Ardelle Holden watches a lot of mystery shows and movies and often finds that she’s able to solve the crime on the screen. This prompted her to try and devise a mystery of her own.
“I thought [I’ll] see if I can come up with a plot that’s a little bit more difficult to figure out,” the Nanaimo-based author said. “And so I did.”
Holden’s debut novel, A Person of Interest, required “three and a half years’ gestation” before finally being published last summer. The book follows a woman who is wanted for murder and goes into hiding with a mysterious stranger.
“I just came up with a scenario and I thought, ‘I wonder how this is going to work out,’” she said.
Holden described the book as a labour of love and though she enjoyed writing it very much, she was content to let the story end where it did. But when a reader said they wanted more, Holden obliged.
“I had absolutely no intention of writing a sequel until somebody on my Facebook author page said, ‘I can hardly wait for the sequel,’ and I thought, ‘Sequel? Hmm, OK,’” Holden said.
The sequel, Murder by Bits and Bytes, involves a major computer crime. Holden sent the manuscript to her editor earlier this month and aims to have the book available in June. She also has a third book in the series planned for later this year.
In the meantime, Holden will be reading from and discussing A Person of Interest in downtown Nanaimo for the first time on May 25, when she is joined by four other West Coast authors, all members of the Crime Writers of Canada, for an event at Nanaimo Harbourfront Library.
The other presenters are fellow first time authors Paulette McCarthy of Nanaimo, Qualicum Beach’s Sydney Preston and Vancouver resident Merrilee Robson. Victoria’s Elizabeth Bass will also be in attendance.
Holden started joining writers’ organizations two years ago when she met a member of the Federation of B.C. Writers while on vacation in Mexico. She’s now a member of multiple groups and said “the more you take part, the more you learn.” She said she learned a lot at the recent FBCW Spring Writes Festival in Nanaimo earlier this month. Holden was there every day and took in “a wealth of information.”
“You just absorb so much…” Holden said. “I normally go home after a conference like this and I do a document up myself of excerpts of their notes and what they hand out and how I can apply it to my work. And then I send them a thank you note.”
WHAT’S ON … Crime Writers of Canada present Cool Canadian Crime at Nanaimo Harbourfront Library, 90 Commercial St., on Saturday, May 25 at 1:30 p.m.