Quick as the Speed of Molasses!

Hi there, guys and dolls!  Andrea and Heather here.  We’re working diligently on book three and happy with the progress.  Layer by layer, a clue here, a nasty deed there, oh, and look — a new spring dress!  Such fun and can’t wait to share it with you all.  As most of you know, Poppy Cove Mystery Series is set in the past, the late ’50’s for now and then into the ‘6o’s which makes for an interesting way to relate to modern day life, that is, modern day life in the recent past.

When telling tales of murder and mayhem, news plays a big part in the story.  In our lives today, we receive news instantaneously, sometimes it’s even correct and accurate!  Tweets, Instagrams, News Feeds spew out stories while they’re happening, which has its good and bad points, as they are usually repeated multiple times with tweaking and corrections or just overplayed to fill up space.  Print takes a backseat to the electronic world. But for the Santa Lucians in our stories, that’s not how it works.  We also happen to have as one of the major characters, Loretta Simpson, who is the society editor of the local newspaper, The Santa Lucia Times, a good Poppy Cove customer and fellow sideline sleuth.  Along with her tag along photographer Jake Moore and her arch rival for print space Michael Weathers, tell the breaking news of what happens in the town. It’s how it was then.  Television news was just beginning to make an impact and the radios were filled with the battle cry of “News Flash” — a quick sound bite of details with drama and impact, and had details to follow in a whirling wind of words that could fit between songs, soap operas and ads.  Newspapers would have the images, interviews, headlines and full stories, and of course, the “stop the presses” events.  However, they would be a half or full day later reaching the public than the event itself.

So it is in our stories.  The events happen, then they reach the public later, at the speed of newspaper presses, not wireless waves.  As we were writing this week, we questioned to ourselves in the passages, “What has happened, and what do the people of Santa Lucia know about what happened?”  Gossip aside, of course.  It’s not the only device used to tell a story, but it adds a layer of development and complexity to how the clues are presented, and who knows what, who’s assuming what and who’s hiding what.  And it keeps us on our toes!

Happy Writing and Reading,

Andrea and Heather

About Barbara Jean Coast

Barbara Jean Coast is the pen name of authors Andrea Taylor and Heather Shkuratoff. She is currently hard at work telling the cozy tales of the fictional town of Santa Lucia, loosely based on Santa Barbara in the late 50's, early 60's, known as The Poppy Cove Mysteries.
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