Financial thrillers…Money is about people! Today #mywritingprocess follows the money trail.

Talented author, Rosemary McCracken, has enjoyed great success with her first two novels in the Pat Tierney series. Today she talks about her writing process...

1. What are you working on?

I am hard at work on the third mystery in the Pat Tierney series. Pat is a fortysomething financial planner with a knack for wading into criminal conspiracies—involving white-collar crime, drugs and murder—and solving them.

The novel opens about three months after the close of Black Water, and is once again based in the beautiful Glencoe Highlands, a fictitious part of Ontario cottage country that bears a strong resemblance to the real Haliburton Highlands. It is the end of June, and Pat is looking forward to a blissful summer on Black Bear Lake. Then the body of an elderly woman is discovered in a storage locker, Pat’s daughter Laura makes a shocking announcement and Pat’s summer looks anything but peaceful.

Haven’t decided on a title yet. That’s the very last element that I put in place.

2. How does your work differ from others in the same genre?

The Pat Tierney novels are financial thrillers. Money and finance have dominated the news in recent years with market crashes and financial fraudsters preying on vulnerable people. These real-life events have spawned a number of thrillers set in the world of finance with plots centred on financial crime.

Pat is well-positioned to identify crimes that involve money, but she knows that money isn’t about figures on a spreadsheet or the details of an investment portfolio.

Money is about people—the young couple saving to buy their first home, the older couple worried that they may outlive their savings. And she knows that some people can never have enough money, and that this kind of greed is a powerful incentive for theft, fraud. Even murder. I try to downplay the financial jargon and present the financial crimes in a way that all readers will understand.

The novels also cross over into the women’s fiction genre. A single mother and businesswoman, Pat is challenged by a life-changing event in each novel. In the opening pages of Safe Harbor, the first book in the series, she learns that her late husband, Michael, fathered a child who is now seven years old. That revelation rocks Pat’s world and shapes the events of the novel.

3. Why do you write what you do?

The Pat Tierney stories are based on research I do as a journalist. I write articles about personal finance, which involves interviewing people like Pat Tierney and attending their conferences.

The financial services industry revolves around money, so it will always attract some bad apples bent on chasing easy money. But there are a lot of committed people in the industry, people like Pat who care about their clients and have sleepless nights during market downturns. They want to see fraudsters weeded out and punished, and believe that the system is too soft on offenders.

4. How does your writing process work?

I’m a working journalist so I find it difficult to carve out a set chunk of time for fiction writing every day. My days are often shaped by interviews for articles and publication deadlines. But because I’m now a freelancer, I have control of my schedule and I try to keep my summers free for writing fiction. I spend most of the summer at my cottage in the Haliburton Highlands north of Toronto. I hope to finish the first draft this summer.

If I succeed, I’ll work on subsequent drafts—two or three—in the fall and winter. I have a writer’s group that I regularly run chapters by. Then I’ll give it final self-edit and turn the manuscript over to my husband, Ed, a former newspaper editor and Harlequin copy editor. He’ll go through the manuscript, editing and making suggestions for rewrites. After that, I’ll find another person with an editing background to look at the “big picture,” which Ed and I sometimes have difficulty seeing.

If all goes well, I may be ready to submit the manuscript to Imajin Books early next spring. If it’s accepted, it will go to one of its editors. The talented Todd Barselow handled Black Water and he was a treat to work with.

Born and raised in Montreal, Rosemary McCracken has worked on newspapers across Canada as a reporter, arts writer and reviewer, and editor. She is now a Toronto-based freelance journalist, specializing in personal finance and the financial service industry. Rosemary's short fiction has been published by Room of One's Own Press, Kaleidoscope Books, Sisters in Crime Canada, Nefarious North, Mesdames of Mayhem, and on numerous blogs.
Safe Harbor, the first novel in Rosemary’s Pat Tierney mystery series, was shortlisted for Britain's Crime Writers' Association's Debut Dagger Award in 2010. It was published by Imajin Books in 2012. Its sequel, Black Water, was released in May 2013. “The Sweetheart Scamster,” a Pat Tierney short story in the crime fiction anthology, Thirteen, was a finalist for a 2014 Derringer Award. The Toronto Star’s Jack Batten calls Pat Tierney “a hugely attractive sleuth figure.”
Visit Rosemary on her website and her blog.

Safe Harbor:
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And for Barnes & Noble,
Kobo: And
Black Water: Barnes & Noble: Kobo:
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