Graveyard Swingshift Mysteries

What Happens in the Vegas Cemetery

I love a great mystery, but throw in a former rockabilly star who’s now a ghost, a dyslexic college Goth with ‘tude, and dope smugglers who use the Vegas Cemetery to hide their goods, and . . . I’m gonna read my own novel when it’s finished.  

Premise for What Happens in the Vegas Cemetery

College freshman, Lila LeRoy, bringing up her grades and getting her parents off her back, chooses a research project that flaunts authority.  She supports the campus Adopt-a-Suicide group, educating teens about suicide by drawing attention to the topic.  Getting a job as caretaker in the Vegas family cemetery, Lila spends the summer living in a mausoleum and researching a famous suicide and dead rockabilly star, Gravy Hunnicut.  

Joe Vegas just committed suicide, and dyslexic Lila accidentally switches the empty cemetery lot intended for Joe with one already occupied.  When she can’t explain the corpse in the grave intended for Joe to authorities, she goes to work fixing her mistake.  She must.  The drug-dealing thugs using the cemetery have ensnared Gravy Hunnicut’s nephew, L’il Gravy, and they’re threatening to plant his brother, Link Hunnicut, next to Joe Vegas.   Either she helps the thugs stash bodies–and doing so is becoming a serious chore–or they kill L’il gravy and Lila’s new boyfriend, Link.  

When L’il Gravy invites Lila to document his suicide, planned as a tribute to his Uncle Gravy who committed suicide on stage, Lila must help Link save the troubled teen.  It’s one more overwhelming task, but she receives help from an unusually savvy source: Gravy Hunnicut’s uncouth, disgruntled, who haunts the Vegas cemetery. 

Following ghostly redneck Gravy’s advice, while fighting drug dealers and helping Link save L’il gravy, forces Lila way outside her comfort zone, even for a Goth Chick, and into trouble with Link.  She can’t help indulging her rich girl’s arrogant temptation to fix the seriously dysfunctional Hunnicuts.  But Link’s a rebel, like Lila, only for real, so he turns Lila’s snobbish social engineering back on her, forcing her to cope with the source of her own social rebellion.


3 thoughts on “Graveyard Swingshift Mysteries

    • Keri, hi, and thanks for the comment.

      I do have multiple projects going, and yep, I’m doing that on purpose, testing my processes to see if they work. My goal for this blog is to identify the writing processes, test them, and then document and share them so other writers can save time and write multiple novels at once. Woo-hooo! So far, really groovy!

      I’m thrilled that you like the premise for What Happens in the Vegas Cemetery. I’m crazy about this story, Keri. Truth is, I’m having a hard time waiting to get started writing it because I think it just demands that I do! I can feel this novel in my heart, my head, and right down to my toenails. But I’ve got this process, ya know? And . . . I have to discipline myself to follow it. Right now, I’m working on the plotting.

      About those shoes. Are they cool or what? I saw them and went mad for them.

      My inspiration for What Happens in Vegas comes to me from a personal tragedy, which I choose to handle constructively and positively by writing this novel. My beautiful bright young nephew committed suicide, and as you can imagine, I and my family have suffered so much from our loss. Prompted by my decision to turn our tragedy into something helpful for others, I’ve devised this story to appeal to–and help and inspire–a wide audience, but specifically, I’m targeting the YA audience. I’m also inspired to write this novel because I love a challenge, and this novel will be the greatest challenge of my life to write because Lila LeRoy, my protagonist, is a nineteen year old Goth and college student, so I’m going to have to work really hard to get her character and voice just right. As I said, though, this novel speaks to me, to my heart: it just demands I write it. I’m so looking forward to putting my first words onto paper.

      Another challenge, of course, will be to get the right mix of message and story, so my niece and I are setting up a blog specifically for the novel’s research. Our goal is to encourage interaction on the story–and the topic of teen suicide–and to get ideas from teens, or anyone interested in having input as the novel progresses.

  1. Mary,

    Thanks for sharing more on the storyline and background.

    My sympathies to you and your family.

    The online community is a great idea to gain research and insights, but also begin forming your market audience!

    Best of luck with the novel, and your processes!!


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