Spring Upon a Crime (A Seattle Wilderness Mystery) by ML Erdahl
About Spring Upon A Crime
Wilderness guide Crystal Rainey leads a group of college students to a private campground amidst the awe-inspiring Olympic Rain Forest. The excursion is ruined when the charming hostess Roxie is discovered standing over the land owner's body, murder weapon in hand.
Enlisted to investigate the crime to absolve her friend, Crystal descends on the quiet city of Forks to find loggers, developers, and eco-protesters circling the property, intent on either exploiting or protecting the bastion of old-growth forest. The list of suspects is intimidating. Can Crystal find answers in a community determined to keep her in the dark?
“That’s why we have to go after the guy. He took the dress. It’s the proof we need to get the police here. Not the local ones. Real policemen, who want to get to the bottom of this. Ones who will want to solve Olivia’s mur...” Crystal couldn’t finish the word. Choking back the pain, she continued. “I think I’m ready to go after him.”
Sympathy radiated from Suzy’s tormented expression. “We can’t chase an armed murderer through the forest. You can barely stand.”
About ML Erdahl
How to Find Writing Inspiration
Much like every other fellow writer I’ve spoken with, I’ve been inspired by authors I’ve read over the years. I wanted to be the writer who made people laugh, imagine, wonder, and say “I didn’t see that coming!” Over the years, I’ve dabbled in short stories for myself and friends, and started at least three novels that never passed twenty pages.
However, I decided to get serious about the craft of writing when I was inspired by an idea that my wife had. We decided to do a genre swap, and while I had always been partial to fantasy novels, she typically read mysteries. She picked books by Janet Evanovich and Isis Crawford for me. I was captured by the light-heartedness of the stories, and quickly lost myself in solving the mysteries with Stephanie Plum and the Simmons sisters. My own story began percolating in my brain, until one day I put pen to paper. I didn’t stop until I’d written, “The End.”
That’s how I was inspired to begin writing, but another type of inspiration is what goes into the story itself. I followed the old adage, “write what you know.” I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and spent my formative years hiking and camping in the surrounding pristine forests. I spent two summers working in the Olympic National Park, clearing the forest roads, and living in a tent. Those memories found their way into my novel and soon Crystal Rainey was guiding guests into the wilderness for Emerald City Outfitters.
When I need to be inspired for a book, it’s an easy solution. I head out into the wilds. For example, in my first book, “Winter Takes All,” I strapped on a pair of snowshoes to immerse myself in the experience. I made conscious notes of not only the mechanics of snowshoeing, but the crispness of the air, the sound of snow packing underneath my steps, and the serenity that comes from losing oneself in the silence of a winter forest. For my short story, “A Climb to Kill,” I took classes on rock climbing, memorizing all of the equipment and knots. For my upcoming third book, “Summer Assault,” I hit the the rivers for white-water rafting. As you can imagine, this is a sublime way to inspire my writing.
You also can’t discount the inspiration of one’s own imagination. When I’m not actively writing, I’m often pondering the direction of the story, red herrings to drop, plot twists I want to incorporate, and even bits of dialogue. I pull this from whatever part of the brain imagination comes from. In my opinion, this is the most vulnerable source to pull inspiration from, since it is all based on whatever stray thoughts come forth from the recesses of my psyche, but it is invariably the most rewarding when I develop it properly.
My advice to every person who has a story in them is to imagine the pivotal scenes come to life, sink into your setting by immersing yourself, and pick up a pen.
Book 1 in this Series: