I’m happy to welcome Lauren Carr, author of Twelve to Murder, to my notebook today. She’s got a couple of funny stories about being a mystery writer while having a teenage son.
By Lauren Carr
A few months ago, my son, Tristan confessed that he had yet another embarrassing moment.
Here’s something to keep in mind: He’s a teenager, which means every day is filled with embarrassing moments. He’s humiliated waking up in the morning. However, according to him, this moment was particularly distressing.
My son had been selected to give tours to new incoming freshmen. Apparently, some parents were present. During the orientation, a mother came up to him and asked, “Is it true you’re Lauren Carr’s son? I love her mysteries! Give Gnarly a hug for me.” (Notice she didn’t want him to hug me.)
He was horrified by the attention, of course. However, I couldn’t miss the little smile on his face when he told me about it.
I knew before having children that I would not be your average mother. At the last Pampered Chef party I attended, the sales rep was left speechless when I pointed out how, with a slight adjustment to the measurements of the ingredients to her salad dressing recipe, we could make a neat little Molotov cocktail.
I haven’t been invited to another sales party since. I’m still waiting to get mad about that.
How could I ever expect to be a normal parent? What type of mother sits around all day thinking about ways to kill people? My son should consider himself lucky. If I wasn’t a mystery writer, I’d be a psychopath. Now, what kind of mother is that? At least he doesn’t have to sleep with his eyes open.
It’s bad enough that my son’s English teachers know that his mother is an author. Last year, his English teacher turned out to be a fan. Thankfully, she didn’t ask me to come speak to his class. Heaven forbid I enter the school building while my teenaged son is there!
But that’s not the worst thing about having a mother who writers about murder.
He claims the most disconcerting moments for him is when I insist on doing research in his presence. The last time I took him to the dentist—and I mean the last time—I had the nerve to ask the dentist which tool on his tray would make the most unusual murder weapon.
Laying back in the dentist chair, with the suction hose in his mouth, my son widened his eyes in horror while the dentist on one side, and me on the other, examined the various tools on the tray directly above him.
Now that I think about it, the dentist had no problem explaining how each one could be used to kill someone. I wonder if that says something about him … or his patients.
“A scalpel is so cliché,” I told our dentists. “I’m looking for one that when the police see it, they’ll have no idea that it was a murder weapon until Mac points it out in the end.”
“I have just the thing for you,” the dentist said, “but I don’t have it here. I’ll mail it to you.” A few days later, the weapon arrived at our home in a padded envelope with a note, “Here’s your murder weapon. Enjoy!”
No matter how hard he tries, my son can’t completely ignore me and my chosen profession. Sometimes, he is going to be out in public with me and an opportunity is going to present itself for me to gather ideas for my latest mystery.
Like the other day.
I was on my way to pick him up at school when I came upon a police road block. With cars backed up on the road, the police were stopping everyone to search their car. I practically jumped up and down in my seat with anticipation about getting patted down and having my car searched. Think of the material I would have to use! So, you can imagine my dismay when they waved me through! They searched the guy in front of me and behind me—but they completely ignored me! ME!
Obviously, I didn’t look suspicious enough to warrant a search.
So, when I picked up my son at school, I told him, “Okay, we’re going to be coming to a road block. The police are searching cars. Look suspicious.”
He scrunched down in his seat.
“Sit up. They won’t be able to see you. And try to look sneaky.”
By the time we came back to the road block, I had my eyebrows knitted together and my mouth screwed up into what I hoped to be an evil snarl, while my son was hiding in the back seat where hopefully no one would see him and know he was with me.
Again, the police stopped the cars in front of me, and the one behind me, while waving me through. Couldn’t they see the body in my back seat? That should have looked suspicious, don’t you think? I knew when they waved me on that I should have reached back and pinched Tristan to make him scream out for help.
Now, I’m not allowed to pick him up from school.
Poor kid. It’s hard being the son of a murder mystery writer.
About the author:
Lauren Carr is the best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. Twelve to Murder is the seventh installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series.
In addition to her series set on Deep Creek Lake, Lauren Carr has also written the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates, who were introduced in Shades of Murder, the third book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. They also make an appearance in The Lady Who Cried Murder. Dead on Ice (A Lovers in Crime Mystery) was released September 2012. The second installment, Real Murder will be out in 2014.
The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.
Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.
She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.
Visit her author website at www.mysterylady.net.
About Twelve to Murder:
Two people are brutally murdered in their summer place on Deep Creek Lake. Suspected of the murders, former child star and one-time teenybopper idol Lenny Frost takes innocent bystanders hostage in a local pub and demands that Mac Faraday find the killer. Can Mac save the hostages and himself from the wrath of the enraged has-been by piecing together the clues in less than twelve hours, or will it be a fatal last call at the stroke of midnight?