Monday, February 14, 2011

I Am Not a Mystery Novel Heroine

Like most authors, I write about what I know. When I started writing, I was a single, fairly care-free, fun loving person who generally tried to see the humor in life. I was also a CSI addict and loved anything having to do with forensics and crime solving. So, it should come as no surprise that I turned to writing humor-laced murder mysteries. So far all my book shave been set in places I’ve lived in my life, and most of my heroines have been at least relatively similar to myself.

But, I had one experience that proved to me exactly where the similarities between my characters and myself end.

I was dating at the time and was contacted by a guy through an online service. He was a mixed martial arts fighter, which sounded interesting, so I agreed to meet him for a check-you-out coffee. Turns out, he was interesting. And kinda hot, too, which made for a great combo. We did coffee again later that week, and again that weekend, and it seemed like we were really clicking. So, when he asked me out for dinner the following week, I was psyched. I agreed to meet him at his house at seven that Friday.

Friday comes, and I get to his place exactly at seven and knock on the door. Nothing. I ring the bell. I wait. And wait. Finally his roommate answers, lets me in, then promptly leaves. So, left alone, I go down the hall to Fight Boy’s room. The door is open, so I push my way in with a "Hello? Anyone home?" The TV is on, but he’s not there. I decide to sit down and wait, figuring he's just in the shower or something.

A few minutes go by. No sign of him. I’m feeling a little odd hanging out in his bedroom like this. I mean, I don’t know him that well. So, I get up, kinda peek around the rest of the house. He's not in the kitchen, living room, bathroom, or backyard. ‘K, odd.

I go back to his bedroom and wait a few more minutes. He still doesn't show. And it's getting late now. So that’s when I really start checking out his stuff. (Investigating, if you will.) His keys are on the nightstand, so is his cell phone. He wouldn't leave the house without those, right? So he must be somewhere nearby or on foot. I try texting him, just to make sure that’s his phone on the nightstand. Yep, my text ("I’m here. Where R U?") shows up on the phone. So his stuff is here, but where the heck is he?

And that’s when things went from odd into mystery novel territory. I hear a noise. It’s coming from the closet and sound like a sort of something-shifting sound. I look up. And, I swear on my life, a body part falls out.

A. Body. Part.

It looks like someone's knee. Or elbow. Definitely covered in flesh, definitely not moving. I freeze. Has someone been in the closet watching me this whole time? I get up and walk out of the room, totally casual like, pretending I didn't see anything. I'm thinking either a) he's been sitting here watching me from his closet (creepy!), or b) he was doing something totally embarrassing when I walked in and has been hiding in his closet this whole time (double creepy!) or c) there's a dead body in there (so beyond creepy!).

I wait in the kitchen, letting my pulse return to normal and giving anyone hiding in there a chance to get out and slink away seemingly unnoticed. I contemplate leaving… but my purse is still in the bedroom. I take a few deep breaths, then slowly go back in his room.

Yup, the knee is still there. Definitely human. Sticking out of the closet. Not moving at all.

This is the moment where one of my heroines would have peeked in the closet, found out who the knee was attached to, why they were there, and if they were, in fact, dead or alive.

Me? I grab my purse and bolt. Hit the front door, run to my car, lock the doors, peel out of there so fast my tires squeal, and drive straight home. I know. I’m a total chicken. It’s a hard thing to admit when I’ve spent my life writing about brave kick-butt chicks who laugh in the face of dead bodies. Me? I was lucky I didn’t pee my pants.

Needless to say, that was the end of Fight Boy and me. Though I did hear from him afterward (which was a good thing, because I was feeling just the teeniest bit guilty about leaving my date possibly dead in his own closet), I never did find out where he was or whose body that was. I’ll be honest, I didn’t ask too many questions. There are some situations where it pays to be blissfully ignorant of the facts. (Witness protection never looked like my cup of tea, ya know?) All I know is he beats people up for a living, and someone’s body was in his closet. Best case scenario: they were passed out. Worst case: my fingerprints are now all over a crime scene.

So, as much as I hate to say it, I would never make it as a mystery novel heroine. I’m going to have to settle for writing about my much braver, much more fictional counterparts. Truth may be stranger than fiction, but fiction is so much safer.

For all of Katie’s blog readers, I’m giving away a FREE copy of my latest mystery, SWEETHEART IN HIGH HEELS: a High Heels Valentine’s Day short story, at Smashwords.com today only. Just enter the coupon code: LP73B

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Gemma
www.GemmaHalliday.com

8 comments:

Kristal Lee said...

Gemma,
That's a hilarious story. I'm afraid that I wouldn't have been as smart as you to get out of there. I would've swung those closet doors wide open holding a lamp in my hand like a baseball bat. The curiosity would've killed me if I didn't.
~k

Katie Reus said...

Thanks so much for joining me today, Gemma!! And thanks for the generous giveaway to everyone...I think I'm with Kristal on this one. I think I would have had to open the closet doors but who knows. That story is just too funny :)

Jax Cassidy said...

OMG! Gemma, I SO remember that guy. I was very relieved when you told me you made it out alive :) It still cracks me up until this day...

Wynter Daniels said...

That's pretty creepy. If it were a movie or a book I'd be yelling for you to do exactly what you did - run!

Anne said...

Thanks for the smiles and the free read Gemma!

Cathy M said...

Oh man, that is hilarious, Gemma, and I would have run for the hills too.

Thanks for the free read today and Happy Valentine's Day everyone.

Diane said...

Wow! that blog gave me some chuckles!

Sarah said...

LOL! Great post - had me laughing out loud :-) Now I'm REALLY curious about just what/who was in his closet. Not sure I'd have the courage to look either, though!

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