My friend and sister Femmes Fatale, Dana Cameron, tagged me for the Next Big Thing Blog Hop. The writing community is generous, and this Blog Hop is a way to get to know more about one another. We all answer these questions on our blogs, then tag more writers and keep the information flowing.
"Board Stiff." It’s my twelfth Dead-End Job mystery, set in South Florida.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Fascinating articles in the South Florida newspapers about the cut-throat competition between beach concession operators. Companies were sabotaging each other’s rental equipment in the fight for tourist dollars. It was easy to turn those battles murderous.
What genre does your book fall under?
Mystery. The publisher says I write cozies, but I think they’re more soft-boiled, like Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone mysteries. Publishers Weekly called my last Dead-End Job mystery an "action-filled cozy." I like that.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Private eye Helen Hawthorne is tall, smart and strong. I see her as Sandra Bullock in "Miss Congeniality."
Phil Sagemont, her PI husband and partner in Coronado Investigatins, I see O. C. bad boy and surfer dude Cam Gigandet
Benedict Cumberbatch would be fun, if only to see what would happen next to his name. The good-humored Benedict says his name has been mangled as Cumber – bat, boobie, band, even Cumberbutt. Here’s a video of him pronouncing his name:
That sublime scene stealer, Maggie Smith, would be Helen’s landlady, Margery Flax. See. Dame Maggie even wears purple like the Coronado landlady.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A tourist dies in front of Helen and Phil and the two PIs have no idea she was murdered, but if they can’t solve this impossible crime their client loses his livelihood and ten million dollars.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Published in hardcover and as an e-book by Obsidian, a division of Penguin
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Six months. I ripped up the novel up twice, because I thought Helen and Phil solved the case too easily. After I turned in the manuscript, my editor suggested a different killer. Unfortunately, she was right. So I rewrote "Board Stiff" a fourth time. You now have the most entertaining read possible.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
A saltwater Janet Evanovich. The story is funny, the plot is fast and the men are hot, but Helen knows which one she wants.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The Florida beaches, which have the most amazing sports. Everything from stand up paddleboarding – which gave the novel its name – to underwater dive scooters, which created the famous fight scene in "Thunderball." Action-packed cozy, remember?
What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
"Board Stiff" is the ultimate beach book. It has all the warmth and color of a South Florida book without the sunburn. Pour yourself a cold margarita and settle in for a fun read.
Here's a question for you, dear readers: Who do you think should play Helen Hawthorne, Phil Sagemont and Margery Flax?
I tagged this fine collection of mystery writers with styles ranging from hardboiled to historical. You can read their answers on their blogs Dec. 12:
Femme Fatale Marcia Talley, author of "The Last Refuge." http://marciatalley.com/
Kristy Montee/PJ Parrish, author of "The Killing Song." http://www.pjparrish.com/pj.php
Judith Rock, author of "Plague of Lies." http://www.judithrock.com/index2.html
Julie Compton, author of "Rescuing Olivia." http://www.julie-compton.com/
And here's Dana's answers to the Next Big Thing: http://www.danacameron.com/danas_notebook/