Please welcome Carole Price, author of the forthcoming Shakespeare in the Vineyard mystery series and our honored guest today. Carole attended Ohio State University and worked for a national laboratory in northern California before turning to writing mysteries. After graduating from Livermore’s Citizens Police Academy, Carole volunteered for the Livermore Police Department. She has many opportunities to work with the officers, but most importantly, the academy inspires and educates her. She frequents the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland where she fell in love with the Bard. Carole is a member of Mystery Writers of America. She and her husband reside in the San Francisco Bay Area in the middle of wine country.
The dictionary describes “drive” as propelling or pressing onward. That’s what I’ve done for over eleven years in the hope of becoming a published mystery writer. I spent retirement dollars on my travels to Martha’s Vineyard, England, and Scotland to research and complete my first mystery novel some years ago, but rejections just kept coming, and now my manuscript rests in the far corners of an old desk drawer. So imagine my delight, all these years later, when I received a contract in the mail from Five Star Publishers for my second novel Twisted Vines, A Shakespeare in the Vineyard Mystery, which takes place right in my backyard—Livermore wine country!
The tentative publication date is August 2012. That’s a long time off, but considering I was close to shredding the darn thing after even more rejections, I couldn’t be happier. With the contract signed and the check from the publisher in the bank, I drove down to Barnes & Noble to see where “P” for Price would appear on their bookshelves. Not as great as “A,” but a heck of a lot better than “Z.” (Not that it probably even matters, but I’m having some fun as a soon-to-be published bona fide author!)
When I’m not in my home office and writing the second novel in my series, I’m either out in my garden, hiking the trails in the Bay Area, or volunteering with the Livermore Police Department. But the ideas for my stories keep flowing no matter where I am. When I’m hiking tough trails, literally by the seat of my jeans, to get up those mountains, through rock-rooted canyons, and to golden eagle habitats and springtime wildflowers, I’ll often stop and jot down notes when an idea pops into my head for the next chapter in my book.
And as I drive around my assigned beats in Livermore, decked out in my volunteer’s uniform and looking for abandoned vehicles to tag—those cars/trucks/boats/RVs covered with grime and spider webs—my ears are always glued to the police radio, absorbing police lingo and looking for yet more ideas to inspire my writing.
Writing a novel doesn’t come easy for me, and I’m still constantly reading up on tips and techniques. But with passion and patience, and encouragement from my weekly Friday mystery writers’ group that’s been meeting for the past several years, I have a signed contract with a great small press publisher. And what’s more I’m a third of the way through the second book in the Shakespeare in the Vineyard series and already making notes for the third novel. Drive requires loving what you do, and that makes this entire process of writing well worth the struggles and effort. I genuinely love mystery writing.