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Sipped (The Penningtons Investigate)
by CT Collier
About the Book
Sipped (The Penningtons Investigate)
3rd in Series
Asdee Press (June 11, 2018)
Paperback: 312 pages
Digital ASIN: B07DNP1NN8
After a rough semester, Professor Lyssa Pennington just wants to post her grades and join her husband, Kyle, in Cornwall for Christmas. First, though, she’s expected to host an elegant dinner for Emile Duval, the soon-to-be Chair of Languages at Tompkins College.
Too bad no one told Lyssa murder is on the menu. And, by the way, Emile Duval is an imposter.
Who is he really? And who wanted him dead? Without those answers, the Penningtons can kiss Christmas in Cornwall goodbye.
Interview with the Author
What initially got you interested in writing?
It took me years of struggle to learn to read, but once I got it, there was no stopping me. That’s when I developed a passion for writing. All those years of observing people and exploring the world had filled me with questions and ideas and insights that I needed to share. My teachers encouraged my writing, and I soaked up their advice.
What genres do you write in?
I’m primarily a mystery author now, though I started with romance.
What drew you to writing these specific genres?
Logic puzzles were my thing when I was an adolescent and that interest quickly turned into an obsession with the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and the whole gang. When hormones came on the scene, I loved a good romance, too. Like so many of us, stories were an escape and also a way to learn about unfamiliar people, places, and, and ideas. As I developed my writing ability and made my way the world, I wanted to tell those stories as well as read them, both mystery and romance.
I knew my goal was traditional mysteries, but when I tried to turn concept into novel, I realized I had much to learn before I could get beyond the first chapter. Writing romance (I have a four-book series, Lakeside Porches, published by Soulmate Publishing, Inc.) was a way for me to learn craft, to meet writers, and to experience the world of publishing as it is today. Even then, it was a big learning curve to apply what I learned to good mystery writing.
How did you break into the field?
As soon as I’d completed my first romance novel, I queried agents with no success but got plenty of ideas for revision. I’d just made revisions when I caught a big break. My local writers group hosted its annual conference and invited an editor to take pitches. The editor like my concept, asked for the full manuscript, and offered a contract. How lucky was that! She felt my book was a story of Hope, which it was, and my brand as a romance author became “Healing, Hope, and Love.”
The transition to writing mysteries was a huge challenge, but I built the series on the same foundation: small town, troubled college, mix of townspeople and educators, long-hidden secrets, and a young couple who wouldn’t give up when crime rocked their world. I’ve been blessed with the world’s best editor, Lourdes Venard, whose guidance is invaluable.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
I’ve continued the theme of Hope in the mystery series and have added Compassion to the mix. I truly believe that a small dedicated group of people working together can bring peace and healing to a broken community. Each of us has a part to play, and none of us can do it alone. While drama and conflict move any story along, the kind of mystery I write features a commitment to a harmonious outcome.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
I love being in flow with my characters, sensing their ideas, picking up different threads of the plot to weave them into the next part of the story. The creative process itself is fascinating to me, and when it’s frustrating, I just have to write my way through it using all my senses.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
That state of disequilibrium at the start of each book, when there’s so little to work with and nothing has yet come together. To muddle my way through, I often focus on a new character whose role and personality I haven’t yet finalized. I brainstorm with that character until I get a sense of how he or she can affect the other characters and cause an explosion or two in their world.
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
Write! Read with a writer’s eye. Join a writers group and let them read and comment on your writing. Trust your own voice. Write every day.
What type of books do you enjoy reading?
I love mysteries of all kinds! I also enjoy a heartfelt romance that takes me to one of the many beautiful locations in our country or abroad.
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?
One of my favorite things is to explore with my camera: a garden, a rocky shoreline, a new city, a national park. It’s even more fun with another photographer for company. After each trip I post the Top Twenty pics for friends.
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
About the Author
C. T. Collier was born to solve logic puzzles, wear tweed, and drink Earl Grey tea. Her professional experience in cutthroat high tech and backstabbing higher education gave her endless opportunity to study intrigue. Add to that her longtime love of mysteries, and it’s no wonder she writes academic mysteries that draw inspiration from traditional whodunits. Her setting is entirely fictional: Tompkins College is no college and any college, and Tompkins Falls is a blend of several Finger Lakes towns, including her hometown, Seneca Falls, NY (AKA Bedford Falls from It’s a Wonderful Life).
Twitter: @Tompkins Falls
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