Welcome to the “Summer of Mystery Reads” happening July 9th to August 17, 2018, at THE PULP AND MYSTERY SHELF!
DISCLAIMER: This content has been provided to THE PULP AND MYSTERY SHELF by the author. No compensation was received. This information required by the Federal Trade Commission.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Cait Pepper, owner of the Bening Estate, and navy SEAL Royal Tanner return in book #3 to help friends who recently acquired a vineyard in Livermore, CA. Sadie, an Amish girl, and her husband Luke Sloane are excited about their new adventure of owning their own vineyard until a couple agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency knocked on their door with a warrant to search their property. Desperate to save her friends from danger and embarrassment, Cait is torn between where to focus her efforts—the Sloanes or the actors at her Shakespeare Festival. Cait uses her cop skills to help solve the problem of finding drugs at the Sloanes’ vineyard while avoiding another tragedy that could put her Shakespeare Festival in peril.
INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR
What initially got you interested in writing?
That’s a question I’m often asked and have given it a lot of thought.
My passion for reading, red herrings dropped along the way, and how the author resolved the crime, all evoked my interest in learning the writing process. When I attended my first author book signing event, I was caught up with the possibility that maybe I could write a mystery. I already had an idea for one, but after talking to the author she invited me to join her critique group. Years later most of us are published and still together.
What genres do you write in?
I write suspense/mystery, although my books have been called romantic suspense and even a cozy. Definitely not cozies.
What drew you to writing these specific genres?
I love a mystery, all types of puzzles, including jigsaw puzzles, but by the age of thirteen I listened to shows on the radio like Dragnet, The Falcon, and Inner Sanctum. Later on, I turned to suspense novels, like Agatha Christie, Stephen King, David Baldacci, and Dean Koontz.
How did you break into the field?
I’ve had three books published and one short story, but I don’t consider that breaking into the field. It took me a long time to get published, maybe because at first I didn’t think of it as a business, which it is, and I take it seriously. I thank Penny Warner, the author mentioned above, to invite me to her group of aspiring writers, and later introduce me to organizations looking for a panel of authors to talk about writing at their meetings.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
I hope they will enjoy the story but not solve the crime too early. I do want my books to inspire readers to read more Shakespeare, maybe by starting with the plays portrayed in my books. I fell in love with Shakespeare after attending plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland where my daughter lived.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
I love research and learning something new. It’s exciting to uncover information I could use in other books. For instance, I’d never heard of a halberd sword (Shakespearean times) or knew how to cultivate grapes, even though I live in wine country. Touring our many vineyards has been fun and rewarding.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
All of it, but I love a challenge. Getting the facts straight is critical or you’ll be called on it. Fortunately, no one has complained yet. Probably my biggest challenge is not writing myself into a corner because I don’t outline. I’ve tried, but it doesn’t work for me. When I start a new book, I have a glint of an idea how it should begin and a vague idea of what should happen, but sometimes I don’t know who the bad guy is until near the end. Recently, I’ve learned of a new method called Snowflake that I’m going to try, at least part of it
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
Read! And as you do, pay attention to red herrings dropped along the way and how a situation has been resolved. I can’t imagine a day without reading, for pleasure as well as to learn from other authors.
What type of books do you enjoy reading?
Thrillers, like James Rollins, Brad Meltzer, and Catherine Coulter.
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?
I love working with stained glass; some of my projects are posted on my Pinterest board. I’ve started a cozy series, yet unnamed, about a girl who opens a glass shop in an old jail building she inherited from her grandmother.
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about you?
As a police volunteer for fifteen years, I have access to officers who are willing to answer my questions. I also do role playing and go on ride-alongs with officers. I love working with stained glass and have a board on Pinterest showing some of my projects.