The Letter Tour


Kellie, a young college grad laid off from her first teaching job and besieged by creditors, receives a letter requesting her appearance at the reading of Frederick Malone’s will. What could she have in common with the town’s richest man? Curiosity draws her to the will reading where she learns she has inherited a vast sum. The conditions of her inheritance require she change her name and reside in the Malone mansion. Long considered haunted by the residents of Malone Springs, Kellie, her fiancé and four friends move in ignoring the rumors. Strange and frightening events begin to plague Kellie before she moves and grow more frightening once she and her friends settle in. Adopted at birth, her adoptive parents killed in an auto accident leave Kellie to investigate her ancestors on her own. What she discovers leads her into more danger and mystery as she learns the true nature of her biological grandfather. Could his evil deeds hurt her from beyond the grave? Who’s responsible for the strange occurrences? What happened to her biological parents? As one solved mystery leads Kellie into another, she and her friends try to solve them all before tragedy strikes.
This book also contains the supernatural/mystery short story “MEGAN’S FEAR.”

Marianne Spitzer’s Books

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I was born in Milwaukee, and lived there until I was eighteen. Then I spent eight years in Washington state and California before returning to Wisconsin. I love eerie places and books. I began with a love of Nancy Drew books and as I grew I found H.P Lovecraft, Agatha Christie, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle among others. When I am not writing, I am reading or watching sunsets. I have been writing short stories since I was in grade school. Most were in the form of essays relating real life events. Many were purely imaginary trips to magical places and times. I enjoy making up stories about people I meet or see on the street. I can see a story in a picture, especially if the picture is eerie. My imagination runs wild and free. I have self-published a book of essays and a book of children’s stories for my granddaughter, Brittney. Gypsy Spirits is my debut novel and the first in the series of three “spirit” books. I have self-published the second “spirit” book, Annamarie and Magdalena. I also self-published a supernatural mystery, THE LETTER. I plan to have the sequel to THE LETTER out this year and the third “spirit” book available winter 2013/14. From there I am sure my muse will guide me into another story plot.

Writing Process and Research That Went Into “The Letter”

By Marianne Spitzer

The writing process for The Letter was easy. I had a rough idea of a story and decided to write it during the November 2011 NaNoWriMo. For anyone reading this that is not familiar with the NaNoWriMo, it’s the National Novel Writing Month where writers set a 50,000 word goal during November and write the rough draft of their novel.

Since The Letter was my second novel, taking on the challenge was pure insanity on my part. Yet, I felt I could do it. I finished my novel near the end of November at a little over 52,000 words. I had written a fairly tight story with a solid beginning and end. My second draft added a lot of description and fleshed out all the he said/she said dialogue, but I was still at barely 61,000 words.

I needed to increase my word count, but I was not going to use a lot of fluff to do it. I came up with a sub-plot that would weave perfectly into my story and brought me up to well over 75,000 words. A final edit added a few more, but I still felt it should have been longer. To be sure my readers would get what they paid for; I added a mystery short story as a bonus. Some of my readers loved the short story as much as the novel which inspired me to self-publish two books with short stories.

I didn’t need to do a lot of research for The Letter. There were a few small legal angles I checked into and a few details for a kidnap scene. My main character had to do a lot research into her ancestors and I did a bit on how most of records from 30 or more years ago are now saved. I was able to write modern scenes where the clerk could find records on computer and scenes of painstaking time spent on a microfiche.

It was interesting to research names. I wanted the story to take place in the town of Malone Springs. I did my best to be sure there isn’t any town by that name. Of course, if that didn’t work, I would have found a different name and my main character’s last name would have changed. It would have been the same story. However, to me, it wouldn’t have felt quite right. Writer’s like their work to flow the way they planned. Then again, writers learn early on to be flexible. Happy Reading!


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