Some day I’ll learn to ask questions before saying, “Sure, I’ll do it!” Back in November, I’d participated in The Next Big Thing. But when my cowboy pal, Reavis Wortham, recently asked me if I’d be interested in doing a Blog Hop, I answered YES before I had a chance to discover the “Blog Hop” was another name for “The Next Big Thing.” Oh, well, no problem. The first time, I wrote about CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE, which I’m currently pitching to agents. This time I’m writing about SINS OF THE FATHERS, the next in that series.
1: What is the working title of your book? Sins of the Fathers
2: Where did the idea come from for the book? Years and years ago, a co-worker’s brother was killed in a devastating motorcycle accident. The casket remained closed for the viewing and the funeral service and the sister was never allowed to see her brother’s body because everyone felt it would haunt her. But she later said to me, “How do I know he’s really dead?” She had a lot of problems with closure. That plaintive question stuck with me, and I decided to explore it in this story. How does Zoe know her father’s really dead? Especially when years later, questions arise about the night he supposed died in a car crash.
3: What genre does your book come under? Police procedural, traditional mystery.
5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? How will Deputy Coroner Zoe Chambers solve a murder with links to her own family history when the investigation not only stirs up questions about the death of her father, but indicates he may still be alive, and points to him as the killer?
6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency? Hopefully it will be represented by an agency. I’m currently querying agents for the previous book in the series
7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Oh, heavens. I’m still working on it. This one keeps getting put on the back burner for other projects, but it’s a story demanding to be written, so I hope to have the first draft done this summer.
8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I still hesitate to have the audacity to put my work in the same category as hers, but I have to say Julia Spencer-Fleming’s Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mystery series.
9: Who or what inspired you to write this book? I wanted to somehow pay tribute to my own dad who suffered the horrors of Alzheimer’s Disease, so for the other half of the “Fathers” in the title, I created Pete’s dad, Harry, a loveable old cuss who is drifting away, bit by bit. I love the juxtaposition of Zoe seeking to find her long, lost father, while Pete is losing his pop right in front of his eyes.
10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? I love to weave together the past with the present and there’s a lot of that here. The homicide investigation (a farmer found hanged in his barn) that kicks the story off has direct ties to a 45-year-old murder/suicide. Zoe’s dad was supposedly killed 27 years ago, but his name is being linked to both that old case and this new one. Cold cases become hot, and hot leads grow cold.
Now make sure you check out Reavis’ blog about his Next Big Thing. I’m tagging two friends to carry on the Blog Hop. Mary Sutton will post hers next Wednesday, February 13, and Deborah Riley-Magnus takes her turn on Wednesday, February 20.