As a writer-editor, I am naturally interested in books, blogs, magazines, and newspapers and in those creative folks who write for these treasures of communication.
I met my good friend Barbara Petty, author of the new book What Has Mother Done? back in 2001.We were enthusiastic members of a women’s metaphysical group exploring ideas about the nature of life. The women were unique in their professions and backgrounds; one of them had written for the old Carol Burnett TV show.
I discovered that Barbara was a published writer of three psychological suspense books, and was an active member of a monthly mystery readers’ group, which she encouraged me to join. It was a new journey for me since I had read very few mysteries. During the ensuing years, I was privileged to hear details from Barbara’s creative mind as she developed a mystery series featuring her character, Thea Browne, a former investigative reporter who becomes an amateur sleuth.
What Has Mother Done? is the first book in the series and was recently published as an e-book by Amazon Encore (a publishing arm of Amazon.com). “I think my biggest inspiration was Sue Grafton and her alphabet series, starting with A is for Alibi. Those were my favorite kinds of books—where I could start out reading the first book in a series and follow the growth of the detective—especially if the protagonist was a woman,” Barbara said.
Circumstances, such as Barbara’s own mother growing older, gave her some of the initial ideas for this book. “I also remembered that the mother of a friend had Alzheimer’s. She told me her mother would sometimes become violent and attack her husband, which piqued my interest,” Barbara said. An episode of Law and Order gave her another idea. The pathologist in the show told the detectives a victim had not only fallen from a great height but had been pushed, because there were two chest-high marks on his body. “I put those two incidents together and came up with the situation in my book,” Barbara explained. “My protagonist’s mother, who has Alzheimer’s, is accused by the local police of shoving her husband off a cliff in an Alzheimer’s rage. My protagonist doesn’t believe her mother is capable of such an act, but does believe that her stepfather had made a lot of enemies in local politics, and she sets out to prove the police wrong.”
Writing and creativity run in the family. Barbara’s husband worked on super hero comics, Ironman and Batman, for instance. And she worked with him on scripts for animated TV shows, including Transformers and G.I. Joe. Barbara did her own scripts for My Little Pony and Jem and the Holograms.
As exciting as it was for her working in the entertainment industry, fiction, especially a mystery series, is Barbara’s first love. Check out her new book at: http://alturi.com/s2o2u