Hi, dear reader! Welcome to the first blog entry of Maddi Davidson, aspiring murder mystery author(s). Before anybody thinks the plural means I have an incipient case of multiple personality disorder, I should mention that “Maddi” is comprised of two sisters who write together. (One of us is Mom’s favorite. The other isn’t.) As this is my/our first blog entry, my/our first big decision is whether to say “we” or “I.” “We” seems too self-important, if not downright imperial. On the other hand, it’s kind of hard to talk about how to write with another person if I – or we – or should that be ‘one?’- does not acknowledge that there is another writing partner. We are sisters, not conjoined (Siamese) twins, so “we” seems apropos. Also, while we have similar mindsets – to the point where, when we are reviewing our work, we can’t always recall who wrote which section – we are not always of one mind, so we can’t really go with “I.” Bother. After fro-ing and to-ing, I’m going with “we.” Maybe. Anyway, this is the first of what we hope will be many blog entries about the delights of writing as Maddi Davidson.
As it happens, we are currently delighted since our first mystery is about to be published (OK, self-published): Outsourcing Murder, a Miss-Information Technology (IT) mystery. Part chick lit, part IT geek scene, we think the IT industry is an untapped genre for murder mysteries. Especially since, as both of us have worked in IT for years, we can think of plenty of occasions on which one or the other of us felt slightly homicidal and we know that the poor, long-suffering consumers of technology feel homicidal pretty much every time there’s a system upgrade. We state at the outset for readers who claim to recognize a character or incident in our book: we can neither confirm nor deny that we are getting even for corporate weirdness that one or the other of us has experienced by recasting it as fiction. Writing well is the best revenge, heeheehee.
One of the admonitions all writers hear is, “write what you know.” In our case, writing what we know includes writing about things that are interesting to us. Emma Jones, our protagonist, escapes the weird and wacky world of her job as an information technology consultant by going surfing, a passion that we share with Emma. An added plus to sharing a hobby with Emma is that we consider surf-aris to Hawai’i to be “market research.” So is sampling Mai Tais at different venues (a personal favorite: the one at the Halekulani on Waikīkī. No self respecting Mai Tai should ever have pineapple juice in it, ick).
Surfing is magical in that, more than any other activity we know (except illicit substances we wouldn’t consider inhaling, snorting, or popping), it helps you forget what ails you. (At least until you develop new surf-related ailments from overusing muscles that don’t get taxed very much in the day-to-day show. Pass the Mineral Ice, thanks a bunch.) After an hour or so in the water and some tasty waves, you forget what was really bugging you before you paddled out. Surfing has other fringe benefits, too like natural hair highlights – courtesy of sun and saltwater – nicely toned muscles (particularly after a trip to Hawai’i where it’s warm enough you can stay out for hours), and nice wildlife sightings like honu (green sea turtles), dolphins, occasional whales, seals, including (on one occasion on Kaua’i, a Hawaiian monk seal that flippered through the surf lineup). Sharks are – auwē (alas) – part of the seascape but not a part you usually aspire to getting up close and personal with. Neither of us has ever seen one out in the water but (cue theme music from Jaws), you know they are out there. Ick.
Surfing is magical in that, unlike most other sports, you can remember all your really good moments – the hurricane swell where one of us caught her best wave evah, brah, the day when four dolphins caught the set wave of the day and one leaped over the surf lineup, the beautiful atmospherics, even in cold and sharky Northern California on days where the sky and sea are almost exactly the same color. As the saying goes, “there’s no problem a good day of surfing won’t cure,” and it’s pretty nearly the truth. Surfing provides a background for our story and an underpinning for Emma’s life and romance with her off-again, on-again ‘ipo (sweetheart) Keoni – and that’s also true for one of us whose ‘ipo taught her to surf, for which she is eternally grateful.
Like Emma, we’ve had our share of encounters with wave hogs who want to M&T – monopolize waves and terrorize other surfers – and, while nobody has ever gotten into a physical fight, one of us drove a goshdarn bully off who was being Mr. Nasty Pants to all the newbie surfers out in the lineup. (And wherever you are, GB, “get over yourself: it was a two-foot wave!”) It’s another thing we share as writers and sisters: we really like getting out there and getting wet, and neither of us is going to put up with jerks. No, indeedy. Surfing together gives us more food for thought, and fodder for our book(s), since we are currently working on the second and third books in our Miss-Information Technology series, one of which takes place in Hawai’i.
Stay tuned for more information on where to order Outsourcing Murder – coming soon to an online bookstore near you – and more on how we write, edit, and create together. The miracle of the Internet – 3,000 and some miles is nothing if you have the right writing partner. Even if one of us is The Good Child and the other isn’t.
Seeya out in the lineup – Maddi