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Purls and Poison (A Black Sheep & Co. Mystery)
by Anne Canadeo
About the Book
Purls and Poison (A Black Sheep & Co. Mystery)
2nd in Series
Kensington (October 30, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Digital ASIN: B079KT54BW
When a fellow Black Sheep Knitter is suspected of poisoning her coworker, the group puts down their needles and takes up their friend’s defense . . .
Suzanne Cavanaugh has just about had it with her office rival at Prestige Properties. It’s bad enough that Liza Devereaux is constantly needling her at work, but when she shows up at one of Suzanne’s open houses to poach potential buyers, it’s the last straw. No one in the office fails to hear the two snarling at each other.
When Liza is later found dead in her office cubicle—poisoned by a diet shake—Suzanne becomes the prime suspect. It’s soon discovered, though, that Liza had double-crossed so many around town and stashed their dark secrets in her designer handbags that anyone could be the culprit.
The Black Sheep Knitters have no doubt their friend has been framed—but they need to prove it. Stirred to action, they get together to catch a sneaky killer who’s trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes . . .
Interview with the Author
What initially got you interested in writing?
I was always a storyteller, from the time I was very young. I made up poems and stories before I could read and write. My parents dutifully wrote them down, though I have no idea where all those “early” works ended up now.
What genres do you write in?
I’m focused right now on The Black Sheep & Company, a cozy mystery series. I’m about to complete the eleventh book in the series, The Hounds of the Basket Stitch. And the tenth book just went on sale, Purls and Poison. I also write the Cape Light series under the pseudonym Katherine Spencer. Those stories revolve around a small town in New England, and several families who have intertwining relationships. The series is categorized as “inspirational fiction, though it’s not heavy handed and proselytizing, by any means. In the past, I have written fiction and nonfiction for the young adult market and even some romances.
What drew you to writing these specific genres?
I’ve always loved mysteries — books, film, TV series, starting with Sherlock Holmes. My taste tends towards mysteries that are not violent or grim, but oriented towards relatable characters and even include touches of humor. That’s the sort of mystery I like to write and the Black Sheep also show intelligent, professional women dealing with their everyday lives and relationship, and the deep bonds of female friendship.
The Cape Light project more or less fell into my lap, initially as short assignment of three books. I created the series and did all the writing for the artist Thomas Kinkade, who passed away several years ago. But the series lived on and I’m just about to start book twenty. At the heart of those stories, I try to show ordinary people dealing with unexpected challenges and even losing hope at times, but in the end, making the best choices and finding unexpected and very satisfying solutions.
How did you break into the field?
I suppose I chipped away at the wall in different ways. I had some poetry published in college days and also worked for a short time as a reporter on a small newspaper in the Midwest. When I returned to New York, I wanted to teach college and had an editorial job while attending graduate school at Columbia University. I completed my Master’s Degree, but decided to stay in publishing. I worked for several houses as an editor, before jumping to the other side of the desk. At first, I didn’t submit my work under the name known in the industry because I really wanted to see I could make a living writing. I did surprise a few editors when they found out they’d bought a book from me.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
That’s a good question and one I often ask myself as I’m slogging away. First, I want readers to be entertained and never to be bored reading one of my books. A very successful author once advised, “If you read a boring spot in your work, chop it out. Be ruthless. If you’re bored so is everyone else.” I really try to do that.
There’s a mug on a bookshelf in my office, inscribed with a quote from Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens on it that says, “I am an observer of human nature.” I believe that is also one of my primary jobs as a writer and one I take seriously. I try hard to share any insights I have about human nature. Hopefully, readers will understand themselves and people in their own lives differently.
Also, I not only want characters and situations portrayed to be emotional, dramatic and moving, I strive to have the main characters experience some process, to be changed by their experiences, and hopefully, readers will share in that process, too.
Finally, I often receive notes from readers who say my books helped them escape from a painful time. If I can offer anyone a few such hours, my effort certainly seems worth it.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
Of course I love reading good reviews or hearing someone say they really enjoyed a book and were stumped by a mystery, or loved a certain character or scene. But sometimes the most rewarding moments come when I’m totally alone, when I’ve really given myself over to the creative process and some funny dialogue or plot twist comes out of the blue. At those times, I feel as I’m watching a movie and simply transcribing what I hear and see. Writing becomes effortless and I’m as surprised as the reader as to what o happens next. I think that’s when the real magic happens and that’s why I manage to sit alone in a room all day, typing and pretty much, talking to myself.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Getting to that place described above. It’s usually easy to have the initial idea, but
going deep into the story and making it feel “real” is the hard work. I’m rarely satisfied and always strive to do better on my next books.
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
Read, read, read. Try to understand what is going on when you find a writer you love and admire. Also, write, write and write. Revision is very important and often makes all the difference, but if an idea isn’t working after a fair amount of work, go on to the next. Believe that your supply of ideas is endless and eventually, hopefully, you will have all the skills needed and plates spinning at once, for a publishable manuscript.
What type of books do you enjoy reading?
I love mysteries of course, right now, enjoying a few historical mystery series, like Maise Dobbs. That is an area I’d like to move towards. I also enjoy contemporary fiction, a few favorite writers are Elizabeth Strout, Alice Munro, and Ann Patchett.
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?
I love dogs, and enjoy cooking and gardening. I volunteer in the community in my spare time, working with the homeless in the winter months and also managing a group who make food once a week and distribute it to neighborhoods in need.
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
I have an active Author page on Facebook, @AnneCanadeoAuthor where there are posts, reviews and giveaways. I’m also on Instagram, and so is my dog, Lily, TheLitearyHound. Readers can learn more about my books at my website,
annecanadeo. com. I love to hear from readers and answer all emails sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Author
Anne Canadeo is the best-selling author of more than 30 books, including the Black Sheep & Company Mysteries, and as Katherine Spencer, the Cape Light and Angel Island series. She somehow manages to write a lot, despite many and much loved distractions — such as digging up the garden, hanging out with her dog, trying new recipes, drinking copious amounts of mint tea, eating chocolate and volunteer work in the community. She lives in Northport, NY, a village on the Long Island Sound very much like the settings of her stories. Anne loves to hear from readers. Answering their messages is definitely another favorite distraction in her day.
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