39 Winks (A Maggie O’Malley Mystery)
by Kathleen Valenti
About the Book
Former pharmaceutical researcher Maggie O’Malley is losing sleep. Her boyfriend Constantine’s aunt is a multitasking sleepwalker who, in addition to wandering her stately home, prepares meals, folds laundry and, one winter night, stumbles across her husband with his throat slit.
It’s a rude and gruesome awakening that’s upsetting to Aunt Polly. And interesting to the police.
Maggie and Constantine work to uncover who killed the cosmetic surgery mogul and why. As they dig into the lives of those who knew him best, they discover that the truth is only skin deep and doctoring perception is a treatment with deadly side effects.
A gripping page-turner with more twists than a surgeon’s suture, 39 Winks is a tale of lies, betrayals and greed that will keep you up at night. And looking over your shoulder.
Where do ideas come from?
Or more specifically, where do good ideas come from?
It’s a question I’ve been asked not only as an author, but in my other life as an advertising copywriter. It makes sense. Ideas are the engines that drive our stories forward, whether those stories are mystery novels or 30-second television commercials. But how do you find those ideas? And more importantly, how do those ideas become something more?
When I set out to write 39 Winks, I knew I wanted to create a story about sleepwalking, secrets and social justice. A tall order? Maybe. But I couldn’t let go of the seedlings of these seemingly disparate ideas. So I nurtured my concepts through research, reflection, and by delving into my characters and their motivations.
I spent a great deal of time researching not only sleepwalking and its attendant dangers, but also the causes of parasomnias and how they could relate to the world of the Maggie O’Malley Mysteries. These meanderings led to possibilities, which in turn led to a storyline about reality versus perception, the truths we hide, and the guilt that we carry.
It was through these exercises that “idea” went to “good idea” and finally “viably good book idea.”
It’s this latter that was the biggest “a ha” moment for me as I made the transition from copywriter to novelist. I was used to writing for effect, using words to elicit emotion. I came to understand that I must also tell the story—share the idea, as it were—in a way that hit all of the touchpoints of character, theme, pace and plot.
The journey from idea to publication is much like the writer’s journey. It begins with hope, grows through hard work and exploration, and ends through a great deal of perseverance. I’m so happy to share the fruit of these ideas in the book that became 39 Winks. Thank you for coming along and seeing how ideas grow. And where they can take us.
About the Author
When Kathleen Valenti isn’t writing page-turning mysteries that combine humor and suspense, she works as a nationally award-winning advertising copywriter. 39 Winks is the second of the Maggie O’Malley mystery series and follows her debut mystery, Protocol. Kathleen lives in Oregon with her family where she pretends to enjoy running.
Learn more at www.kathleenvalenti.com.
Twitter – https://twitter.com/KathyValenti1
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