Pei dogs are sprawled out on the floor, snoring
their heads off.
Thereâ€™s also a half dozen paintings leaning up against the wall â€“ we ran out of wall space
in the living room â€“ and a plastic box filled with Christmas decorations. (Thatâ€™s a real
If this is all sounds crazy, thatâ€™s because it is. But hereâ€™s the weird part â€“ my wacky
little office keeps me humble, too. I also manage to write three books a year in this
cluttered little environment. Would I get that much work accomplished in my fancy dream
office. Somehow I donâ€™t think so.
And write I do, pounding out ten, twelve, sometimes fifteen pages a day in my humble
office. And it all works quite well because thereâ€™s only me. No assistants, no burning
sage, no feng-shui guru, no fancy schmancy anything. Just a heartfelt desire to write the
best books I can, make them exciting, and always (always!) entertain my reader (yes,
Whenever I start a new book, I always have the title, the opening chapter, and the final
chapter fixed in my brain. From then on, itâ€™s a crapshoot. I run several â€śwhat ifâ€ť
scenarios through my head and slowly, slowly, the germ of a plot forms. When I have a
general idea of how the story should progress and unfold, I develop a sort of timeline.
This is done on a huge sheet of paper, with action scenes noted and ever character color
coded. (The color coding is so nobody just pops up in the end without giving my reader
some tasty clues or red herrings.)
From there I transfer my outline to my computer and fluff it into a good fifty pages.
When that feels right, I just start writing. I know a lot of authors start with piles of
research, but I do my research along the way.
For example, in PARCHMENT AND OLD LACE, I bring in elements of antique lace. So when
I got to that part in the story, I quickly researched Victorian and Edwardian mourning
clothes and added it to the story. Ditto for caskets. As well as some of the crafts my
main character, Carmela, whips up in the book.
Carmela, bless her crafty soul, is a scrapbook maven who conjures up scrapbooks, journals,
memory boxes, stamped pillows, invitations, note cards, and even charm bracelets at the
drop of a hat. Sheâ€™s also a smart, savvy entrepreneur with a nose for murder and an
uncanny knack for scoping out clues. So if you like mystery, murder, and a fast-paced
story set in New Orleans, this book just might be for you! (Even though it was conceived
in a messy office)
Thank you and blessings to all.
Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop
Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In 10
years of writing she has produced 24 mysteries and has many more in the pipeline. Her
Tea Shop Mysteries are under consideration for a television series and Childs is
currrently executive producer for 2 reality TV shows.
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The New York Times bestselling author of Gossamer Ghost returns to the Big Easy and
the historic Garden District, where scrapbook shop owner Carmela Bertrand discovers a
bride-to-be murdered in the legendary Lafayette Cemeteryâ€¦
Carmela couldnâ€™t imagine a finer evening than dinner at Commanderâ€™s Palace with her beau,
Detective Edgar Babcock. The food and the company are equally divineâ€”with the exception of
Isabelle Black stopping by to brag about her upcoming wedding. Resuming the romance with a
walk in the evening air, the couple is interrupted once againâ€”this time by a terrifying
scream from inside the cemetery.
Having just seen Isabelle, Carmela and Edgar now find her lying across an aboveground
tomb, strangled to death with a piece of vintage lace. Carmela would rather leave the
investigating to Edgar, but she canâ€™t say no to Isabelleâ€™s sister Ellie, the tarot card
reader at Juju Voodoo, when she asks her to help. As she untangles the enemies of
Isabelleâ€™s past, Carmela hopes she can draw out the killer before someone else gets cold
INCLUDES SCRAPBOOKING TIPS
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