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Question of Devotion by Anita Kulina
Publisher: Brandt Street Press (November 8, 2016)
Category: Cozy Mystery, Women Sleuths
Tour Date: March & April, 2017
Available in: Print & ebook, 256 Pages
Then she saw it – a sheet of paper in the mailbox, underneath the mail. It was white with large black letters and said LEAVE IT ALONE.
Mrs. B has a quiet life, and she likes it that way. Morning pinochle games at St. Mary’s Senior Center. Afternoon lunches with Myrtle, Anne and Rose. Peaceful evenings with a cup of coffee and the classic movie channel.
But one day she wakes to a phone call, which leads to consequences she could never have foreseen. Secrets snowball and threaten to change the neighborhood of Burchfield forever. Someone has to make things right. It’s up to Mrs. B.
Praise for Question of Devotion by Anita Kulina
“If you can picture Columbo when he’s retired, and spending more time in church and the kitchen, and Polish, and wearing a babushka, you have a sense of the down-home detective that Anita Kulina has created. I love Mrs. B!”-Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist and author of The Paris of Appalachia
“A Question of Devotion is a comforting snapshot of an aging population, where the way of life is still bound by churches, neighborhoods, and countries of origin. Its heroine, Mrs. B, is not just an old woman living out her twilight years at the senior center, but an able detective engaged in solving a mystery as cozy as cocoa and afghans on a cold Western Pennsylvania day.”-Kathryn Miller Haines, author of the Rosie Winter Mysteries and the Iris Anderson Mysteries
Interview with the Author
What initially got you interested in writing?
I wish I had a better answer for this, but I honestly don’t remember. Even as a child I loved to write. I do remember my first sign of encouragement, even though it came to me in a backhanded way. In grade school, we were asked to write our first poem. Mine came back with a big red F because the teacher was sure I copied it from somewhere. I came home angry and asked my mum to go down to the school to tell the teacher I had, indeed, written the little poem. My mum laughed and said, “Don’t worry about the grade. Just be happy you wrote a poem so good your teacher couldn’t believe you wrote it.”
How did you decide to make the move into being a published author?
My first book was a nonfiction book, Millhunks and Renegades: A Portrait of a Pittsburgh Neighborhood. I spent eight years doing research on the city neighborhood of Greenfield, poring through libraries and archives, talking to people of all ages and all walks of life. When the book was done, I didn’t have the patience to look for a publisher who shared my vision. So I started a small publishing company and got the book into my readers’ hands. It’s now in its second printing, and fifteen years later it’s still selling. The publishing company has expanded, too, and we now publish other people’s work as well.
A Question of Devotion is my first mystery, and the first in a series. Mrs. B, the sweet old lady who solves her first mystery in A Question of Devotion, is so much fun to spend time with. I love her and all the residents of her fictional town of Burchfield. Right now I’m working on the second book in the series, and I already have an outline for the third.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
I want my books to be the kind you curl up with on a rainy afternoon. I hope every reader finishes A Question of Devotion and says, “That was fun. I wonder what Mrs. B will do next?”
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
I love the writing itself. Spending time with Mrs. B and her friends is like wrapping myself in a warm afghan.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
The hardest part for me is carving out time to write. If I had my way I would write most of the time, taking occasional moments out to eat and sleep. But I have a day job and a family and a life, and I love all of it. So it’s a challenge to balance that all and make it work.
What advice would you give to people who want to enter the field?
Read, read, read. Read good books. If you want to write in a particular genre, find a master of the genre – one whose books you love – and read everything they’ve written. It’s a proven way to learn, and you’ll have fun doing it.
What ways can readers connect with you?
I’m sure eventually I’ll learn more about social media, but right now I’m old school. If you want to learn more about my books, go to www.brandtstreetpress.com. If you want to get in touch, you can email me directly at email@example.com.
About Anita Kulina
Like most people who love to write, Anita Kulina has been telling stories since she was old enough to hold a pen. Her first publication was in the letters-to-the-editor column of Adventure Comics #341. Nowadays, much of her work centers on the rich and colorful lives of Pittsburgh’s working poor. Since Anita spent much of her life in those ranks, it’s a subject dear to her heart.
Her book Millhunks and Renegades won her the Achievement in Literature award from the community of Hazelwood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is currently at work on the next two Mrs. B books.
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