CHEAT THE HANGMAN
Nominated for the Unhanged Arthur Ellis Award
Winner of the 2012 Bony Blithe Award
By Gloria Ferris
When the first draft of Cheat the Hangman was completed, I knew there would be many revisions before I could write the final “End”. So, I set the manuscript aside for a few months, then waded back in. I read it through without making a single change, not because it was so darn wonderful, but because there was something — missing.
The setting is a Georgian mansion in a small town, to me the ideal place for the protagonist to discover a victim murdered in 1943. The characters range from the irrepressible protagonist, Lyris Pembrooke, to a very proper butler, with an ornery veteran, a vicious 25 pound cat, a scheming ex-husband, and a sexy new boyfriend to liven things up.
Yes, the setting, plot, and characters created the perfect storm of mystery, emotion, and fun. But, the story could be even better. It needed something more. After brainstorming with pen and notepad for days, weeks — heck, it could have been months, it’s all a blur — I got it!
I’m about as psychic as a doorknob, but I decided to add a paranormal element to Cheat the Hangman. I re-wrote the manuscript, making Lyris a reluctant intuitive. I added Aunt Clem, an accomplished medium who tries to help Lyris accept herself. And, finally — Leander, a spirit guide here to assist Lyris on her spiritual journey. He may have been Winston Churchill in a previous life, or maybe John Lennon. Anyway, he gives Lyris a nudge in the direction of the killer.
Future Lyris Pembrooke stories will feature more murders, old and new, and explore the rocky relationship between Lyris and Leander. I’m left to wonder where the idea to add a supernatural element to CTH came from. Is there really a Leander? Is he my spirit guide?
Of course not. No way.
Amazon Ebook: http://tinyurl.com/7z5mlx3
Gloria Ferris Mysteries blog: http://tinyurl.com/7j6f78e