I haven’t had to sell myself to strangers in a long time. Sure, you have to sell yourself to readers but that’s a different ball game entirely.
I live in the mountains in central California and the cold here in winter is becoming unbearable. But then spring and summer come and I’m in love with my house and my friends and my life here. So this year, instead of making a vow I would sell my house and move before winter came again, I thought of an interim plan.
When the Central Coast chapter of Sisters in Crime invited me to speak about my latest novel, I looked around and thought what a wonderful place the coast would be to spend the winter.
Sue McGinty, a fellow mystery writer who lives in Los Osos, asked me to house sit over the holidays. She writes good books about the central coast around Morro Bay. I breezed around San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach looking for a place.
Craiglist turned up a great opportunity and the dance between me and a potential landlord has begun. What do I say about myself? I’m not weird? But dark scenarios of decapitation, GSWs, blood spatter and poisons fill my mind and make me feel all jolly. To anyone but fellow mystery writers, this is weird.
They are a young couple with a room to rent in their home and I want to live there too. I write to them: “No Drama. No boyfriend. No girlfriend. No aging parents, no children. One arthritic, ancient dog. The rent will be paid. I’m neat. I will respect your property because I am a homeowner too.”
And I wait. I write again. They called finally and invited me to meet them next weekend. This week we are promised blizzards, cold, rain, and snow. Sigh. I will get through it hoping it’s my last bout of real winter.
I want so much to make this happen. When I meet them I will be all smiles, certified check in hand, and not one single mention of decomposition.
Wish me luck.