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)
2nd in Series
Kensington (September 25, 2018)
Paperback: 336 pages
Digital ASIN: B078QSRGRY
Purchase Links: Amazon – B&N – Kobo
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/
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thanks for joining me today! If you wish to visit other stops on the tour, please click the banner below and it will take you to the main tour page!