posted on September 6, 2013 by Elizabeth Lynn Casey

The Beauty of Taking Chances

remnantssmallfbI remember the day the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries came to be like it was yesterday…mainly because it almost didn’t happen (not with me at the helm, anyway).

My agent dropped me an email asking if I’d be interested in trying my hand at a cozy mystery series set in the south and centered around a women’s sewing circle. Prime Crime was interested in publishing such a series and they needed a writer to bring it to life.

The funny thing is, I almost said no. I mean, honestly, I knew nothing about sewing at the time and I didn’t think I could do the concept justice.

Fortunately for me, my good sense (and the voice inside my head screaming, “Try it! Try it!) prevailed and I gave it a whirl, writing the six chapter proposal in a way that centered on the social aspect of the sewing circle rather than the actual sewing, itself.

I holed up in front of my computer one weekend and brought the Sweet Briar Ladies Society Sewing Circle to life in what became the opening chapters of SEW DEADLY (the first book in the series).

Five years later, I’m still breathing life into Sweet Briar, South Carolina and a group of women (ranging in age from twenty-two to eighty-two) who have stolen my heart and become my friends.

Like my readers, Tori, Leona, Margaret Louise, Rose, and the rest of the gang, make me laugh, cry, and shake my head at times. I never grow tired of them. When I’m done writing their latest saga, I’m ready for a break…but when it’s time to write the next installment, it’s like sitting down with good friends who have made my world brighter simply by knowing them.

These ladies make me see so many things differently—the elderly, people’s differences, the beauty of having a hobby, and the importance of good and loyal friends. But, perhaps, the most important thing these women have taught me is to listen to the little voice in my head more often. Because if I hadn’t listened five years ago, REMNANTS OF MURDER (the 8th book in the series) wouldn’t have released last month and I wouldn’t have met so many of the wonderful folks who love reading this series as much as I enjoy writing it.

Here’s to taking chances…

elcElizabeth Lynn Casey is the author of the popular Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries with Berkley Prime Crime. REMNANTS OF MURDER—the 8th book in the series—debuted last month. In addition to this series, she also writes the new Amish Mysteries under her real name, Laura Bradford.  To learn more about both series, visit:  www.elizabethlynncasey.com and/or www.laurabradford.com

Elizabeth Lynn Casey

Elizabeth Lynn Casey

It's not often that someone can provide visual proof of the exact moment their lifelong dream was born. Which means I'm one of the lucky ones...

Nestled safely in the top drawer of my filing cabinet is the very first book I ever wrote—a six-page illustrated story entitled, Kidney Learns a Lesson. Looking back, I can't help but think the more accurate title would have been, A Dream Is Born.

While Kidney (a sweetly drawn little brown bear) was learning the kind of lesson its ten-year-old creator felt noteworthy, I was falling in love with the process of writing...of creating a world that came to life beneath my pencil.

With my path chosen, I began devouring every book I could find—my earliest favorites being penned by the likes of Carolyn Keene, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Mary Higgins Clark...

Through them, I learned the joy of reading. Through my devotion to craft, I learned the joy of plotting and creating. And through my readers, I've learned the joy of providing a momentary escape from life—a chance to explore a new place, a new career, a new hobby, a new experience.

Because that's what books do. They allow us to dream...

And dreaming is something I know all about.

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