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Blog by Tess Research and Preparation

Teresa (Tess) Riddle

Today, I would like to talk about the research and preparation I had to do before writing the first page of my book.

I already knew that I wanted to write a mystery book that was fictional.  I already had an idea of how the story would go.

Back in the day, in the neighborhood that I grew up in, there was a certain house that always looked creepy to my friends and I. Rumors were always going around that if you visited the family who lived there, don’t let them take you down into the basement. We were always careful when we went to that house on Halloween night. One time, when the people weren’t home, a couple of the neighborhood boys went inside and had a look around. Back then, people didn’t lock their doors.

That’s where I got the idea about writing a mystery about an old house from.

More on the other side of this break.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

It’s Your Business is a free video service to help authors learn how to set up their business. We provide free video training where you learn why you, as an author, are already a businessman or businesswoman. You also learn basics for structuring your business. Along with these videos is Learning to Write with the basics you need.

To discover how you can be the writer you want to be, write to us at [email protected]. We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing.

Check us out and get your career moving.

Now back to the article.

Next, I had to come up with a fictional name for the town in which the mystery would take place. That was hard. It seemed like every name I thought of, and checked out on the internet, existed somewhere in the world.

I had a hard time coming up with a name, but finally decided on one that already existed. Since the book would be fictional, I decided I wouldn’t mention a state that the town was located in. That seemed to work out well for me.  

Once I came up with a town name, I had other questions that needed answered. What kind of business places would the town have that I wanted to include in a story? Would the town have a recreational area/park where people could go camping, fishing, swimming, go boating, canoeing, etc.?

I had to draw out a map with street names, and decide which business or place would go on each street.  I also had to decide where the elementary school, junior high school, and high school would be located.

Would the town have a police department or sheriff’s department? How many people would work there? What would be the pecking order be? I also had to come up with names of officers and what their position in the department would be.

I had to decide how the layout of the police station/sheriff department would be inside. Where would the jail and courthouse be located?

Once I got all of that decided, I had to do more research on coming up with names for my characters. I decided that two families would be the main characters in my book. The first family consisting of a dad, a mother, twin sons, and a daughter. The second family would consist of a dad, a mother, a son, and a daughter.

In choosing first and last names for the characters in my book, I had to be careful that I didn’t use the names of actual people that I knew, or had known. I didn’t want them or a family member coming to me and asking why I had used their or a family member’s name in the book.  

 Because I was writing a fiction book, I could make up names of people. 

I also came up with names for the people who had owned the old house that my story would be about. There would also be three troublemakers who were in town.  I had to come up with names for them

I also had to give names to the people who own different businesses around town.

I’d make up a name for other characters, as they were added to my story.

Once I had the names of my characters I needed, I started writing out an outline of how the story would go in each chapter.

 Once I got a basic outline of each chapter written out, I had to set up the format for my document (margins, font, writing style, etc.) before I could start writing the book on the computer.

There are many other decisions to make when writing a book, but I covered most of the basic research you need to do when writing a fiction mystery book. 

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/Tessriddle.

Don’t forget to comment below. We are always interested in your opinions. And to make sure you get our blogs, simply check the box that says, Notify me of new posts via email.

Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a charge and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

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Blog by Tess: Struggle Writing

Teresa (Tess) Riddle

My struggle writing began in 2014, I was sitting in McDonald’s with my husband. Told him I felt that the Lord was telling me that I needed to start writing books.  He supported me in it.

I went home and started gathering information for writing a book:

  • what type of story would I write?
  • where would it take place?
  • layout of the town’s businesses and streets.
  • what is the size of the town’s police department?
  • What is the pecking order?
  • names and description of each character in my book
  • the list goes on.

After the break, I will discuss this further.

We will respond with a free copy of our Guide to Writing.

T&R Independent Books brings you this blog post or podcast to keep you informed on the issues of today. Authors need to stay informed so that they can relate to their readers facts as well as entertain them with their imagination.

It’s Your Business is a video service to help authors learn how to set up their business. We provide free video training where you learn why you, as an author, are already a businessman or businesswoman. You also learn basics for structuring your business. Along with these videos are Learning to Write with the basics you need.

To discover how we can help you be the writer you want to be, write to us at [email protected].

Check us out and get your career moving. Now back to the article.

After a few interruptions, I finally got around to start writing my book in 2017.  But then came another interruption.

One day a knock came at our door. It was the landlord’s agent who told us that we had 30 days to move out of our Condo. The owner wanted to sell it!

We started packing, but in the midst of it, we ended up evacuating to Lakeland, because hurricane Irma was headed our way. After a few days there, we came back to Port Charlotte and continued packing boxes for our move.

Finding a place to live was a struggle. Everywhere we tried to find a place, they had a long waiting list.  We finally ended up in a hotel for 3 days before moving into a camper loaned to us by a church member. Praise the Lord!

We lived there for several weeks before we were able to move into our current apartment. 

When we moved in on Oct 27, 2017, and got settled, I started writing again.  In January of 2018 I was diagnosed with cancer and had to undergo radiation and chemo for several weeks, plus some surgery. That did me in, to the point I could hardly do anything, let alone write.  It took me weeks to get my strength back.  But they had gotten all the cancer!

When I got much of my strength back, I started working on the book again. In 2019, I was again diagnosed with round two of cancer.  Again, I underwent chemo and radiation.  It was 2021 before I could continue to work on my book. I was determined that I was going to finish that book and get it published.

I finished and published it in 2020! It was a wonderful feeling knowing that I had finally published my first book.

I started writing book number two, another fiction. Late in 2021, God started dealing with me about writing some Christian Devotional books for women. I put the fiction book aside and started doing research for a devotional book. At present I am in the process of finishing the book so it can turn it over to my proofreader.  I would like to be able to publish the book by the end of the month. 

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/tessriddle.

RSS feed is tessriddle/feed.

Don’t forget to comment below. We are always interested in your opinions. And to make sure you get our blogs, simply check the box that says, Notify me of new posts via email.

Company information:

T&R Independent Bookstore is a division of T&R Independent Books founded in 2014 by R. Frederick and Tess Riddle. TR Ministry, aka Ministry Services, is both a change and an exciting outreach to the Christian Community.

I promised that I would keep you informed about the website. Well, it is not completed, but the blog has now transitioned to it. And my wife is beginning her own blog!