Sleuths and Suspects welcomes back Carole Brown. Her latest book, Hog Insane, is a cozy mystery. Recently, I interviewed Carole Brown about writing and her latest book.
1.) How long have you been writing? Has it always been the suspense genre? What draws you to suspense?
I’ve written for almost as long as I can remember. Lots of my childhood books I read were mysteries (happy memories!), thus I composed many mystery short stories. I still adore suspense/mysteries. It’s a genre that intrigues me in reading and writing so it’s natural to do so.
2.) Being a member of the ACFW and a Genesis Finalist, what is your favorite part of the organization?
Probably the fact that people are on the ball in providing up-to-date marketing/newsworthy information that is either interesting and/or beneficial to authors and readers. There are many talented, knowledgeable people within the group, and I must say, after being a member for numerous years, I give them credit for pushing me deeper into learning the current ropes of writing fiction. Without them I would never have met so many of my writing friends nor be at the place I am today.
3.) Tell me about your writing process. Are you a plotter or someone who writes without an outline?
Mostly a seat-of-the-pants author. I do have general ideas where I’m going; clues of what I want to include in the book, perhaps how it will end/begin. Certain items I know I’ll be including. I do a lot of research so that helps. But though I plot to a minor degree (in my eyes), I still love to see where the story goes. Of course, I have plenty of friends/critique partners that will jerk me back into line lest I stray too far! Lol
4.) If there was one thing you could say to encourage unpublished writers, what would it be?
(What was the one piece of advice given to you that has improved or changed the way you write?)
The one that came at the time when I was ready to quit, was: don’t give up. God gave me the talent to write; use it. Keep writing. Be faithful. With no emotional feelings of victory, I followed that advice and the following spring, an editor asked for my ms of The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman. It was published in October, 2013. The following month my first mystery: Hog Insane released. Now I have the first book in a trilogy, a WWII book releasing this fall (With Music in Their Hearts). Hopefully also, the second book in my mystery series will be out soon. God is good.
5.) Tell me a little bit about your latest book, Hog Insane. The title is different, so how did the title come about?
I love intriguing titles sometimes. This novel started as a short story, and I wanted something that automatically drew people’s attention. Later I developed it into a novel.
The bike figured into the events and clues and
my hubby’s family loves bikes
Here’s a blurb about it:
Denton Davies has a guilt complex over the death of his nephew who died in a motorcycle accident after he taught him to ride. He blames himself and insists he hates them. Of course, his wife, Alex who is a little more than strong-minded about daring activities, wants to ride one.
This is a minor subplot within the book, but ties the story together. Here is the blurb about the book:
A dead body, a missing motorcycle, a strange key, and dope are at the bottom of the trouble Denton and Alex Davies, and Taffy, their Jack Russell Terrier, run into when they head for their first stop in the Smoky Mountains immediately after early retirement.
All Denton wants is to fish and recapture his wife’s love. Instead, they find the body of Anthony Risler with a bullet hole in his head. None of the campground people, or even the sheriff, pretend to like Denton and his snoopy questions, and everyone seems to be lying.
Denton figures Risler’s missing bike has to hide some kind of evidence that incriminates the murderer. Archie McGhee, the campground manager is self-centered and greedy enough to hide the motorcycle for the murderer, so why doesn’t he know where the bike is now? The Stillwells, although good-looking and popular, brag way too much to suit the Davies. The expensive S-shaped, ruby watch they foist onto Alex ought to play into the mystery, yet Denton can find no evidence of it. The drug-using, gun-toting man who chases Taffy knows more than he’s telling and raises questions in Denton’s mind even when forced to partner with the man.
Why is the sheriff ignoring obvious clues, and why would he leave a bribery note lying around where Denton’s suspicious eyes can see it? When Denton finds the keys with the strange looking C charm Alex and Denton realize only their pastor’s wife, back in Ohio, and the small, cherry-wood box Risler gave her, can provide the final clue they need to reveal the killer.
Denton wrestles with his personal demons of self-blame over his nephew’s death while riding a bike. Alex resents Denton’s riding roughshod over her feelings. When he thinks her love is fading, he’s determined to woo her back. But if he doesn’t find the young man’s murderer, their love may stretch to the breaking point.
Carole Brown’s debut novel is entitled The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman (Selah Award Finalist and Semi-finalist in the Genesis), and her second novel introduced the characters of Denton and Alex Davies in the first book of her new mystery series: Hog Insane. With Music in Their Hearts releases November 2014.
Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, she enjoys mentoring beginning writers. She loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?
Please connect with her here:
Personal blog: http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/
Guys and Gals at Bits and Bytes: http://geezerguysandgals.blogspot.com/
Stitches in Time: http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/
Barn Door Book Loft: http://www.barndoorbookloft.net/
Here is my personal review of Hog Insane:
The characters in the story were a nice break from typical suspense stories, which I love. I enjoyed seeing a couple trying to solve a mystery together instead of focusing on their emotions while trying to piece together the puzzle. The story is told from Denton’s point of view, an older gentleman just wanting to fish and spend time with his beautiful wife. Even though they have been married for a while, readers will still hear Denton’s thoughts about his aging wife. He still finds her attractive and can’t believe she has chosen him to stay with. Denton and Alex were life-like and mystery lovers who impressed me with their skill to solve the mystery before the sheriff.
The story line was thought out and enjoyable. I wondered who killed the poor biker as different obstacles came across Denton and Alex’s path. Even though, I figured out who did the killing before Brown actually showed us, I still enjoyed the story. The challenges to solving the mystery range from watching someone move the motorcycle to seeing a letter on the sheriff’s desk hinting at blackmail to a missing pastor’s wife. The intertwining of the clues left me impressed with Brown’s skill to weave together a good mystery for mystery lovers.
If you are a fan of cozy mysteries, then I suggest going to Amazon and purchasing a copy for yourself. It is only $2.99, so it won’t hurt you. It is a full length novel and well worth the money.
I thank Carole Brown for giving me a digital copy of her book. I will be buying the rest of the books in this series as they become available. The opinions in this review are all my own.