Thank you so much Alice (and the other names your write under) for letting me guest blog today. I have a little fun post. Today is the last stop and I’m just a little bit slap happy to have it over. I hope you will appreciate the humor I’ve attempted.
Mary will never appear in my Mitch Malone Mystery Series, neither will a Mark or Mike. As you can see from my crime reporter sleuth’s name, Mitch Malone, I’m a big fan of alliteration. That being said I must illiterate in moderation. Too many mentions of many characters sharing a beginning moniker, whether manic or merry can give readers bad memories. Okay I will stop with all the M-words, just trying to make a point.
I love alliteration but authors must take care with multiple people’s names starting with the same letter. I have given up reading one best-selling series because two of the main supporting characters have very similar names. I can’t keep them straight and it’s pivotal to the story. Experts say when using names in your books for characters you have to avoid duplicating first letters at all costs. Your reader will get confused between who is who. Research shows readers read in groups and phrases, not individual words. Have you ever taken the test that takes all the vowels left out and just leaves consonants and you can still figure out what it says. Same applies to writing. Too many names that are similar will make your reader frustrated and maybe not even finish the book. You could have the best story in the world but if readers can’t keep the characters straight, it won’t matter. So sorry Mike and Mark, Mitch Malone must remain the main man. (I couldn’t help myself!)
What do you think of too many Ms? Do you have a hard time keeping characters straight? Weigh in.
“A Case of Hometown Blues” SynopsisWhen Pulitzer-winning reporter Mitch Malone's editor presses him for a favor, Malone breaks his vow to never return to his hometown. It seemed simple enough--lead a seminar for Flatville, MI's newspaper, keep a low profile and get back to the city post haste. But memories of his parents' death swarm him, and, to avoid solitude, he stops for a beer. In the crowded bar, Mitch is dismayed to see many of his former classmates--including the still-lovely Homecoming Queen, Trudy. Once the object of his teenage crush, Trudy joins Mitch. He quickly realizes she is upset and inebriated. Always the gentleman, Mitch sees her safely home, and returns to his B&B, still trying to shake memories of his parents' sad demise. The next day, he is stunned to learn Trudy was murdered and he is the prime suspect. The locals treat the murder charge as a slam dunk, and Mitch realizes he must track down the real killer to keep his butt out of jail. As he investigates, facts he thought he knew about his family unravel, and danger ratchets up. Can Mitch discover the truth that will allow his parents to rest in peace, or will he be resting with them?
W.S. Gager has lived in Michigan for most of her life except when she was interviewing race car drivers or professional woman's golfers. She enjoyed the fast-paced life of a newspaper reporter until deciding to settle down and realized babies didn't adapt well to running down story details on deadline. Since then she honed her skills on other forms of writing before deciding to do what she always wanted with her life and that was to write mystery novels. Her main character is Mitch Malone who is an edgy crime-beat reporter always on the hunt for the next Pulitzer and won't let anyone stop him, supposedly.
Reviews"A Case of Hometown Blues" by Jackson author W.S. Gager (Oak Tree Press, $14.95) is the third in her series about Mitch Malone, who was twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize Investigative Journalism Award. This oversized paperback is set in the small fictional town of Flatville, Mich., where Malone grew up. He's returned to give a seminar on investigative journalist techniques.The seminar is the same weekend as Malone's high school reunion, but he really doesn't want to participate. A classmate's body is found and Malone becomes the prime suspect.While Gager's highly entertaining tale wraps up a little too neatly, it's still solid escapism by a promising new talent.
Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing's Curious Book Shop, has reviewed crime novels and noir thrillers since 1987.