Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mary Coley Writes Thriller Set in Osage County, Oklahoma

It's my great honor to present Mary Coley, author of the exciting suspense novel, COBWEBS! Her contemporary spine-tingling tale weaves a web back to 1906.

On Never Giving Up

by Mary Coley

Mystery and romance. There’s nothing more entertaining and intriguing than a puzzle to solve and characters who get into your heart and stay there. That combination is the pull in my suspense novel, COBWEBS. But there’s more, a real life historical element - a cold case with files open even today.

In the 1920s, full blood members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma were under attack. It was a new type of Indian War, but just as deadly. The tribal members had become wealthy beyond belief; the Nation (all members together) owned the oil and gas royalties to the lucrative fields beneath the surface of Osage County Oklahoma. Tribal members listed on the Roll of 1906 received monthly checks for their individual portion of these mineral rights. But they cared little about this wealth. Money had no importance in their culture.

As I learned about this bit of Oklahoma history, and discovered I carried Native American blood in my veins, the story embedded itself in my psyche and cried out to be told.

Ten years ago, I drafted the first version of Cobwebs while working in Osage County. Professionally, I was a nonfiction writer; I’d written nonfiction pieces for every job throughout my career. I’d never attempted to write a full length novel from start to finish. Cobwebs became that novel.

Over the years, I edited and rewrote Cobwebs, received a lot of encouragement, but rejections from both agents and editors. It wasn’t quite ready. Then, more encouragement, and even a couple of tentative offers which never panned out.

But I couldn’t get the book out of my mind. I changed the POV from third person, to first; I added new suspense elements; I restructured; I honed my characterizations - and finally, the book had a new shape. My test readers raved. Cobwebs placed second in the Oklahoma Writers Federation’s 2013 contest, in the Mystery-Suspense division.

This past summer the book became reality. Cobwebs had been a living part of my life, and now the book is like a little fledgling leaving the nest. But it’s not the end of this writer’s journey - a sequel, AntHills, is in second draft right now.

Writers never, ever give up. When they believe in their stories, they know they’ll find readers who believe in them, too.

Take time to enter the world of mystery and intrigue in Cobwebs - A Suspense Novel. Enjoy - and remember - this cold case is still open. Now available at online book sellers.

Mary Coley
Mary Coley is an Oklahoma writer. During her professional career, she has worked as a journalist, a park planner, an environmental educator and a public relations officer. A native of Enid, Coley lives in Tulsa, where she is an active volunteer for Oxley Nature Center. She holds membership in state and national writers groups, as well as the Tulsa Chapter of the Women in Communications.

Learn more about Mary on her website,, or at her blog,

Her books are available at


Kate Gallison said...

The story of the Osage murders is riveting, one of the untold horror stories of American history. I have a file (you probably have it too, it was released under the Freedom of Information Act) of photocopies of reports from the FBI agents sent to investigate these crimes, typed by their own clumsy fingers. They had no idea what was going on. I'll be interested to see your take on the case! Here I go to buy your book.

Jackie King said...

Hi Kate, Thanks so much for your comment. Glad to have you stop by.

Jackie King said...

Thanks Mary for being my guest blogger today.

Mary Coley said...

Kate - Thank you for your interest - and I'm thrilled you are going to buy the book. It is an intriguing piece of history, and I loved the challenge of intertwining it in my story plot for Cobwebs! Enjoy!

Mary Coley said...

And Jackie - Thank you for inviting me to be a guest blogger for today. It is an honor to be able to post with great mystery writers! We all share a common passion for suspense and good story-telling.

Jean Henry Mead said...

I first heard about the Osage murders when Fred Grove wrote about them many years ago. He said it had been a time of terror in the entire area. He was half Osage and vowed as a child to write about the murders, which he eventually did with a retired FRBI agent. I'll also be interested in reading your book.

Mary Coley said...

Thank you, Jean. I hope you will read my book and let me know what you think, please.
One of my Osage friends just read it and commented on Facebook how much she, as an Osage, appreciated the story.