featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Monday, August 17, 2015

CRAFTS WITH ANASTASIA--GUEST AUTHOR SUE VIDERS/D.B. HUMEL

Meg's earrings
Sue Viders, co-author of the best selling reference book, The Complete Writer’s Guide to HEROES and HEROINES, SixteenMaster Archetypes, is now writing cozy mysteries under her maiden name of D.B. Humel. An artist turned writer, Viders wanted her heroine to be a mature artist trying to find her way into the art world. What developed as she wrote her first mystery story was an opinionated and spirited character that turned out to be an avatar of herself, but with a bit more moxie. Learn more about D.B., her books, and Meg's special earrings at her website

After writing nonfiction books, charts, organizers and even tapes and guides for writers, I really wanted to try my hand at lying grin. Since I loved mysteries and light sci-fi stories, I wanted to create a story that had both a murder in it with a touch of the paranormal to make it more interestingnot too much fantasy, but just enough to make it a bit different and give the main character a more unique personality.

With a strong background in art, personal knowledge in the various techniques and mediums, I decided this fiction book would be about a creative woman who was trying to find herself as she grew older. I still do art work and participate in art shows and I wanted to use my art work in the writing of the book. First I had to decide just what the fantasy would be and how to use it. My mother-in-law was hard of hearing and her hearing aid was always buzzing or the battery had died. She was forever turning it off and on. So I got to wonderingwhat would happen if the earrings could do more that just help a person hear. Since I think better when I draw, I started designing earrings.

My first drawings were concerned with what would Megs earrings look like. Would Meg need pieced ears or would screw on earrings work?

After a bit of research into how a hearing aid works and what small battery cells can do in computers I became convinced I could create a great earring that had special qualities. Ah, this was a light bulb moment for me.

Where would the computer cell go? And I wanted antenna so Meg could better locate the sounds.

I soon realized that when entering the world of fiction I could do what ever I wanted to do. It was
liberating. The center of the flower controls the volume and the big dangling loops are the antenna.

After the earrings were done, the story quickly followed. It was as if the earrings had turned on my own gray cells and the words, the other characters, the twists and turns of the story just jumped out of my mind. Great fun.

Meg was not difficult to create and whenever she was thrown into a scene and had to react, I simply became Meg and let my emotions transfer into her personality. More fun.

I hope you enjoy Meg, learning how she created her paintings, and how, with the help of her earrings finally finds out who killed her favorite art professor.

Meg and the Mysterious Voices

Meg Jamison, a widow with two grown sons, is struggling to be a well-known and marketable artist when she discovers her hearing is going. Living in a small college town, nestled at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, she manages to keep her hearing loss a secret from her family and friends. Working with an oncologist and a computer expert, together they design a state-of-the-art hearing aid that they implant in a pair of silver earrings.

Oh how Meg loves them. The only trouble is that while she can now hear well again, she can also hear, if the person is angry enough, that persons inner thoughts. Meg has trouble handling these voices until they help her solve the murder of her art professors murder.