The concept came to me in a dream. The whole caboodle. This was a murder mystery that just needed to be written. I am sure many authors say this after all, we are vivid people and the imagination runs riot. Wherever the seed of creativity was planted, I woke up one morning and knew I wanted, no, needed to write Who Killed September Falls? I had the title, the characters..the story. My brain must have been seriously busy throughout the night and had carved out the main aspects of the murder mystery and I even knew its setting.
It was timely, because it was the start of my new life. I was moving from the beautiful medieval city of Salisbury, Wiltshire to a quaint little village nestled in the glorious foothills of the Pyrenees. It was a writer’s paradise. A stunning location guaranteed to wrestle those ‘hard to get at’ words from the mind.
People have often asked me about the backstory, did I base it on real life? Well, it’s an emotional book, so yes, I used elements of my life so to create a sense of emotional angst and disbelief. After all, it’s not every day that you can say your best friend is murdered brutally. Fortunately, my best friend is still very much alive and so, I just used my imagination and drew upon those deep emotions considering how I would feel if she was gone. That was the premise of my story. In my novel, September was my best friend, okay, she looked totally different, she acted differently, well, I had created a harlot of sorts, and no, that was nothing like my friend in real life.
So, it’s a murder mystery, one that occurs right at the start. The deed has been done and I made the decision to write it this way as I wanted to build in a sense of reflection and to capture the essence of this vibrantly, feisty woman who was suddenly no more. You know what it is like if you have a friend or family member who is incredibly vital and energetic. When they leave the room, there is a sort of subdued silence. Imagine someone like that dying tragically, there would be a disbelief.
The back story grew through the main protagonist’s eyes…Arianne Tawnison and I became quite attached to her as the story progressed. There was a fragility about her. Well, imagine living under the shadow of a stunning beautiful friend who no-one sees in the same way as you do. I wanted September Falls (Sepi) to be the woman that everyone hated and yet, beneath the gloss, the selfishness and the blatant sexual tension, was a woman who had goodness at her core and who expressed this through friendship.
It’s no fun writing about perfect people so September had serious flaws. I’d love to bring her back and use her in other stories but, once you have murdered someone, that’s it. She’s gone. But Arianne is an interesting character and one who comes into her own after the death takes place. She is beautiful in her own right but under-stated. She also has a dogged determination to hunt down the truth and so, seeks out the murderer, leaving Salisbury and travelling from Spain through to France in a bid to do what the French police could not…catch a killer.
This is a murder mystery with heart and, like all good stories, Arianne is being followed and her life is in deadly peril…but you’ll have to read the book if you want to find out what happens. I’d be interested to hear your views.