My protagonist for MASTERPIECE OF MURDER, Charlotte Ross, travels to Bariloche, Argentina determined to talk her errant fiancé into coming home with her, In creating Charlotte, I infused her with some of my own characteristics. We're both afraid to fly and have motion sickness, and we're both determined to get what we want. But instead of coming from a large city, I have her coming from a small Mid-western town, like the kind I would have loved to grow up in.
While her heart is in the right place, she's a bit naive where love is concerned, and even though her fiancé left town without telling her, she still feels a fierce loyalty to him. I've observed that loves makes people do crazy things, and the character of Charlotte was no exception. I've done a few crazy things in the name of love myself, but I don't think I'd have the guts to jump on a plane to Argentina to go after a man, no matter how much I was in love with him. Of course, the fun of writing is making our characters do things we wouldn't think of doing.
I patterned Charlotte's naïveté after the Kathleen Turner character in ROMANCING THE STONE, but instead of making her a romance novelist, I made her best friend a mystery novelist and an amateur sleuth, so when Charlotte discovers she's the only suspect in a murder case, having known an amateur sleuth had its advantages, which helps in her search for the real killer.
Back in her home town, Charlotte is employed as an administrative assistant at a small business concern. That part of her is similar to me, too. I've worked in company offices most of my life, both at the corporate and at the small business levels. I was also an administrative assistant, or secretary as we used to call it, so I pretty much pulled my knowledge from there.
Charlotte loves to paint still life and landscapes. Everyone needs a hobby, even characters in a novel. It makes them more rounded individuals. I once loved to paint too. I had the ambition and the drive, but unfortunately not the talent, so I created her the same way. After all, our characters are often extensions of ourselves and no one is good at everything they do. The traits I created in Charlotte reflect that. So she's somewhat like me, only a lot gutsier.
MASTERPIECE OF MURDER is a fast-paced romantic suspense novel that has a broken-hearted art student, Charlotte Ross, so intent on locating her errant fiancé that she submits someone else’s painting as her own in order to gain access to a Master art class being held in Bariloche, Argentina—the place her lost love was last seen. When the painting gets her accepted into the class given by a world-famous artist and womanizer, being a novice makes keeping up with the others nearly impossible as she struggles to fake her way though, while trying to win back the man she loves. But her fiancé has his own reasons for being in Bariloche that complicate Charlotte’s life and threaten her very existence as she stumbles into a downward spiral of deception, art forgery, and murder. After accidently finding the murder victim. circumstantial evidence begins to mount up against her and the local police suspect she is the killer. Now she must use the skills she learned from her mystery writer friend, along with the help of her fellow art students, to discover who is really behind the murder. Not an easy task with a military police officer dogging her every step.
MASTERPIECE OF MURDER is available in print and ebook from the publisher at: http://www.wings-press.com/ and from Amazon at: http://tinyurl.com/9jjl5xc
Also available as an ebook for the Nook from Barnes & Noble at: http://tinyurl.com/9uyqj5r
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Evelyn Cullet has been an aspiring author since high school when she wrote short stories, but she didn't begin her first novel until college, later in life. Afterward, she continued to take writing classes and work on her novels while employed by a major soft drink company. Now, after early retirement, she finally has the chance to write full-time. Evelyn enjoys playing the piano, being an organic gardener, and an amateur Lapidary. She and her husband live in a suburb of Chicago.