I’m really not comfortable with the idea of writing something about myself. It’s not that writing itself scares me. As a longtime copy editor, I spent years behind a keyboard editing all sorts of novels, from fiction to non-fiction, and from terrible to inspiring works. But those were always other peoples’ words and stories.

Frankly most days I’d prefer not even talking to other people. I can now understand the appeal in becoming a hermit. Actually, I think “recluse” sounds a little less like a crazy person, so let’s make that minor edit if you would.

Yet Marc Jedel asked me for a favor of writing a brief post about what happened to me soon after I moved up to Redwoods Country—more precisely the town of Monte Rio in Sonoma County, California. Marc describes the novel he wrote about me as a bit like Grumpy Old Men meets Schitt’s Creek. As the so-called grumpy old man in that description, I’m not a fan of this synopsis. Although it is true that I’ve been grumpy—downright miserable—since my wife Catherine died nearly a year ago.

His glib characterization sounds too much like some movie pitch than the actual story of what happened when I moved up here recently. Who needs more reminders that I had to move up here by myself to take over the bed and breakfast that had been our shared dream retirement? Actually it was more Catherine’s dream than mine. My plan had been to go fishing and fix things around the place. To top it off, someone was killed on my first day. The sheriff was busy with a higher visibility case and thought the death in my inn was a tragic accident. I had to solve the case or I’d have lost my entire investment with all my future guests cancelling since no one wants to stay in a place where people die. And then where would I live?

Apparently Marc plans to write more novels in what he calls a humorous murder mystery series, but I’m not keen on finding out who gets murdered next. Can Marc even be considered the author if all he did was get in touch with me after the fact, ask me a bunch of questions about what happened, and then wrote down my responses? After viewing some early drafts, it’s clear his copy editor did all the important polishing. As a former copy editor myself, I understand the incredible value these professionals add. Without them, novels would be mere collections of random author drivel. So as far as I’m concerned, it’s my story and Marc is just the typist. Lazy bum.

Monte Rio is not as terrible a place as I expected. It’s a small town of nearly a thousand people located ninety minutes north of San Francisco. The place is quite beautiful and some of the people are nice. Some. Beyond that, I’m taking it a day at a time. About the only firm decision I’ve set into concrete is to never accept a wedding party as guests again.

Marc’s novel, Rivers and Creaks, is available in e-book, paperback, and audiobook. It’s available at: https://mybook.to/RiversandCreaks. You can find all his cozy mysteries at: https://www.amazon.com/Marc-Jedel/e/B07H7MVKJL. All of his novels are free for Kindle Unlimited members. The first three books in the Silicon Valley Mystery series are out on audiobook from Tantor Audio, available everywhere audiobooks are sold.