Getting the most from interviews

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Sep 052013

By Steve Weddle

Folks have been really nice about sharing the recent Publishers Weekly review of COUNTRY HARDBALL. If you haven’t read it, here you go. I was too anxious to read the whole thing closely, but I’m told it says that purchasing the book will make parts of you bigger where you want and smaller where you want and help you live a better life and get to Heaven and stuff like that.

Here’s the thing that happens when you combine your need for promotion with the kindness of people — they help promote you. I have found, at least in my case, that people have been far nicer to me than I deserve.

So let’s look at interviewing, shall we?

I’ve done some interviews. People have asked me questions. I’ve asked them questions.

Here’s a list of some of the times people have asked me questions: Interviews with Weddle.

I’ve talked via video with people, on the phone, on the email machines. Radio and podcast. Print and dig.

And I’ve interviewed people, both during my newspaper time and my blogger-ing time.

I’ve had the pleasure of chatting via telephony with Frank Bill and Hilary Davidson and Lynn Kostoff and others. Those are available at the DSD Podcast.

I’ve done video interviews with folks, including JT Ellison.

I’ve been on both ends of the emailing of TEN questions and/or answers. Or one at a time.

All this to say, I have had ample opportunity to see how to screw this up in every single way you could think of.

Maybe you’re interviewing people. Maybe you’re being interviewed. Lately, though, I’ve had the experience of being interviewed, so I thought I’d share some thoughts I kinda wish I’d had a while back.

Know The Format

Is this a conversational interview or a straight Q and A? I’m more of a conversational guy, in that I tend to look for connective tissue in everything. An interview can be a string of thoughts flowing into each other, building and collapsing throughout the hour. Or an interview can be more of an informational gathering process. Informal or informational? Shit. Prolly shoulda used that as a header somewhere.

If you’re in a conversational interview, keep it loose but on-track. I’ve heard far too many interviews in which the whole thing jumps the track, plows through the water tower and into the orphanage. Don’t do that. The kids. For the love. If it’s conversational, you’ll want to engage the interviewer and, by extension, the audience. No matter what side you’re on, this isn’t all about you. If you’re a jerk like I am, then you’re still convinced it’s mostly about you. But you’ll want to talk with your chat companion, not at him/her. If you’re asked about the best book you’re read recently, you probably don’t want to put your interviewer on the spot by saying “Chris F. Holm’s BIG REAP. Have you read it?” Because, you know, maybe she hasn’t. Maybe you say the thing about Holm, but say “It’s about a war between Heaven and Hell, kinda. I like book with big themes that seem grounded in the personal” or something along those lines, to which your interviewer can say something about Holm or, on the off-chance that he/she hasn’t read, something more general. But you’re engaging, at that point.

Let me be clear, here. Do or don’t do. Whatevs. I’m not saying that you should say this thing or not. Just, you know, something to think about. That’s all. It’s your interview. Do whatever you want. Just offering some ideas. K? K. *hugs*

If it’s more the “here’s a question-give an answer” kind of interview, you’ll definitely want to review the types of questions the interviewer asks. Are they big questions? Are they the same for each interview? I used to have this thing where the last question I asked was always about the favorite room in the person’s house. When I was doing reporter-y interviews, it was always whether golf was a sport, because ha ha.

With my book (there goes Weddle again. it’s all about him.) the bigger questions tend to be about economics in the rural south. That’s from people who have read the book. If people haven’t read the book, they can ask “Tell us a little about your book.”

Either way, figure out which type of interview you’re lined up for and give it some thought ahead of time.

Of course, if the person is emailing questions instead of doing so in real time (phone, skype, etc) then forget everything I’ve said. (Pause. Wait for joke.)

Have a thing

John Locke, who sold a gazillion books and was a darling until some people got the angers about paying for reviews, said you’ll need to communicate one thing when you’re doing an interview. That’s good advice I hadn’t considered.

If you’re doing an interview with someone, you’ll want to wrap up something nice and hand it over as a present. Maybe it’s a particular anecdote you want to share this one time with this one audience.

I don’t have the maths, but many of the questions you’ll get as an author are the same from interview to interview. “What’s your process?” “Do you enjoy editing?” “What are some of your influences?” “Do you find toothbrushes as gross as I do?” “What are you working on now?”

Interviewers and readers can get Interview Fatigue. Engaging the interviewer is one way to beat this, but so is dropping in something fresh. Have a story in your pocket that you want to convey to people. A thought. Maybe you want people to know that you wrote the book in just under ten years. Or that proceeds are going to help train-wrecked orphans. That all kinda lead to our next and (checks clock) final point:

Know Your Audience

People read books differently. Some people will read a book and see an aging headmaster trying to hold on to control after one of the students he’s failed tries to take over the world. Others will read the same book and see three wizards coming of age. You have to figure out what your interviewer and his/her audience will see. You have to connect before you connect. Hmmm. Something like that.

If you’re being interviewed on Wake Up, Metroville, then you’re going to want to connect with whoever the hell is up at 5 am. Worker people? Stay-at-homes? Invalids? I dunno. Whoever that is. Maybe watch the show. Do they do consumer tips? Local history? Somehow, you’ll want to tie in to the things they talk about. “You know, Annabelle, I saw your segment last week about preventing pick-pockets and it reminded me of this scene in my book.” Um, maybe not that obvious.

If you’re Joelle Charbonneau and you’re writing the Glee Club Mysteries, your responses are going to be much different if you’re talking to the Chicago Tribune or the Valleydale High Glee Club Newsletter.

My book has baseball, mills, convenience stores, VCRs, meth, an elephant, a funeral, deviled eggs and so forth. If a cooking mag wants to talk to me about all the food in the book, I’d better know the difference between paprika and nutmeg.

Mostly, I think, it comes down to knowing that each interview is different and preparing accordingly. Don’t just show up and figure you don’t have to do any work if you’re being interviewed. You spent years writing this book, yeah? Don’t screw it up now.

And be nice to the interviewers. Their time is valuable and they’re hella nice for bothering with you at all.

Jul 252012

By Steve Weddle

If you know anything about short stories and crime fiction, then you already know Sandra Seamans. Her blog, My Little Corner, is a must-read — as are her stories.

COLD RIFTS, her collection from Snubnose, is on many digital TBR piles right. Here stories can be found all over the web. Here. And here. And here.

I’ve worked with Sandra on a couple of projects — the very first Needle mag and the DISCOUNT NOIR collection Patti Abbott and I edited.

Sandra was nice enough to answer some of my questions about writing style and short stories and much more.

Steve: Your “My Little Corner” blog claims to be a place for your “scattered thoughts.” In fact, your site provides a great deal of real news about what’s going on in the fiction community. From new publishers to contest and anthology calls, your site is one of the most useful sites for short story writers. How did you get to this point?

Sandra: Pretty much by accident. I started the blog without any idea of what to do with one and no expectation that anyone would actually read it. Once I figured out how to post links I started linking to online zines to make it easier for me to find markets when I had a story to sell and also to find stories to read. When I decided to clean out my email files, I discovered a whole slew of zine links and market listings which I added to the blog. It seemed a shame to stop there, so I just kept adding new links as I found them.

I always appreciated when other writers shared markets with me, so the blog was a way for me to pass that kindness forward. It’s also been a joy for me to watch other writers get published in those new markets. It’s such a big world out there on the ‘net that having links in one place makes it easier for writers to find the type of market they’re looking for.
Along the way I realized that by focusing only on mystery markets, crime writers were missing out on other outlets for their work. That mystery/crime stories fit in all genres, especially in many of the horror markets. So I began adding anthology calls, contest, and writing advice links for all the genres. It’s been a lot of fun for me and hopefully useful to other writers.

Steve: Benjamin Whitmer, another of my favorite writers, has called your COLD RIFTS “a fierce, sorrowful” book of stories. How did you choose these stories for this collection?

Sandra: With a great deal of hair pulling. I knew they all needed to be dark stories because that’s what Snubnose Press publishes. Since most of my work has been published online I felt the need to make the bulk of the collection new stories. I had six new stories and a half-written novella (which turned into a novelette) in my files that fit the bill. Besides finishing the novelette, I also wrote two more new stories and lengthened a pair of published flash stories. The rest was just a matter of deciding which published pieces would compliment the new work.

Putting them into some kind of order was the tricky part. I spent hours writing down lists of stories, their themes, lengths, male or female protags. I finally wound up loosely putting them together in groups of four – two dark stories, one paranormal and one humorous. What I hoped for in this arrangement was to break up the intensity of the darkest crime stories so that readers didn’t feel like they were being pummeled to death with disaster. One other thing I did was mix in a good dose of male protags so the male readers won’t be overwhelmed with a feminine point of view. I didn’t want the collection to appeal strictly to women, I wanted something for everyone to enjoy

Steve: At a recent Mystery Writers of America meeting, Snubnose Publisher Brian Lindenmuth talked about your book in addition to some of the others that indie press is publishing. How helpful has it been to be in a community of like-minded readers and writers?

Sandra: It’s like having your own private cheerleaders. They’re always there with an encouraging word and a helping hand when you need it.

Steve: You’ve had stories published nearly everywhere, at places that continue and places that have moved on – Shred of Evidence, Pulp Pusher, Scalped ezine. How has the market for short story writers changed over the past few years?

Sandra: The biggest change has come in the last year or so with e-publishing. More and more small presses are putting together anthologies and writers are getting a percentage of the profits. The amounts aren’t huge but it beats constantly giving it away for free or having it sit in a drawer collecting dust.

I also love that print magazines are making a comeback. We’ve got Needle, Pulp Modern, and Grift which are publishing some great stories. And it’s not just the mystery genre, there’s new horror and sci-fi/fantasy print zines showing up.

The online zines are always in flux and I suspect always will be. What I have noticed is that some of them are starting to put together “best of” anthologies and e-pubbing them which puts the stories in front of a larger audience. Others, like The Big Click, Noir Nation, Spinetingler and ThugLit, are putting out new issues in this manner, which helps pay their bills and put a little jingle in the writer’s pockets.

Steve: GRIMM TALES, an Untreed Reads publication, is a collection of stories in which top authors retell a Grimm tale in modern terms. How did your story come about?

Sandra: The minute John Kenyon put up the challenge to rewrite a fairytale into a crime story, I was in. Yeah, I’m a fairytale freak. I also knew I wanted to do something different. There are only so many variations of the usual suspects that you can write. I found a website that had many of the Grimm’s published. Reading down through the list of titles “The Blue Light” caught my eye. It was the story of a Soldier who’d fought for the King and when he was wounded and not as useful, the King sent him away. Through a meeting with a witch he finds a way to get his revenge on the King – perfect setup for a crime story. I used the basics of the fairytale but turned the soldier into a cleanup man for a mob boss, gave him some rules he lived by and off we went. It was a fun story to write.

Steve: You’ve been writing stories for years, of course. Have your habits of writing changed? Are you quicker? More deliberate? Has it gotten easier?

Sandra: In some ways it’s easier. The blank page doesn’t scare me as much as it used to. I’ve also discovered that every idea that pops into my brain won’t always make a good story, but the time spent writing and going nowhere isn’t wasted. Bits and pieces of those “useless” stories generally find there way into other stories that do work.

I’ve also learned to take my time, to think more about the character’s motives instead of just charging ahead into the action. The hardest part for me is setting the story aside for a week or two then going back. Setting the story aside allows my brain the freedom to mull over what I’ve written and consider other options or new scenes that would open the story up more or help explain better what’s going on. When I finally reopen the file, I usually have several pages full of notes and new scenes sketched out.

Each new story, at least for me, is a learning process. I’m learning to take my time instead of just banging away, then having to cut out half of what I’ve written. The hardest part is learning to trust my instincts. Inside, you know what is or isn’t working. You just have to trust that inner voice. Trust that it knows you’re doing what’s right for the story when you hit the delete key.

Steve: In the Age Of The Laptop, the “room of one’s own” idea seems to be fading away. People write in coffee shops, of all places.. Do you have a favorite place to write or are you one of those people who scrawls down a complete story anywhere?

Sandra: I have a small office in the house where I work on my computer. I don’t have a laptop that moves from room to room but you’ll find notepads (junk mail envelopes make great note paper, too) and pens in just about every room where I’ve scrawled down ideas for new stories, bits of dialogue for the current wip, or random scenes that I think will take an old story into a new direction.

Living in the country, there’s no nearby coffee shops, so it’s just me at home with my Mr. Coffee to keep me company.

Steve: What short story writers should people be reading now?

Sandra: There’s so many of them, it’s difficult to choose, and everyone’s taste in stories is so different. Some of the writers I’ve enjoyed lately are Charles Dodd White, Seamus Scanlon, and Misty Skaggs. These writers tend toward the more literary side of my short story reading. For the crime/mystery group I’d say Art Taylor, Thomas Pluck, Jane Hammons, Libby Cudmore and Jen Conley. And of course, there are a hundred others out there that everyone should be reading, just click on any online zine and you’ll find them.

Steve: What are you working on now?

Sandra: I’m always working on the next story. Recently, I was invited to submit a story to a charity anthology with an end of the world theme. I was stumped until I came across an old micro-flash that I’d written and believe, that with a bit of research, it will work into a good short story. One of the joys of flash fiction is that there’s always more story to tell.

I also have several “finished” stories simmering in their file folders that need to be opened. They just need a few more scenes added and a bit of polishing before they get kicked out the door. And then there’s the Western that I’m working on. I know pretty much how it’s going to unfold, it’s just a matter of getting it from my head to the page.

Check out My Little Corner to keep up-to-date on all the crime fiction happenings.

Jun 132012

By Steve Weddle

Fellow Team Decker member Frank Wheeler, Jr. stopped by to talk about his critically acclaimed debut, THE WOWZER.

In the Arkansas Ozarks, old-timers spin tales of the Wowzer, a giant panther-like creature that decapitates those who wander too far into the woods. County sheriff’s deputy Jerry was raised on Wowzer stories, but they aren’t enough to stop him from carrying out his own business in the remote hills. Jerry’s more than a sheriff’s deputy; he moonlights as muscle for local drug traffickers, who sometimes need people to get hurt—or get dead. 

Fortunately, Jerry’s pretty good at his job. And since Tom Haskell runs the sheriff’s office and the drug-protection racket, Jerry doesn’t see much of a moral dilemma. That is, until he starts thinking about getting out of the trade, and then things get complicated fast. For starters, Jerry’s girl Maggie flees the state after learning about a disturbing diagnosis tucked inside Jerry’s psych report. And now Sheriff Haskell is dragging his feet paying Jerry his cut of the drug money. Is Haskell just reluctant to lose his top muscle? Or is he plotting to take out the man who knows his dirtiest secrets? Fans of hardboiled, “country noir” fiction will love gnashing on Frank Wheeler’s violent and darkly comic debut, sneaking a glimpse into the mind of a killer whose inner monster is about to be unleashed.

Steve Weddle: What’s the one book you most often suggest to people?

Frank Wheeler, Jr: There’s a couple, of course.  For fiction fans, I often suggest “Old Man and the Sea.”  I’m still in awe at how Hemingway managed to pack so much into a hundred pages and change.  That’s how you do it.

For writers looking to improve their craft, I suggest Forster’s “Aspects of the Novel.” It still gives the best, simplest, and most useful overview and breakdown of how a novel works.

SW: You’ve said your family stories pushed you towards THE WOWZER. What other family stories have you heard that would make good stories? Or what other overheard stories are you wanting to tell?

FW: My former-cattle-rancher great uncle in Oklahoma told me plenty.  I’ve got another great uncle who, along with my grandma, was raised in northern Louisiana.  He was a one-legged truck driver and later raised dachshunds.  Another uncle, from the Arkansas bunch, was a submarine commander in the nuclear navy.  I’ve grown up in the best possible place for a storyteller to be… surrounded by other storytellers whose experience I may profit from.

SW: Do you think being labeled “Crime Fiction” helps market your book? Does a label like “Rural Noir” provide too tight a limit?

FW: Sure.  There are lots more people who read “Crime Fiction” than there are people who are turned off by it.  I don’t object to the label “Rural Noir” because that’s what this book is.  A story set out in the woods can be just as interesting as one set in a big city.

SW: What’s your ideal book reading as an author? As a listener? Do you prefer readings from the work followed by questions and answers? Do you prefer stories about how the book came about?

FW: Truth be told, I haven’t given a reading of my work in close to ten years, so I really couldn’t say.  As a listener, I like the Q&A to follow the reading.  And I find that the stories about how the book came to be are often the most interesting part of the reading.  Frequently, I can relate to them, and it makes my own process not seem so arbitrary or directionless.

SW: As a debut novelist, what’s the one thing you know now that you wished known two years ago?

FW: I wish I’d known that it can take a lot of time to get a manuscript from a submitted draft to a printed book.  And I don’t just mean the calendar days.  The time feels different, passes more slowly.  That whole watched-pot-never-boils thing.  Yeah, I was pulling out my hair for a while.  I wish I’d known that even though mine didn’t take that long (relative to the publishing business norm), that space between acceptance and publication was going to feel like an eternity.

SW: Patricia Highsmith was a hot topic at the last NoirCon. How does THE WOWZER fit into a world with what she and others – including Jim Thompson – have done in terms of the protagonist’s state of mind?

FW: I heard someone say about James Cagney that all the bad guys he played didn’t know they were bad guys.  I love Highsmith’s work, and her Ripley novels were a big part of my decision to make the character a psychopath.  But to be honest, I didn’t know who Jim Thompson was until I read what Scott Wolven wrote, comparing THE WOWZER to Thompson’s work.  What I like about this type of character is that it’s a kind of day-pass into a world without the constraint of conscience.  You get the experience of doing lots of bad things, and don’t have to feel guilt over it.  And then you get to come back from it.

SW: Why does THE WOWZER have to take place in the Ozarks? Why not Florida? Seattle?

Frank Wheeler, Jr

FW: Cause that’s where Jerry’s from , don’t you know nothin’?

I love the Ozarks.  A lot of relatives on my mother’s side lived there, and we’d visit now and then.  Being a flatlander most of my life (Central Texas, Eastern New Mexico, Nebraska), the mountains made quite an impact.  So did the great uncles who showed me what storytelling was.  That was the voice I tried to capture: my uncles from the area, spinning a yarn.

SW: THE WOWZER has been called “a profane, violent, strangely captivating romance.” How is it that a hard-boiled piece of country noir can also have a romance?

FW: Even monsters need love.  Well, some of them, anyway.  That’s what I learned from those old HBO “Iceman” documentaries.  The guy did love his family, but kept that separate from his job as a hitman. That’s in our nature.   We seek companionship and intimacy with others.  Even those who are profoundly detached, they still have that instinct, even if they can’t conventionally, or safely, express it.  

SW: Why don’t you have a website? Why aren’t you on Twitter all day? Are you sure you’re a real author?

FW: I’m what you might call a “slow learner” when it comes to computers.  My brother in law, a programmer-genius, is actually helping me develop a website that should be up in the near future.  As for Twitter, see, I have a couple of these things called jobs.  And also a wife I like to spend time with. But I drop in occasionally to shoot my mouth off.

SW: What are you working on next?

FW: I’m in the last stages of revision for a new novel.  It’s set in Nebraska, in a place very like my hometown. If I just call it hardboiled WESTERN noir, then that means it’s hardboiled noir set between 1865 and 1900. So I guess it’s hardboiled CONTEMPORARY western noir. Or whichever sequencing of those words works best.  Maybe I just invented that category.  This novel is actually based on my short story “The Good Life,” which appeared in issue #7 of CrimeFactory magazine.  And I’m also chipping away at  a sequel to THE WOWZER.

May 302012

By Steve Weddle

I got the chance to chat with Chad Rohrbacher about his newest book, THE AZREAL DECEPTION.


After the Restructuring, the Planetary Control Group (PCG) brings order and safety to the nation, but at a cost. The only people who get to see nature are those who can afford to buy it. Real food is a luxury. Desperation is rampant. What happens when the people want out of that contract?

“Simultaneously heroic and tragic, the flawed heroes of Chad Rohrbacher’s Azreal Deception fight to survive in a world where trust is a luxury no one can afford. Tough, soulful, brutal, and insightful, these six gritty tales will keep you on the edge of your seat. Cyberpunk at its finest.” – Bill Olver, Big Pulp

Feb 222012

By Steve Weddle

Mollie Cox Bryan, freelance writer and cookbook author, stopped by DSD HQ to talk about her debut mystery, SCRAPBOOK OF SECRETS (Kensington).

One of my favorite writers, Haruki Murakami, wrote a book called What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. I’m not terribly fond of exercise, but I especially hate running. What am I missing out on? Does it help the writing process?

For me, almost any kind of exercise helps with the writing process. It helps clear away the morning cobwebs in my brain. I started running a few years ago, but all of my life I’ve been a physical person. Dancer. Gymnast. Yogini. Now, I have fallen in love with Zumba! But I still run every other day.
I was at a writer’s conference a few years ago where there were a lot of older writers dealing with a variety of ailments, which were not helped by the sedentary lifestyle. It’s so important that we move—yet our work plants us in front of the computer for long hours at a time.  So I’ve vowed to myself to keep moving.

I’m sure you’ve been asked this and have already given it a great deal of thought, but what are the similarities between making a scrapbook and writing a novel? I’d guess you’re looking for themes, motifs, unifying images.

Absolutely. Scrapbooking is visual storytelling. In SCRAPOOK OF SECRETS, the women are gathering photos to make scrapbooks for Maggie Rae’s children, knowing how precious those books will be to them as they age. But they are also piecing together her life—or at least several part of her life: mother, daughter, writer, and yes, those little secret parts that nobody knew about.  For me, writing is a lot like that, too. At the very beginning of an idea for a story, I’m just writing about images, piecing them together, creating a character’s life.

As a freelance writer, what was one of the strangest projects you ever had?

Writing about fainting goats. They really do faint when they are startled or scared. It was kind of troubling to see it.

What is your favorite room in your house?

I love my kitchen. I love to cook and bake, of course, and I feel so comfortable in the kitchen. Anybody’s kitchen, really. It’s not a fancy kitchen—it fact it still has brown appliances in it from the 1970s. But it is a kitchen where there is enough room to dance. I crank the music and dance when I cook. Doesn’t everybody?

How was the process of writing to publication for you? Did things fall neatly into place? You take write a book, get an agent, then get a book deal?

I really lucked out with this. I am a cookbook author whose agent took on a partner that also sold fiction. So, I mentioned I was working on a novel and she sent me to her partner, who really helped me out. I wrote the book during National Novel Writing Month, sort of towards the end of promoting my pie book. Several drafts later, my agent took it and sold it—probably within six months of my actually finishing it.

What’s your revision process like?

My process is very organic. I have no idea who the killer is, for example, when I first begin to write. I figure it out about half way through.  After I’m finished with the first draft, I like to let it sit and stew. Then I go back and rework some things that will  help for story to make sense—I’ll add more clues in, or more red herrings, now that I know who the killer actually is.
I am a somewhat “sparse” writer and always come in under my word count goal. So, my third draft is usually about expanding the story.
After my third draft, I solicit readers. I have at least two people read and comment. Then I go back and rework based on that.

You’ve been to book readings and signings. I’d guess some were better than others. From a reader’s point of view, what makes for a good author event? What about from a writer’s point of view?

As a reader, I like to hear the author speak about something a little personal—not too personal, though. It’s a tricky balance. It’s about connection. I had the chance to see Barbara Kingsolver when I lived in Northern Virginia. I know she read from her book, but what I remember the most were the personal tidbits she offered.

As an author, I love when people chat with me about books and writing. It’s not just about buying my books—though that would be lovely—but it’s also about that connection, of becoming a real person to them, not just a mysterious someone who pecks away at the keyboard. It works the other way around, too. I try to write and edit with my readers in mind—but in order to do that, I need to know them, as well.

Who are some of the under-the-radar authors folks should be paying attention to?

I’m not sure I’m the person to ask these days—I’ve been so busy writing and promoting. But I have a friend, Inman Majors, who’s a fiction writer that has met with some commercial success—mostly literary. I have not read his upcoming novel, Love’s Winning Plays, but I think it’s going to be a real breakout book for him. I know how he writes and I know the subject matter and I’m thinking it’s going to be exciting. I can’t wait to get my hands on that book. But once again, I’ve not actually read it.

I’ve watched your new book, Scrapbook of Secrets, climb up the Amazon rankings the past weeks. What’s the book about and why are people connecting to it?


The book is set in a small Southern town and centers on a group of women who get together to scrapbook gossip, eat, and, of course, solve murders.  A young mother’s apparent suicide has them all searching for answers. They find her empty scrapbooks and boxes of photos on the curb for the trash collector and rescue them. They decide to make scrapbooks for her children—and in doing so uncover secrets about Maggie Rae and her death.
As to why people are connecting with it, I hope they are relating to the characters—they are probably just like people you know. I also hope the story touches people. Beyond all the scrapbooking and the other themes of the book, there’s a story that resonates. Also people like these cozy mysteries because everything comes together in the end, which is often not the case in real life. So I think even though the book is sad—after all there is a murder, someone’s life has been taken—it’s also satisfying because there is a justice at the end.

Find out more about MCB at her website.