Today I am pleased to welcome Anne Marie Stoddard here!
Her book Murder at Castle Rock (An Amelia Grace Mystery)
was screaming at me from my Kindle!
Why I Write Music Industry Fiction
When asked for advice on what to write, many authors will tell you to stick with what you know. That’s the case with my debut novel, Murder at Castle Rock, a murder mystery set in the music industry of Atlanta, Georgia. In the past decade, I have interned at two music venues and three music festivals and have worked at several other festivals and live music events. I also spent three years working in radio in Atlanta–at one point, during the summer of 2008, I was working promotions and events for 11 radio stations in Athens and Atlanta! I’d like to think those experiences gave me some good insight to tap into when I began writing my mystery.
Still, just because you know all there is to know about an industry or profession (or even just enough to get you by, which is my case!), what pushes you to begin writing about it?
For me, it started in 2011 when I picked up a mystery written by someone who worked in the fashion industry–so, naturally, she wrote about a murder that took place in the world of designers and fashion . It wasn’t my typical pick for a cozy mystery read, but something made me grab it off the shelf. As I read, I couldn’t help but think “What if something like this was happening in the music industry?” The more I thought that, the more I realized the lack of such a setting in any of the murder mysteries that I’d read.
The rock ‘n’ roll scene has such untapped potential in the mystery genre. It’s the perfect setting–the constant excitement of live music, the seedy behind-the-scenes goings on, the fame, the money–all ingredients for a fun rock ‘n’ roll whodunit!
With this in mind, I embarked on the project that consumed the next ten months of my life: Murder at Castle Rock. It was such an exciting experience to recall late nights working the door at The Georgia Theater, or standing outside The Masquerade and The Tabernacle running a live broadcast for the local radio station. All these hypothetical “what if” questions popped up in my head as I went, and I began imagining things that could’ve been happening behind the scenes. Soon I had created a story line for a full novel.
The more I wrote, the more inspired I felt. Some scenes were steeped with direct experience from my life in the industry–like a particular scene involving a radio station cargo van (I won’t spoil what happens! You’ll have to read it!)–and others were a fun venture into my imagination, using only the slightest bit of my experience to keep things realistic while allowing me to express myself creatively. When you write about jobs or settings you are familiar with, it’s amazing how easily the ideas start flowing.
The end result of my first attempt at music industry fiction is a novel that I’m very proud of. The characters are loosely based on people I’ve known and worked with mixed with some of my favorite character stereotypes. The venue itself, Castle Rock, is a fictional tribute to the Masquerade, an Atlanta venue where I spent several years working with radio events and concerts. (I still attend concerts there regularly, and I get a kick out of imagining my characters are there somewhere backstage!) The story line is original and hopefully one that will leave you in suspense over what will happen on the next page.
About Anne Marie Stoddard
Aside from my friends and family, I’m passionate about two things: writing and live music. When I can bring the two together, my life feels complete. I was fortunate enough to win the 2012 AJC Decatur Book Festival & BookLogix Publishing Services, Inc. Writing Contest with my manuscript for “Murder At Castle Rock.” Being published has been a dream of mine since kindergarten, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to share my stories. I am currently working on several other projects, including a sequel to “Murder At Castle Rock” and another mystery series.
For more information, please visit my website: http://www.amstoddardbooks.com/
Murder at Castle Rock
(An Amelia Grace Mystery)
First in Series
Publisher: BookLogix (January 1, 2013)
Paperback: 251 pages
E-Book File Size: 412 KB (May 8, 2013)
Amelia “Ame” Grace works as Booking Manager and Agent at Castle Rock, a famous concert venue in Atlanta. She has booked one of her own favorite stars comeback tour. Eighties Pop Rock Prince, Bobby Glitter, will be performing for 3 shows at Castle Rock and filming a DVD.
Before the first show even ends tragedy strikes. The owner of the venue hits the pavement falling from one of the Castle’s towers. Suicide or Murder??? The authorities suspect foul play and immediately start looking at the Castle Rock employees. Ame finds herself trying to clear her friend’s names while putting herself right in the line of fire. The curtain may be coming down at Castle Rock permanently.
This author knows what she writes. She shows us what goes on behind the scenes of the concerts we love and it isn’t always fun and games or pretty. In this case the Sex, Drugs, and Rock-n-Roll are joined by Murder and we go on one heck of a wild ride with Ame.
I was impressed with the layers to all of the characters. The venue is a character all its own. What really got me were the twists and surprises. I was drawn right in and engaged and then was like “What???” So good!! I love books like this when you think you know what is going on and then you find out you were so totally wrong.
Ame Grace is a quite a woman. She loves music and the music business. Stoddard has set the stage for many more musical mysteries. I can’t wait for the next concert to begin!!
The author is giving away 1 Autographed Paperback Copy!!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.
Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.
Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.
Leave a comment for Anne Marie for 5 Bonus Entries !
What is your favorite band or performer?
What is your favorite concert venue?
If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.
Contest Will End October 1, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.
CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Comments on “Special Guest – Author of Murder at Castle Rock – Anne Marie Stoddard (Giveaway too!)”
Insightful post. I just wish I had some specialised knowledge to base series novels around. I just know a little about a lot of things. But it’s so true that mysteries based around particular professions or interests gain a core readership. Cookery mysteries and pet mysteries spring to mind.
Anne Marie, you just inspired my brain to come up with a great idea round which to base another series of mysteries. Better still, it’s something I know a fair amount about, and, as an added bonus, poisonous substances abound! Thanks for that. I don’t think it would have ever occurred to me otherwise. 🙂
Thanks Gerri! I’m thrilled to help fellow writers (and mystery lovers!) in any way I can 🙂
Love this idea! Mysteries are one of my favorite genres. Thanks for the giveaway.
Thanks Jeanne 🙂
Like a previous poster, I’d love to write a mystery, but I just don’t know what my hook would be. I’m fascinated by this story because I once worked in radio. For three hours. It was one of those jobs you don’t put on the resume. I think it would be fun to see how the setting figures into the plot.
Thanks Denise! Working in radio was definitely an interesting experience, to say the least. The story itself centers more around my previous experience working for concert venues, but I included a couple of interesting radio characters in the mix 😉
I love The Moody Blues for the 60’s. This sounds like a great read.
Thanks Deanna! 🙂
You can tell what era I’m from when I say that of bands currently performing I love the Beach Boys. I’ve seen them twice in concert. Once this past year and once more than 40 years ago. Of course, I’d love to see the Rolling Stones in concert too.
Those are timeless choices 🙂 I’m almost 30 and still some of my favorite live performances have been Paul Simon, Tom Petty, Stevie Wonder, and my all-time favorite was Paul McCartney. There’s a reason that these guys are considered classics! All amazing performers!
Sounds like an interesting story.
I read this book for a blog tour a while back…I loved it! It’s a great twist on a mystery story.
Glad you liked it, Brooke. I loved your review 🙂
I loved the band Renaissance and had the pleasure of seeing them at Madison Square Garden – they were absolutely wonderful!
Couldn’t pick one, The Beach Boys and the Beatles, More contemporary: Keith Urban and Daughtry.
When I was a lot younger I was into Tom Jones, and went to his concert I still remember it and women and their panties, how strange, of course I kept my underwear. LOL Was one of only concerts I went to but I still remember it.
So if I was going to write a murder mystery it would have to be about a housewife. Not too intriguing. Or… is it?
Taking what you know and letting your imagination run with it is the best!
I really love Elvis Presley. I would have been awesome to see him in concert. I also really like Reba. I saw her in concert, when she was doing the tour with Kelly Clarkson. I haven’t been to very many concerts so I don’t have a favorite venue. Thanks for having the giveaway.
My favorite band is one that is constantly changing-The Almost World Famous Wellsboro Town Band. They perform 3 times each summer at the Green in Wellsboro – which is a great venue. When I lived in Phila. we went to the Robin Hood Dell which was wonderful. Wellsboro is Tioga County’s county seat in PA.
My current favorite is Lady Gaga. I may be old but she is talented.
Enjoyed the wonderful post. When I was younger, I loved Elvis Presley. Now, I’m a Tim McGraw fan. I live in the part of the country where he grew up. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this giveaway. Please enter my name in the giveaway.
Eric Clapton is one I still would like to see. Have seen many others favorites Rolling Stones, Elvis, Beatles, minus three, just Paul, Genesis, America. Staples Center was cool.
My new favorite performers are The Lumineers. Saw them at the intimate setting of Lewis Botanical Gardens last year. Awesome. Always love to see jimmy buffett (going on 34 shows). Seeing him indoors at John Paul Jones arena in charlottesville was different (outdoors for buffett is better), but the acoustics were great
Great choices! I saw The Lumineers at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Tennessee over the summer, and their performance was phenomenal!
Elvis would have been fun, ShaNaNa was fun and Neil Diamond was terrific!
The Beatles (& their individual careers, as well) have always been favorites. Newer artists I enjoy are Adele & Adam Lambert. No special venue – depends on type of singer/musician. I lived in the Atlanta area for 25 years and agree there are some great venues there.
I agree, Jan–Atlanta has some wonderful concert venues!!
Do I dare admit it? Disco Donna Summer, Thelma Houston, Gloria Gaynor (her I Will Survive Got me through a divorce!), & Pointer Sisters. There others that I can’t think of right now. Favorite concert venue? I think I understand what you’re asking… Cher on her Farewell tour. I saw her 3 times in 3 different Texas cities: Austin, Dallas, & Wichita Fall over the course of 2 years!
Drugs,sex & Rock&roll then add in murder? No mystery to me, Ann Marie; this sounds like an intriguing read! Thanks for the blog posting & giveaway chance. You’re now my TBR soon list.
Thanks Linda! And I think those are all excellent artists 🙂 So jealous that you’ve seen Cher!
impossible to pick one.the eagles,bon jovi,journey,elvis,daughtry,david cook,carrie underwood etc etc etc
I’m looking forward to reading this (whether I win or buy it myself)… and music? Geez, I could go on forever. My favorite venue is The Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan – I saw a band named Silvertide there a couple of times, they were great. I’m also a big fan of the band Pop Evil.
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