Please contact E. B. Davis at for information on guest blogs and interviews. Interviews for November: 11/2 Lois Winston 11/9 Christin Brecher 11/16 Laurie Lowenstein 11/23 M.V. Byrne

Friday, May 11, 2018

Interview with Suzanne Adair about Killer Debt by Warren Bull

Killer Debt an Interview with author Suzanne Adair by Warren Bull

Suzanne, Welcome back to WWK. I am a fan of yours and reading Killer Debt reminded me of why. It has action, suspense, mystery, plus a sprinkling of romance. I admire how you weave historical accuracy into your books as a natural part of the story. Your work takes me to a unique time and place in American history where I get caught up in the story while I ponder, think and laugh. And there are always surprises.

Response:Thank you, Warren! I’m honored to return to WWK and delighted that you enjoy the series so much.

Killer Debt is the fourth book you’ve written about Michael Stoddard. You’ve also written three other books about the American Revolution. What is it about that period of time that fascinates you?

ResponseInterestingly, it’s less about the grand ideals of freedom and independence. What fascinates me most is the human “explorer” spirit of the 18th century. People had technology. They’d invented telescopes, microscopes, even a submarine. They harnessed the power of wind to travel and make the world a smaller place. I’ve appreciated the chutzpah and perseverance of explorers since the early 1970s, when I stood on the roof on my house in Ft. Lauderdale to spot the contrails and first-stage separations of Saturn Vs in the Apollo lunar missions.

The American Revolution was a protracted and complicated war. How was the fighting in the South different from the conflict elsewhere?

Response: Scholars and historians used to say that the fighting in the South was more of a civil war than the fighting in the North, but now they say it was a civil war throughout the colonies. (Yes, our firstcivil war.) The intensity of combat shifted to the South in the latter years. Because both sides were exhausted and dispirited by then, it was in the South where the grittiest displays of brutality happened during the war. The misconduct included loss of respect for military prisoners of war as well as non-combatant civilians. Those final years were also “open season” for the human scavengers who preyed off both sides.

What was going on in the war at the time when Killer Debt takes place?

Response: Since the American Revolution was essentially a world war, I assume you’re asking what was going on in eastern North Carolina in late July 1781, when Killer Debttakes place. (Otherwise this will be a very long response.) The 82nd Regiment, which had occupied the port town of Wilmington, North Carolina since January 1781, was at the peak of its power, supported heavily by the many loyalists in southeastern North Carolina. Although the British Army’s commander-in-chief in the South, Lord Cornwallis, had taken his army to Virginia and thus couldn’t provide manpower support, the combination of British regulars in the 82nd and their loyalist allies disrupted the Continental Army’s movement of troops and supplies between Virginia and South Carolina, essentially stalling the war for much of 1781. The Continentals had no force in North Carolina large enough to take on the 82nd Regiment, and the patriot militia there was too disorganized to mount a challenge. It was a good time to be loyal to the King.

The book is completely satisfying and readable by itself. Do you recommend that new readers start with Killer Debt or should they begin with Regulated For Murder?

Response: I’ve written the books in the Michael Stoddard series to be stand-alone reads, so any title that you pick up won’t spoil the action in previous books of the series. However, for those history and mystery lovers who prefer to read a series in chronological order, here it is, keeping in mind that two more titles will be coming to finish off the year 1781 for Michael in North Carolina:

1. Deadly Occupation
2. Regulated for Murder
3. A Hostage to Heritage
4. Killer Debt

Even after reading all the books in the series so far, I want to know which side you are rooting for.

Response: I’m on Team Michael, of course!

It seems to me that every mystery Michael solves leads him back to mysteries in his own family.

Response: Yeah, it’s funny how that happens. But do you know any family without a skeleton or two in its closet?

So what comes next in the murky world of the Redcoat investigator where he cannot trust that anyone is quite who they seem to be and where a seemingly innocent event may be anything but innocent?

Response: Earlier I mentioned that the boss, Lord Cornwallis, was in Virginia. Remember what happens to Cornwallis in October 1781? What goes up must come down for the 82nd Regiment in North Carolina. :-)

At some point in the future I could ask you about experience in crowd-funding.  Please add any Q and A you’d like.  When is the best time for me to put up this interview?

Warren: As soon as possible after the book release 9 May.




Award-winning novelist Suzanne Adair is a Florida native who lives in North Carolina. Her mysteries transport readers to the Southern theater of the American Revolution, where she brings historic towns, battles, and people to life. She fuels her creativity with Revolutionary War reenacting and visits to historic sites. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking, dancing, and hiking. Recently she was appointed by North Carolina’s Daughters of the American Revolution to a state-wide committee formed by the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to help share information about and coordinate events of the Semiquincentennial. Killer Debt, book #4 of her Michael Stoddard American Revolution Mystery series, was released 9 May 2018 after a successful crowdfunding campaign during March 2018. Check for the latest information.

Book description
A slain loyalist financier, a patriot synagogue, a desperate debtor. And Michael Stoddard, who was determined to see justice done.
July 1781. The American Revolution rages in North Carolina. Redcoat investigator Captain Michael Stoddard is given the high-profile, demanding job of guarding a signer of the Declaration of Independence on a diplomatic mission to Crown-occupied Wilmington. When a psychopathic fellow officer with his own agenda is assigned to investigate a financier’s murder,Michael is furious. The officer’s threats to impose fines on the owner of a tavern and link her brother to the financier’s murder draw Michael into the case—to his own peril and that of innocent civilians. For neither killer nor victim are what they first seem.

Social media links
Web site

Buy links for the Michael Stoddard series
Deadly Occupation 

Regulated for Murder 

A Hostage to Heritage 


Kait said...

Congratulations on the new release Suzanne sounds like a great addition to the series. Looking forward to it. I seem to remember that you are a re-enactor as well. Is that what sparked your interest in writing mysteries about the era?

Suzanne said...

Thanks for stopping by, Kait! The American Revolutionary period has always resonated with me for reasons of that "explorer spirit." Also I was born and raised in Florida, and I seldom heard people get Florida's history right when it came to that period of time. (For example, St. Augustine, founded by Spaniards in 1565, decades before Jamestown, was a big base for Crown forces during the American Revolution.) Way back when I was writing an early draft of my first crime fiction novel set during that period, I realized that I wasn't getting into the heads of my characters. I turned to Revolutionary War reenacting as a way for me to experience with my five senses what life might actually have been like for someone of the middle class who was traveling with an army. The hands-on history made the Revolution more fascinating than ever. Before I knew it, I was in the heads of my characters -- and then some. :-)

KM Rockwood said...

Sounds like the perfect birthday gift for my son-in-law, who is an archeologist specializing in this period of history (and who is very inclined toward busman's holidays)

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

congratulations on the new series! Interesting that you set your book in North Carolina. I look forward to reading it.

Warren Bull said...

Suzanne, The response to this book seems to be fantastic. Thanks for letting us join you on the ride. Best wishes for continuing success!

Gloria Alden said...

Suzanne, I've written down all four books to be ordered. I'm sure I will really enjoy them.

Suzanne said...

KM Rockwood, thanks! I'd love to be an archeologist studying this period in history!

Suzanne said...

Margaret, thanks! I found North Carolina's Revolutionary War history fascinating and grossly underrepresented in fiction and non-fiction, not to mention high school history class. So I decided to intervene. :-)

Suzanne said...

Thank *you*, Warren. The pleasure is mine.

Suzanne said...

Wow, thanks, Gloria! I hope you enjoy the adventures of Michael Stoddard and Company.