“Local Author Publishes Murder Mystery”, Arizona Silverbelt article, 5/8/19
Unwitting Accomplice, a murder mystery by local author T. W. Wilshire, is available now for purchase from the Kindle Store on Amazon as an eBook or paperback. Heartfelt and wonderfully descriptive, Unwitting Accomplice explores the good and bad associated with small town living, the destructive potency of suspicion and revenge, and the power of love to overcome evil.
When asked how the book came about, Wilshire explained she opens her home to many out-of-town guests and immensely enjoys most of them. However, she found herself so uneasy with one long-term guest that she couldn’t sleep when he was on the property. After a few restless nights, she tried to shake herself out of her anxiety by imagining the worst possible scenarios with this man, thinking she then could convince herself how unlikely these occurrences might be. However, after she had been at it for about 10 minutes, she says, “It hit me that this could be a really good story! I began to write for 6 to 12 hours a day during the 30 days the man stayed at my house and this formed the novel’s initial foundation.”
“I am not used to writing fiction and was fascinated by the process. More and more about the characters was revealed as I wrote, kind of like how you get to know a new friend. I also found the story line changing as I wrote and wasn’t sure myself who had committed the crime until about 2/3rds of the way through the writing process. It was not who I started the story thinking it would be.”
While the story is completely fictional, Wilshire was able to incorporate many of her actual experiences with her long-term guest into her representation of a creepy man staying at the house of the story’s protagonist. “I also heard from others in town about odd interactions they had with this guy and put those in the story, too.”
Unwitting Accomplicetells the story of 15-year-old Sarah Knox who moves in with her grandma while her dad works out-of-country. What should be a quiet season in a small town is challenged almost immediately by a growing list of concerns for Sarah and the community. When very bad things start occurring in town, some people think the changes started with Sarah’s arrival while others wonder about the odd man staying in Sarah’s grandmother’s guest house. As circumstances grow more tenuous, Sarah and her grandmother begin to suspect the man and question their possible responsibility for the pain the community was experiencing by allowing him to stay on their property: could they be unwitting accomplices to his potential crimes?
Working with Kindle Direct Publishing is a new experience for Wilshire and she states she has had a steep learning curve. She had to develop the professional support material needed as an author, discover how to format her manuscript for different print modalities, understand the legal aspects of publishing, and now try to learn how to market her work. “I have loved the challenge of each step of this process and hope what I learn this time will translate into easier publishing trajectories for my future writing.”
“I was working on a number of different nonfiction manuscripts at the time I started writing Unwitting Accomplice,” states Wilshire. “ I never imagined writing a murder mystery, but this is the story that was revealed to me and the book I finished first.”