By Mike Befeler
This is my first post on the RMFW blog, so let me introduce myself. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Mike Befeler. For those of you who do know me, I’m still Mike Befeler. In the past I’ve been know as the Geezer-lit Guy because I’m author of the Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit Mystery series, which includes Retirement Homes Are Murder, Living with Your Kids Is Murder, Senior Moments Are Murder, Cruising in Your Eighties Is Murder and Care Homes Are Murder. Like Clark Kent, I’ve now taken on a new persona. I have two published paranormal mysteries, The V V Agency and The Back Wing. The V V Agency introduces a new type of shape-shifter called a transvictus, and The Back Wing gets back to my roots (they’re blond)—it’s a paranormal geezer-lit mystery. Don’t believe the myth that vampires don’t age. They get older, lose their teeth and gum people on the neck.
I want to thank Pat Stoltey for inviting me to join this blog. I’ll be your entertainment for the first and third Mondays of the month. I enjoy hearing from readers, so please respond, bug me, send notes, etc. I’d particularly like to hear what subjects you haven’t seen addressed in blogs that you’d like commented on.
The topic I’d like to address today is experimenting with different genres. When I started writing, which was in 2001 when I was 56 years old, I had no clue what I was doing. Some may say that’s still the case, but what the heck. Along the way I’ve learned a thing or two, which is important, because if our ancestors hadn’t, we’d still be watching cave drawings instead of Downton Abbey. One lesson learned is that we can write whatever we chose. Nothing says we have to be pigeonholed as one type of writer or another.
My first published novel didn’t even start as a mystery. I began writing a relationship story about three men and three women in a retirement community. At the same time I was writing a collection of mystery short stories featuring older people, and the two concepts combined, and Retirement Homes Are Murder was born.
The best part of the writing process for me is being intrigued with a subject and then pursuing it. As a mystery writer I can investigate different ways to kill people (don’t worry, I’m not going to do anything more than kill off people I don’t like on the printed page or e–book page). I keep a manila folder full of writing ideas—things clipped from magazines and newspapers (yeah, I still read print newspapers) and notes I make when a person, event or location fascinates me.
The beauty is we can write about anything. We can invent new worlds, take actual events to their absurd conclusions and turn the ordinary into the extra-ordinary.
That’s what brought me to writing paranormal mysteries as well as geezer-lit mysteries. I’ve also become fascinated with historical characters. Two that have led me to written manuscripts are Athanasius Kircher, the last man to know everything, and Nikola Tesla, a brilliant eccentric. So I’ve tried my hand at historical novels and thrillers.
But wait, there’s more. I recently met a 94-year-old man who was an infantryman in World War II and fought in Operation North Wind. He was captured, put in a prisoner of war camp, and repatriated by the Russians. He recounts some of the most amazing stories about his experiences, so I’m writing his biography.
So don’t feel you have to be chained to whatever you have been writing. Let your imagination soar. Try something new.
What are your thoughts?
Learn more about Mike Befeler and his novels at his website.