Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Blog Hop, Hop, Hop

Author Diane Vallere writes the Mad for Mod Mysteries and Style and Error Mystery series. They're as much fun as she is, and so I'm delighted she's asked me to join this Blog Hop! The questions (below) are passed from one blog to another and give the curious an oportunity to see a variety of answers. You can go back to Diane's post by clicking on her name, and next week ... well, why give that away right now? Read my answers to the four questions and you will be rewarded with the name of the next participant!

1. What am I working on?

Except for some final editing, I've finished the sixth Thea Campbell Mystery, Saving the Queen of Diamonds. It's quite a puzzle with a number of brand new characters and a very sticky problem. Look for it very soon!

While my editors have been having their way with STQOD, I've been working on a short story featuring the protagonists from my series, Thea Campbell and Paul Hudson. They get married (again) after book 5 (Shooting to Kill) and before book 6 (Saving the Queen of Diamonds). "Again?" you ask. Yes, it's true. If you've read Shooting to Kill, you know why ... if you haven't, well, like I said to one fan who asked (after book 3) are they ever going to get married? Yes, but it will be a disaster.

2. How does this differ from others in its genre?

It's a romance ... with characters from a mystery series. I wrote it in response to fans who wanted to know what happened at the "other" wedding. Thea and Paul are together at the beginning and at the end, which is an unusual tactic for a romance story since generally the co-protagonists are antagonistic at the beginning and must work through issues in order to get together at the end. Never fear, however. There is plenty of conflict. Mystery writers live for conflict!

3. Why do I write?

I started writing, seriously (by which I mean "to produce a novel") because I needed something to do for a creative outlet. I'd had to step away from a career I loved and to fill the void and keep from feeling terribly sorry for myself I decided to see if I could write a whole mystery. It took me three years to produce my first book, and I still love it. Now I write because I enjoy it. It's challenging and fulfilling. And I've met so many wonderful, intelligent people I never would have met otherwise.

4. How does my writing process work?

My writing process is always being refined. Way back when, I started by just ... starting. However, over the years I've become a big fan of plotting my stories. I like a road map, as do my characters and my muse. I'll often start with a body or a crime, then build the story of the victim and the antagonist before I figure out how my protagonist will interact with them. It's much easier for me to write my protagonists' story if I know what the bad guys want and what they're willing to do to get it.

Next week Lisa Stowe, author of The Mountain Mystery Series (The Memory Keeper, Sparrow's Silence, and coming soon, Ghost Road) answers to these questions will be on her blog The Story River.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, William! Glad you enjoyed it! I liked the questions. They're a bit different than what I usually find.

  2. Susan, I love the title of your next book! I also love that you're producing a story between the novels. Great idea, and a great way to expose how Thea and Paul react to each other when there's no dead body! Thanks for taking the blog hop torch and passing it along to Lisa!

    1. Thank you, Diane! I'm finding the story-between-stories a challenge. It's in third person, and multiple viewpoints. All the books have been in first person, from Thea's point of view, and this is the first time I'll let the reader in to Paul's head (plus a couple other familiar characters). Interestingly enough, I'm finding plenty of conflict even without a murder to investigate!

      I'm looking forward to Lisa Stowe's answers. She's a very thoughtful writer and I always find I have something to think about when I read her blogs.