When Jessica Lourey isn’t writing one of her critically-acclaimed Murder-by-Month mysteries, she’s probably doing something mundane like teaching creative writing or blogging for Psychology Today or writing sword-and-sorcery fantasy. Yes, Lourey is just that kind of gal — multitalented and busy as all get out. And did I mention that she’s one of the few writers who can make me laugh? I mean, really, really laugh. So, why let all that talent go to waste? Let’s see what’s behind her latest work, March of Crime.
“I recently attended a fantastic conference called Midwest Writers Workshop,” Lourey said. “While there, I was talking to publicist Dana Kaye about branding for authors. I told her I was impossible to brand because I (so far) write humorous mysteries, feminist thrillers, magical realism, high fantasy, and young adult. She said brand is not necessarily tied to genre; it’s tied to message and content. And just like that, it popped into my head: everything I write is about the secrets we keep. That’s my brand, my mission, my lot in this life, to explore the power and poison of secrets.”
Okay. Got me. Gotta know more.
“Two summers ago, I undertook a 4-day, 150-mile bike trip with my best friend. On the second day of the trip, we stopped at a trail-side diner in the tiny Minnesota town of Hackensack. The inside of the diner was plastered with 1950s newspaper articles, posters, and record covers, and one lonely man sat at the pie counter reading his paper.
“My friend and I ordered our food. Received our food. Began eating our food, and yet, that man never moved. When I went to surreptitiously check on him, I saw he was a life-sized doll. Eeek! And ta-da. I decided right then and there that my next Murder-by-Month mystery would be about human-sized dolls placed around a small town, and inside one of them is a corpse.”
“Publishers worry that I’m going to offend or lose readers by writing across genres. I think readers are much smarter than that, but just in case there’s a few out there too busy to read beyond my name on the cover, I’d like to let them know some of my books are funny, others are dark, and still others are magical.”
Lourey also said she’s excited to report she may soon have the opportunity to rewrite the first ten books in the Murder-by-Month mysteries. “My publisher and I are still working out the details, but my hope is that I can pump up all the books using what I’ve learned in the past decade of writing, plus inserting more sex scenes and humor. Woot!”
Double Trouble Contest Code: #Secrets
Writing beyond fiction
In addition to the cross-genre fiction Lourey writes, she also penned a book called Rewrite Your Life. She describes the book as deeply personal, borne of a need to share with others the healing power of novel writing.
“Back in 2001, I lost my husband to suicide. I wrote my first mystery, May Day, as a way to recover. As much as the Midwesterner in me would have loved to keep that all secret, it became clear through workshops I was teaching afterward that other people could benefit from the process. I delivered a TEDx Talk on rewriting your life, and then I wrote the book on it, which came out May 2017. I had to make myself super vulnerable to write that book, so I’m grateful the feedback I’ve received on it so far has been positive.”
Learn more about Jessica Lourey at jessicalourey.com.