Jessie- In New Hampshire wondering when the blackflies will arrive!
I am delighted to host Annelise Ryan on the Wickeds today! In addition to her mystery writing she has written scores of articles for publication and is a competive Scrabble player! Take it away, Annelise!
Change is something many people dislike and avoid at all costs, and the last year has brought plenty of it to all of us. I’ve always liked change, but perhaps that’s because my entire life has revolved around it. It’s what I’m used to. (Or maybe I have ADD.) Growing up, my father held a government job that meant a lot of moves, so I was often the new kid in school. That meant a change of address, a change of scenery, a change of friends, and sometimes a change of lifestyle. These changes sometimes happened multiple times in a school year. (It didn’t help my popularity any that I looked like this in grade school, the result of a self-inflicted change when I gave myself a haircut! Look close and you can see where my hair was penciled in in places.)
I chose a career in nursing because it offered me tons of options for jobs in varied settings with different patient populations. My experiences with impermanence growing up may have influenced the many career changes I made, because I worked in every nursing field from birth (obstetrics) to death (hospice). I finally settled in and spent my last twenty years working in the ER, a setting that is nothing but change and unpredictability.
I loved it. Now that I’m retired from nursing, I find I miss it. A little.
There’s an adage that says you should write what you know, so it’s no surprise, given my history, that the heroine in my Mattie Winston Mystery series has also undergone a lot of change, some of it by choice, some not so much. She always does her best to embrace change, wherever, whenever, and however it comes, though the outcomes vary. In the first book of the series, WORKING STIFF, Mattie is a nurse working in the operating room of a small-town hospital and married to a surgeon who also works there. When she happens upon her husband and a coworker conducting intimate physical exams on one another, she flees both her marriage and her job. She ends up taking on a new job as assistant to her friend, medical examiner Dr. Izzy Rybarceski, and meets a hunky new detective named Steve Hurley in the process. The only consistency in Mattie’s life from here on out is inconsistency.
DEAD EVEN (released 3/30/21) is the 12th book in the series, and change is still dogging Mattie in her personal and professional lives. In this outing, she has to deal with an entitled, clueless family whose wealthy patriarch has been stabbed in the chest with a broken piece of his own cue stick. When she isn’t assisting with autopsies or trying to find killers, Mattie is struggling to balance her home and work life, dealing with the demands of raising a toddler and a teenage stepdaughter, and trying to keep her second marriage healthy and interesting. Mattie handles the challenges she faces in this book like she always has … with a frequent lack of grace, a streak of stubborn determination, the best of intentions, and a warped sense of humor.
Change has been a hallmark of my writing career, as well. I’ve changed genres twice (going from paranormal suspense to mystery), publishers three times, agents four times, and I’m published under three different names (check out my six-book Mack’s Bar Mystery series written under the pseudonym of Allyson K. Abbott.)
Readers: How do all of you deal with change? Do you like it or hate it?