SDP author, Sahar Abdulaziz, has a new novel out today called Who Killed Gary? As we’ve come to expect from our resident satirist, the story is a blend of mystery, mayhem, humor, and social commentary.
Who Killed Gary?
Available now through Amazon and Kindle Unlimited!
~ Behind the Book ~
Sometimes book ideas are plentiful and plop into our writer’s laps like pixy stardust. Other times, a character will spam our creative wavelength, and the next thing you know, we’re banging keys (and heads) at our computers. Book ideas sometimes reveal themselves as necessities, the next slice of a different story needing to be told. However, no matter how the idea lands, writers will often collect these innovative novel nuggets in notebooks or in files. That way, should story ideas dry up, they only have to hit their list and get to typing. Makes perfect sense.
Except I don’t have such a list. I wish I did. It would make my writing job more manageable, but I do not. However, I do have a bizarre sense of humor fueled by an over-active imagination. I see stories everywhere, in everything, and in everyone. I can’t help it. Life and the people living on this blue planet are fascinating to me. There’s always a perfectly reasonable ‘why’ to match their typically ridiculous ‘do.’
Let’s say I’m at the bank, minding my own business, which is to say, minding everybody else’s business when I notice a person fidgeting and perspiring for no reason. They look nervous and suspicious, and their eyes twitch, which, in my imagination, means potential criminal intent.
Or maybe I’m in my car and witness two young people losing their shit over a parking space. In my mind, one grabs the other, and the next thing you know, fisticuffs. After rolling and punching, the police drag them to the station, where they have to explain to the judge, one of the offender’s grandmothers, why they are under arrest. Love it.
Or—even better, I’m at the dentist’s office, in the waiting room, fending off an anxiety attack (I cry even when I get my teeth cleaned). While in my chair, preparing to die, I hear the dentist whispering to their patient. Then the doctor hisses something like, “You do, and I’ll kill you!” Yep, that’s all it takes to send my gray cells into overdrive, plotting, planning, and embellishing the scene for my next story.
Let’s say, while food shopping, I roll past the produce aisle and notice a man dressed in nothing but a speedo and cowboy boots, popping filched grapes into his mouth while humming show tunes. Not only am I curious (and a little grossed out), but I might be in the presence of my next leading man—if I play my cards right.
Keep going? Okay… One more.
Let’s say a teenager absconds with his parents’ new car and takes it for a joy ride. And, let’s say this same kid winds up getting into a fender bender with the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Nobody gets hurt. It sucks, but it’s nothing earth-shattering, right? But what if—stay with me—the CEO just robbed a Medical Marijuana Dispensary, and there’s an all-points bulletin out for his arrest, so, to make matters worse, he takes the kid hostage! Man, are my fingers raring to go.
So, you see, while these inventive absurdities might not seem like entire stories by their lonesome, for me, they are a lifeline because they pique my curiosity. The writer in me wants to know what makes these people tick. Why is the grape robber humming that particular show tune? Why did the CEO rob a pot dispensary? And why would two people risk it all to duke it out over a stupid parking space? Questions, questions…
Answer: Because humans are complex creatures. There are always many reasons for them to do the crazy, off-the-wall things they do. As a writer and a creative, it becomes my job to either unpack those motivations or create them to bring human frailties and personality incongruities to fruition on paper.
Case in point: My next novel: Who Killed Gary? It’s part satire, mystery, and social commentary, and inundated with eccentric characters.
The idea for this story sprang from a conversation I had one morning with one of my daughters. We were FaceTiming, catching up when she suddenly burst out laughing. I asked her what was so funny, and she began telling me about her apartment complex’s online web page, where residents were encouraged to post their concerns, complaints, or questions for management. Sometimes, also used to let residents know about new rules or information concerning upgrades or fixes. But why was my daughter laughing, besides suffering from the same outrageous sense of sardonic humor as her mother? Because where there are people, there is ALWAYS drama.
What had started as a convenient, straightforward means of online, real-time communication between neighbors and management, had become a virtual war zone complete with people trading threats, sarcasm, and snarky comments often delivered in obnoxious but entertaining ways. The writer in me needed more information.
After my daughter read me a few posts, which I found hilarious, it quickly became apparent that one commenter (resident) in the complex never missed an opportunity to bust chops. No matter the issue, this person felt entitled to go above and beyond to harass folks over the most insignificant, irrelevant things imaginable. Not only did this person complain, but they ridiculed others with sarcasm and misplaced acrimony that filled my creative heart with glee!
After laughing it up, appalled yet amused, I muttered something in passing to my daughter like, “I’m shocked nobody’s tried to shut that asshole up,” and, Wa-la—a star was born, or at least, the idea for my next protagonist. I rushed off the call and spent the next few hours gleefully plotting my new novel, awash with a cast of characters sure to entertain.
WHO KILLED GARY?
… Wouldn’t you like to know!
There are The Karens, The Kevins, and now, The Garys.
Gary Meseler made it his business to be in everyone else’s business. Not a day went by when Gary didn’t find something or someone to complain about, which made him exceedingly unpopular with his fellow Grandville Luxury Apartment, Building Nine residents.
However, little did Gary realize, his fate had already been sealed, and his reign of never-ending fault-finding would meet an untimely end. After all, karma’s a bitch.
Suspense writer Sahar Abdulaziz is the author of twelve books––including, But You LOOK Just Fine, The Broken Half, Tight Rope, The Gatekeeper’s Notebook, Unlikely Friends, Devoted Friends, Unexpected Friends, and her latest 2022 release, Forever Friends. Most of her work is in realistic fiction: psychological thrillers, suspense, and satire. She writes about characters facing complicated life challenges and is determined to tell their stories, eager to put pen to paper to share their compelling accounts. Honors include Women Under Scrutiny Anthology, Speak Up Talk Radio Firebird Book Award, The Daybreak Press Award, Fofky’s Reader’s Choice Award, and Monroe County Community Media Expression Award.
Shaggy Dog Productions, LLC (SDP) is the publishing imprint for The Lady Writers of the Poconos.