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Three Strikes, You’re Dead (Eddie Shoes Mystery)
by Elena Hartwell
About the Book
Three Strikes, You’re Dead (Eddie Shoes Mystery)
3rd in Series
Camel Press (April 1, 2018)
Paperback: 288 pages
Digital 13: 9781603817288
Private investigator Eddie Shoes heads to a resort outside Leavenworth, Washington, for a mother-daughter getaway weekend. Eddie’s mother Chava wants to celebrate her new job at a casino by footing the bill for the two of them, and who is Eddie to say no?
On the first morning, Eddie goes on an easy solo hike, and a few hours later, stumbles upon a makeshift campsite and a gravely injured man. A forest fire breaks out and she struggles to save him before the flames overcome them both. Before succumbing to his injuries, the man hands her a valuable rosary. He tells her his daughter is missing and begs for her help. Is Eddie now working for a dead man?
Barely escaping the fire, Eddie wakes in the hospital to find both her parents have arrived on the scene. Will Eddie’s card-counting mother and mob-connected father help or hinder the investigation? The police search in vain for a body. How will Eddie find the missing girl with only Eddie’s memory of the man’s face and a photo of his daughter to go on?
About the Author
Interview with the Author
What initially got you interested in writing?
That’s a great question. I started so young, I can’t remember a time I wasn’t interested in writing. I think it probably had to do with my early exposure to great authors. My parents read to my sister and me a lot (we’re only a year apart). I learned early on, that I could invent stories in my head, just like the ones in books. Anytime I had nothing important to pay attention to, and sometimes when I should have been, I’d find myself inventing stories. I thought for a long time everyone thought that way. It didn’t take long before I was writing them down. I even illustrated a number of them and did some book binding.
What genres do you write in?
As a novelist, Mystery. As a playwright, which I’ve done for 20+ years, “genre” is less specific. I tended to write plays that reflected contemporary society. Realism, which used both humor and drama. Usually small casts, and often about a family situation against the backdrop of a larger societal issue. I’ve written plays about PTSD, colony collapse disorder, the dangers of the fishing industry, even the Tsunami in Japan.
What drew you to writing these specific genres?
Mystery is the genre I read the most, so that was a natural fit as a novelist. In terms of my theatrical work, I’ve always been interested in big questions, but I find them easier to look at through the lens of a specific situation. So it’s one thing to talk about PTSD in general terms, but it’s a lot more impactful to show one veteran dealing with their struggles, and their family, and their specific injuries and recovery. The details of one person actually makes things more universal, not less, because we can relate to the idea of a person more than the idea of a group. Our compassion and empathy is more likely to get triggered by one person, not a concept.
How did you break into the field?
The short answer is: I sold my first Eddie Shoes Mystery to Camel Press on a three-book deal. The long answer is: I wrote for more than twenty years in the theater, worked on my craft, wrote a novel, wrote a second novel, wrote a third novel, got an agent, lost an agent, sent the third novel to Camel, they didn’t buy it, but liked my voice. So I sent them One Dead, Two to Go.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
I’d like readers to take away the fun of the humorous mystery, the seriousness of homicide, the complexity of human relationships, and the joy of dog ownership.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
Working from home! I also love interacting with readers. Finding out what they connect with. I love when someone says they can’t wait for the next book.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Working from home! (Just kidding). The promotional/marking side is hard. I’m not very good with social media or marketing, so that side is hard for me. I love the act of writing and rewriting. In terms of solely writing, not the business of it, I’m not good at seeing big flaws in my early drafts, I need beta readers for that. Once I start rewriting I’m better at seeing the issues, but that first draft gets away from me.
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
Learn your craft. Lots of people have good ideas. Most people are capable of “writing” – putting sentences together into paragraphs. But there are few people who truly understand the craft. Story structure, the function of dialogue, how to find a voice. Focus on the craft and you will find success.
What type of books do you enjoy reading?
Mysteries, Thrillers, Historical, I read some non-fiction, though I tend toward narrative non-fiction unless it’s research for a project. I also like literary. I like smart characters struggling with real problems in areas of gray. I am least interested in cookie-cutter characters fighting cliché bad guys. No one is all good or all bad. And the dog can’t die.
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?
I was an auto mechanic – I worked heavy line in a truck shop for Ford, general mechanic for Volvo, and for a couple independent shops.
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElenaHartwellAuthor/
After twenty years in the theater, Elena Hartwell turned her dramatic skills to fiction. Her first novel, One Dead, Two to Go introduces Eddie Shoes, private eye. Called “the most fun detective since Richard Castle stumbled into the 12th precinct,” by author Peter Clines, I’DTale Magazine stated, “this quirky combination of a mother-daughter reunion turned crime-fighting duo will captivate readers.”
In addition to her work as a novelist, Elena teaches playwriting at Bellevue College and tours the country to lead writing workshops.
When she’s not writing or teaching, her favorite place to be is at the farm with her horses, Jasper and Radar, or at her home, on the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River in North Bend, Washington, with her husband, their dog, Polar, and their trio of cats, Jackson, Coal Train, and Luna, aka, “the other cat upstairs.” Elena holds a B.A. from the University of San Diego, a M.Ed. from the University of Washington, Tacoma, and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.
Website – http://www.elenahartwell.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Elena_Hartwell
Blog – http://www.arcofawriter.com
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/emhartwell/
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April 1 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 2 – Babs Book Bistro – CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
April 3 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 3 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
April 4 – Books Direct – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
April 5 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
April 6 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
April 6 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
April 7 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 8 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 9 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 10 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
April 11 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
April 12 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
April 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
April 13 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW
April 14 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
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