Mystery author Beth Groundwater writes the Claire Hanover gift basket designer series (A REAL BASKET CASE, 2007 Best First Novel Agatha Award finalist, TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET, 2009, and A BASKET OF TROUBLE, 2013) and the RM Outdoor Adventures series starring river ranger Mandy Tanner (DEADLY CURRENTS, 2011, an Amazon bestseller, WICKED EDDIES, 2012, finalist for the Rocky Award, and FATAL DESCENT, 2013). Beth lives in Colorado, enjoys its outdoor activities, and loves talking to book clubs.
Friday, December 05, 2008
Guest Blogger Jean Henry Mead!!
As I promised in my last blog entry, Jean Henry Mead is my guest all day tomorrow, and she will be ready to answer any questions you post to my blog during the day. Remember that if you post a comment or question to my blog, you are automatically entered into a drawing for three signed copies of A Village Shattered. To get you stimulated, here's an interview with Dana Logan, one of the two sleuths featured in A Village Shattered.
Dana Logan, why do you think the author made you the main character?
Probably because I’m the most like her: tall, stubborn, eccentric and impatient. Novelists deny that they pattern their characters after themselves or people they know, but even if it’s only subconscious, it’s bound to happen. Who else do they know as well as themselves? Or friends and family members?
Other characters in the novel say that you look like the actress Gina Davis and that your friend Sarah resembles Shelley Winters. How do you feel about that?
Gina Davis happens to be one of my favorite actresses. And I’m glad the author also likes her. In the unlikely event they make a film about my life, I’d like Gina to play my role. But that’s never going to happen. Sarah and I have a real knack for getting involved in murder cases. Sarah always wanted to be a private investigator because she typed reports for her late husband, who was a PI. That’s how we got into this serial murder case, and it has nothing to do with the way we look.
Couldn’t you have just said NO! when your friend asked you to help her solve the first murder of your club member?
And let Sarah wonder around in the San Joaquin Valley fog all by herself? Not on your life! The killer is watching all of us and might even be a Sew and So club member. That’s who’s getting killed. Our friends all belong to the club and we discovered that the killer stole our membership roster and is killing our members alphabetically. First it was Alice, then Betty and Candice. My first name begins with a D so I may be next on the killer’s list, although there’s a member named Carole, so she could be the next victim. That’s why we have to discover who the murderer is, before he or she strikes again.
But what about the sheriff and his deputies?
Sheriff Grayson was recently elected and his only law enforcement experience was training police dogs. Some say he’s trying to run his department like a kennel , and half his staff resigned when he took office. Now maybe you understand why Sarah and I have to put our crime solving skills to work in order to save our lives.
What crime solving skills?
Sarah understudied her husband for years and knows the private investigating business thoroughly. And I have a large library of mystery and crime novels that I read at a rate of three a week. So we’re well aware of how law enforcement operates.
But doesn’t the sheriff object that you’re trying to do his job, and risking your lives in the process?
Of course he does, but would you cringe in a corner if you knew a killer were stalking you? Sarah and I may have recently joined the ranks of senior citizens but we’re a long way from being attached to rocking chairs. We’re quite capable of defending ourselves and sifting through clues to determine the killer.
I’ve heard that Sheriff Grayson has a crush on you? Do you think that’s why he’s giving you preferential treatment?
I’m aware of his infatuation but he’s a recently divorced man so I’m not taking his attentions seriously. And I would hardly call it preferential treatment when he takes Sarah and me down to police headquarters for exhaustive questioning. He even made us go to the morgue to identify a body he thought was our neighbor Harold Samuels. Sarah’s blood pressure skyrocketed and it didn’t do mine any good.
Who do you think is killing your friends?
I’m not sure. Sarah insists that it’s Harold Samuels, a sixtyish neighbor whose eyesight rivals Mr. Magoo. He disappeared the night that we had him over for dinner. Sarah put some cloral hydrate in his drink so we both feel responsible for his disappearance. Betty Wilson’s husband Pat is a likely candidate. He got rid of all his wife’s things, except for heirloom silverware and her jewelry within hours after her body was found. And everyone knows he’s a womanizer. There are other suspects as well.
Dana sure has whetted my appetite for this novel! Here are some links if you want more information:
Jean's blog tour schedule can be found at: http://myblogtour.blogspot.com/
Her website is: http://jeanhenrymead.com/
The print copy of Jean's book just went up at Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/5alkkr
The multi format edition is currently number one at Fictionwise-ePress-Online: http://tinyurl.com/6rdzm5
Posted by Beth Groundwater at 8:17 PM
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You held up well during the investigation. It was close several times but you pulled it off in the end. And the biggest surprise was that the killer was
Good interview! I can tell the story has suspense, mystery, maybe a tinge of romance, and I'd bet there's some humor, too. Sounds like a great book. Congratulations Jean -- and you, too, Dana.
I love the cover of your book and after reading this interview I can't wait to read it. It's on my must get list now. Wonderful interview.
Clever post. I always find it interesting when a blogger posts an interview with a character in the book. Nicely done.
I will have to check this out. I lived for most of my life in Central California. Now I live where they announce a "dense fog advisory - visibility less than 1/4mile in some locations." It is good for a laugh.
Plus, the story sounds really good.
Thank you, Helen, Mare, and Katie for the kind words. Ron, that's some clue you left.:) And Janet, I agree. There's nowhere else with fog worse than the San Joaquin Valley. The summer heat is a killer too.
Thanks, Beth, for the great presentation and interview!
Sounds like a really grand adventure, Dana! Do you look for trouble, or does it just find you? Will we get to hear more exciting stories in the future?
I hope so!
Sometimes these character interviews come off sounding so contrived, but not this one. Great job! Dana sounds like my kind of gal, and I'm putting this book on my "To buy" list. :-)
Hi Dana - Who are some of your favorite mystery authors? Do you have a favorite series or sleuth?
Can you tell me a little more about the Sew and So club? How long have you been a member? What activities do you participate in? Who can become a member?
And congratulations for being in the #1 spot at Fictionwise! That's always good news.
Kenna, I was talked into this adventure by my friend, Sarah, who has been itching to solve a crime since her private investigator husband died. She had been understudying him for years. But now that I have a solved crime under my proverbial belt, I'm ready for the next one (Diary of Murder, out next spring).
Thank you, Jill. I hope you enjoy the book and the ones that follow. I'm currently working on novel #3 in the series, Died Laughing.
Lady PL, I have an entire library of mystery novels and I like Sue Grafton, Janet Evanovich, Agatha Christie, James Patterson, Dean Koontz and I'm having a senior moment and can't remember the names of others.
The Sew and So Club is no longer.
Half our members have died and Sarah and I are selling out homes and buying a 37-foot motorhome to travel. My sister, Georgi, lives in Wyoming and we're going to visit her first. She's a mystery writer, you know.
Thank you, Dani. I think your excellent instructions on how to conduct a blog tour has placed A Village Shattered at the top of the list.
Looking forward to reading the book now!
SusanS1685 AT yahoo DOT com
I just got back from an afternoon book signing and sat down to check the blog after eating dinner. I'm soooo glad so many people have stopped by to chat with Jean and ask her questions. Keep it up!
"Tall, stubborn and impatient."
Yep. Add to that talented and a heck of a good writer.
So YOU are DANA, eh, Jean? LOL
Thank you, Marvin. Sorry if I ticked you off. :)
Thanks again, Beth, for hosting my blog tour. We received some very good comments!
Well this was a creative approach, I assume the novel is equally so. I will have to check it out.
Wonderful interview, yet again! Jean, I'm impressed at how articulate all of your characters are during this tour!
And thank YOU, Jean, for stopping by my blog yesterday! I've never had so many comments on a blog post. :)
Love the interview with the character, Dana. Well done Beth.
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