iUniverse award-winning mystery novelist Jane Bennett Munro tells us about her latest whodunit, Grievous Bodily Harm. Munro’s books have won numerous awards, including an Independent Publishers Book Award.
I am Jane Bennett Munro, author of the Toni Day Mystery series, and a practicing pathologist in Twin Falls, Idaho, for the last 40 years.
Grievous Bodily Harm is actually my third Toni Day Mystery, which I originally published with CreateSpace in 2013. I wanted to republish it with iUniverse so that all 5 of my books would be in the same place.
Grievous Bodily Harm is the story of Marcus Manning, an ambitious and ruthless hospital administrator who aims to become not only the CEO of the hospital, but of the entire hospital system, and doesn’t care who he has to trample on to get there. His methods involve lies, blackmail, and sexual harassment, and he unwisely begins his campaign with pathologist Toni Day, who fights him at every turn. When Marcus keels over and dies at a hospital picnic, Toni becomes the prime suspect, and must unravel Marcus’s work history and family history to identify the killer, and then is forced to do the unthinkable to save her own life.
My first 3 books were inspired by persons I had worked with in my own professional life and heartily disliked. Since killing off people in real life is illegal, I chose to kill them off in my books. Toni Day is loosely based on me. My 4th book was written to fit a title that originated from a joke about autopsies that assumed a life of its own. My 5th was inspired by a Caribbean cruise.
I write mysteries because that is what I prefer to read. I’m currently working on a sixth Toni Day Mystery.
I’m not planning any particular events for Grievous Bodily Harm because I did all that in 2013. I sell my books at 3 shows here locally, and the next one is in December, so I can sell the new Grievous Bodily Harm there for the first time.
My first book, Murder Under the Microscope, won a 2012 Independent Publishers Book Award (IPPY). My second, Too Much Blood, won a Feathered Quill Award and was a finalist for the Indie Excellence Award. My fourth, Death by Autopsy, also won a Feathered Quill Award. My fifth, The Body on the Lido Deck, won a Feathered Quill Award and was a finalist for the Book Excellence Award. Grievous Bodily Harm, sadly, has not won anything, but perhaps that will change now.
One can always hope.
My favorite part of the publishing process is the editing. I have learned so much from the various people who have edited my books. Each of my books is so much better than the one before because of what I’ve learned from my editors. It’s so satisfying when each book needs less editing than the one before. The learning curve goes up.
My message? This is fiction. It’s meant to entertain. If there is a message, I want it to be that I am a terrific writer and they can’t wait for the next Toni Day mystery. Oh, and maybe they’ll take away a better idea of what a pathologist does every day in a rural hospital. Or when there’s a murder on a cruise ship.
My advice to aspiring authors? Just get started. Sit down and write something. Anything. Write what you know. Don’t try to be somebody you aren’t, because it will show. Write the kind of thing you like to read.