Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Next Big Thing!

So, today I’m talking about the Next Big Thing blog campaign. This campaign began in Australia and went international, showcasing new authors and/or new books. Each author answers the same set of questions about a recently published book and/or those that are slated to be released. Then that author “tags” a few other authors who do the same thing. Because my work-in-progress isn’t ready for prime time, I’ll be talking about my latest mystery. I’m tagging two of my favorite fellow authors:
What is the working title of your next book?
My next book is still in process, so I thought I’d talk about Framed, a book that came out last year. Framed is the first in the Kay Conroy Mystery Series.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Well, to begin with, I love reading mysteries. Especially the cozy-style with non-professional sleuths and a little humor. I had two inspirations for this book. First, I have been a General Contractor and built custom homes. It’s both a fun and stressful profession with many variables all at the mercy of fussy clients and our often unpredictable Colorado weather. I thought the fictional possibilities were abundant. I’d also been a soccer parent, and if ever there were an area where tempers might run high, that was it-particularly where parents and coaches were concerned. I thought the collision of those two worlds might be a place so combustible it could lead to murder!

What genre does your book fall under?
Framed is a humorous, cozy-style murder mystery.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
This is always a hard question for me because I never think of my characters in terms of contemporary (or otherwise!) actors. They are born and live in my mind’s eye, so I seldom put the two worlds together. However, there is one character that actually did pull some of his inspirations from an actor, and that’s Sam. Sam is a local landscape contractor that our protagonist, Kay, hires to landscape the grounds of a custom home she’s building. He’s an easy-going, world-wise, extremely affable and intuitive man with an educated country-boy feel to him. Sam instantly reminded me of the actor Sam Shepard, who I always thought had a comfortably rugged and yet intelectual air about him.
I’d love to hear who my readers would cast as the other characters in the book-particularly Kay’s very capable, extremely loyal and yet slightly ditzy best friend, Maddey. (who I confess was inspired by a very dear and old friend of mine named Shelly).

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
I hate once sentence descriptions-they are always forced and never informational enough-that’s unfair to me and my potential readers! However, if I can add a couple more sentences, I’ve got a great blurb that says it all:

When housing contractor Kay Conroy finds her son’s soccer coach dead on his kitchen floor, her well known dislike for the man soon turns into a motive for murder.

Now, anxious to aim the finger of guilt elsewhere, the quick-witted but daydreaming single mom must squeeze her own investigation in between car-pooling her son and overseeing the construction of a home for a local socialite.  The evidence she discovers puts her at the top of the suspect list even though she knows she's being framed. Meanwhile, there’s an attractive landscaper she'd like to know better and an amorous CEO she’d like to lose.

With the aide of her salty-tongued best friend and the sixth sense of her puppy, Kay digs for dirt.  What she finds are broken hearts and bottom lines...not to mention danger!

Who is publishing your book?
Framed is independently published and available paperback or Kindle format on Amazon!
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Forever! Well, at least it seemed that way. First drafts always do-it’s like childbirth. But once I get the first draft down, the tweaking (aka editing) is much more fun. If I had to put a timeline to it, I’d say it takes me about a year to write a book. After all, I do have a day-job…and a family; all very demanding in their own ways.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
If you have read Diane MottDavidson’s Goldy Schulz mysteries, Rita Mae Brown’s Mrs. Murphy mysteries, or similar authors such as Leighann Dobbs or Elaine Orr, Framed is right up your wheelhouse!
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I talked earlier about my particular inspirations for this book, but as for writing in general, I think it was a natural offshoot of my love of reading…combined with a vivid imagination and a tendency to daydream. I imagine I am not alone among writers when it comes to those characteristics!
What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
Being a writer is like playing God on a very, very small stage. I have a hand in creating characters who will be friends, lovers, enemies or murderers. Nurturing these relationships is part of the fun-for me at least. And watching a new love bloom or an old friendship deepen is always a pleasure. I’m very much looking forward to writing the sequel to Framed, which will be titled Nailed (don’t you like the construction theme?). And best of all, the setting is my home state of Colorado, someplace I definitely consider ‘God’s Country’!

Framed is available in paperback or Kindle on Amazon! Click HERE to find it! 

Next up on The Next Big Thing, I’ve tagged these two fabulous authors:

On May 9th, go to to read R.S. Guthrie's blog about his Next Big Thing:

And on May 16th go to to read about  Aaron Michael 

Ritchey's Next Big Thing: