April 26, 2007

Invisible Shield

Invisible Shield Cover

This time, as I promised (since Hotclue is now in Cannes but promises to return next week) I’m interviewing author Scarlett Dean, whom I’ve known for some time and who is one of the rising stars in the mystery field. But let’s let her tell you all about herself.

BA: Morning, Scarlett! Glad to have you aboard Hotclue Live. How about first telling us all about your new book. When is it out, what’s the title, where does it take place, what’s it about, who’s your publisher, where can we buy it?

SD: My new book with Five Star Publishing, INVISIBLE SHIELD will be available to order through bookstores and amazon.com on April 30. It’s a paranormal mystery involving a female homicide detective in N.W. Indiana who has to solve her own murder.

BA: I hope a lot of people buy it! How did you get your idea for this particular book? It certainly is unique and I was wowed when I read it. Talk about an original concept, and the execution was terrific!

SD: I’m not sure what triggered it, but I remember thinking, “What if a homicide detective had to solve her own murder?” Shortly afterward, the main character, Lindsay Frost, came to me and I knew I had to write her story.

BA: Good thing you did or she would have haunted you forever. Was it a struggle to write your first actual mystery, or did you just kick back and have fun with it?

SD: Although my books are primarily paranormal or horror, they all have a mystery of some sort. So it wasn’t a difficult switch to move to a book that is primarily a mystery with paranormal elements.

BA: I can believe that. I felt, when I read it, that you had definitely come into your own as well as invented your own genre. What was the hardest part of writing it?

SD: I don’t recall any part of the book as difficult to write. The characters were so clear in my mind that it felt like the story wrote itself. I had so much fun it really wasn’t work at all.

BA: It does read as though you were having loads of fun writing it. That was the first thing I noticed when I read it and I loved that. How about giving us a couple of excerpts from your favorite pre-publication reviews?

SD: “A provocative series kickoff that may inaugurate a new subgenre, the paranormal police procedural…Kirkus Reviews.” And “An exhilarating mystery with a paranormal twist. Dean has created a fascinating afterlife, and Lindsay’s journey through it kept me turning the pages…Kelly Armstrong, author of Women of the Otherworld Series.”

BA: Great reviews, especially the Kirkus one, since they do seem to love slicing and dicing at times. Are you going to continue with horror, or stick with mystery for a while?

SD: I’ve already written the follow up to INVISIBLE SHIELD and I have an idea for a standalone horror novel.

BA: I’ve read the follow up too, folks, and it’s every bit as good and as much fun to read as the first in this series. You’re really on a heckuva roll, Scarlett. What other books have you had published?

SD: My first three books were with Amber Quill Press :

UNFINISHED BUSINESS (Paranormal) A used furniture salesman discovers it’s not the house that’s haunted, but the furnishings inside.

DESTINY’S CALL (Dark Romantic Fantasy) DNA researcher, Dr. Arianne Brasov must find a way to reverse her vampire curse through DNA manipulation or be forced to join her family’s dark reign forever.

THE ACADEMY (Horror) When a demon takes up residence at the Knollwood Academy for boys, the students learn the ultimate lesson in fear.

BA: Tell us about your background and what started you writing.

SD: I’ve always loved reading and eventually wrote short stories as a teen. I started writing seriously about sixteen years ago and find I’m happiest when I’m in the middle of a book.

BA: Ha! You left out that you published a magazine for a while. (With a mind like she has, who knows what all she’s left out, folks.) 😉 How does your family feel about your new career, Scarlett?

SD: I’m fortunate in that they’ve all been incredibly supportive.

BA: That you definitely are! What was your low point during all this ‘getting published’ thing?

SD: When I realized I had enough rejection slips to wallpaper my kitchen. Then Amber Quill Press took a chance on me with UNFINISHED BUSINESS.

BA: Your rejection wallpapering days are over forever, we hope. So what was your high point?

SD: When a cancer patient told me she read my book when she was up at night unable to sleep, and it took her mind off of her discomfort.

BA: That IS wonderful to hear. Makes it all worthwhile, in my humble opinion. (Although when was I ever humble?) Do you have hobbies that keep you sane while you’re writing?

SD: Not really. Writing is what keeps me sane. I do work out regularly to keep the circulation going, taking advantage of the time to troubleshoot plot kinks.

BA: (I’m glad she thinks she’s sane, heh heh heh.) Please describe your writing room, or where you write most of the time, and how you write–are you a plotter or a pantser?

SD: For years I wrote in my home office, but no matter how many Johnny Depp posters I put up, it was still the same four walls. So over the past year I’ve been able to write in different areas of the house, (except my teenage son’s room–I’m not that brave), using a laptop. My muse is much happier. As for how I write, I’d say I’m a vague plotter. Every story starts out with “What if?”, and then I start seeing a vague, or simplified plot come to life. After that, the characters lead the way. I know there are certain things that have to happen in the story, but how I get there isn’t generally planned.

BA: Do you have any time-honored or weird traditions that you feel you MUST do while you’re writing? (Like, mine is, I can’t write with my shoes on.)

SD: I don’t know about things I MUST do when I’m writing, but I’ve learned what I SHOULDN’T do–cook. I always burn the green beans when I put them on to simmer and go write. It’s happened so often it’s a standing joke in my house. But in my opinion, burned beans are a sign that I’m in the zone.

BA: We all hope you visit that zone often and don’t forget about the green beans, or else try the microwave, that might work out a little better for your family. 😉 What are your plans for the future?

SD: I’d like to travel, in part for pleasure, and also for research for future books.

BA:
Last question in my endless quest to probe the minds of writers and other oddities: Do you have any hints for upcoming writers? What do you think is the most important thing for them to do or learn as they’re trying to break in?

SD: Be a reader first. It will help develop your writer’s voice. Also, don’t take rejection personally. Learn from it, if possible.

BA: Good advice and I couldn’t agree more. Thank you, Scarlett! Be seeing you on the Bestseller lists!

Folks, if you’d like to learn more about Scarlett, her website is at Scarlett Dean.com .

Come back again next week, please. Hotclue SWEARS she’ll be back to liven up your life a little and I’m not letting her get away again for a while. That is, unless she really wants to. Y’all know how she is, the little twerp. We love you all, you KNOW we do!

Beth and Hotclue and Sarge, who will soon be dispensing her brand new Fur Ball of the Week. Stay tuned!

The Writing World | 1 Comment  

April 23, 2007

A Couple of Things

elaineviets.gif

Most all authors in the mystery field have, by this time, learned that one of our own fairly young authors, Elaine Viets, suffered a stroke almost on the eve of publication of her new book, Murder with Reservations: A Dead-End Job Mystery. You’ve probably heard of her. Her website is here: http://www.elaineviets.com and I urge you to visit it.

Elaine is at home in south Florida, recuperating, and one of her main concerns right now is that she won’t be able to tour, as she usually does, to meet and greet fans new and old. Elaine has had at least a dozen books in her two mystery series and is wildly popular with her fans. Because she’s ours, in a sense, we’d like to help her.

Since authors tend to respond when one of us develops major troubles, a lot of us are either going to add her books when we tour, or at signings, or what I’m doing here today, asking you to support her by buying Murder With Reservations either at your local bookstore or it can always be ordered through online bookstores.

I’d like to add my request to this, and invite all my fans who like fun, fascinating mysteries with characters you’d love to have in your own lives (except for the killers, of course) to consider buying her book. I’d appreciate that and it would really help her as she recuperates.

To aid and abet you, here’s a short blurb on Murder With Reservations:

The young couple looked like inept burglars sneaking through the lobby of Sybil’s Full Moon Hotel in Fort Lauderdale. They were both dressed in black, which made them stand out against the white marble. At their wedding two days ago, they’d been slim, golden and graceful, trailing ribbons and rose petals through the hotel.
Now they moved with the awkward stiffness of amateur actors trying to look natural. The bride’s black crop top exposed a midsection sliding from sexy to sloppy fat. The groom’s black T-shirt and Bermudas failed the test for cool. They were boxy rather than baggy. He looked like a Grand Rapids priest on vacation.
The honeymooners avoided the brown plastic grocery bag swinging between them, carefully ignoring it as it bumped and scraped their legs. That screamed, “Look at me.” They stashed the bag behind a potted palm while they waited for the elevator.
“Red alert,” Sondra at the front desk said into her walkie-talkie. She was calling Denise, the head housekeeper. “The honeymoon couple just passed with a suspicious grocery bag. They’re getting out on the third floor.”

Sounds like a lot of fun, doesn’t it! It will be, I promise you. I do hope you’ll help Elaine out with her sorta kinda virtual tour and buy a copy.

Thank you, all of you!

==============================

Just to catch you up, Hotclue is still vacationing. Last I heard she was in St. Moritz, either skiing or not. I know on those skiing trips she seems particularly fond of the sushi bars, or just plain bars, actually, so I don’t know if you’ll find her truly skiing or not but I’m sure she’ll tell us about it when she returns sometime next week.

Meantime, my daughter did get married on April 7th. To show you just how thick blood is, her wedding invitations said, in part, 4/7 at 4:07 in the afternoon. Only a kid of mine would do that, but at exactly 4:07 that afternoon, with all of us standing out on their balcony in thirty degree weather (yes, she actually did the deed outside), overlooking a beautiful lake, the bride walked down the aisle, which was actually one of their stone walkways, and there she legally and publicy and, I might add, ecstatically, gave her heart and soul to the most adorable man I’ve met in a long time, and he gave his to her.

It was a beautiful, emotion-packed wedding, not a dry eye in the house – er – balcony, after which we had a gorgeous reception (inside, thank God) full of gourmet food – are you ready for this – Made By The Groom! that even Emeril couldn’t outdo, champagne punch, and much, much wine. Then we ran them out of the house so the family could take over every bedroom in the place. 😉

At that point I’m sure they were glad to get away from us. I sure would have been. In all honesty I did tried to talk them into taking me along, but for some reason they declined.

That’s it for the moment, folks. This coming weekend I’m going to post an interview with a young author I’ve known a long time, Scarlett Dean, who does her best to live up to the name.

Scarlett started out writing horror, but just broke out of those ranks and into mystery with her new book, which you DON’T EVEN want to miss.

See you again in a few days. Love y’all, you know I do, and so does my alter ego, Hotclue, who had better get back home soon. I miss her and I know y’all do too.

Beth

What's Happenin | 2 Comments  

February 9, 2006

Links

The Usual Suspects (Author Websites and Blogs)

Anne K. Albert  http://anne-k-albert.blogspot.com

Kaye Wilkinson Barley  www.meanderingsandmuses.com/‎

Ron Benrey  http://blog.benrey.com

Stephen Booth  http://www.stephen-booth.com/

Melissa Bradley  http://melissasimaginarium.blogspot.com/

Pat Browning  http://pat-browning.blogspot.com/

Julia Buckley  http://www.juliabuckley.com/

Chester Campbell  http://www.chesterdcampbell.com/

Lillian Stewart Carl  http://www.lillianstewartcarl.com/

Natalie R. Collins  http://www.nataliercollins.com/

John M. Daniel  http://johnmdaniel.blogspot.com

Scarlett Dean  http://scarlettdean.com

Denise Dietz  http://www.denisedietz.com/

Julie Dolcemaschino  http://testarossabook.com

Kate Douglas  http://www.katedouglas.com/

Alice Duncan  http://aliceduncanblog.blogspot.com/

Pamela Dumond  http://pameladumond.com/

Wendy Gager  http://wsgager.blogspot.com

Lee Goldberg  http://leegoldberg.com

M. M. Gornell  http://mmgornell.wordpress.com/

Dorien Grey  http://doriengrey.com

Timothy Hallinan  http://timothyhallinan.com/blog/

Richard Helms  http://richardhelms.net/

Patty G. Henderson  http://pattyghenderson.com

Joan Hall Hovey  http://www.joanhallhovey.com/

Pauline B. Jones  http://www.paulinebjones.com/

Jackie King  http://bnbmysteries.blogspot.com

J. A. Konrath  http://www.jakonrath.com/

Kenneth R. Lewis  http://kennethrlewis.com

Lee Lofland  http://www.leelofland.com

Margaret Maron  http://margaretmaron.com

Susan McBride  http://www.susanmcbride.com

Marja McGraw  http://www.marjamcgraw.com/

Jean Henry Mead  http://theviewfrommymountaintop.blogspot.com/

Marilyn Meredith  http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com

Jenny Milchman  http://jennymilchman.com

Maryann Miller  http://www.maryannwrites.com/

Kris Neri  http://www.krisneri.com/

Mike Orenduff  http://thepotthief.blogspot.com

Tom Piccirilli  http://tompiccirilli.com

Rick R. Reed  http://rickrreed.com/

M. J. Rose  http://www.mjrose.com/

Judy Powell  http://www.judypowell.com/

Patricia Rasey  http://www.patriciarasey.com/

Randy Rawles  http://www.randyrawls.com/

J. D. Rhoades  http://jdrhoades.com

Jinx Schwartz  http://jinxschwartz.blogspot.com/

L. J. Sellers  http://ljsellers.com

Joanna Slan  http://joannaslan.com

Karin Slaughter  http://karinslaughter.com

Alexandra Sokoloff  http://www.alexandrasokoloff.com/

Earl Staggs  http://earlwstaggs.wordpress.com/

B. r. Stateham  http://brstateham.com/blog.html

Rosemary Stevens http://www.beaubrummell.com/

Sloane Taylor  http://sloanetaylor.blogspot.com/

Sandy Tooley  http://www.sdtooley.com/

Miranda Phillips Walker  http://mirandawalkerbooks.com/

Rob Walker  http://robertwalkerbooks.com/

Betty Webb  http://www.bettywebb-mystery.com/

Peter J. Welling  http://peterjwelling.com

Tim Wohlforth  http://timwohlforth.com/

Trace Edward Zaber http://www.angelfire.com/il/talesblueandgray/

 

DA MOB (Writers’ Organizations)

Authors Guild http://www.authorsguild.org/

Chicago North RWA http://www.chicagonorthrwa.org/

International Thriller Writers http://www.thrillerwriters.org/index.php

Mystery Writers of America http://www.mysterywriters.org/

Romance Writers of America http://www.rwanational.org/

Sisters in Crime National http://www.sistersincrime.org/

 

SCENE OF THE CRIME (Helpful Reference Sites)

Best of History Websites http://www.besthistorysites.net/

Book Fairs and Literary Events http://www.loc.gov/loc/cfbook/bookfair.html

British Crime and Fiction Journal http://www.twbooks.co.uk/

Cliche Cleaner http://www.cliches.biz/clichecleaner/

Cops’nWriters http://www.copsnwriters.com/links.shtml

Crime Spree Magazine http://www.crimespreemag.com/index.html

Mystery Ink http://www.mysteryinkonline.com/

Independent Mystery Booksellers http://www.mysterybooksellers.com/

Mystery Readers http://www.mysteryreaders.com/

Publishers Marketplace http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/

Publishers Weekly http://www.publishersweekly.com/

Spinetingler Magazine http://www.spinetinglermag.com/

Top 100 Criminal Justice Websites http://talkjustice.com/top100.asp

 

MOST WANTED (More Blogs)

http://girlondemand.blogspot.com/

http://therapsheet.com

http://jensbookthoughts.com

http://detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com

http://spinetinglersmag.com

http://crimealwayspays.blogspot.com

http://www.billcrider.blogspot.com/

http://bookangst.blogspot.com/

http://www.bookslut.com/blog/

http://www.crimefictionblog.com/

http://dailynightly.msnbc.com/

http://blogs.herald.com/dave_barrys_blog/

http://gofugyourself.typepad.com/

http://www.joshilynjackson.com/ftk/

http://www.jungleredwriters.com/

http://minnesotacrimewave.org

http://mjroseblog.typepad.com/buzz_balls_hype/

http://www.tessgerritsen.com/blogs.cfm

http://www.theladykillers.typepad.com/

 

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