Write What You Know and Then Some

May 12, 2020 | 2020 Articles, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Donnell Ann Bell

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of a winner’s choice of one of Donnell’s books. Her book Buried Agendas is currently on sale on Amazon through May 15 for only .99. We also have a link to purchase it and Black Pearl (which KRL recently reviewed) from Amazon.

As a writer, I’ve always been intrigued by topics above my pay grade. The more complicated, the more I seem drawn to a subject. Which can be problematic 1) because of the amount of research required, and 2) because often editors and agents lament, “Don’t make the plot too complicated.”

Donnell Ann Bell

Do I listen? Always. And then I try to take said complicated subject and whittle it down to something even I can understand.

In my late twenties, I married a chemical engineer whose expertise is industrial water treatment. We are now going on thirty-seven years later. Each time we moved to a new location, he tested the water. “This water is fine,” he would say, “It’s safe to drink.” At another location, he would immediately order bottled water until he could install a R.O. (Reverse osmosis) system.

People might think a chemical engineer is the antithesis of protecting the environment, but I disagree. My husband is an avid protector of the land, Bureau of Land Management volunteer, and won’t even let me install a water softener in our home because of the salt it puts back into the rivers. He has worked with superfund sites and other companies to help solve problems when they were found out of EPA compliance.

The reason I give you this background is to tell you why I wrote my fourth novel. As I listened to conversations about his work, the mystery writer in me was never far removed. Day after day I became consumed with what would happen if a chemical was created that never should have been?

I started reading and even contacted the EPA. A very kind Region V director told me my idea had merit and sent me quite a bit of documentation to prove it. From there, I had my story and Buried Agendas was born.

Am I qualified to write such a complicated novel? Not really. But there’s this thing called research, and I do have access to amazing contacts such as chemists, plant managers, underground tank experts, EPA representatives, and more. Finally, I tell the story from a lawyer’s and investigative reporter’s viewpoint—back to making the plot understandable.

How did I work my storyline question into an entire novel? Following is the blurb for Buried Agendas:

A devastating secret drove her from her lover’s arms. Will a secret equally as deadly lead her back to him?

Diana Reid is an investigative reporter skilled at uncovering other people’s secrets. It’s her own she works to keep buried. Years ago, she promised to leave her fiancé and hometown of Diamond, Texas, forever. That pledge vanishes when she receives a letter stating people are going to die, implicating Diamond’s largest employer, and making a veiled threat against her mother. With no other choice, Diana will return to Diamond, albeit in disguise, to discover the anonymous author.

Brad Jordan moved on after Diana left him. Leaving his brother in charge of the family business, Brad pursued a law degree and is now mayor of Diamond. Just as he rebuilt his life, he plans to rebuild Diamond. Those plans are jeopardized with Diana’s return. Still, when he discovers her in Diamond, he’s forced to admit she’s the only person who can help him get at the truth. Together this estranged couple faces a dangerous adversary—one who’s only intent is to keep a deadly agenda…buried.

Buried Agendas is on sale on all digital platforms from May 1 through May 15, 2020 for .99.

Follow me at www.donnellannbell.com, FB, Twitter, and Instagram.

To enter to win an ebook copy of one of Donnell’s books, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “buried,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 23, 2020. US only, and must be 18 or older to enter. BE SURE TO MENTION WHICH BOOK YOU WOULD LIKE IF YOU WIN. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode just went up!

You can use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. This is a new to me author. I would love to read these. I think I would start with the first book The Past Came Hunting. Thank you for this chance to win.

    • Hi, Carolyn. Thank you for reading and entering the drawing.

      Stay well!

  2. Having read Buried Agendas, as well as Donnell’s other books, I can attest to her diligent research and skill in crafting superb suspense novels.

  3. Hi Donnell:

    I am definitely intrigued and a great behind the story story. 🙂

    Will this book be available on audio one day?



    • Thank you, Francelia, hope you’re doing well!

  4. Congratulations! This is so exciting! Your books are terrific, and I wish you contniued success with them.


  5. Thank you, Peg. So great to see you here!

  6. Sounds interesting! Count me in!


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