How Do I Write Thee…Let Me Count the Ways By M. E. May

ME May (2)Michele (M.E.) May attended Indiana University in Kokomo, Indiana, studying Social and Behavioral Sciences. Her interest in the psychology of humans sparked the curiosity to ask why they commit such heinous acts upon one another. Other interests in such areas as criminology and forensics have moved her to put her vast imagination to work writing crime fiction that is as accurate as possible. In doing so, she depicts societal struggles that pit those who understand humanity with those who are lost in a strange and dangerous world of their own making.

In creating the Circle City Mystery Series, she brings to life fictional characters who work diligently to bring justice to victims of crime in the city of Indianapolis. Michele also hopes her readers will witness through her eyes, the wonderful city she calls her hometown. Learn more about Michele at

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It’s hard to believe I finally settled down a mere seven years ago to begin my writing career. Always the late bloomer, I found myself at age fifty-five with a fabulous, supportive husband and a support system of authors in the Chicagoland area who helped me believe in myself. It’s one thing to love to write, it’s another to realize you’re good at it.


I spoke with a group of retired teachers recently, many of whom are thinking of becoming authors. One of the things we talked about was my process for getting started. Once my husband and I agreed that I would quit my full time job and begin writing, I realized I wasn’t sure what to write. With which genre was my imagination in tune? What skills did I have in order to produce a full-length novel?


After much painstaking thought, I realized mystery was my forte. I’m a puzzle solver, so how much fun would it be to have the chance to create the puzzle. Now I had to decide what type of mystery. Cozy mysteries weren’t something I felt comfortable writing. Spy thrillers didn’t appeal to me. So what about a series that not only featured police officers and detectives, but why not use the whole force?


That is how the Circle City Mystery Series was born. I wanted it to be different, so instead of choosing the typical city setting such as Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, I chose to use my home town of Indianapolis. This was a setting rarely used, so it gave me the opportunity to help readers discover it through my eyes. Indianapolis is no longer a town or small city, but a thriving metropolis.


The second thing that makes this series different from others is the use of a different protagonist in each novel. For instance, in the first novel, Perfidy, our protagonist is Mandy Stevenson, the daughter of the Captain of Homicide whose mother has gone missing. In this novel, we meet detectives in the Missing Persons and Homicide Departments who will each be featured in upcoming books. What makes this a series is the fact that we continue to see the detectives and patrol officers from book to book and we get to know them personally. Even though each novel can stand-alone as the featured case is solved, we see that thread of personal relationships which keep the reader intrigued.


In the second novel, Inconspicuous, a homicide detective you met in Perfidy takes the lead as a serial killer strikes the city. Detective Erica Barnes will introduce you to her family and her secret love all while trying to track down a psychotic killer. Then book three, Ensconced, brings Missing Persons Detective Tyrone Mayhew to the forefront as new evidence in a ten-year-old unsolved case comes to light. Ironically, this was Tyrone’s first case as a Missing Persons Detective, but he now has a new partner to bring a new perspective to the investigation.


Moving on to the fourth book in the series, Purged, we move over to the dark side. This one features Homicide Detective Chennelle Kendall as the lead detective trying to stop an avenging angel from torturing and murdering members of a Wicca group. This man has decided he’s been called to purge the world of sin and must get them to confess by whatever means necessary.


Released November 15th, Unscrupulous has Sergeant Brent Freeman not only investigating the case of a dead woman and her missing five-year-old daughter, but also in charge of training a new female detective. When a couple of beautiful female FBI agents are added to the mix, Brent finds himself faced with a very jealous girlfriend. Between the stress at home and the discovery that this five-year-old has been kidnapped by a human trafficking organization, Brent is pushed to the brink of insanity.


Being able to take these characters and move them in and out of the lead has helped me to keep my characters fresh and exciting. This not only makes it interesting for the reader, but keeps me from getting bored as a writer. I feel that is very important, because if I’m bored then I’m not producing a quality piece of art. This also keeps the possibilities open to continue this series for many years to come.


Of course, I am looking at writing other novels in the future. I’d like to do a couple of standalone mysteries as well as a private investigator series and a YA story. I see many possibilities ahead, and I hope you all will take the journey with me.


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