About Rolynn:


Author of Lie Catchers, Last Resort, Fadeout, and Swoon, Rolynn Anderson has a passion for writing, reading, boating and golf.

News:

Lie Catchers on Kindle: http://amzn.com/B00HJDS1LG Check out http://rolynnanderson.com/ for more information.

WRITING ABOUT WHAT WE DON’T KNOW by Rolynn Anderson


I took a new tack in LIE CATCHERS, my newly released novel.  Instead of anchoring my characters and setting with what I do know, I went the opposite direction: I took on unfamiliar places, unique people and a strange (to me) plot.

Here’s how the story emerged.  It’s 2011 and we’re cruising from Washington State to Alaska on our trawler, Intrepid (see picture below).  Never have we covered that distance, much less navigated such difficult stretches of water.

Intrepid at blue mouse

We arrived in Petersburg, Alaska, all the strangeness of a scary virgin voyage replaced by our fascination for this charming fishing town.  Settled first by Tlingit and Haida tribes, the Norwegians showed up in the early 1900′s.  Chinese workers soon arrived to gut and cut-up fish caught by the Norwegians.

So, I knew nothing about Petersburg, its amazing history, and the fishing industry.  What’s more, Petersburg came with an unsolved crime from 1932.  Could I solve that murder and entwine it with a recent murder…which means I’m writing a book that is more mystery than suspense, another leap for me?  Challenging to compose, but fun.

Have you tackled the unfamiliar in one of your novels?  How did it go for you?  I’M OFFERING A FREE PDF OF LIE CATCHERS TO ONE LUCKY PERSON WHO COMMENTS ON THESE QUESTIONS!

Here is LIE CATCHERS:

Two unsolved murders will tear apart an Alaska fishing town unless a writer and a government agent reveal their secret obsessions.

Treasury agent Parker Browne is working undercover in Petersburg, Alaska to investigate a money scam and a murder. His prime suspect, Liv Hanson, is a freelance writer struggling to save her family’s business. Free spirited, full of life, and with a talent for catching liars, she fascinates Parker.

Trying to prove she’s a legitimate writer who cares about Petersburg’s issues, Liv pens a series of newspaper articles about an old, unsolved murder. When her cold case ties in with Parker’s investigation, bullets start to fly.

Parker understands money trails, and Liv knows the town residents. But he gave up on love two years ago, and she trusts no one, especially with her carefully guarded secret. If they mesh their skills to find the killers, will they survive the fallout?

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Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005527LS2

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19 Responses to “WRITING ABOUT WHAT WE DON’T KNOW by Rolynn Anderson”

  • The book I just finished writing tackled the unfamiliar, dealing with copper mining, dude ranches, forest rangers, and desert scenery. Being from Florida, these were all new to me but I had great fun researching these things for my next mystery. Your voyage sounds adventurous.

  • Alisa Boisclair says:

    My WIP takes place in The Wyoming Territory of the late 1870′s. I’ve never been to Wyoming, but it holds a fascination for me, as does the Old West.

    I hope to get there one day. Meanwhile, the research has been fun, and sometimes takes on a life of its own.

    Loved your post. Knowing what inspired a writer always makes me enjoy the story all the more.

    • Rolynn says:

      Alisa, the ‘life of its own’ thing I understand. Since LIE CATCHERS is about Norwegians…and I’m one…I used the names of all my relatives in the book. Fun!

  • Angela Adams says:

    Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  • Well done, Rolynn. I’d have taken you for a native of Petersburg. I definitely felt I was there reading Lie Catchers. You certainly met the challenge you gave yourself and made it intriguing for readers.

    • Rolynn says:

      Oh, Andrea, what a compliment. I’m doing a booksigning in Petersburg this summer and hoping I don’t get egged for my mistakes! :-)

  • Oh, I love the bravery…of sailing and writing about something unfamiliar. In my upcoming December release, I included something that fascinate me, but that I knew nothing about. The heroine is a black belt in karate who owns her own dojo. I’m fascinated by the subject and I got really brave and decided to add a scene with her practicing. I’m terrified I got it all wrong, but I had a blast writing it. The voyage sounds wonderful. :)

    • Rolynn says:

      Joanne, good for you for doing the karate scene. Thank goodness we have experts around us who can authenticate our scenes and help us tweak the terms!

  • I’m not as brave as you! I set my books in the city I live in. The paranormal aspects are a figment of my imagination, so although they’re unknown, they abide by my rules. The most adventurous I’ve gotten is setting a short story on the East Coast. I had to do some research and found it really fun. Who knows, maybe I’ll get braver and braver as my writing career progresses. Congrats on your release and I wish you many sales!

    • Rolynn says:

      Hmm, paranormal abiding my rules? See, those of you who write paranormal are heroines to me…your other-worldly characters and scenes are amazing to me. That’s writing about the unknown, for sure!

  • Rolynn, great post and your books sounds fabulous!

  • Tanya Hanson says:

    Great post, Rolynn…since I write western historicals, I often have o really “imaginate” all I don’t know….in a contemporary series, I needed a city slickers wagon train and…when I finally got to go on one, I found I was pretty accurate! Very interesting question…best wishes for much success with this amazing book!

  • Hywela Lyn says:

    Much like Alisa, I’m working on an historical Western, set in Wyoming in the 1800s. I’ve never been to Wyoming either, but I too have always been fascinated by the Old West. In fact at one time I was an active member of the British Westerners Association and the Western Horsemens association. I ride Western myself, so at least I know I can get the horsey aspects right, and the rest I can research. Despite being at home in a Western saddle, it is a real change for me as I usually write Science Fiction and futuristic romance!

  • Rolynn says:

    You’re right, how can authors who write about ‘old times’ do anything less than write about what they don’t know! Good thing you ride, because you can nail that description. Seriously, by writing Sci Fi and Futuristic, you are the bomb. Talk about made up! Good luck with your books!

  • I’ve had a fascination with Alaska since I was a teen but never had a chance to visit that state, so your book’s setting makes it something I’d enjoy. In writing about the desert, I met a woman in a critique group who’d lived her whole life in the desert. She gave me great detail pointers that improved the realism of my story. I’m forever grateful to her.

    • Rolynn says:

      You’re right…experts on our newest settings, professions, etc., abound. I can’t believe how many retired cops I know…they are amazing resources. What I’ve found is that they end up being fans of our books…so cool!