About Sharon A. Crawford and the Beyond mystery books
Dana Bowman may be short in stature but she is long in persistence – the latter a necessary quality for a private investigator. She is also divorced with a son, David. I, too, am short, stubborn , divorced, and have a son (now grown-up) but here the resemblance between myself and one of my fictional characters ends. Dana drives a car and carts around her cell phone; I do neither. Dana is low in computer skills preferring to sketch clients and suspects; I’m somewhere between smart-dummy and average computer literate and I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler. Dana has a fraternal twin, Bast. I grew up an only child and that may have a lot to do with why I write mystery fiction. Reading Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie and watching the Perry Mason TV series filled some of the void of not having any brothers and sisters to play and fight with. But that combo of only child, voracious reader and TV viewer also spawned something else – an overactive imagination.
Somewhere around age 11, I started to write. First it was non-fiction and ten years later I dived into writing short stories. But I soon switched over to writing non-fiction articles for newspapers and magazines because I got published faster. And I was paid. I started teaching writing and then I did the nasty – I climbed to the other side of the fence and became a book editor. Among other things, I was Writer in Residence for the Canadian Authors Association Toronto Branch, twice, last was from 2009 to 2014.
Then I returned to the fiction side of the writing spectrum, writing short stories with quirky plots and characters who created a lot of mayhem. Some solved or committed murder, went missing or hunted for the missing, were assaulted or committed the assault. They also lived messy lives with dysfunctional families, wacky controlling friends, children who had gone through the unthinkable and often had it follow them around as an adult. Throw in a few explosions, a suicide, gambling, poisonings, last wills and testaments, and warring friends and you have an interesting stew.
Many of these characters have ended up in the 13 stories in my first collection of short stories. Beyond the Tripping Point, published by Blue Denim Press www.bluedenimpress.com in October 2012. Since then I have written and Blue Denim Press has published two Beyond mystery novels in a series featuring PI Dana Bowman and her fraternal twin, PI Bast Overture.These novels are: Beyond Blood ((2014) and Beyond Faith (2017). Currently I am writing Beyond Truth, with Dana’s help. (She insists). Dana and I also host a TV show, Crime Beat Confidential on thatchannel.com. Check the shows out at https://thatchannel.com/shows/ and click on “Crime Beat Confidential”.
In this blog’s postings, I will not only talk about the characters in these books, but I will delve into more characters that erupt in my imagination, as well as the future of some of these characters – the ones that are still alive after their stories. Using these characters and their chaotic lives, I will sidetrack into some of the ins and outs of plotting, character development, point of view, setting, voice and style. And sometimes the characters take over a few blog posts. I also have a Gigs and Blogs Tour Page where I chronicle and list where Dana and I (again, Dana insists) appear – often with other authors.
I’ll leave the mechanics (grammar, punctuation, and spelling) to the editor in me. Maybe I can “wake her up” for a few blog posts.
Happy reading and writing. Oh, and here’s a shot of me with a couple of the Beyond books. Can’t let Dana take over the whole scene.
Sharon A. Crawford