BLOG TOUR – Assault & Beadery – GUEST POST

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Welcome! Today I’m hosting a spot on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for Assault & Beadery by Mollie Cox Bryan.  Mollie Cox Bryan has graciously provided a guest post for today. Information about the book and author, including links to purchase and a Rafflecopter giveaway will be below the guest post.

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Guest Post from Mollie Cox Bryan

I’m often asked why I’ve set my books in Indigo Gap, North Carolina. First, Indigo Gap is a fictional town made up from the many Western North Carolina towns I’ve visited. It was great fun for me to create a perfect little cozy town with street and businesses using variations of the color blue. I don’t know why, but when I think of the state and region, I think of a soft sky blue. I call it Carolina blue.

North Carolina is a beautiful state, very much like my home state of Virginia, with mountains and the beach at either end of the state. The culture of the state is slightly different in those areas. I’m interested in crafting and the region I write about has a rich heritage of crafting—quilting, knitting, jewelry and glass making, weaving. The list goes on and on.

Not that the shore doesn’t have its own culture and crafting. It certainly does. But I fell in love with those mountains one summer and it was a pull not easily ignored.

About the Book


Assault and Beadery (A Cora Crafts Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Kensington (September 25, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716442
ISBN-13: 978-1496716446
Digital ASIN: B078QM4V66

Purchase Links: AmazonB&N  IndieBoundKoboBookBub

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Synopsis

 

All of Cora Chevalier’s dreams are coming true. Since moving to Indigo Gap, North Carolina, the busy crafting maven has been blessed with a great boyfriend, a lovely home, and a booming craft retreat business. But on the eve of her first Crafty Mom’s Escape Weekend, tragedy strikes again in Indigo Gap. This time, it’s curtains for Stan Herald, the disagreeable director of the local theater group, who’s murdered on the opening night of their new production. Worse, Cora’s friend Zee is accused of the crime.

Cora is determined to prove her friend’s innocence, but Zee’s mysterious past is making that difficult. And with a list of suspects longer than a double spool of satin cording, getting a bead on the real culprit won’t be easy. With her friends Jane and Ruby at her side, Cora must string together the clues and solve Stan’s murder before the killer gives an encore performance.

Includes crafting tips!

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About the Author

Mollie Cox Bryan is the author of the Cumberland Creek Scrapbooking mystery series and the Cora Crafts mystery series. She is also author of two cookbooks, the regional bestseller Mrs. Rowe’s Little Book of Southern Pies and Mrs. Rowe’s Restaurant Cookbook: A Lifetime of Recipes from the Shenandoah Valley. An award-winning journalist and poet, she currently blogs, cooks, and scrapbooks in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband and two daughters. Scrapbook of Secrets was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Visit her on the web at molliecoxbryan.com.

Author Links

Website – http://molliecoxbryan.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/molliecoxbryanauthor

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/molliecoxbryan/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/molliecoxbryan?lang=en

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Thanks for joining me today! If you wish to visit other stops on the tour, please click on the banner below. It will take you to the main tour page where you can find a list of participants!

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BLOG TOUR – The Finest Supermarket in Kabul – PROMO

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R&R Book Tours Proudly Presents: The Finest Supermarket in Kabul, a fascinating novella inspired by true events!

Finest Supermarket in Kabul - cover imageThe Finest Supermarket in Kabul

Publication Date: Oct. 30th, 2017

Genre: Novella/ Terrorism/ Inspired by True Events

Kabul, Afghanistan January 28, 2011.

Merza, a freshly minted Parliamentarian receives ominous threats after he wins his seat. Alec, an American journalist, flies from Kandahar without his editor’s permission to chronicle daily life in the capital. Elyssa, a Canadian human rights lawyer in Kabul to train female magistrates, is distracted by unwanted attention from a male justice. On this grey, wintry Friday, all three are embroiled in a dramatic and savage bombing. Inspired by true events and places, The Finest Supermarket in Kabul follows Merza, Alec and Elyssa as their idealistic and visionary hopes for Afghanistan are deeply challenged in the aftermath.

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Available for Purchase

Quattro Books | Amazon | Amazon CA

Amazon UK | B & N| Indigo

Excerpt

Alec:

I’ve been in Kabul for just under twenty-four hours. I flew in yesterday from Lashkar Gah, in Helmand Province, after a heated argument with my editor earlier in the week during which I suggested a temporary reassignment to Kabul. Eric demanded I stay in the south for another three-week stint embedded with a US platoon. According to him, my stories from the US outpost were gripping and getting positive reactions from readers. Certainly, the embed was riveting – my first time moving around with US platoons – and gave me stories I couldn’t otherwise have written: intense firefights on a patrol, the evacuation of a wounded soldier, discussions about post-traumatic stress disorder, and fortifying against ambushes. But after three months of only covering action on the front line, I felt my outlook had started to skew by living and breathing the life of an American soldier. The longer I stayed in Helmand, the harder it was becoming to be okay with just telling one side of the story, as opposed to the broader picture. It was when I began saying “T-Ban” instead of Taliban that I knew I needed to get out. Meanwhile, Eric kept insisting that front-line coverage was our best news feature and refused to accept my other ideas, no matter how vigorously I pushed.

So I travelled to Kabul of my own accord to regain some perspective. I figure I’ll hold out an olive branch to Eric later, a magazine-length piece about how local ex-combatants are using the continuing conflict to their advantage. From fellow journalists, I’ve heard about former warlords, their identities and deeds well known, who’ve built massive houses painted in vivid carnival colours in the centre of Kabul and are living the high life, seemingly without repercussion. Interviews with a few of them, along with regular ex-Taliban fighters who got away from the fray, will form the story’s core; here and there, I’ll filter in views from ordinary people. I’m pretty sure Eric will go for an article with a military focus, even if it’s set in Kabul. Plus, he and I go way back, having both started out at the Chicago Tribune after studying at Columbia College Chicago fifteen years ago. If things go completely awry, I’ll hightail it back to Helmand.

I had my initial foray into Afghanistan’s real world yesterday morning. As I entered the plane bound for Kabul, I saw rows and rows of Pashtun men with long beards and turbans or woolen, round-topped hats with thick edging. My heart skipped a beat, as Pashtuns were the ethnic group that had birthed the Taliban, and I wondered if any were Taliban fighters. No one here would protect me from danger, and my visit wasn’t even sanctioned by my boss.

A familiar blast of adrenaline rushes through me.

Jakob stamps out his cigarette and leaps up while I gather my coat and Tish’s things under my arm. We race for the door. Ahead, I see Ben still on his phone but can’t hear him. As news of the explosion circulates, the room’s noise level surges and nervous energy grips the space.

We pick Tish up at the entrance and rush through the security gates, easily retrieving our various IDs and my passport as Ben advises that he’s called for a taxi to pick us up and that Masood, his interpreter, will meet us there.

After three minutes of energetic conversation about what we’ll find at the Finest, the four of us pile into the black Toyota Corolla that has pulled up. Sitting on the raised middle seat in the back, I have to duck my head to glimpse the street scene outside. It looks calm and oddly sedate considering what we know has just happened. Fortunately, traffic is far less jammed than on our morning’s walk over from the Safi.

We’re silent; our initial eagerness to cover this story has given way to an unpleasant realization that we will soon be confronting the bomb’s aftermath of chaos, destruction and injury. Jakob has already explained that the Finest is a convenience store that stocks expensive Western products like Nutella and peanut butter, so almost no Afghans ever shop there. An expat target, then, I ponder.

About the Author

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Ele Pawelski has lived in Afghanistan, South Sudan, Bosnia, Kenya, Uzbekistan and Kosovo. She has climbed in the Himalayas, walked the Camino and hiked in Newfoundland. Now living in urban Toronto with her husband, she’s always planning for her next travel adventure. Her stories have appeared in magazines, journals and newspapers. The Finest Supermarket in Kabul is her first novella.

Ele Pawelski

 

Thanks for joining me today! If you wish to visit other stops on this tour, please click on the banner below and visit the main tour page with a list of tour stops!

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BLOG TOUR – Glitter Bomb – SPOTLIGHT

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Welcome! Today I’m hosting a spot on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Glitter Bomb, the latest installment in the Scrapbooking Mystery series by Laura Childs & Terrie Farley Moran.

About the Book


Glitter Bomb (A Scrapbooking Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
15th in Series
Berkley (October 2, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 0451489543
ISBN-13: 978-0451489548
Digital ASIN: B078VVDSQT

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Synopsis

An exploding Mardi Gras float has got to be the strangest murder weapon scrappy sleuth Carmela Bertrand has ever encountered in this latest Scrapbooking Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author.

It’s Mardi Gras in New Orleans and scrapbook shop owner Carmela Bertrand is excited to be attending the Pluvius Parade along with her best friend Ava. Carmela’s ex-husband Shamus rides by the duo on his float at the head of the parade, when suddenly the revelry turns to disaster. Shamus’ float crashes and explodes, and although Shamus escapes unhurt, a member of his krewe is killed.

Carmela and Ava plunge into an investigation of the krewe-member’s death, but as they dig deeper it starts to look less like an accident and more like a murder….and Shamus seems less like a victim, and more like a suspect.

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About The Authors

laura childs from facebook

 

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Laura’s Links:

Webpage – http://www.laurachilds.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/laura.childs.31

Short-listed twice for The Best American Mystery Stories, Terrie Farley Moran is delighted to introduce mystery fans to the Read ’Em and Eat café and bookstore, which debuted with Well Read, Then Dead. followed by Caught Read-Handed and Read to Death released in July of this year. The only thing Terrie enjoys more than wrangling mystery plots into submission is playing games and reading stories with any or all of her grandchildren.

Terrie’s Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/terrie.moran.9

Blog: www.womenofmystery.net

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/23186092-terrie-moran

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Thank you for joining me today! If you wish to visit other stops on the tour, please click on the banner below and you will be taken to the main tour page where there is a list of tour participants and links to their sites!

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BLOG TOUR – Shattered At Sea – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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Welcome! Today I’m hosting a spot on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Shattered at Sea by Cheryl Hollon. It was an interesting read. I’ll be sharing an author interview underneath the review.

** I apologize as this took me longer to get up than I thought it would!

About the Book


Shattered at Sea (A Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Kensington (August 28, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496711777
ISBN-13: 978-1496711779
Digital ASIN: B077WY2SRQ

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Synopsis

A Mediterranean cruise gives glass shop owner Savannah Webb a chance to demonstrate her expertise—and fire up her skills when it comes to foul play . . .

When Savannah signs on to perform glass blowing on a ship, part of the appeal is that she’ll get a chance to reconnect with her boyfriend Edward’s family. An added bonus is that Edward’s cousin, Ian, will be joining them on board. But when Ian disappears at the beginning of the cruise, the ship’s authorities initially consider it suicide.

Savannah tries to balance her growing suspicions with work on her shows, but her relationship with the other glass artists begins to crack. And she can’t let love color her judgment when Edward suddenly jumps to the top of the suspect list. His fate is in Savannah’s hands, and she’ll do everything she can—on land and sea—to clear his name . . .

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Review – 3.5 out of 5 stars

This was not my favorite book in the series. I had a hard time getting into it and it didn’t keep my attention very well, which is unusual, because I really enjoy this series. In fact, the book before this one, I think was my favorite out of the series so far.

We’re still spending time with our favorite characters, Savannah and Edward. We even get to see some of our favorite secondary characters like the Rosenberg sisters. Amanda and Jacob are a still a part of the story, just more on the peripheral edge.

The setting is a cruise ship and maybe that was part of my problem, I don’t know. Every other book I’ve read set on a cruise ship, I haven’t really enjoyed either. So maybe that was my problem with it.

The plot line was decent. I knew who the villain was before it was announced, but there were still red herrings.  I did thoroughly enjoy the ending tho!

I still recommend it if you enjoy this series, it’s just not my favorite of the bunch.

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Author Interview

Author Hollon PhotoQ1: Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day?  Do you enjoy your day job?

Ms. Hollon’s Answer: I’m so lucky to be able to write as a full-time job. I took early retirement from an engineering career designing and installing military flight simulators in England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, and India.


Q2: Do you set aside time to write every day or do you write more sporadically? When you write, do you aim to complete a set # of pages or words? How does music/other noise affect your concentration when you’re writing?

Ms. Hollon’s Answer: I write every morning from about 7-10 am. That’s when the words slip out easiest. I have a word target every day that I try to exceed. I need absolute silence for brand new words in a rough draft, but I can revise in the middle of a pub.


Q3: When you’re writing, do your characters seem to “hijack” the story or do you feel like you have the “reins” of the story? Similarly, do you outline your book first or just sit down and write, seeing where it takes you?

Ms. Hollon’s Answer: I’ve recently discovered that I am a visual writer in that I play the scene in my head like watching a film. I am a hybrid outliner/pantser. My first story treatment is usually a 12 to 14-page word document. Then I flesh that out in a detailed outline in Excel with columns for Location, Time of Day, Point of View, etc. When I start writing the first draft, I’m open to improvements and opportunities to strengthen the plot and deepen the characters. I update my spreadsheet up until the last five chapters. At that point, there’s a rush to the finish line – no looking back.

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Q4: How did you break into the publishing world? How many rejections did you go through before finding a publisher? Did you ever think about quitting? If so, what did you do to keep yourself hopeful?

Ms. Hollon’s Answer: I started looking for an agent with my third completed manuscript. I got very close, but ultimately, I collected 108 rejections before I moved on to the next book. I seriously thought of quitting at that point, but I’m absolutely addicted to writing. I submitted it to my future agency after I received an e-mail from a member of Sisters in Crime. (Great organization for help in getting and staying published.) The agency wanted cozy mysteries, but I sent in my International Flight Simulator Mystery. The agent loved the writing, but she didn’t think she could sell it in the current market. So, I told her I had an idea for a cozy mystery featuring a stained-glass shop, would she be interested. She returned an e-mail with a single word: “Sure.” I worked up three chapters, a synopsis and story ideas for more books in the series. Everything happened quickly after that – agent – submissions to publishers – 3-book deal with Kensington.


Q5: In general, how many revisions do you go through before a book is published? Do you have beta readers or is it just your editing team and their suggestions? Do you set your books aside for a period of time and then pick them up and edit them?

Ms. Hollon’s Answer: I revise the draft book a minimum of four times then send it off to an independent editor for a developmental edit, then I revise again and send it to my Agent. I revise again and send it to my Kensington editor. She has comments and so I revise yet again for at least one round. Next is the copy editor round and finally the galley proofs get a review. That’s a minimum of nine formal revisions for each book. I would like more, but luckily the deadline arrives, and I must press the send button.


Q6: A good villain is hard to write. How did you get in touch with your inner villain(s) to write this book? Was there a real-life inspiration for him/her/it?

Ms. Hollon’s Answer: I try to develop the villain as carefully as any of my recurring characters. I don’t model them after read people exactly. I tend to take a Frankenstein mash-up of several character types and go on from there. The trick is to develop each suspect to the same level so that the red herrings stay red herrings.

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Q7: Do any family members, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, etc. end up showing up in your work or are your characters all truly fictional?

Ms. Hollon’s Answer: I toss in names from family and friends, but all are ultimately fictional – your mileage may vary. 😊


Q8: If you could write about anyone fiction/nonfiction, contemporary/historical who would you write about? Why?

Ms. Hollon’s Answer: I would like to create a series set in the English Village where I lived when I worked for British Aerospace. However, I would be interested in the WWII time frame as an American woman engineer. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?


Q9: What are some great books you’ve read recently?

Ms. Hollon’s Answer: Glass Houses by Louise Penny, 19 Souls by J.D. Allen, The Girl from Blind River by Gale Massey, Scot Free by Catriona McPherson, and I’m about to start Twenty-one Days by Anne Perry. I read a lot.

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Q10: What books have influenced your life the most?

Ms. Hollon’s Answer: The Lord Peter Whimsey series by Dorothy L. Sayers and the Amelia Peabody books by Elizabeth Peters.


Q11: If you could spend one day with a character from your book who would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Ms. Hollon’s Answer: I identify strongly with the Harriet Vane character in the Peter Whimsey mysteries. I would invite her to a five-course dinner at the Chef’s table in the kitchen of Queen’s Head Pub here in St. Petersburg, FL. I would invite my local writer friends so we could talk mystery craft until we were stuffed in brain and body.


Q12: Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Have you ever learned anything from a bad review and incorporated it into your future work?

Ms. Hollon’s Answer: Although general advice is to ignore them, I read them for guidance on what parts of the craft of writing I can study and improve. I don’t take them too personally – everyone has books that they love that no one else likes and books that they can’t stand even though everyone else loves it.

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BLOG TOUR – A Gold Pawn – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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Today, I’m super excited to be bringing you a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for The Gold Pawn, the second book in the Art Deco Mystery series by L.A. Chandlar. This book was just as great as the first book, The Silver Gun.  After the review, I’ll be sharing an author interview with you.

About the Book

The Gold Pawn (An Art Deco Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Kensington (September 25, 2018)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-10: 1496713435
ISBN-13: 978-1496713438
Digital ASIN: B078QSRGRY

Purchase Links: AmazonB&NKobo

Rafflecopter Giveaway

From the Author: Kensington and I have special thank you gift to anyone who pre-orders THE GOLD PAWN and registers here>>>  http://sites.kensingtonbooks.com/lachandlar/

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Synopsis

November 1936. Mayor La Guardia’s political future buckles under a missing persons case in New York City. Simultaneously, Lane unravels devastating secrets in the outskirts of Detroit. As two crimes converge, judging friends from enemies can be a dangerous game . . .

Finally summoning courage to face the past, Lane Sanders breaks away from her busy job at City Hall to confront childhood nightmares in Rochester, Michigan. An unknown assailant left Lane with scattered memories after viciously murdering her parents. However, one memory of a dazzling solid gold pawn piece remains–and with it lies a startling connection between the midwestern tragedy and a current mystery haunting the Big Apple . . .

Meanwhile, fears climb in Manhattan after the disappearance of a respected banker and family friend threatens the crippled financial industry and the pristine reputation of Lane’s virtuous boss, Mayor Fiorello “Fio” La Guardia. Fio’s fight to restore order leads him into more trouble as he meets a familiar foe intent on ending his mayoral term–and his life . . .

Guided by overseas telegrams from the man she loves and painful memories, only Lane can silence old ghosts and derail present-day schemes. But when the investigation awakens a darker side of her own nature, will she and New York City’s most prominent movers and shakers still forge ahead into a prosperous new age . . . or is history doomed to repeat itself?

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Review – 5 out of 5 stars.

Wow! It amazing when you come across a second book in a series that’s just as good as the first book, but that’s what we have here with The Gold Pawn!

Our favorite characters are back for more shenanigans in this latest installment. We get to learn more about both Lane and Finn’s pasts. The mystery of Lane’s family and their involvement with the crime underworld finally unravels a little, though I still believe there’s more to the story.

The plotline was brilliant. Just like with the first book, I thought there were times where we were going to have a major climax, only to look at my e-reader and realize I had half a book to go!  There are many “mini” climaxes through the book and I was riveted to it through the whole thing! And it ended on quite the cliffhanger. I cannot wait for the third book to come out so we can see what happens!

If you can’t tell just from all my gushing about it, I’m HIGHLY recommending that you read this book. I would definitely start with the first book, The Silver Gun. This second book builds off of that one so you might be a bit lost if you don’t start with the first book; it’s just as good as this one.

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Author Interview

L. A. CHANDLER

Q1: Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day?  Do you enjoy your day job?

Ms. Chandlar’s Answer: I write mostly full-time, but I also teach corporate classes and workshops on the psychology of creativity, called Fight to Keep Creativity Alive. I think something that sets me apart in the corporate world is that I put my money where my mouth is. I have a mystery series that I write and ADORE. Since a big part of my life revolves around my own creativity where I didn’t just all into an overnight success, I’ve worked my tushy off, it’s interesting to people and it makes creativity seem possible, because I figured it out. I hope it’s inspiring.


Q2: Do you set aside time to write every day or do you write more sporadically? When you write, do you aim to complete a set # of pages or words? How does music/other noise affect your concentration when you’re writing?

Ms. Chandlar’s Answer: I try to write every day, but I write in large chunks when I have a deadline approaching. When I write every day, I try to set a goal of pages or words, but when I have a manuscript to finish, I turn off the page and word counts. Otherwise I look at them and get a pit in my stomach instead of just writing the scenes. I work better when I’m in a setting where there’s energy around, but no one requires anything of me. I have a hard time working at home, I tend to want to empty the dishwasher incessantly, pet a cat, or take a nap.


Q3: When you’re writing, do your characters seem to “hijack” the story or do you feel like you have the “reins” of the story? Similarly, do you outline your book first or just sit down and write, seeing where it takes you?

Ms. Chandlar’s Answer: My characters can definitely hijack! I love that! I write best when I have an idea of the plot and I just start writing scenes. After I while I write out a timeline instead of a full outline, then I go back to writing scenes. My books are heavily dependent on the characters, so an outline beforehand doesn’t work for me because it forces the characters into a framework.

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Q4: How did you break into the publishing world? How many rejections did you go through before finding a publisher? Did you ever think about quitting? If so, what did you do to keep yourself hopeful?

Ms. Chandlar’s Answer: I had 19 rejections from agents, then 26 rejections from publishers before I got a 3 book deal. I got disheartened at times, but I never wanted to quit. I figured if Stephen King’s first book (Carrie) was rejected 30 times, and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter first was rejected 12 times and she was even told that she shouldn’t quit her day job…I could handle at least 50 before I considered self-publishing. But even then, I was absolutely going to self-publish. I needed to find out what happened with Lane and Finn! J I have two other books that I have self-published for talks that I do. You have to learn to “dismiss the No” -and keep going forward- otherwise you’re not really a writer. You just want to get a book-published. There’s a big difference. A writer or an artist of any kind can’t stop. Even if it’s not recognized.


Q5: In general, how many revisions do you go through before a book is published? Do you have beta readers or is it just your editing team and their suggestions? Do you set your books aside for a period of time and then pick them up and edit them?

Ms. Chandlar’s Answer: I got through at least a few drafts before I give it to my editor, but I do prefer my editing team vs. beta readers. Only because I trust my main editor that she really gets my characters and my purpose in writing, and I trust her outlook as a reader. It’s a very subjective field, so I feel like I need editors who get my readers and my style.


Q6: A good villain is hard to write. How did you get in touch with your inner villain(s) to write this book. Was there a real-life inspiration for him/her/it?

Ms. Chandlar’s Answer: Sometimes I have real-life inspiration. The main villain in The Silver Gun, Daley Joseph, was formed from a man I ran into once in New York. In The Gold Pawn, you’ll see two kinds of villains as the book dives in to how we humans are made up of both good and bad. I like to have some villains that are 100% evil and others that are more complex. I’m inspired by intriguing villains on TV and in movies, too. I like to try to analyze how they work.

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Q7: Do any family members, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, etc. end up showing up in your work or are your characters all truly fictional? 

Ms. Chandlar’s Answer: Only if they piss me off.  Just kidding. Kind of. No, every character is truly fictional. I do like to try to figure out why certain idiosyncrasies or gestures in people stick out in my mind. I write in a lot of those that I witness in friends or acquaintances. I figure, if it’s something that keeps coming back to mind to me, it’s an interesting and memorable thing.


Q8: If you could write about anyone fiction/nonfiction, contemporary/historical who would you write about? Why?

Ms. Chandlar’s Answer: Actually, you’ll see my answer in my books! I love to have cameos in my books of people I’ve admired. And I enjoy bringing scattered bits of history all into one place, because that’s what it was like to live in any given era. We tend to learn about history in bits and pieces, but when you lived in the era, you had an understanding that all sorts of things were going on at the same time. So you’ll see cameos of famous scientists, actors, painters, theologians, politicians… as well as everyday average Joes. My favorite real person is the little girl, Ann Therese in The Gold Pawn. She’s the mother of a good friend, who did receive an award personally from Mayor La Guardia. I love love love writing real history in the books that was perhaps overlooked or forgotten.


Q9: What are some great books you’ve read recently?

Ms. Chandlar’s Answer: I read a variety because I love to learn. But my heart is in historical mystery with a twist. Recently, I just finished and LOVED Murder at the Flamingo by Rachel McMillan – in fact if you like my books, you’ll love hers. Similar artful flair. I love everything by R.J. Koreto, but especially his latest, Alice Roosevelt series. For thrills, I love Hank Philippi Ryan’s latest, Trust Me.

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Q10: What books have influenced your life the most?

Ms. Chandlar’s Answer: Such a great question. Rosamund Pilcher’s Coming Home is very precious to me. It’s truly like going home for me. Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody (who largely influenced Aunt Evelyn) is my all time favorite series. Les Mis by Victor Hugo was the first book that brought me to tears at the end. And then Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series taught me about imagination and creativity. I’ve read all of the above books multiple times; they’re part of my heart.


Q11: If you could spend one day with a character from your book who would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Ms. Chandlar’s Answer: Fiorello. I’m in love with Finn and Roarke. Lane is like my best friend. Aunt Evelyn is the person I aim to be in ten or twenty years. But Fiorello was a real person and I tried to capture his heart. I get a little teary just writing this. I would love to ride with him as he catapults through the city, helping people and yelling at them. Then we’d end up back at his home with his family and he’d make us all his famous spaghetti dinner.


Q12: Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Have you ever learned anything from a bad review and incorporated it into your future work?

Ms. Chandlar’s Answer: I have never learned anything helpful from a bad review. I am trying not to read them at all, but it’s hard. I love to learn, so I think I should able to read it and learn. But they always lead to gut wrenching self-doubt versus healthy critique (even if it still stings) which leads to self-awareness. I get healthy criticism from my editors and myself, things I can work on and improve upon. I write a lot of reviews, and I’m very careful, because it takes GUTS to put yourself out there. I admire every author I’ve ever read or met. Even if it’s not my favorite genre. It’s not easy.

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