One of the things I like best about small town journalism is the variety during the course of my day.
A small town reporter doesn’t have the luxury of covering just one subject—they must be willing and versatile enough to cover anything from crimes to school boards to county fairs.
In my first book, Barn Burner, my character Addison McIntyre, editor of the Jubilant Falls Journal-Gazette ponders the idea when she’s got to write an advertisement for an open reporter’s position:
She wondered if she’d get a better response if she told the truth: “Wanted, general assignment reporter who can watch EMS scrape a body off the highway before dawn, cover a rape trial all afternoon and then crank out a light-hearted feature about a kid and his grand champion steer, all in one 14-hour day for wages that will qualify you and your family for food stamps. Must have a basic knowledge of AP style, page layout and photography. Barring those, an ability to simultaneously walk and chew gum a real plus. Our writers have gone on to win state and national AP awards while running their marriages and family lives into the ground through alcoholism, infidelity or not knowing when to stop covering a story and go home. If this sounds like the opportunity of a lifetime for you, please contact…”
In the last two days, my stories have ranged from a car into a building, a kitchen fire, zoning changes on a local business, follow up on last week’s dead body and a possible street levy being put on the ballot. Last week, it was gavel-to-gavel coverage of a murder trial.
Where else could a person generate so much variety for a mystery novel?
This morning, I’m dedicating myself to the fourth novel in my Jubilant Falls series, MURDER ON THE LUNATIC FRINGE. Lucky for me, I’m never short on material.
Take a look at my latest novel, LETHAL LITTLE LIES, now available in print and ebook format on Kobo, Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Also available, THE MAJOR’S WIFE and BARN BURNER.