THE PULP AND MYSTERY SHELFJuly Mystery Week Special!
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Calamity at the Continental Club
by Colleen J. Shogan
Calamity at the Continental Club (Washington Whodunit)
3rd in Series
Camel Press (July 1, 2017)
Paperback: 272 pages
The Mayflower Society is about to hold its annual meeting at Washington D.C.’s swanky gathering place for the elite, the Continental Club. That means Kit Marshall’s upper-crust future in-laws, Buffy and Winston Hollingsworth, are coming for a visit. Annoyed that Kit has not set a date to marry Doug, Buffy wants her to commit to a high society wedding at the club. Kit, though chief of staff for a congresswoman, feels uncomfortable with Buffy and Winston’s crowd.
Kit receives an unexpected reprieve in the form of murder. En route to her morning jog, she encounters the corpse of the leader of the Mayflower Society, conservative multimedia tycoon Grayson Bancroft. On the security cameras, no one was seen entering or leaving the club, which means the culprit had to be an overnight guest. Little love was lost on Bancroft, but the police have their prime suspect: Doug’s father.
Buffy and Winston, formerly disdainful of Kit’s sleuthing, urge her to investigate. With her future in-laws’ freedom and reputations at stake, Kit sets out once again to solve a murder mystery, this time aided by her fiancé Doug in addition to her friends Meg and Trevor and her dog Clarence. Her search for clues will take her from the club to the Smithsonian Museum, the National Archives, and Mount Vernon.
Interview With The Author
What initially got you interested in writing?
I’m a political scientist by training, so I was much more familiar with non-fiction writing. I became interested in writing novels because I came up with a fun mystery set on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. I hadn’t ever written fiction before, although I’d been an avid reader. It was challenging to learn to write in an entirely different way.
What genres do you write in?
I’ve published a non-fiction book on the presidency and occasionally I still write academic Political Science. But in fiction, I write mysteries.
What drew you to writing these specific genres?
I started reading mysteries at a very young age. Throughout my life, I’d always return to mysteries when I wanted to relax and read for pleasure. In graduate school, I discovered the “cozy mystery” genre, which typically features an amateur female sleuth as the main character. It reminded me of the Agatha Christie Miss Marple mysteries I’d loved to read in my younger years.
How did you break into the field?
I went to a terrific seminar on publishing and the business of writing, sponsored by the Washington Independent Review of Books. At that conference, I learned almost everything I needed to know about writing a good query letter, finding an agent, and pitching a fiction book. A few months after the conference, I had found representation and soon thereafter, a publishing contract.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
Washington, D.C. isn’t full of greedy, power-hungry people. In fact, there’s a lot of hardworking government employees who genuinely are trying to help the nation and our citizens. Yes, politics can be deadly (pun intended), but for the most part, those who work in our nation’s capital are motivated by altruistic intentions.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
I enjoy it when others learn something from my books, such as how Washington works or how business is conducted inside Congress.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
My biggest enemy is time. I work a demanding job, so it’s a challenge to find enough time to write.
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
Learn a lot about your genre and its professional publishing rules and norms. For example, if most books in your genre are 75,000 words, don’t submit a 125,000-word manuscript to agents. It’s important to pay attention to those details to make sure your writing is considered on the merits.
What type of books do you enjoy reading?
I like reading mysteries and biographies. Those are probably my two favorite genres. From time to time, I read general fiction, as well.
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?
I have a cool “day job” at the Library of Congress. I help run our public programming and outreach division, which enables me to work on initiatives such as the National Book Festival. We’re always working on developing a new idea or unique way to promote the Library. I’m lucky to have enthusiastic colleagues who share a passion for learning, reading, and innovation.
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
You can find me on Twitter @cshogan276. Or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/washingtonwhodunit
About The Author
Colleen Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at Yale, George Mason, Georgetown, and Penn. She previously worked in the United States Senate and for the Congressional Research Service. She’s currently a senior executive at the Library of Congress, working on great outreach initiatives such as the National Book Festival. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob Raffety and their beagle mutt, Conan.
Webpage – www.colleenshogan.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/washingtonwhodunit
Twitter – www.twitter.com/cshogan276
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