31 October 2011

I Am Not a Mystery Novel Heroine

Like most authors, I write about what I know.  My books are set in places I've actually lived, my characters similar to people I've actually known, and my heroines often bear a striking resemblance to myself.  But a couple of years ago I had an experience that blurred the lines between my fictional life and my real life in a way that had me shaking in my stilettos. 

At the time I was single and dating and was contacted by a guy through an online dating service.   He was a mixed marital arts fighter, which sounded kinda interesting, so I agreed to meet him for a check-you-out coffee.   Turns out, he was interesting.  And hot, too, which made for  great combo.   We did coffee again later that week, and again that weekend, and it seemed like we were really clicking.  So when he asked me out for dinner the following week, I was psyched.  I agreed to meet him at his house at seven that Friday.

Friday comes, and I get to his place exactly at seven and knock on the door.  Nothing.  I ring the bell.  I wait.  And wait.  Finally his roommate answers, lets me in, then promptly leaves.  So, left alone, I go down the hall to Fight Boy’s room.  The door is open, so I push my way in with a, “Hello?  Anyone home?”  The TV is on, but he’s not there.  I decide to sit down and wait, figuring he's just in the shower or something. 

A few minutes go by, and there's still no sign of him.  I’m feeling a little odd hanging out in his bedroom like this.  I mean, I don’t know him that well.  So I get up, kinda peek around the rest of the house.  He's not in the kitchen, living room, bathroom, or backyard.  ‘K, odd. 

I go back to his bedroom and wait a few more minutes.  He still doesn't show.  And it's getting late now.  So that’s when I really start checking out his stuff.  (Investigating, if you will.)  His keys are on the nightstand, so is his cell phone.  He wouldn't leave the house without those, right?  So he must be someone nearby or on foot.  I try texting him, just to make sure that’s his phone on the nightstand.  Yep, my text (“I’m here.  Where R U?”) shows up on the phone.  So his stuff is here, but where the heck is he?

And that’s when things went from odd into mystery novel territory.

I hear a noise.  It’s coming from the closet and sounds like a sort of something-shifting sound.  I look up.  And, I swear on my life, a body part falls out. 

A.  Body.  Part. 

It looks like someone's knee.  Or elbow.  Definitely covered in flesh, definitely not moving.  I freeze.  Has someone been in the closet watching me this whole time?  I get up and walk out of the room, totally casual like, pretending I didn't see anything.  I'm thinking either a) he's been sitting here watching me from his closet (creepy!), or b) he was doing something totally embarrassing when I walked in and has been hiding in his closet this whole time(double creepy!) or c) there's a dead body in there (so beyond creepy!) 

I wait in the kitchen, letting my pulse return to normal and giving anyone hiding in there a chance to get out and slink away seemingly unnoticed.  I contemplate leaving… but my purse is still in the bedroom.  I take a few deep breaths, then slowly go back in his room. 

Yup, the knee is still there.  Definitely human.  Sticking out of the closet.  Not moving at all.

This is the moment where one of my mystery novel heroines would have peeked in the closet, found out who the knee was attached to, why they were there, and if they were, in fact, dead or alive. 

Me?  I grab my purse and bolt.  Hit the front door, run to my car, lock the doors, peel out of there so fast my tires squeal, then drive straight home.

I know, I’m a total chicken.  It’s a hard thing to admit when I’ve spent my life writing about brave kick-butt chicks who laugh in the face of dead bodies.  Me?  I was lucky I didn’t pee my pants. 

Needless to say, that was the end of Fight Boy and me.  I did hear from him afterward (which was a good thing, because I was feeling just the teeniest bit guilty about leaving my date possibly dead in his own closet), but I never did find out where he was or whose body that was.  I’ll be honest, I didn’t ask too many questions.  There are some situations where it pays to be blissfully ignorant of the facts.  (Witness protection never looked like my cup of tea, ya’ know?)  All I know is he beats people up for a living, and someone’s body was in his closet.  Best case scenario: they were passed out. Worst case: my fingerprints are now all over a crime scene. 

So, as much as I hate to say it, I would never make it as a mystery novel heroine.  I’m going to have to settle for writing about my much braver, much more fictional counterparts.  Truth may be stranger than fiction, but fiction is so much safer.        


Deadly Cool is currently available from HarperTeen!

Synopsis: Hartley Grace Featherstone is having a very bad day. First she finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her with the president of the Herbert Hoover High School Chastity Club. Then he's pegged as the #1 suspect in a murder. And if that weren't enough, now he's depending on Hartley to clear his name. Seriously? Not cool.

But as much as Hartley wouldn't mind seeing him squirm, she knows he's innocent, and she's the only one who can help him. Along with her best friend, Sam, and the school's resident Bad Boy, Chase, Hartley starts investigating on her own. But as the dead bodies begin to pile up, the mystery deepens, the suspects multiply, and Hartley begins to fear that she may be the killer's next victim.

Order Online: 

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Enter to win a SIGNED Copy of Deadly Cool!!!

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Giveaway ends: November 14th, 2011

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Gemma, Thank you SO much for sharing this.... truly scary story. I have no idea what I would have done, but I'm sure there would have been some sort of panicking. Maybe even a scream. Yeah, I would have freaked out, without a doubt. Also, thank you so much for donating the copy of Deadly Cool for this giveaway!

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  1. Oh, I was hoping you found the guy and he explained the odd situation. Maybe his roommate put him in the closet. Weird though!

    candicerjames {at} gmail {dot} com

  2. Omiwordddd that story is insane, I would've totally freaked out. I would definitely not make it as a mystery heroine either. I would be the one hightailing it out of there, for sure.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Mary DeBorde [M.A.D.]
    zenrei57 (at) hotmail dot com

    Gemma's experience with Fight Boy is creep factor X ten!!! I think I would've ran, too ... but curiosity about the knee would haunt me lol

  4. Tough situation to have been in. Wouldn't wish for anyone to be in that circumstance. For sure, people would be asking "why didn't you just look into the closet?" or "why didn't you confront him?" Haay, basta. Good thing you got out of there safely or that you didn't end up in the closet yourself. :)

  5. Great post but It would have drove me mad not to have know what happened to him.

  6. OOh freaky!


  7. Gosh that must have been so creepy! I bet it was Fight Boy in there! Thanks for the cool post and giveaway! :)

    Email: osnapitzAngiex3(AT)aol(DOT)com

  8. I've been looking forward to this one! Loved the story!

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  9. Interesting story! And the book sounds great!

    tommygirl828 (at) gmail (dot) com

  10. That is totally not normal! I would have bolted out of there too. If someone shoved a dead man in the closet, who knows if that person were in the house still? It is really odd that the room mate just left you there by yourself though!! Who does that??


  11. That was just hysterical! I think I may have considered calling the POLICE! Glad she survived the ordeal:)

    bchild5 at aol dot com

  12. Oh. My. Gosh. I would have had nightmares for months after something like that.


  13. I too would have bolted too1 No way would I have wanted to know what was going in that closet. Super Creepy!


  14. Thanks for the giveaway and the great post!

    Amethystdaydreams at zoho dot com

  15. Thanks for the giveaway! Really! And for making it international.
    I would love to read this book, it sounds so cool... thanks again

  16. Wow...now that is a freaky story! Yep, I would have run out of there too!

    This book sounds really good! Thanks for the giveaway!! :-)


  17. "Truth may be stranger than fiction, but fiction is so much safer." Very true, haha:-)
    I probably wouldn't make it as a mystery novel heroine, either!


  18. SCARY! I would have done the same thing. Although honestly, I would have died from curiosity not knowing what or who that way. My first thought was maybe it's a dummy that he practices his martial arts on? That's what I'm going to tell myself because I'd rather not think of the other options available to me. I would have been terrified! And I think we all like to view ourselves as the courageous, epic characters from novels we've read or written, but you're right. We can't all be like that. Otherwise these books just wouldn't be that amazing would they?


  19. I absolutely loved Deadly Cool, thought it was one of the best paranormal mysteries I've read in a while and it was YA fiction. I absolutely loved the story you shared with today, thank you so much for the opportunity to win. :)

    Suz @ A Soul Unsung
    My Teaser Tuesday
    My Giveaway: Signed Copy of Hollowland by Amanda Hocking


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