Day 1: Mystery; Mahrie G. Reid

Mahrie G. Reid.JPG

Meet Mahrie G. Reid.

Malice Domestic with a splash of suspense.

Born in Cape Breton, Mahrie G. Reid grew up in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. With family and friends spread around the province, she spent many summer days on the beaches of the South Shore and in homes from St. Margaret’s Bay to Riverport. The history of the area, including stories of the run runners, fascinated her as did the thought of living on an island similar to Tancook Island. Her first book, written at age 8, was called Pam and Penny and the Mystery on Tancook Island. It’s no wonder her grown-up books feature a fictional island off the South Shore.

A minister’s daughter in the the fifties, she was encouraged to be a nurse, teacher or office worker so she’d have something to ‘fall back on’ if anything happened to her husband. She did what was expected and tried all three professions before becoming a Real Estate Appraiser, a newsletter editor, an adult educator, an office organization consultant, a library manager and a marriage commissioner, among other things. At all times she continued to write, often as part of a job, and continued to read books and to study novel writing skills.

Her published works include short stories, poems, trade articles, technical and research papers and newspaper features. Now she writes mystery novels with a brush of romance and considers all other phases of her life as learning opportunities for her writing.
Her Caleb’s Cove Mystery Series includes: #1 Came Home Dead #2 Came Home to a Killing, #3 Came Home Too Late all of which are available. Book #4, Came Home From the Grave will be published in 2017.

Mahrie currently lives north of Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her hubby and a cat named Kotah. Her heart and her stories are in Nova Scotia but she enjoys her fellow writers in Alberta. She’s active in writing groups, conferences and retreats and offers workshops, presentations and mentoring opportunities to other writers.

Author Links:

Guest Post –How to Maximize Point of View

 What is Point of View?

Point of View is seeing the story through the character’s eyes, hearing it through their ears, feeling it through their touch.

Most fiction writers learn early-on that they have to understand P.O.V. Grasping it fully can take time. Using it appropriately is yet another step.

I heard about P.O.V., I attended workshops on P.O.V. and I read about P.O.V. for years and I still did not “get” P.O.V. Then, one August night, reading by flashlight in my sleeping bag in an Anchorage campground, I got it! The book was One More Valentine by Anne Stuart. The trigger?

One paragraph at the end of Scene One. (Page8)

“Damn, he was cold. His feet were freezing, the wind was whipping through his old overcoat and he had no gloves. He shoved his hands into his pockets, shivering, reveling in the physical sensations. He was hungry. He was cold. He was horny.”

POV was obvious and as the reader, I had not doubts about that character’s reactions. They grabbed me and I was hooked and immersed in the story. Perceptions added to the experience.

What is Perception?

Perception is the extra that adds color and character depth. It helps grab your reader by the heart and head and pull them into the story so that they LIVE it with the character rather than as an observer.

Types of POV and the effects on perceptions

Author Perception – Omniscient POV

 Author perception gives us great details, but the author tells what the character feels. We are an audience listening to a storyteller, and we are kept at a “watching and listening” distance.

Author perception (Omniscient):

“The day it happened, she came home from band practice early and found her father counting money. A lot of money. Stacks of money. Bundles of money. Stacks covered the coffee table and end tables. Piles stretched away into the shadows like some weird domino set up. The lamps cast insufficient light to see how far the money went.”

Character POV – First person or direct-third person POV

Strict character perception occurs when writing in the first person, dedicated third person, or when having a character relate events through dialogue. Here character voice overrides author voice. Perceptions are revealed through vocabulary and sentence structure and the reader is drawn in, becoming one with the character.

First person character perception

“Band practice was cancelled and I came home early. Dad was in the living room counting money. I mean, not just, like, the grocery money but stacks of cash. Bundles of it all over the place. On the table, on the floor. Man, I had a weird flash of a domino set up ready to do that fall and tip thing. My gut lurched. What was going on?”

Direct third person character perception

“He plunged the needle into her neck. Her eyebrows rose and her nostrils flared. Shocked was she? And maybe, just maybe fearful.”

Adding perceptions for non-POV characters.

 Scenes have more impact if the reader knows how all the characters are reacting. But head-hoping to show the reader what a second character is thinking, is frowned upon. But even if you are not writing in a character’s P.O.V. you can show their reactions, triggered by their perceptions (which you as their creator know), and have the POV character interpret them.

 Emily’s POV – Jeff’s reactions – Emily’s interpretation

Jeff raised his eyebrows and blew a raspberry. Didn’t he believe her?


Jeff leaned in, nodding and gesturing for her to continue. He must believe her.

 An added benefit is that the interpretation maybe correct or not. You can choose. Each option can give rise to understanding or misunderstanding later.

Author’s Job

As the author, you need to know what perceptions are appropriate for each character. These are the perceptions you can control, the ones based on your character sketches. Therefore, using these character perceptions helps you ground the reader in your character’s story.

 Let that character show the story. Use point of view and perception to merge your reader with the character.

 Do you know your character’s perceptions? Do you know what has colored their choices, their beliefs? Once you do, you have a rich pool of material to enhance your writing with Point of View plus Perception.

Want more?

The third book in the Caleb Cove Mystery Series is Came Home Too Late.CameHomeTooLate_MahrieGReid_1600x2400.jpg

It is due for publication mid-June, 2016.

When revenge explodes into violence, both the guilty and the innocent can be caught in the fallout. Growing up on-the-run with her criminal father, Emily Martin knows only two truths; her safety depends on hiding in plain sight, and that the police are not her friends. But when the sins of her father’s past catch up with her present, only police officer, Harvey Conrad, has the fire-power she needs to fight for her life. Caleb Cove holds both answers and danger. In a race for the truth, will trust be the obstacle that destroys them all?

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