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In Real Estate, Truth in Fiction

22 February 2013

From The Wall Street Journal:

One real-estate agent busted an illegal adoption ring. Another agent caught her co-worker’s killer. And a third uncovered a con artist posing as a wealthy countess.

For a number of current and former brokers, real estate offers the perfect plotlines for murder, mystery and romance novels. They’re drawn to writing for the same reasons they like real estate: flexible hours and the potential to sign a million-dollar deal.

. . . .

With 55 books to her name, best-selling romance author Kat Martin says she was attracted to the idea of high payoffs when she decided to make the leap from real estate to writing.

“I felt I was making as much as I’m going to make in real estate, but there’s big money in writing if I could pull it off,” says Ms. Martin, author of “Season of Strangers” starring real-estate agent Julie Ferris. The effort has paid off. Ms. Martin has homes in Missoula, Mont., and Ventura, Calif., with her husband, Larry Jay Martin, also a writer and former real-estate agent.

. . . .

Bente Gallagher, author of a mystery series featuring real-estate agent Savannah Martin, says entering empty foreclosure houses alone as an agent prompted her imagination to run wild. “Anything could be in there,” says Ms. Gallagher, who lives in Nashville and writes under the pen name Jenna Bennett for her Savannah Martin books. “There are dead mice and dead birds. It isn’t too much of a stretch to imagine a dead human.”

In the first book in the series, “A Cutthroat Business,” Savannah Martin tries to figure out who killed her co-worker Brenda Puckett—a plotline inspired by Ms. Gallagher’s finding a kitchen cleaver on the floor of a recently foreclosed house.

. . . .

Author Vicki Doudera of Camden, Maine, considers herself a dual agent. “I am a writer and real estate is my profession. A lot of writers are introverts, but I really enjoy meeting new people and negotiating real estate. I love the whole yin and yang of it,” says Ms. Doudera, a real-estate agent with Camden Real Estate Co. and author of the Darby Farr mystery series.

Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal (Link may expire)

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2 Comments to “In Real Estate, Truth in Fiction”

  1. My mother sold real estate for 40+ years and never stumbled over anything untoward. My father, on the other hand, went to buy a house and stumbled over the owner who had committed suicide. Fortunately, as a former cop, he recognized the distinct odor of decomp before the realtor could get very far in the house and got her back outside and called the cops. But yes, I can see the job as being rife with plot possibilities.

  2. There are writers in many walks of life. I admire John J. Nance, an airline pilot (what a lucrative gig!) who specializes in outlandish fun-to-read aviation stories.

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