Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Please welcome my Wednesday guest. Joyce Ann Brown is a landlady, storyteller, retired school Library Media Specialist, former classroom teacher, former realtor, and a freelance writer and award-winning author. CATastrophic Connections is the first book in the author's Psycho Cat and the Landlady Mystery series. A klutzy Kansas City landlady, with the help of a psycho cat, locates her missing niece who is framed for embezzlement and murder, and the two join forces to bring the true evildoer to justice.

Writing gurus advise, "Keep paper and pen handy at all times to record words, phrases, scenes, characters, and impressions which you might someday need for a story." Such good advice! It's hard to remember all those juicy tidbits unless one writes them down and keeps them handy.
Too bad my right brain is in control of my writing (my life?) and causes me to poo-poo organizational skills. The notes I take when I am out and about end up on old envelopes, backs of business cards, and napkins. (Yes, my friends, some of my best stories started on a fast food napkin.) After I take those notes, of course, I rewrite each in meticulous detail into a fat journal which I keep under lock and key in a desk drawer beside my computer—I wish. No, I stuff the notes into my purse and later into a pile on my desk at home.
It's a good thing my imagination runs wild. If the tidbit is good and is something I know I can use, I bounce it around in my mind for a few days or a few months until I work it into a scene or short story. My mystery, CATastrophic Connections, grew from two bizarre stories which piqued my shiver sensors. My Halloween ghost story, "A Hit and a Miss," placed in a contest and was published by Kings River Life magazine. That story resulted from a story a former neighbor told me, a story so dark and unfortunate that I had to make it even darker and let a ghost help solve it.
Okay, okay, so I have used some of those stories I collected so carelessly. However, there are many more I lost or vaguely remembered. It's hard to reproduce the original delightful inspiration. An enigmatic story I heard some years ago wants to be told in my next book, but I can't remember exactly how it went.
I have an idea, a left brain plan, to combat my right brain randomness. The Smart phone which I've started to use for my calendar, a timepiece, a restaurant finder, my pedometer, a calculator, a compass, and even a telephone, believe it or not, might be the answer. It has a function called Memo with a little picture of a notepad above it. If I can just speed up my one-finger typing or become adept at voice-into-type, and if I can remember I put the notes onto my phone, the little phone notepad could become my portable journal. What a brilliant thought!
Now, let's see, where did I see that Memo app?

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Joyce Ann Brown said...

Thank you for hosting my post. I enjoyed writing it.

susanalbert said...

Joyce, what a great title for a book about cats! Hope it does well.

Joyce Ann Brown said...

Thank you, Susan. The second book is titled Furtive Investigation. I have yet to decide on a title for the third book.
By the way, the book isn't about cats. The cat is just a character in the mystery.