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    Central Illinois
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    - I exuded positivity at ten when I started a “Let’s Have Fun” club with neighborhood kids in Lincoln, IL. Over a professional life of 50 years, I took my enthusiasm into several different fields.
    - My two favorites have been transportation and communication. As Director of Safety and Recruiting, I trained truck drivers for seven years and have had my commercial license since 1991, driving tractor-trailers, school buses, and charter buses. An opportunity to shift gears came, and I joined the web design team at Caterpillar, Inc. Therefore, I can say I am at home on the interstate or on the internet.
    - Based on cutting-edge discoveries in Positive Psychology, I have taken what I learned from my life and career and combined those experiences with my philosophy, “Positivity Propels.”
    - I expanded my fascination with communication when I joined Toastmasters in 2002. Toastmasters brought the world to me through the fascinating people I met and the communication workshops I conducted for Caterpillar employees.
    - My husband Jerry and I were married 51 years when he passed in 2020; we have two terrific sons, two beautiful daughters-in-law, and four amazing grandchildren.
    - I again shifted gears when Jerry was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and resigned from over-the-road driving opportunities. I went in a new direction and became responsible for independently publishing my dad’s romance manuscripts and writing a sequel to his five murder mysteries.
    - I spent most of my growing-up years in Sunnyland, Illinois, which might explain my bright disposition. You can find me at home in a small town in central Illinois, writing furiously to capture imaginative storylines. When I am not writing, I listen to jazz, golf, travel up and down the interstate, visit old friends and make new ones.

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  • About Me
    Hi, I am Martie Liter Ogborn. My father and author Bob Liter, a retired copyeditor with the Peoria Journal Star, passed away in 2008. I now have the rights to his manuscripts. As an independent publisher, I am releasing his work under my imprint. His five Nick Bancroft Mysteries, Murder by the Book, August is Murder, Death Sting, Point of Murder, and And the Band Played On, are available as eBooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks.

    The series is set in Centrel City, Illinois, a fictitious community similar to Peoria. Detective Nick Bancroft, the protagonist, has a love/hate relationship with bowling and Cubs baseball. Delving into my dad’s books, I have discovered the similarities between the author and his character. I think my dad developed the Bancroft character to express his alter ego. It’s given me a better understanding of him.

    I am reissuing my dad’s mystery novels and writing a sequel, Murder Inherited, challenging myself to expand on the characters he created—including Bancroft’s love interest, Maggie Atley, modeled after my mother, Lillian. I hope my books will have as much meaning to my sons as Dad’s books have meant to me. This is an exciting way to leave a legacy and have some fun.
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  1. 1. THE ACT OF STORY STATEMENT-- develop a simple "story statement." In other words, what's the mission of your protagonist? The goal? What must be done? J.B. returns to Centrel City, IL, to help her friend Natasha solve some mysteries. The goal is to discover who sabotages negotiations for a lucrative 5-year shipping contract. J.B. goes undercover to find the details of the conspiracy and get proof for the local police to make an arrest and evidence for a conviction of Fox Transfer for racketeering. 2. SECOND ASSIGNMENT: in 200 words or less, sketch your story's antagonist or antagonistic force. Remember their goals, background, and how they react to the world around them. The antagonistic force is money and muscle from Chicago gangsters who want a piece of the shipping contract. 3. THIRD ASSIGNMENT: create a breakout title (list several options, not more than three, and revisit to edit as needed). 1st choice for title: MURDER INHERITED:: J.B. BANCROFT MYSTERIES - Book 1 2nd choice for title: MURDER BETWEEN THE HIGHWAYS, which would work for the lead-in to sequels like MURDER BETWEEN THE TEAPOTS, MURDER BETWEEN THE ICE, MURDER BETWEEN THE CHAINS, and MURDER BETWEEN THE BEANS. https://www.pekintimes.com/story/news/2019/12/05/bancroft-mysteries-set-for-relaunch/2147039007/ 4. Fourth Assignment (read article): Develop two smart comparables for your novel. This is a good opportunity to immerse yourself in your chosen genre. Who compares to you? And why? COMP: USA Today Best Selling Author, Stephanie Damore - Makeup & Murder: Beauty Secrets Mystery Book 1 5. Write your own hook line (logline) with conflict and core wound following the format above. J.B. breaks a promise to herself to help her lifelong friend save her trucking company. She puts her life in danger and may pay the ultimate price. 6. SIXTH ASSIGNMENT: sketch the conditions for your protagonist's inner conflict. Why will they feel in turmoil? Conflicted? Anxious? Sketch out one hypothetical scenario in the story wherein this would be the case--consider the trigger and the reaction. B. Next, sketch a hypothetical scenario for the "secondary conflict" involving the social environment. Will this involve family? Friends? Associates? What is its nature of it? After five years as an over-the-road trucker, does J.B. want to give up that freedom and settle down to run the inherited one-person AAA Investigations? Will she move on after losing her partner over those years? Will an old flame light her passion once again? 7. FINAL ASSIGNMENT: sketch out your setting in detail. What makes it interesting enough, scene by scene, to allow for uniqueness and cinema in your narrative and story? Please refrain from repeating what you already have, which may be too quiet. You can change it. That's why you're here! Start now. I want you to know that imagination is your best friend and be aggressive. The series is set in Centrel City, IL, a fictitious community introduced by my dad, Bob Liter, in the Nick Bancroft Mysteries. Centrel City is strikingly similar to Peoria, IL., the area I grew up in and where I worked in Trucking Industry for 30 years.
    by Martie Liter Ogborn
    Women's Detective Fiction – 60,000 words
    COMP: USA Today Best Selling Author
    Stephanie Damore - Makeup & Murder: Beauty Secrets Mystery Book 1 

    J.B. Bancroft promised never to return to Centrel City, IL, where she was humiliated and harassed in high school. J.B. surprises herself when in 2002, she returns to pay back a favor to her lifelong friend Natasha, Operation Manager for Twinkler Trucking.

    Natasha calls J.B. because a new hire, Zach, is missing. There is heated competition with Fox Transfer for a very lucrative 5-year shipping contract. Natasha is sure there is foul play. When J.B. parks in the lot of Twinkler Trucking, someone pulls her out of her cab and stuffs her in her refrigerated trailer. Even though J.B. is threatened, it is out of the question for her to leave Centrel City.

    Can she help Natasha without getting herself killed? She has to find Zach, and who left her to freeze. She must know why her uncle left her the AAA Investigation business and office. Answering these questions, J.B. may discover her own identity and her future.

    Pitch 158 words

  3. For years I repeatedly told Natasha I would never return. When it comes to minding my own business, I should trust my feminine intuition. It is always better than my impulsive reactions. So when she called me and sheepishly reminded me I owed her a favor, pleaded for my help, and asked if I would please come back to Centrel City, I impulsively told her I would be there in 48 hours. I was driving in her direction anyway, with a load of flowers scheduled for delivery in Springfield, Illinois, just an hour South. My name is J.B. Bancroft. I am a transportation specialist. In other words, I am a truck driver. After the flowers were unloaded at the warehouse Wednesday, I pulled the empty reefer trailer north to the riverside of Centrel City. I turned into Twinkler Trucking's parking lot. Before I crawled into the bunk behind the passenger seat of my cab, I wiggled out of my boots and jeans and reached over to lock the outside door, but the handle wasn't there. I yelled, "What the Hell!" and grabbed my thumper from the floor, a piece of wood like a billy club I use to check tire inflation. Before I could say anything more or close the door, the thug reached into the bunk and pulled me out. I rolled into a ball and landed in a lump. The tire thumper ended up on the gravel in front of me. He grabbed it, and it came down on my head. . . . . . I woke up in my trailer. When I was moving, I wasn't shivering, and my teeth weren't chattering. But, when I sat down to rest on the pallet, I couldn't even hear myself think over the noise of my teeth. I sat down, pulled my arms under my shirt, and drew my legs up tight to my core; I could rest for a second. I wasn't cold. Was my mind playing tricks on me? There was a blanket around me. I could tell there was a light on. Who were the voices? I felt dizzy and thirsty. I realized I was in bed. The conversation didn't seem threatening. Did I hear a female voice? I could make out two very distinct male voices. I couldn't hear what they were saying. I drifted back to sleep; this time, I felt safe. I was awake again but kept my eyes tightly closed. There were only two voices now, a female and a male voice. I recognized Natasha's soft, reassuring voice saying, "Jillian, Jillian, J.B., you're safe. It's going to be OK!" The male voice, sounding confidently professional, said as he placed his hand on my forehead, "I was hoping you would come back to Centrel City someday, and we could . . . Before I opened my eyes, I knew his voice. I opened one eye; Jon T. Milton lifted my hand and cupped it between his two strong hands with a gentle squeeze. "J.B. There you are!"
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