by Jennifer DiCamillo
Sometimes, I’m obsessed with murder. I go in spurts where I write mini-mysteries all day long, for weeks. That’s how I ended up with a mystery anthology titled MENTALLY UNSTABLE and another with my friend CJ Winters for a fun paranormal mystery anthology titled DEADKNOTS.
Do you think an obsession like this is disturbing? I became fascinated with murder mysteries when I realized that many of the best books include some mystery, intrigue, and suspense. As a writer, I felt obligated to stick my nose into the mystery genre and get a clue.
I’ve been a member of Sleuths Ink, a mystery writers’ group off and on for 7-8 years. They sponsor contests for the best short mystery story, and that inspired me to get busy. I love writing contests and most of the shorts included in the anthologies have won awards.
MENTALLY UNSTABLE features all types of mysteries, from cozy and humorous to hardboiled and science fiction. It even has a few mysteries without bodies. Personally, I prefer a dead body in the mix. How about you? MENTALLY UNSTABLE is due to be released any day by Under the Moon Press.
I’m also fascinated with suspense, thus I write romantic suspense like my serial killer story FOUR DEAD.
I’m also a romance fan, so there’s a big mix of that in FOUR DEAD and my first novel THE PRICE OF PEACE. (Just check out Amazon for The Price of Peace and Deadknots and other non-mystery titles by Jennifer DiCamillo.)
The truth is, I’m an obsessive compulsive personality (OCD). When I write, I often get up at 4-5-6 a.m. and write until someone gets up for work the next morning. I know, it’s a little crazy. But I gotta write when the bug gets me going. I can’t type fast enough to get the words/story on the page…and I can type up to 90 words a minute when I’m really rolling. I’ve actually burned blisters on my fingertips when I write all day like a mad woman. My record is writing 96 pages in a day.
What other personal things would you like to know about me? I have a cat named Sibli, who answers more to CAT than anything. She’s potty trained to go to the front door but I can’t keep her from getting on my counters. She just got put out for that particular criminal behavior. She was dropped off in our yard pregnant and we now have three kittens, available if you want one. I’ll bring it to you. We’ve got a calico, a black kitten, and a black and white. I dunno anything about sexing cats. If they don’t have danglies, I can’t tell, and little ones don’t really dangle anything.
I also have a horse named W.C. (Wildcard) He’s a sorrel and white tobiano stallion with one brown eye and one blue eye. He’s like a bad puppy. He comes at the sound of my voice, running like a wild horse to get to me. Then he puts his head in a halter like he’s sedated. All I have to do is say “Get your nose in here.” Yeah, he’s a little spoiled. But not broke to ride. I broke my back in 1996 when I flipped a 1400 lb horse over on myself, and haven’t been able to ride since. It’s a shame. I keep thinking I’ll lose weight, get healed completely, and be able to ride W.C.—but time passes and I’m still grounded.
The last of the pets in my house are my 2 little 4 lb. yorkies, Mojo and Pixie. They are the real spoiled kids at the house.
And speaking of kids, I have five. Four girls and a son. Grown-ups now. My son is the only one still living with me. His name is Tony, after his dad, who I’ve been married to for 30 years. If there’s one or two tips I can give for having a long relationship is…NEED your spouse, don’t let them think you can live without them, and compromise is the key. Truth is, sometimes you gotta do things you wish you didn’t have to. So, realize those two things and you’ll probably get along fine for more years than you can count.
Oh yeah, I also have one delightful granddaughter, Anna. She takes me away from my writing on a regular basis. I love to babysit her. She was born in January 2011 to my second daughter, Savannah, who tells all on facebook. If you wanna know what my grandbaby looks like, you can find her there, along with her life story.
Finally, and maybe the second most important thing I’ve told you about my personal life, (family is first, of course), I live in a haunted hollow in the Missouri Ozarks, just about 20 miles north of Branson. Hearing voices of civil war soldiers, and swords clashing, etc. can really set the theme for a creepy story, or one with a little extra mood setting. And no, I’m not the only one who’s heard the sounds and voices from long ago, or witnessed the shadows and ghosts. So, either it’s really happening or I’m not the only one around here that’s crazy.
I’m crazy about writing and reading and love to chat with others who have any of the same interests I have. You can reach me at JENNtheRICHwriter@centurytel.net, or find my websites, which have been in the process of revamping and may be down at the moment, but please check the others.
Two detectives race against the clock to solve the city’s worst case in years. Four victims are dead. All leads are exhausted. The murderer is still out there. Who will he pick next?
Detective Beth Thompson and her partner, Mike Barber, come to the horrifying conclusion that she is the likeliest target. Scared for her life, Beth determines to live her last week in a big way. She asks Mike to line up a date with each one of his three brothers. Jealous and protective, Mike stakes his heart, reputation, and job, everything he holds dear on trying to solve the serial murder case while protecting Beth from every danger.
DEADKNOTS, Paranormal Mystery Anthology is a collection of short stories by C.J. Winters and Jennifer DiCamillo. The stories are filled with ghosts, mysteries, and a talking cat. “Old Bones” has an amazing twist. “Cemetery Competition” is written with a lot of humor. In “Housekeeper and Primary Colors”, when new people buy the old home, the ghost gardener/handyman is concerned about the changes they will make; “Busybodies and Dead Diamonds” is the story of Margaret Rose. She finds the life of a ghost boring until she witnesses a murder. An adult relieves a memory from his childhood in “Who Died In Here”. Working with a psychic an investigator, Paul discovers the truth behind his brother’s death. The ones I’ve mentioned were among my favorites. Winters and DiCamillo both are talented at spinning paranormal yarns. Short stories can be very difficult to write. It is difficult to develop characters and plot; however, both authors have succeeded in both areas. Deadknots, Paranormal Mystery Anthology is well-done! Fans of the paranormal will enjoy Deadknots, Paranormal Mystery Anthology. 5 stars ~ Debra Gaynor, Review Your Book
THE PRICE OF PEACE:
Tami Brady (Calgary, Canada) 5 stars
The Price of Peace explores the interwoven politics of five clans in thirteen century Wales. The Rhyls are a small group of farmers and fishermen led by Laird Rhyl.
Furthermore, this man is a man easily led by his lover Angharad, a manipulative Denbigh healer. This woman is widely reputed to have poisoned several people including Laird Rhuddlan and Rhyl’s wife, the sister of Gogan Laird of Flint.
Rhyl, falling ill with the same mysterious illness that had taken his wife, felt his death was near. With no sons to be his heirs and too few men to defend the village, the leader decides to make peace the Axtyn. The Axtyn , a clan of mighty horsemen, has long claimed the Rhyls clan land as their own. The Axtyn clan also have a problem, not enough women. It seems all Axtyn women conceive only male children. Dougal ap Axtyn and Laird Rhyl discuss the potential of a bond of the two clans through the marriage of Rhyl’s daughter Carys and Dougal son Rob. Then something goes horribly wrong.
This book is a complex yet entertaining weave of political ties, negotiations, warfare, and life in thirteenth century Wales. At first, the complex clan ties and large cast of characters is difficult to fully grasp. However, instead of making the book overburdened, this complexity adds an extra aspect of realism. Nonetheless, I suggest frequent reference to the map provided with the book for easier understanding of the placement of key clans.