What is the working title of your book?
Organized to Death, not just the working title, but the actual title.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I wanted to be a professional organizer several years ago, but things happened, and it didn’t pan out. But I have a lot of books about the subject, read lots of stuff on-line, and studied it quite a bit. So, I decided that since there are not a lot of novels out there with professional organizers in them, it would be a great thing for an amateur sleuth, in her 20s, to be. Because she is going to get involved in places that are disorganized, and everyone has something to hide, as Agatha Christi says. Of course, for a mystery series, that hidden something will usually be about a murder. But other surprises and secrets will also be uncovered beneath all the clutter.
What genre does your book fall under?
Mystery, amateur sleuth.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I have no idea. I do a lot more reading that I do watching movies and TV, so I’m not up on the current stars.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Tina has a new job to do, an old flame to seduce, and a murder to solve.
And here’s the description: Back in her hometown of Newport, RI, Tina Shaw, twenty-nine, is picking up the pieces of her shattered life. She begins her first job as a professional organizer in a house filled with cardboard boxes and clutter, only to discover a dead body in an eerily neat baby nursery. She fears this career move may be a short one until the handsome but spooky new doctor persuades her to reorganize his office left in disarray by the former physician.
Ignoring the doctor’s obvious interest in her, Tina begins seeing her former boyfriend. When he protests against her new profession, she realizes what a control freak he is. Then there’s another old flame who is making her hotter by the minute. As she works through the office clutter, she learns the doctor has a possible motive for the killing. But when someone else is shot, the doctor has a solid alibi–Tina herself. Drawn unwillingly into the case, she searches for answers as her list of suspects multiplies. When the killer begins targeting Tina and her friends, she works harder to learn the murderer’s identity before someone else is found dead.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It should be out in the next week or so, for Kindles and trade paperback. I’m self-publishing this one and the rest of the series because of the uncertainty and problems with NY publishers publishing ebooks—the when, the how much to charge, and the royalties “offered” to writers. The publishing industry is in disarray with many bookstore closings and NY not reacting quickly enough to the expanding ebook market. All my self-published books have been or will be professionally edited and have a cover designed by a professional artist.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
About six months.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Any popular books about amateur sleuths with unusual professions, or even usual professions such as hairdressers, mystery shoppers, chefs, etc.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Life! Messy life.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
There’s some humor and quirky characters, including Tina’s Uncle Bob who is deaf and has a golden retriever service dog.
And that’s the end of my interview, but there’s more. Other writers are answering these questions on their blogs. Let’s go see how their answers compare to mine!
On November 24, John Floyd will describe his forthcoming short story collection, Deception, at SleuthSayers: http://www.sleuthsayers.org/2012/11/the-next-big-thing.html
Also check out:
B.K. Stevens at http://www.untreedreads.com/?page_id=999
Frank Zafiro at http://www.frankzafiro.com/blog/
for their interviews.