Today we welcome Loretta Marion and her new addition to the Haunted Bluffs Mystery series, “Storm of Secrets.” After reading her fascinating take on writing, and reading, multiple points of views and transitioning time periods within a story, be sure to scroll down to the tour section to click the big red button for your chance to win a Lorretta Marion Prize pack full of great books and awesome swag, including a $25 gift card.
Multiple POVs and Transitioning Eras… they just might do our brains some good!
I love books that force me to pay attention. Case in point, I really enjoyed Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life, which did a lot of time hopping as the author created life do-overs for the main character. And more recently, The Summer Wives and The Cloister, books in which the authors effectively transitioned between time periods to create better understandings of the history of the characters’ lives and relationships. They also switched points of view (POV) throughout the books, which I also enjoy as a reader and as a writer.
I’ve been drawn to the use of multiple points of view and the interweaving of past and present stories in much of my own writing. From a creative aspect, I find switching POVs to be immensely helpful in fully developing the characters, because as the writer, I must learn to think – and speak – like each individual character as I tell the story through their eyes and words. Simply put, a writer must become the character for a while. It’s somewhat akin to method acting. It can become confusing at times, that’s why I always create a biographical sketch of each character before delving deeply into the story writing, including a physical description. It’s important to have in my mind a clear picture of each character.
My debut novel, The Fool’s Truth, progressed through the perspective of the five main – and very diverse – characters. There was a witch-like hermit, a crafty journalist, a methodical but troubled sheriff, a young woman on the run, and her longtime friend and former lover. Each were harboring secrets and working desperately to prevent them from unraveling. I must admit, it was great fun to crawl into the skin of these disparate personas that were so unlike me. Writing is an incredible vehicle!
I also find that weaving together related present day and historic stories in a novel helps to bring a richness and depth to the reader.
In House of Ashes, my second novel and the first in the Haunted Bluffs Mystery Series, the present-day story is told entirely through the protagonist’s perspective. Cassandra Mitchell is in a financial bind and about to lose the stately Victorian she inherited from her family while trying to uncover what happened to two friends who have disappeared without a trace. The book also contains historic flashbacks told in third person, because Cassandra was obviously not present to relay what happened many decades earlier. But it was important for the readers to understand the incredible history of the tragic demise of her great-grandparents in a fire and the century-old curse that persists in plaguing the Mitchell family, not to mention why the spirits of those ancestors continue to reside within the bones of the family home.
In Storm of Secrets, the second installment of the Haunted Bluffs Mysteries, there are two tales intertwined throughout the book. The first is the continuation of Cassandra Mitchell’s story; her present-day account of what’s taking place in the few short weeks prior to and in the aftermath of a dangerous storm on Cape Cod, in which a child goes missing and the discovery of a dead body points to murder. Interwoven within this present-day story is a historic tale told from the perspective of Renée, which is in some way related to the disappearance of another child decades earlier. Forgive me if I don’t tell you what that connection is, but it would be preferable for you to enjoy reading the book and figuring out the mysteries on your own!
Both these writing techniques, hopping between eras and the use of multiple POVs, are used by authors as a means of creating interest and enriching the story, not to complicate or confuse. When I employ these practices, I always try to make it easier for the reader by giving clear indications of the transitions by inserting the times and places of the scene changes. When writing in multiple POVs, I subtitle the chapters with the name of the character from whom the perspective is written.
Does the reader have to pay attention? Of course, however, recent science is confirming that reading is the best workout for our brains. By engaging our minds through reading books – especially fiction – we are enhancing our brainpower. So when picking up a book with multiple POVs or a novel that transitions through different time periods, we should remind ourselves of the beneficial impact the additional challenge will have on our brain function and intelligence. Plus, the bottom line is, they’re fun to read…and write!
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About The Book:
Storm of Secrets: A Haunted Bluffs Mystery by Loretta Marion
A deadly storm, a missing three-year-old child, a suspicious death, and the eerie presence of the spirits of the dead set the stage for the second mesmerizing installment of Loretta Marion’s paranormal suspense series.
A powerful storm descends upon Cape Cod’s Whale Rock at the peak of tourist season–and the weekend Cassandra Mitchell’s and Daniel Benjamin’s wedding is set to take place at The Bluffs, the magnificent Victorian mansion Cassie inherited from her family. In the wake of the storm’s destruction, three-year-old Lucas Kleister goes missing–and the body of small-time drug dealer Lee Chambers is found in a restaurant dumpster. Now, the WRPD are faced with a murder to solve, a missing child to find, and the aftermath of one of the worst storms in recent memory.
While aiding with the clean-up and helping the displaced, Cassie has been receiving cryptic messages from the spirits of her great-grandparents, Percy and Celeste Mitchell, the original residents of The Bluffs. At first, the messages are benign, but soon, they begin to point to something more sinister. As Cassie works to decipher their meaning, the specter of a mysterious local legend surfaces. The tale of Barnacle Boy–and what happened to him during another destructive storm decades earlier–will weave through the desperate search to find Lucas and the identity of a killer.
About The Author:
A true bibliophile, Loretta Marion‘s affection for the written word began in childhood and followed her like a shadow throughout her life as she crafted award-winning marketing and advertising copy and educational brochures. She then applied her writing skills as a volunteer, establishing a Legacy Story program for hospice patients, which inspired her to create her own fictional stories. Her debut novel, The Fool’s Truth, is a twisty mystery set in Maine. Her Haunted Bluffs Mystery Series is set on Cape Cod and was introduced by Crooked Lane Books in 2018 beginning with HOUSE OF ASHES. Her newest release, STORM OF SECRETS, is the second book of the series.
When not whipping out words on her laptop, she is traveling, enjoying outdoor pursuits, or is curled up with a delicious new book. Loretta lives in Rhode Island with her husband, Geoffrey.
Tour and Giveaway:
November 8 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT – unable to post
November 8 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
November 9 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
November 9 – StoreyBook Reviews– GUEST POST
November 10 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 11 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
November 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 12 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST
November 13 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
November 13 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
November 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST
November 15 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW, EXCERPT
November 16 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 16 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 17 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
November 18 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW
November 19 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
November 19 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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