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About the Book
Alter Ego Press
Print Length: 220 pages
April 6, 2018
Series: Blue Plate Café Mystery 4
Also available in Kindle format
Is the depot a symbol of the worst episode in a town’s history or does it stand for revitalization, bringing the citizens of Wheeler together with pride in their community?
Kate Chamber’s trouble antenna goes up when Dallas developer Silas Fletcher decides to help “grow” Wheeler. She and her brother-in-law, Mayor Tom Bryson, have less spectacular and drastic ideas for revitalizing the town. When Old Man Jackson dies in an automobile accident, the specter of the past comes back to haunt the town. Thirty years ago, Jackson’s daughter, Sallie, was murdered at the bus depot. The murder is still unsolved.
Kate and Silas clash over almost everything, from the future use of the abandoned depot to a fall festival celebrating Wheeler. Another murder at the depot blows the town apart, and Kate know she must do something to solve the murders and save her town, let alone the festival she’s planning.
Other books in the series:
Murder at the Blue Plate Café
Murder at the Tremont House
Murder at Peacock Mansion
Guest Post by the Author
Thoughts on pseudonyms
When my first novel was published, I never thought about a pseudonym. I had written a novel that a major New York house was going to publish it (Wm. Morrow & Co., now an imprint of HarperCollins). I wanted credit for my incredible, once-in-a-lifetime accomplishment. (Little did I know the books that lay ahead.)
Many authors choose to use a pseudonym to protect their privacy. I know a couple of mystery authors who must have identity problems, because they go by one name in their professional life and another privately. Still others take different names for different series, probably at the dictates of their publishers. To me, that would be confusing. I’d sit down at the computer and wonder, “Who am I today?”
With publication of that first novel, After Pa Was Shot, I did run into one problem connected with using your own name on every book. After Pa Was Shot was marketed by my then-agent and published as a young-adult novel. I had no idea I was writing a y/a. I simply told the story as I thought it needed to be told, although I admit to finding inspiration for the voice in other y/a novels—Dust of the Earth, by Bill and Vera Cleaver, Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. Still, other books with teen protagonists were marketed to adult audiences—Charles Portis’ True Grit comes to mind.
After Pa Was Shot pigeonholed Judy Alter as the author of young-adult books. Years later, agents to whom I sent clearly adult fiction would say to me, “I don’t know. It reads like a y/a to me.” I did write several more young-adult titles, but I escaped the pigeonhole with several fictional biographies of women of the nineteenth-century American West—Libby Custer, Jessie Benton Frémont, a pioneer Wild West Show cowgirl, and Etta Place of the Hole in the Wall Gang. In so doing I attached my name to a second genre—the western. When I switched to mystery, around 2010, I added yet another genre—all under the same name.
Readers’ tendency to tie an author’s name to a certain kind of book suggests the wisdom of a pseudonym, but I continue to use my own name. Today I write cozy mysteries; if I suddenly switched and wrote a noir paranormal suspense thriller, a reader might pick it up expecting a cozy and be indignant at what he or she found.
There is one personal problem for me. Alter was/is my ex-husband’s name. I wish I’d written under my maiden name of MacBain but at the time of our marriage I wasn’t enough of a feminist. By the time we divorced, I had four little Alter children, and I thought becoming a MacBain again while they remained Alters would lead to complications, in school if nowhere else. Besides, I had by then published just enough to have gotten a slight reputation.
My boss at TCU Press thought I should write as Judith MacBain Alter. Back then our local newspaper, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, had a full-time book editor on staff. I asked that editor what he would think if I began to write as Judith MacBain Alter, and he said, “I’d think Judy Alter had taken on airs.”
Now, all those years later, I’m comfortable with Judy Alter as my pen name and my real name. Look me up on Amazon, Facebook, or at http://www.judyalter.com
About the Author
Judy Alter is the author of six books in the Kelly O’Connell Mysteries, two books in the Blue Plate Café Mysteries; and two in the Oak Grove Mysteries. Pigface and the Perfect Dog follows The Perfect Coed in this series of mysteries set on a university campus. Judy is no stranger to college campuses. She attended the University of Chicago, Truman State University in Missouri, and Texas Christian University, where she earned a Ph.D. and taught English. For twenty years, she was director of TCU Press, the book publishing program of the university. The author of many books for both children and adults primarily on women of the American West, she retired in 2010 and turned her attention to writing contemporary cozy mysteries.
She holds awards from the Western Writers of America, the National Cowboy Museum and Hall of Fame, and the Texas Institute of Letters. She was inducted into the Texas Literary Hall of Fame and recognized as an Outstanding Woman of Fort Worth and a woman who has left her mark on Texas. Western Writers of America gave her the Owen Wister Award for Lifetime Achievement and will induct her into its Hall of Fame in June 2015.
The single parent of four and the grandmother of seven, she lives in Fort Worth, Texas, with her perfect dog, Sophie.
Follow her at (Amazon) http://www.amazon.com/Judy-Alter/e/B001H6NMU6/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1377217817&sr=1-2-ent;
her blog: http://www.judys-stew.blogspot.com;
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