If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our May author interviews: Marla Cooper-5/3, Rhys Bowen-5/10, Cindy Brown-5/17, Martha Reed-5/24, Sherry Harris--5/31.

Saturday Guest Bloggers in May--Paty Jager-5/6 and Maren Anderson-5/13. WWK Saturday bloggers write on 5/20--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 5/27--Kait Carson. E. B. Davis blogs this month on 5/30.


“May 16, 2017 – The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) today announced the finalists of the second annual Star Award, given to authors of published women’s fiction. Six finalists were chosen in two categories, General and Outstanding Debut. The winners of the Star Award will be announced at the WFWA Retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 23, 2017.”

In the general category, WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on October, 18, 2017. Look for the interview by E. B. Davis here on that date!

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

An Interview with Beth Groundwater-The Books

Beth Groundwater writes the Claire Hanover gift basket designer mystery series (A Real Basket Case, nominated for the 2007 Best First Novel Agatha Award, and To Hell in a Handbasket, released in May 2009). She also writes the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Adventures mystery series starring whitewater river ranger Mandy Tanner. The first, Deadly Currents, will be released March 8, 2011. Beth lives in Colorado and enjoys its many outdoor activities, including skiing, hiking, and whitewater rafting. She loves talking to book clubs, too, and not just for the gossip and wine! Please visit her website at http://bethgroundwater.com/ and her blog at http://bethgroundwater.blogspot.com/.  

EBD: Can you give us a short synopsis or hook of Deadly Currents?

BG: Sure thing! I recently reviewed the back cover copy, so I’ll give you that verbatim:

The Arkansas River, heart and soul of Salida, Colorado, fuels the small town’s economy and thrums in the blood of river ranger Mandy Tanner. When a whitewater rafting accident occurs, she deftly executes a rescue, but a man dies anyway. Turns out, it wasn’t the rapids that killed him—it was murder. Tom King was a rich land developer with bitter business rivals, who cheated on his wife, refused to support his kayak-obsessed son, and infuriated environmentalists.

Mandy’s world is upended again when tragedy strikes closer to home. Suspicious that the most recent death is connected to Tom King’s murder, she goes on an emotionally turbulent quest for the truth—and ends up in dangerous waters.

EBD: Why did you decide to start a new series?

BG: I discovered while writing To Hell in a Handbasket that my love of the outdoors and outdoor activities kept creeping into my mystery writing. That book features skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobile riding in various scenes. So, I decided to develop a new series where I could indulge in that love to my heart’s content. I was an avid “river rat” in the 1980s, running whitewater rivers in the eastern US in an open-boat canoe, and I still enjoy rafting whitewater rivers in Colorado, so that was a natural choice. I’ve enjoyed reacquainting myself with the river rat subculture and its updated boating equipment while researching the RM Outdoor Adventures mystery series.

EBD: I read and love both of your Claire Hanover books, A Real Basket Case and To Hell in A Handbasket. Are you continuing the series? When will the next one be out? Can you give us the hook or at least a log line?

BG: Yes, I’m continuing the series, with Midnight Ink. I just finished the rough draft of the third book, that I’m tentatively calling Basketful of Trouble. I’ll be editing it over the next few months. I finished it early with the hope that if Midnight Ink can find room in their schedule for it, they’ll move up the release date. I know my Claire Hanover fans don’t want to have to wait until 2013 for book 3!

In the book, Claire’s brother moves his trail-riding stable business to Colorado Springs, and soon after opening day, a dead body is found in one of the horse’s stalls. Anxious that news of the death will sink her brother’s business, Claire decides to help investigate when it’s determined that the man was murdered. The outdoorsy aspect in the book will be horseback riding and the relationship issue will be sibling rivalry between Claire and her brother. And of course, there will be lots of themed gift baskets!

EBD: Bill Crider cited your blog, http://bethgroundwater.blogspot.com/ in his column Blog Bytes in Ellery Queen Magazine. Any story behind his funny remarks?

BG: Bill and I have been cyber-friends for awhile and have done favors for each other. He’s a funny guy, and I presume you’re referring to his line, “Writers will do anything to get it right,” after he said I’d rafted the Royal Gorge. I do like to actually perform any activity I write about first, so I can accurately describe the sensations. Thus, I tried snowshoeing and snowmobiling for To Hell in a Handbasket, which I hadn’t done before. I’m an avid skier, though, and whitewater rafter, so while I don’t have to research those activities for my books, I’m going to keep on doing them anyway because they’re FUN!

EBD: How did you spend the holidays?

BG: My husband and I and our two grown children flew to Virginia to spend Christmas with my parents and other extended family who live there. It was a great reunion! Family is very important to me.

EBD: What did you start writing and when? Have you ever written short stories?

BG: My first forays into fiction writing were my Freddie stories when I was in fifth and sixth grade. My protagonist, Freddie, had all sorts of wild adventures, including visiting an underground mole city after burrowing down in a giant screw-mobile. Freddie was a boy, because back in the sixties, I thought girls weren't supposed to have adventures. I know better now!

During my high school senior year, I took an independent study in English and wrote fiction and poetry, which was critiqued by a college professor. They came back covered in red ink, but I learned a lot, including how to handle criticism! Then once I started college, I focused on my career as a software engineer and project manager. My writing was primarily technical until I retired in 1999. That’s when I began writing fiction again as an adult. I started with short stories. I have published eight of them, many multiple times in multiple formats, and a ninth one will be coming out in 2011 in the Sisters in Crime Guppies Anthology, FISH TALES.

EBD: Any date on when FISH TALES will be published and in what formats?

BG: The publisher has not set a publication date for FISH TALES, and it is my understanding that it will be published in trade paperback and e-book formats.

EBD: Any updates since the holidays on your books and those already "in queue" at the publishers? Any personal appearances you'd like to mention?

BG: No, no updates yet. The Midnight Ink publicist and I are still lining up my personal appearances, so the best way to keep track of those is to check the Appearances page of my website just before the release date of March 8th for Deadly Currents. I do know that I will be at the Left Coast Crime conference in Santa Fe, NM, the Malice Domestic conference in Bethesda, MD, and the Festival of Mystery in Oakmont, PA. I'll also be at the Pikes Peak Library District's "Mountain of Authors" program in Colorado Springs, CO, and the Englewood Library's "Faces Behind the Books" program in Englewood, CO.

Elaine, thanks for interviewing me and giving me the opportunity to visit with the readers of Writers Who Kill. I’ll be happy to answer any additional questions anyone has for me in the comments. Also, I love to visit with book clubs either in person or via speakerphone or Skype, so if anyone wants to arrange a visit, contact me at my website: http://www.bethgroundwater.com/.

Thanks for stopping by Beth. Guess I’ll have to wait until March to read Deadly Currents, but great reading is worth the wait. Ask Beth a question, or leave her a comment. Thanks!

14 comments:

Pauline Alldred said...

You have so much going on in your writing and life and I hope it all turns out well. Maybe authors always had to promote their work but it seems more important than ever today. Midnight Ink is helping you and that isn't always true of publishers. Do you have a favorite promotional activity and are their promotional activities you'd prefer not to do?

Beth Groundwater said...

Hi Pauline,
Thanks for your comment and your great question. My favorite promotional activity is chatting with book clubs, because they're people like me, who love to read and have avid curiosities. Plus, if it's an in-person visit, they usually wine & dine me. :) An activity I hate to do is to give readings. They make me nervous, and I'm a horrible actress, so the whole performance goes terribly wrong. When a bookstore asks me to do a reading, I usually say, "Oh no, I'd prefer to just have a table near the door where I can talk to people one-on-one."

E. B. Davis said...

When I imagine myself in your shoes, Beth, I agree with you. I'm not a good actress either, and there is something that smacks of egotism reading your own words, as if people will be mesmerized by them. Why do bookstores and the management of other venues want authors to read? Isn't it enough that we write? Like you, I'd rather discuss a book with people and engage their minds.

When I do envision a reading, I don't see myself doing it all, but asking people from the audience to take parts (or having some buddies do it with me), reserving the narrative for my reading as the narrator. Have you ever gotten out of doing a reading that way--through audience participation?

Beth Groundwater said...

That's a great idea, E.B., inviting people from the audience to play the parts of the characters in the scene you're reading. I wouldn't mind reading the narrative in-between the dialogue. The only problem is, what if you don't get any volunteers? Then you're stuck doing it yourself again. If you know people who are coming to your signing, you could line up volunteers ahead of time, maybe. Food for thought.

Warren Bull said...

Beth,

Welcome back and congratulations on your recent excellent reviews.

At readings I like to dress in period costume a la Damon Runyon or Abe Lincoln and take the part of one of my characters.

Alan Orloff said...

Hi Beth and EB, nice interview, part II!

EB, you mentioned a participatory reading. I've done that with success. I get a couple volunteers, give them a little "screen test," and then tease them a little about the accents I require. Great fun, for everyone!

Beth Groundwater said...

Thanks, Warren and Alan, for your comments. Warren, I guess I could wear a PFD (lifejacket) and carry a paddle to my events. :) What do you think?

E. B. Davis said...

Alan, I'm glad you successfully tried it so if and when my time comes, I'll know it is doable.

Beth and Warren--since my main character sells champagne and sparkling wines, do you think readers would mind if I brought appetizers and a few bottles?

Beth Groundwater said...

Hey, E.B., if you offered champagne tastes at a signing near me, I'd be there! ;-)

Warren Bull said...

I had a potter friend who had a showing and offered rum punch. He told me he had the most sales ever.

Pauline Alldred said...

Rum punch or champagne, sounds like a good way to make sales to me, and even if you didn't sell many books, you'd feel the time wasn't totally wasted.

Beth Groundwater said...

No, just the author is totally wasted! ;-)

E. B. Davis said...

LOL, Beth. Thanks again for the interview. It's been fun. I'll be on the lookout for Deadly Currents and your new Claire Hanover mystery. Come back soon!

Beth Groundwater said...

Thanks for having me, E.B.! I really enjoyed it.