A Mystery Writer Talks About Writing

Today A Guest Blog by Marcia K. Preston, Our March Meeting Presenter.  First a few words about Marcia:        

 Marcia Preston (M.K. Preston) grew up on a wheat farm in central Oklahoma. From her father she learned the art of storytelling; from her mother, a reverence for books; and from Oklahoma’s red earth, a love of wildlife and the outdoors.

          As a magazine writer for many years, she also edited and published ByLine, a trade magazine for aspiring writers. Marcia lives with her childhood sweetheart and first husband (it’s the same guy) beside a creek in central Oklahoma, where she gardens and dodges tornadoes.

          Writing as M.K. Preston, Marcia is the author of an Oklahoma mystery series featuring Chantalene Morrell, daughter of a Gypsy mother and a redneck father.  Along with her mystery series, Marcia has written four other novels.

          On Saturday, March, 17, at St. Stephen Methodist Church’s Western St. Campus, Marcia K. Preston will discuss writing mysteries in the morning session and conduct a workshop on creating believable dialogue after lunch.    

Here’s a few words from Marcia Preston    

          When my first novel was published, a mystery/suspense set in Oklahoma, I was privileged to sign books with mystery maven Carolyn Hart. She had some forty novels in print at that time. Between customers, I complained to her about the difficulty I was having with the second book in my series. “I thought the second one would be easier,” I said.

            “Oh, Marcia,” Carolyn said gently, “it never gets easier. On this last book, I came closer than I ever have to junking the whole manuscript and giving up.”

            I nearly cried.

            I’m sure I’ll never have forty books in print – I write too slowly, for one thing. But six books later, I have to say that Carolyn was right. It never gets any easier. And with the publishing industry in a forced revolution and marketing more difficult than ever, writers sometimes have to wonder: Why keep doing this?

            But we can’t quit. Like the sailor who loves the sea or the pilot who craves the wild blue sky, we need to write. It’s how we make sense of the world, or cry out against its senselessness. When something startling or tragic happens in my life, it doesn’t seem truly real to me until I write it down. That’s why I can’t write about a tragic event at the time it happens; I don’t want it to be real. Only later will the power of words help me transform the pain into something larger. Something better.

            Other writers understand this, and I’m excited to visit the Panhandle Professional Writers this March 17th. We’ll talk about writing mysteries and dialogue, specifically, but what we probably want most is the fellowship of others who understand.         

If you wish to learn more about Marcia or her books, please visit her website at:  http://www.marciapreston.com/



Filed under M.K. Preston, Marcia K. Preston, Mystery Novels, Speakers, Workshop, Writing, Writing Dialogue

7 responses to “A Mystery Writer Talks About Writing

  1. Pingback: Carolyn, Amber & Rachel Talk Dollars & Sense

  2. Marcia is the best. I love her newest novel, WHEN THE WIND COMES SWEEPING. Even better,I still have my tape of her workshop on writing the short story from her presentation at the William Saroyan Conference in Fresno, 2001. It was The. Best. Workshop. I have ever attended. I started a short story. If I ever get around to finishing it, Marcia’s tape will guide my way. Thanks for all your goode work, Marcia, and for sharing your expertise.
    Pat Browning

  3. sharon

    This is an awesome “pearl” for anyone, whether they are just starting out or a seasoned writer. Thanks Marcia & Suzanne for bringing this blog to our hearts. This is just what PPW is all about, sharing our writing experiences together. There are so many stories out there from all our members just aching to be shared. Thanks again. Looking forward to more in the future.