A Conversation with Patrick Kelly Author of The Mountain View Murder

Will Bill and his new friends solve the case, or will the murder of Lou Thorpe remain a mystery forever? — The Mountain View Murder (A Wintergreen Mystery) by @pkfiction

As an author what do you think makes a good story?

Any story that entertains the intended audience is a good story. A writer uses four basic elements to craft a story: scene description, narrative, action, and dialogue. To craft a good story, a writer must balance these elements in a way that pulls the reader into the story and keeps their attention on every page. A strong plot compels the reader to keep going because they want to know what’s going to happen next. And of course, the writer tries to create a protagonist that sparks emotion in the reader. If a reader cares about the protagonist, they will want to read the next book in the series. This is the process I have tried to follow in writing The Mountain View Murder. I certainly hope my readers care about Bill O’Shea and his friends.

What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?

Spend some time thinking about your goal for writing a book. Is this a bucket list item? Are you one and done? If so, read some books and blog posts about writing a novel and have at it. Be prepared to invest a thousand hours, and perhaps many more, to finish a novel you are proud to share with your friends and family. However, if you want to write a book that makes money, spend a lot of time studying the business of self-publishing before you write your novel. This could take six months or longer. As a part of that process, carefully select your sub-genre (preferably a hot one with tons of voracious readers), read the most popular books in that sub-genre, and plan how you will write a novel that is like the others only better.

What are you reading now? 

I read mysteries more than anything else, but at the moment, I happen to be reading a sci-fi novel—Mind’s Eye by Douglas E. Richards. On the first page, the protagonist wakes up in a dumpster with total amnesia. He slowly learns that he has acquired two new powers: he can access anything on the internet simply by thinking of questions, and he can read the minds of people around him. He soon encounters bad people who seek to do him grave harm, and it is fascinating to read how he overcomes each new challenge.

If your book were made into a movie, which actors would play your characters?  

 Stanley Tucci would play the role of Bill O’Shea, the retired detective who is drawn into the investigation. Meg Ryan would play the role of Cindy Quintrell—Bill’s romantic interest. Tucci and Ryan are about the right age and height, but more importantly, they have the range required to solve a puzzling mystery while also engaging in light-hearted banter with each other and the rest of the cast.

Name three fun facts about you or your work.  

At the age of fifteen, I was touched on the shoulder by a bear. I was sleeping in a tent and had a packet of Swiss Miss in my back pocket. The bear ripped a hole in the tent and touched me. Fortunately, when I screamed, the bear ran away.

When I was eighteen, I broke a small bone in my leg. Eighteen years later, at the age of thirty-six, I broke the same bone. Eighteen years later, at the age of fifty-four, I did not break that bone. So much for bad things coming in threes.

The condo my wife and I own in Wintergreen is the exact same condo that Bill O’Shea owns in The Mountain View Murder. I can verify from first-hand experience that he has an awesome view.

What inspired the idea for your book? 

I was inspired to write The Mountain View Murder by the gorgeous vistas of Wintergreen, a mountain resort in Virginia. I grew up in Virginia and always enjoyed visiting my grandparents’ farm near the Blue Ridge Mountains. Now I live in Texas, and several years ago, my wife and I bought a condo in Wintergreen to escape the hot summers.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in writing this book? 

The Appalachian Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway both come within several hundred yards of the Wintergreen property. I used both of those passageways as settings for key reveals in the story.

If you were friends with a character in this book, what kinds of things would you do together? 

I would like to have Bill O’Shea, the protagonist, as a friend. Bill is a retired police detective from Columbia, South Carolina. He spent his life living and working in a city, and now he wants to learn in a quiet place surrounded by nature. Bill has a girlfriend named Cindy Quintrell who runs a catering business. My wife and I would like to join Bill and Cindy on winery tours and for hikes in the nearby mountains.

What does it mean to you to be called an author? 

I’ve always enjoyed writing, so the title of author sounds good to my ears; however, in simple terms, it means only that I write novels for the purpose of entertaining readers.

How do you define success as an author? 

There are two kinds of success as an author. First, there is achievement of a goal. Did you complete the article, paper, or book that you set out to write to your satisfaction? If so, you achieved success. Second, there is commercial success. Are you able to make a comfortable living by selling what you write to others? If so, you have achieved commercial success. This is much harder to accomplish.

Guess who cried at Lou Thorpe’s funeral

No one. His wife, grown children, and best friends all attended the service, but no one shed a single tear. Poor Lou. He was out for his morning walk when a crazed driver knocked him out of life. Crazed? With no car, no driver, and no witnesses, it’s difficult to say. Was it an accident or intentional?

Until that morning, Bill O’Shea was living the dream. After a career of fighting crime in the big city, Bill bought a condo in the beautiful mountain resort community of Wintergreen, Virginia. When he met his attractive new neighbor, Bill knew his retirement was off to a great start. But then the short-staffed police department asked Bill to help them investigate Thorpe’s death.

Soon, Bill fell into an old routine. Interviewing suspects. Checking alibis. Everyone had a secret to hide, but Bill lacked evidence to tie any of the suspects to the crime. He was missing something–like he had an itch he couldn’t reach to scratch.

Will Bill and his new friends solve the case, or will the murder of Lou Thorpe remain a mystery forever?

If you love beautiful mountain settings, a charming cast, and intriguing plot twists, you’re going to love this new series!

Clean read: no graphic violence, sex, or strong language.

Purchase Links – Amazon Paperback  – Amazon Kindle – Books2Read   –  Barnes & Noble –   Kobo

Pat Kelly was raised in the idyllic suburb of Yorktown, Virginia, where children ran barefoot through the grass and fished in the York River. After graduating from UVA, he left the state to pursue a career in finance. He settled in Texas, married a wonderful woman (Susie), and together they raised two daughters in Austin.

With the girls now grown and gone, Pat has pursued a lifelong love of writing stories. Countless hours at the keyboard have produced the Joe Robbins Thriller Series, two book awards, and four standalone novels.

A few years ago, Pat and Susie bought a summer home in the bucolic mountaintop resort of Wintergreen, Virginia. The beautiful vistas there inspired Pat to write a cozy mystery series featuring the reluctant detective Bill O’Shea. Join Pat’s newsletter to follow Bill’s adventures as he dodges irrepressible bears, pursues romance, and solves mysteries.

Author Links

Webpage:  https://www.patrickkellystories.com/

Blog:  https://www.patrickkellystories.com/blog

FB page: https://www.facebook.com/patrickkellywriter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pkfiction

Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/patrickkelly

Instagram:   pkellystories

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for hosting me today. It’s a great pleasure to be able to share a few thoughts about writing and my new novel, The Mountain View Murder.

    I’ll be checking in periodically today to see if I can answer questions from subscribers about writing or Bill O’Shea and the murder of Lou Thorpe.

    All the best, Pat

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for the great interview.

      I love that the protagonist is not only a man, but also involved in law enforement. Those are two areas that are often overlooked in the cozy genre. Best of luck with this new series.

      Liked by 1 person

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