The Devil is in the Details …And so is the Delight!
Hello, and thank you for having me! It’s a pleasure to be here!
I’m Nancy Haddock writing the new Silver Six Crafting mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series, Basket Case, comes out on September 1. Today I want to share one of the aspects of writing that I love: Research.
Okay, I usually love research. I’m not so enamored when I’m in the middle of editing a scene and find I’ve forgotten to dig up some specific piece of information I absolutely need. And it’s two o’clock in the blessed morning. At that time of night, do you think the tidbit I need to know is to be found on the Internet? Grrr, argh! No it is not.
Now, I do fully admit that I’m juuust a touch challenged when it comes to plugging the magic combination of words into Google. Thankfully I’m improving and/ or I get lucky, but my secret weapon is to simply phone experts. Might as well put unlimited calling to work for me, right? Besides, I get a wealth of tidbits in speaking with people that I’d never find online.
I also admit I’m a little obsessive when it comes to getting facts 100% correct. I once phoned a local national monument park multiple times and talked with multiple park rangers to get definitive answers to two very simple questions. It cracked me up to get different answers from the rangers—and, yes, drove me a bit nuts, too.
The same thing happened when I researched precisely what an Arkansas county coroner does and doesn’t do at a crime scene—for that matter, what a corner does and doesn’t do in general. I didn’t need the particulars to write an eye-witness description in the book. I needed to understand the processes so my detective could outline the basics to the heroine. This happens to me a lot. I must have a clear idea of how things work in order to write about them.
Thank goodness so many amazing people are willing to share their time and expertise to patiently answer writer questions!
For my new Silver Six Crafting mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime, I researched fun topics online, by phone, and in person. I live in St. Augustine, Florida where we’re fortunate to have several farmer’s markets each week—markets that feature produce, various ready-to-eat foods, and a wide range of crafts from jewelry making to carving. We also have at least two sizeable, juried art and craft events each year. The artisans at the markets and the large fairs are wonderful about explaining how they create their work and allowing the public to take photos.
In Basket Case, the youngest character in the cast is Nixy, a woman in her late twenties who works in a Houston art gallery and must go to Arkansas to check in on her aunt. Again, living in St. Augustine proved a boon for my research because there are at least 27 galleries just in the general downtown and uptown area—roughly four square miles!
In other aspects of research for Basket Case, I delved into the differences between art and crafts, and studied the history of folk art. I found it amazing that some arts are subcategorized, a notable example being textile art. I lost track of the number of subcategories, but batik, needlework of all kinds, and weaving were on the list.
So I’m writing about art. I suppose that begs the question: Am I artsy or crafty? Yes and no. Unlike my Silver Six ladies, I don’t basket weave, carve, or make my own herbal lotions and potions. I do occasionally torture a canvas with brushes and acrylic paints. In the past I needlepointed and crocheted, and I’ve hung onto yarn and needles just in case I find more hours in the day to use them again.
How about you? Are you artsy or crafty? What kinds of projects do you most enjoy? What is the most unusual project you’ve done?
Whatever your creative outlets, I hope you’ll enjoy reading about the Silver Six when Basket Case comes to a retailer near you!
Series: A Silver Six Mystery (Book 1)
Publisher: Berkley (September 1, 2015)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository
First in a crafty new cozy mystery series from national bestselling author Nancy Haddock
There isn’t much crime in Lilyvale, Arkansas, but local authorities have their hands full with Ms. Sherry Mae Stanton Cutler and her housemates—a crafty group of retirees who’ve dubbed themselves the Silver Six. But when Sherry Mae’s niece, Nixy, arrives to keep them in line, Lilyvale also plays host to a killer.
When Leslee Stanton “Nixy” Nix gets the latest call from Lilyvale detective Eric Shoar, she knows it means trouble. There’s been another kitchen explosion at her Aunt Sherry’s farmhouse, and the dreamy-voiced detective has had enough. If Nixy doesn’t check on her aunt in person, the Silver Six could become wards of the court. But the trouble Nixy finds in Lilyvale is not at all what she expects.
The seniors are hosting a folk art festival at the farmhouse, featuring Sherry’s hand-woven baskets, when land developer Jill Elsman arrives to bully Nixy’s aunt into selling the property. When Jill is later found dead in the cemetery, Sherry is suspected of weaving a murder plot, and it’s up to Nixy and the Silver Six to untangle the truth.
Recipes and crafting tip included!
Thanks to the publisher I have one (1) copy of Basket Case to give away.
Giveaway open to residents of the US only.
Giveaway ends on October 10th
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Winner will have 48 hours, from the time of notification to confirm their win or another winner will be chosen.
Nancy Haddock is an award-winning and national bestselling author of mystery romance who now writes cozy mystery. Basket Case, the first book in the Silver Six Crafting mysteries, will be released in Sept. 2015 with Berkley Prime Crime.
Her earlier books, also with Berkley, are La Vida Vampire, Last Vampire Standing, and Always The Vampire. These books feature Cesca, aka Gidget with fangs, and are set in Haddock’s current hometown, St. Augustine, FL. She also contributed the St. Augustine-set short story “Medium Rare” to both the paranormal romance anthology Entangled and the boxed set Entranced.
Nancy draws on historic wealth, southern culture, and the plain old quirkiness of places for her books. A former speech pathologist and high school teacher in Oklahoma and Texas, Nancy now writes full-time. She lives with her husband and rescue dog Baron.