Day 28: Mystery & Clarity with Emily Ross and Jessica Bird
Our First Fifty-Day Writing Challenge
How do you offer your reader enough mystery on the page to keep them reading and spark their thinking caps while also avoiding the problem of withholding too much or outright confusing them to the point that they close the book in frustration? Helping us find that fine line are mystery authors Emily Ross and Jessica Bird.
Emily Ross is the author of Half in Love with Death, an International Thriller Writers Thriller Awards finalist for best young adult novel, inspired by a true crime from the sixties. She received a Massachusetts Cultural Council finalist award in fiction for Half in Love with Death. Her work has appeared in Boston Magazine, Menda City Review, and Yarn (Young Adult Review Network). She is an editor at Deaddarlings.com and reviews mysteries and thrillers for New York Journal of Books. She used to work in tech. Now she writes full time and is currently working on The Black Sea, an adult mystery / thriller set in a fictional version of her hometown of Quincy MA. When not writing she enjoys art, crime fiction, bourbon, and attempting to train her delightful and uncontrollable kitten, Obi.
Jessica Bird, a former academic and current novelist, completed Novel Incubator program as a scholarship recipient. She grew up in the age of missing kids printed on milk cartons, and as a younger sister attuned to sibling dynamics, wondered what life was like for brothers and sisters who didn't disappear. This fascination inspired her book, THE ONLY BROTHER, a character-driven narrative with elements of mystery, about grappling with grief, and building relationships through loss. Jessica has taught literature and composition, ghost-written a business textbook, temped at a variety of high-drama workplaces, and published television recaps for now-defunct websites. An avid baker, Jessica lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two persnickety dowager cats.