From the Writer's Pen

Interview with award-winning mystery author W.S. Gager about her new novel and her writing philosophy.

By Colleen Walsh Fong

The following is reposted with permission from M.M. Gornell’s blog. MM is the author of several mystery novels, including her Route 66 Series. She and mystery author W.S. Gager have generously shared this post from their Fall 2012 Mystery We Write Blog Tour.


A little about Wendy…

So pleased Wendy is visiting today! I love her writing and Mitch Malone–who, by the way interrogates my dear Margot Madison-Cross on her blog December 9th! Mitch is such a great character…


W.S. Gager

Award winning mystery author W.S. Gager has lived in Michigan for most of her life except when she was interviewing race car drivers or professional woman’s golfers. She enjoyed the fast-paced life of a newspaper reporter until deciding to settle down and realized babies didn’t adapt well to running down story details on deadline. Since then she honed her skills on other forms of writing before deciding to do what she always wanted with her life and that was to write mystery novels. Her main character is Mitch Malone who is an edgy crime-beat reporter always on the hunt for the next Pulitzer and won’t let anyone stop him. Her third book, A CASE OF HOMETOWN BLUES, was a finalist in the 2012 Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. A CASE OF VOLATILE DEEDS, her fourth in the Mitch series will be out this February.


Getting High On Typing

I’m not a runner. Never have been and never hope to be. I’ve tried it and waited for that “runners high” that people tell me they get from pounding the pavement. The only thing I’ve ever gotten from running was pain and skinned knees when I tripped over uneven trails. What does that have to do with writing? I get a writer’s high when all the plot line and character pieces fall into place.I can’t explain it except in the same context of a runner’s feeling. Don’t get me wrong. Writing is a lot of work, sweat, self-loathing and long stretches of the delete key. I struggle for hours and sometimes days over a single chapter, re-writing and writing some more. The feeling of hopelessness sets in and about the time you are ready to give up, something happens. Everything clicks and my fingers begin to fly over the keyboard. That loose end from chapter three is cleaned up, a clue is planted that goes with the end and a little misdirection ties it all together. You pause at the end and can’t help but smile. It’s good. It’s more than good, it’s just what was needed to move the plot along and makes perfect sense.That is the reason I write. Those little moments of “high” in hours of heartache. Okay maybe not chest pains but certainly back and neck muscle twinges. I can’t explain it but just the hope that it will happen again keeps me coming back to the keyboard day after day. That’s why I enjoy writing the first draft so much. The first writing is where I get the most satisfaction. I never have a good outline. Just a beginning and ending in my head and usually I change the ending. Somewhere in the middle, the magic starts, clues are laid, bodies are found and my hero, Mitch Malone, must piece it all together. What makes you keep putting the pen to the paper? Do you ever get the warm feeling after you have written something?(YES! And if you haven’t met Mitch yet…)


A Case of Hometown Blues
By W. S. Gager

 “A Case of Hometown Blues” Synopsis

 When Pulitzer-winning reporter Mitch Malone’s editor presses him for a favor, Malone breaks his vow to never return to his hometown. It seemed simple enough–lead a seminar for Flatville, MI’s newspaper, keep a low profile and get back to the city post haste. But memories of his parents’ death swarm him, and, to avoid solitude, he stops for a beer. In the crowded bar, Mitch is dismayed to see many of his former classmates–including the still-lovely Homecoming Queen, Trudy. Once the object of his teenage crush, Trudy joins Mitch. He quickly realizes she is upset and inebriated. Always the gentleman, Mitch sees her safely home, and returns to his B&B, still trying to shake memories of his parents’ sad demise. The next day, he is stunned to learn Trudy was murdered and he is the prime suspect. The locals treat the murder charge as a slam dunk, and Mitch realizes he must track down the real killer to keep his butt out of jail. As he investigates, facts he thought he knew about his family unravel, and danger ratchets up. Can Mitch discover the truth that will allow his parents to rest in peace, or will he be resting with them? Pick up your copy of A Case of Hometown Blues and find out!And great news from Wendy, there’s more Mitch Malone coming soon…



 Mitch finally scores a weekend dinner with a cute receptionist, but true to his reporter instincts an explosion in a high rise office building makes him stand up his date as he runs for an exclusive.  When he investigates, he learns his date is the only casualty in a botched robbery at a real estate office. When femme fatale Patrenka Petersen returns, Mitch learns that much of what he knows about his date and her work aren’t what they seem. His world continues to twist when the police captain asks for his help and a city hall informant is found floating in the river. Mitch must keep his head down or a cute dog with a knack for finding dead bodies will be sniffing out his corpse.

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