© 2016 by Lynda McDaniel, author & book coach


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How Mystery Characters Are Born

Now, don’t laugh, but Abit Bradshaw—a lead character in the Appalachian Mountain Mysteries A Life for a Life and The Roads to Damascuswell, I think of him as my boy. Seriously. I (somehow) conjured him, reared him, and now I'm marveling at what a fine young man he's become.

I vividly recall the first time he showed up in my writing. I had no idea he was about to make the scene. He just popped into the story and wormed his way into my heart. When I began writing the first mystery in the trilogy—A Life for a Life—I considered Della Kincaid the main character. Gradually, though, as I wrote, I felt Abit's presence more and more. I found I liked spending time with him so much, I kept making more opportunities for him. And when the reviews came in? People told me they couldn't wait to see Abit again. That's why, in part, he takes the lead in the second mystery, The Roads to Damascus.

Along the way, Abit has taught me so much. Especially the epiphany he has in The Roads to Damascus. I was as surprised as Della when Abit shared how he plans to live the rest of his life. In fact, what he discovered continues to inspire me—every day. You may scoff and say, “Well, of course you know all that—you made it up." But actually, no; I really hadn’t seen life quite that way—not until Abit showed me.

Fiction is funny that way. It comes up and out of places inside you. Places you haven’t explored or accessed until you start writing. I don’t know why it works that way, but the act of writing—both fiction and nonfiction—unlocks some amazing treasures within.

See for yourself what Abit has discovered about life in The Roads to Damascus. (You can read the first three chapters here.) And I hope you’ll sign up for my updates, writing tips, and blogs at www.LyndaMcDanielBooks.com. When you do, you’ll get a free copy of my first short story mystery—A Nose for Murder—which I thought I’d lost but found when I moved to Santa Rosa.

P.S. Enter both of my Goodreads Giveaways. I'm giving away 100 copies of the Kindle book for A Life for a Life and for The Roads to Damascus. I hope you're a lucky winner! Check it out here for A Life for a Life and here for The Roads to Damascus.

Praise for A Life for a Life

"GREAT !! BOOK This is one fine read. A good mystery that reads like a literary piece." —Wooley, Amazon Vine Voice Reviewer.

"Five Stars! Lynda McDaniel has that wonderfully appealing way of weaving a story, much in the manner of Fannie Flagg. The tale immediately drew me in." —Deb, Amazon Hall of Fame Top 100 Reviewer

"A Life for a Life is one of the most satisfying books I’ve read this year. Everything about the book delighted me.” —Ana Manwaring, writer, blogger, creative writing instructor

"The most satisfying mystery I've read in ages." — Joan Nienhuis, book blogger

"What a delightful discovery! Pick up this novel; I dare you to put it down." — Dr. Irene Willis, poet and author of Reminder

"Marvelous read! The intricate plot the will have you guessing until the end." — Yvette Klobuchar, author of bestselling Brides Unveiled

#mysterybook #mountainsofVirginia #fictionwriting #creativewriting #mysterynovel



"The most satisfying mystery I've read in ages." 
— Joan Nienhuis, book blogger