It was hearing authors read aloud the words they'd so carefully written that inspired Jennifer Moss to start writing her own book -- And now she joins the realm of published novelists with the publication of her murder mystery, "Town Red."
Writing has always been a passion for Moss and even while studying music in college she couldn't help but also squeeze in a few writing courses. Moss first started writing professionally, as a free-lancer, about the Internet industry and her articles were soon picked up by magazines, including Working Woman Magazine. She also started a website -- baby names.com -- and then published her first book of baby names.
However Moss, who always had an interest in murder mysteries, had always wanted to write her own murder mystery novel, so she decided it was time to try.
"I didn't write it in order," she said. "Scenes would just pop into my head and I'd write them down and would have to fill in between."
"Town Red" is about fictional character Chicago homicide detective Ryan Doherty and his journey solving the death of two ad executives and the woman he risks everything for to find out if she's the killer.
To make sure her information was accurate, Moss a Chicago native, consulted with Chicago police officers.
"That was a lot of fun and I made a lot of friends with the police officers in Chicago," she said.
Eight months later, her first draft was done. She began the long task of marketing her novel even though she never felt like it was finished.
"I feel like there's always something I can edit in, so it was kind of difficult when it went to the press," she said.
Moss found out it was going to be published by Black Opal Books on a flight home from New York.
"When I heard it was going to be published, I gasped and ran to the bathroom. I'll never forget that plane trip," she said.
During that time Moss, a 20-year resident of Los Angeles, decided she needed a change of scenery.
"I had always wanted to live in the mountains, so I looked around at little towns and fell in love with Oakhurst," Moss said. "It has a really strong community and that's what I like about it. I made friends quickly and my neighbors are all nice. It's so much more easier writing up here because it's quiet and I have more time."
Moss immediately became involved in the community by doing a teen writing workshop for the Oakhurst Branch Library's summer reading program.
"Jennifer has a wonderful rapport with people of all ages, especially teens," said Dale Rushing, library manager. "Her ability to connect with the teens in her writing class this last summer was a joy to see. I could tell that her students appreciated the way she taught them by the way they interacted with her."
Moss enjoyed it so much she's thinking of holding a workshop for adults this fall. Anyone interested in the workshop can contact the library.
Even though her book just came out in September, Moss is already working on a sequel.
"The reason I made it a series was because I got attached to the characters and didn't want to let them go," she said. "I really did feel they were my friends."
Moss says she plans on staying with murder mysteries.
"I love reading them and like solving puzzles, so it's kind of fun to create the puzzle, the who done it," she said.
Her book is now available on Kindle and Nook and can be purchased off amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.