I decided not to off Keon’s grandmother.  She’s a pain in the you know what.  Everyone’s lives would be better if she bit the dust.  She’s pushy and mean.  And Lux is a murder mystery, after all.  But I’ve already killed off two other old ladies in this manuscript, and I decided enough is enough.  Especially since she’s family.  After all, family has bonds, even if they don’t like each other.  I had the entire scene plotted out, and it was good.  High drama.  Lots of emotion.  And that’s great for a subplot.  But…  I scratched the scene and went for something else.  Lux still caught the killer–for that crime–and the plot moved forward.

There are things I try not to do in mysteries.  I never kill cats.  I never kill dogs.  But people are fair game.  I mean what’s a murder mystery without a body or two..or more?  And let’s face it.  If the body provides a punch in the storyline, all the better.  But killing Grandma Johnson?  I decided that might be pushing it.  But what do you do with an old woman whom a nursing home won’t even take?

And this probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s read my work, but I added two kittens in the mix.  I like to show the maternal side of my characters.  In the first Lux book, I introduced Ian–a young teen in trouble–and that filled that slot in the story.  A grandmother who’s a pill doesn’t accomplish what I wanted.  So Lux and Keon buy two kittens.  It was Keon’s idea.  The man’s a big marshmallow inside.

I’ve never not had a pet for any length of time.  When my black cat Pywackett had to be put to sleep at twenty years old, I swore I’d never get another cat.  Turned out, a gray cat meowed at our door and chose us.  A chihuahua turned up on our porch and scratched to get in the house, too, and before I knew it, we had two  more pets.  A house feels empty without one furry beast to demand attention.  So they end up in my stories.

My main plot is a tried and true mystery type, so I didn’t need to wrestle with my conscience about it.  Only Grandma.  And Grandma, blast her rotten disposition, won.  She’s going to live to grace another page.  <wince>  That might be good for Grandma, but not so much for the Johnson family.  Oh, well, mysteries have to be a little true to life, right?  And we don’t always love every family member we have to claim.

Happy Writing!






2 thoughts on “Virtue

  1. I know in real life, it seems the good ones are gone too quickly and the rotten ones seem to stick around forever, so it sounds like your decision is very relatable. Best wishes to the Johnsons!

    Liked by 1 person

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