Zoshu Grabowska and Alonso Waterfall started writing murder mystery stories for Mysteria in 2016. To date they have had four great mysteries published with the next four in the channel to be online by the spring. The feedback received has been tremendous. People have invited their friends to dinner to play a game where they dress up and really live the part. They send in their photos and great comments. Mysteria is really going down well.
Zoshu and Alonso use their rich life experience to help them create fantastic characters set in really thought provoking and humorous dramas for people to submerge themselves into. So we thought why not interview our writers to get some insight into how they create and develop the Mysteria murder mysteries.
We asked both of them a few questions and they were happy to answer us, without any dressing up this time!
Where did the idea come from to start writing murder mysteries? Are you gamers or do you just like riddles and mysteries?
Zoshu told us that in the late eighties when dinner parties were very popular they used to enjoy murder mystery evenings with their friends. The fun is in the dressing up, getting into character and most importantly, the role play. Zoshu went on to say that it was her Irish grandmother who first introduced her to Agatha Christie murder mysteries. Granny Pat always had an Agatha Christie to hand for bedtime readin.
What is your writing process like?
Zoshu said that they both have our own individual processes. Zoshu likes to draw out mind maps on a large pad with different coloured pen. The mind maps will be added to it until the stories are built up around the characters and it all fits together. Alonso said that he has a more freestyle approach and will create the characters and develop the scenario alongside each other at the same time.
Can you explain the thought process behind your characters?
Zoshu explained that her characters are often based on people she has met in her life. They have to be fun to role play. Alonso said that he will reference real people he has known in life and characters from history for inspiration and other will be purely from his imagination. Alonso says that his characters will be hybrids that draw on all those sources.
We asked Alonso where the particular inspiration came for the characters in Murder in the Bush?
Alonso said he has always been interested in history. Murder in the Bush has a setting that was very real for the times. A Victorian British aristocrat leading a diverse group of Europeans seeking adventure with only limited risk. The Dutch South African guide is a stereotype that still exists today. A tough guy, fluent in African languages and customs, born in Africa, a Boer whose first language is Afrikaans.
What are some of the things you learned from Chicago Shenanigans that you were able to incorporate into Horror of the Hammer and will incorporate into Future themes?
Zoshu thinks that Chicago Shenanigans has helped he to appreciate that the characters need to be quirky with different traits and that will also be good for dressing up and playing the part.
We asked both of them who were their favourite characters?
Alonso really likes Rennie de Beers and Astral Cosmic-Plane is Zoshu’s favourite.
If you could give any tips to aspiring game authors, what would they be?
Both our writers agreed that you should let your imagination lead you into an adventure.
Zoshu’s latest theme Horror of the Hammer is available to download on the Mysteria app now. Alonso has created the next theme which will be available very soon! Keep your eyes peeled and follow us for the latest Mysteria news.