Marie Denise Roughan

A native Californian, Marie’s debut mystery, Designer Coffins, is about a dog portrait painter who lives in L.A., stumbles upon a body, and turns amateur slueth.

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About Marie

An LA native, Marie began her artistic career painting, building coffee tables, giving new life to vintage furniture with bright fabrics, and sculpting in clay and wood. He husband and she built a successful construction company which allowed her to design and build her own home, a beautiful small ranch in Southern California. There they raised three beautiful children and a menagerie of horses, ponies, racehorses, and show horses. She had the privilege of traveling the US and Europe with her Grand Prix Dressage horse as part of the US Equestrian Team, a Rhinelander mare that was short-listed for the US Olympic team. Then a life-changing event sent her back to school, where she discovered her passion for writing. Earning a master’s in literature with an emphasis in Creative Writing, she also studied film and screenwriting at UCLA cementing her career path as a writer. On her own after a divorce, she bought, remodeled, and sold other houses. She learned how to paint dog portraits, then as research for her debut novel, she learned mold making, sculpting, woodworking and welding at the Crucible in Oakland, California. Her love of animals and design have inspired her novels and many screenplays. Now a full-time writer living in Altadena, California, she is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, and the Sisters in Crime. Her dark-comedy, debut novel DESIGNER COFFINS won The Tracking Board’s Manuscript Contest for Top Comedy, leading to Daniel Wallace, the author of BIG FISH, becoming her mentor.

Marie writes in the shadow of the
San Gabriel Mountains in Altadena, California

Works In Progress

DESIGNER COFFINS

THE TRACKING BOARD MANUSCRIPT CONTEST WINNER FOR TOP COMEDY

A dark-comedy mystery chosen by Daniel Wallace the author of BIG FISH for his mentorship.

Set In Stone

Only days before the winter solstice in Newgrange Ireland, thirty-five lottery winners get ready to spend the night in the ancient passage tomb. When winning ticket holders drop dead, who will take their place, the murderer or the next dead person? Bridget holds the winning ticket.

Designer Coffins

A young woman wonders what her chances for happiness are while she is married to a man who already refuses to grant her final wish. Unable to control her creativity, she defiantly builds a coffin, solves a neighborhood mystery, and she learns how to live her life.

Designer Coffins

A young woman wonders what her chances for happiness are while she is married to a man who already refuses to grant her final wish. Unable to control her creativity, she defiantly builds a coffin, solves a neighborhood mystery, and she learns how to live her life.

Dog Portraits

Vladimir

Vladimir is a six-month-old puppy Bridget needs to finish painting for Susie’s birthday party in DESIGNER COFFINS.

Dilly

My first dog portrait was of Dilly, my sweetest Golden Retriever, who had her ashes spread on Mount Tamalpais.

Viggo

Our favorite frisbee catching border collie.

Wooley

Golden-doodle at LACMA rock.

My Blog

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