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Guest Post from the Author
WRITING IN COLOR
Sue Owens Wright
A reviewer once said about my books, “The author paints landscapes with her words.” As a writer who is also an artist, I take that as high praise, indeed. I’m an ardent nature lover who often paints landscapes en plein air when I’m not writing. When I’m writing a book, the setting of the novel is as important to me as the characters that inhabit it. That is certainly true for my Beanie and Cruiser Mystery Series, which takes place at scenic Lake Tahoe. To me, the only things worse than cardboard characters are colorless settings. You could never call Tahoe, known as “The Jewel of the Sierra,” colorless. The same is true of the scenic terrain of Cornwall, England, which is the backdrop for my standalone novel, “The Secret of Bramble Hill.”
Readers have referred to the settings of my novels as characters in and of themselves. They have certainly become that for me. Perhaps that is because I’ve spent so much time in the locales where my stories take place. My extensive travels in England provided a rich landscape for the book I set in the fictional village of Covington Haven, on the rugged coast of Cornwall. The main character, Tessa Field, is also an artist and paints watercolors of the countryside. During a trip in the early ‘90s, I stayed at an impressive and rather mysterious country estate that inspired the novel I would begin writing upon my return. “The Secret of Bramble Hill” was the first book I ever wrote, though not the first to be published. If ever an old English manor house were haunted, it would be this one, and so is the one in my book.
Like Native American Elsie “Beanie” MacBean, the main character in my Tahoe-based mysteries, I have visited the Lake of the Sky (or Da Ow, as Lake Tahoe is known to the Washoe Indians) since childhood. I’ve spent some of my happiest and most thrilling times there, and you’ll find many of those experiences woven into the books, including the firestorm I write about in “Ears for Murder,” due for release this fall from Black Opal Books. Cruiser and Calamity, the endearing canine characters in the series, were inspired by my own beloved basset hounds, all eight of them, and over the years we’ve had plenty of adventures on Tahoe trails that have found their way into my mystery series.
Writers spend a lot of time immersed in the black and white world of penning ink on a page or typing words on a computer screen. I like to think that I write in color because as I’m writing I’m “painting” beautiful and inspiring landscapes for my characters to live in.
About the Author
Sue Owens Wright is an award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction. She is an eleven-time finalist for the Maxwell, awarded annually by the Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) to the best writer on the subject of dogs. She has twice won the Maxwell Award and earned special recognition from the Humane Society of the United States for her writing. She writes the acclaimed Beanie and Cruiser Mystery Series, including Howling Bloody Murder, Sirius About Murder, Embarking On Murder and Braced For Murder, which is recommended on the American Kennel Club’s list of Best Dog Books.
Her nonfiction books include What’s Your Dog’s IQ?, 150 Activities for Bored Dogs, and People’s Guide to Pets. She has been published in numerous magazines, including Dog Fancy, Mystery Scene, AKC GAZETTE, Fido Friendly, The Bark, and Animal Fair. Her work also appears in several anthologies, including PEN Oakland’s “Fightin’ Words,” along with Norman Mailer and other literary notables. Her newest novel is The Secret of Bramble Hill.
Website URL: www.sueowenswright.com
Blog URL: http://dogearedbooks.blogspot.com/
Facebook URL: https://www.facebook.com/sue.o.wright
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