The Holiday Season Is Here
It’s December. Time really soars! If I’m not careful, this winter project of mine will turn into a spring project. It’s fine with me if it does. Nobody wants to rush creativity, unless you are the type of writer who is determined to push quantity over quality. Yes, those people do exist.
The meat of the story is well underway now. There are multiple threads weaving through the book, and I’m hoping they don’t end up a tangled mess! The outline has so far kept me on track, which is a real blessing.
Some of the more difficult scenes that occur in the book have now been written. Somehow, I gritted my teeth through the pain and put the words on the page. As some of you know, my father passed away this year. Writing about crime, and in particular the subject of death in my mysteries, can be trying at times. I’m pushing through, however, and hope that I’m producing a book that all of you will enjoy, no matter how painful some of it has been to write.
Right now, I’m working on chapter twenty-two. Selena and Jameson have been working two different sides of the case independently, and that’s been different. Now, however, they are working together to uncover some corrupt folks. Behind that corruption, a killer is hiding. (Dun, Dun, DUUUNN!)
Time to get back to it.
I haven’t written since my father passed away some months back. There’s some sort of mental block pushing me away. Today, I’m going to make every effort to chip away at that obstacle. Before he died, I was five chapters into a new novel tentatively titled ‘Slow The Rain’. To the best of my knowledge, this blockage is due to the subject matter of the book. After having so recently experienced the death of a loved one, it’s proving difficult to write about a murderer and the impact he makes on the victims lives. My dad wasn’t murdered by anyone, but he was killed. By cancer, an unstoppable and malicious entity. My lead investigator, Selena Marrenger, says that there’s no such thing as closure, and I believe that. The loss of a loved one is something that you learn to deal with, but it’s a wound that doesn’t heal. Not ever.
Every once in a while, you’ll come across something that will remind you of what you lost. It could be a song, a particular joke or statement, or an old television program that you shared together. All I have left is memory. Sure, there’s photographs and other things that have been left behind, but it’s the memory that has the largest impact, a lasting one.
Well, enough of my babbling. Time to dive back into the book.
Wish me luck.
Monsoon Morning has officially been released! To celebrate my release event, I’m offering the book at a discounted price on Amazon! I’m really excited to find out what all of you think of Selena’s new adventure!
Want a little bit of insight into the books creation? Sure you do. Here you go!
Even though this book takes place after the events of Runaway Train and The Truth About Alex, it was written before either of those were even thought of. This is an unusual step for me, but there was a method to my madness.
You see, about five years ago I made the decision to stop writing science fiction and focus my literary efforts on a different genre. My wife recommended mystery, so I went with it. As the story developed, I took countless notes and began researching. I even befriended a medical examiner who helped me with some of the technical details. After it was completely written, I had another idea.
I should introduce Selena Marrenger to audiences in a separate story, a short novella. The Runaway Train was released, and was pretty successful as far as novellas go. Sure, some folks out there considered the short length to be a fault of the book, but I knew that it’s length was completely intentional. What followed almost immediately after was another novella, a story close to my heart, The Truth About Alex. With it, I wanted to tell a larger story within the restraints of novella form, and have the emotional impact that I tried to achieve with Monsoon Morning. Both novellas were separate stories, different cases, but gave you insight into Selena’s growth as a character.
Now that Monsoon Morning is finally released, I hope that all of you will now have a more rounded experience with Montana Marrenger, and will continue to follow her, case by case, as she pieces together the puzzle of her past.
Grab Your Copy Of Monsoon Morning Today!
I’m very happy to announce that you can now pre-order your copy of Monsoon Morning! The pre-order went up yesterday after several complications with compiling from Scrivener, but I finally got it sorted. Thank all of you for your patience!
Not even time can erase the darkest secrets…
In 1997, Selena Marrenger’s sister disappeared. It was her job to watch little Tabitha, to keep her safe. All that remained were questions, and guilt for leaving her sister alone. She was too young to unravel the mystery back then. Too young to find closure.
Fourteen years later, another girl has vanished, and one is dead. When Special Agent Selena Marrenger is assigned to the case, she discovers the two were best friends. Inseparable. As close as sisters.
This time, Selena won’t leave until the missing girl is found. Only then can she find peace. Only then can she hope for redemption.
No matter the cost.
Here’s a review from author Jason Greensides for my book The Truth About Alex. It struck me as rather helpful for anyone just getting into the mysteries of Montana Marrenger.
Comments are welcome.
A Taut, Moody and Engrossing Mystery
The Truth About Alex is Michael Wayne Griffith’s second book after the very promising debut, The Runaway Train. The hallmarks are all here of what we can come to expect from Michael in the future: the snowy, sultry Pacific Northwest American setting; the deft, finely tuned prose; and a mystery to keep you guessing till the end.
We continue to follow Special Agent Selena Marrenger, who this time teams up with Detective Dupont and FBI Agent Jameson after discovering the body of an old man who’d apparently committed suicide, but who weirdly shares the same name as a boy who went missing twelve years before. This part of the story of the three of them following the leads, which involve people trafficking, gun running and a mysterious man called Marco, is intercut with the disappearance of Alex twelve years before, and how it devastated his parents, who are still looking for him now. The way the author has handled the parallel stories is expertly done, making the novel feel like one whole, and not two separate plot lines, which often happens in other books like this.
I really loved the snowy setting, the slate-grey skies, the sting of the wind, and these elements were beautifully evoked and reminded me a bit of Fargo (both the film and the TV show, which for me was great because I love both). The overall tone of the novel, with its snappy chapters, crisp dialogue, and looming pain of tragedy was something I really enjoyed here, all of which leads to twists that I honestly didn’t see coming – indeed the last few chapters and all the revelations were handled really well.
But for me, the key to the book, and it’s heart was Selena’s pain about the past. This made me empathise with her a lot; in fact if I had to mention one criticism about the book it was that I really wanted to know more about that, but I’m guessing we’ll learn more about it in the next book.
For fans of detective/mystery stories I highly recommend this book: tightly written, beautiful setting, great twists, and a central character to care about.
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A lot of you guys have already gobbled up The Runaway Train and The Truth About Alex, and have been asking me about what’s next for Selena Marrenger. I’ve decided to answer that question in a series of blog posts in order to keep you updated with the progress of book three.
Monsoon Morning is the first novel length mystery for Selena. It’s fully written, and just recently went through a well trusted reader (I call her the Alpha Reader). There are some adjustments that need to be made as far as the content of the book goes before it’s sent off to my Beta Readers. My Betas will most likely have it for a month or two before it goes to my editors chopping block.
One of my goals with Monsoon Morning was to not only follow an investigation, but the families the case impacts. Too often we see investigators on television stepping over the body at a crime scene, sipping their lattes, and talking about their love lives. Twenty minutes later, they’ve solved the case. In actuality, these things take time, and a toll on everyone involved. How do you deal with losing someone you love?
Another question I asked myself while writing Monsoon Morning is what makes a killer? To some degree, I’m certain that what they think they are doing is good, or right. The killers I see on television are all criminal masterminds, highly intelligent and constantly playing mind games with the police. How often is that the case in reality?
Selena ‘Montana’ Marrenger has her hands full in Monsoon Morning, and I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. I’ll keep you up to date with what’s happening with the book, when it’s done with Betas, and when you can expect a release date right here, so stay tuned!
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It finally happened! The Truth About Alex has been in the works for a couple of months, and I’m very excited to announce it’s official release IS TODAY!
I loved writing this story. The words just flew onto the page. It was a lot of fun to write about Selena working in the FBI instead of as a homicide detective, because I feel like the stories can be broader in scope and not isolated to a single location. Don’t get me wrong, The Runaway Train was a blast to write, and it has done a lot of great things for me as a new author! I can’t wait for you to see what else I have in store for Selena, and I hope that you enjoy her adventures as much as I enjoy telling them.
My next book has gone through my betas and my editor! Not to mention the cover artwork is nearing completion through the spectacular Hillhouse Graphic Design, LLC. This story has gone through three different drafts, and I’ve enjoyed each of them during the revision process. The first draft was a blast to write. When I originally wrote the story, it was quickly and without reservation or concern about what other people would think. Of course, it wasn’t suitable for anyone but myself to read. Isn’t that what first drafts are for?
The final version of the book is polished and shiny. I can’t wait for you guys to find out what’s in store for Montana Marrenger in this one!
Woohoo! My mystery book, The Runaway Train, is back on a bestseller list! Let’s keep it on there! Only 0.99 Cents! Remember, you don’t have to have a Kindle to read it!