Interview with Giveaway ~ Dead In The Water by Denise Swanson

Is there something on your bookshelves we’d be surprised to find there?

I’m guessing my predilection for apocalyptic books, especially zombies, might be a bit unsuspected since I write cozy mysteries and sweet romance.

Tell me a funny/odd/interesting anecdote from a reading, or book signing.

I thought that I was totally ready for my first book event at a huge library in St. Louis. I had my talk memorized and was ready to talk about any aspect of my book or my process. But nothing could have prepared me for the little old man in the front row of the auditorium.

As soon as I finished speaking and opened the floor up for questions, he tottered to his feet and leaning on his cane said that he’d read my book. In the long pause that followed this statement, I went from happy, to nervous, to scared out of my wits.

Finally, he said that although I wasn’t as funny as Janet Evanovich and didn’t provide details like Patricia Cornwell, he’d give me another chance if I wrote a second book.

It was all I could do to thank him and brave a second question.

Is there a book you re-read over and over?

I rarely read a book a second time, but I have re-read several of Stephen King’s earlier books because he has such a great voice and I always find a nuance that I missed he first time.

What is your favorite quote?

I have no idea who said this, but I live by this quote:

It’s not how good you are. It’s how bad you want it.

What inspired your last book?

All of my plot ideas come from something in my own experiences, but the one for Dead in the Water was particularly personal. June of 2015, my hometown was devastated by a tornado and I spent the rest of the summer helping my friends and relatives deal with the aftermath. During this time, I saw both the good and bad that a disaster brings out in people and I realized that the chaotic situation right after the tornado hit was perfect to hide a murder.

Do you write as you go, or do you have the book all planned out from page 1?

A bit of both. I do a very loose outline using something that looks a lot like a spider web. I know the identity of the victim, the murderer, and some of the suspects, as well as how the murder takes place. After that, I totally wing it.

What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?

Little Women

How do you react to a bad review?

I mope and obsess, but never respond to the reviewer.

What is your favorite scene in your book?

In Dead in the Water, I like the scene where the tornado siren has sounded, and they all head for the basement. I love the emotion between Skye and her husband Wally as they face the fact that they may die.

Do your characters really talk to you?

Absolutely. And if they don’t agree with my plan for them they also rebel and refuse to cooperate.

When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

It seems as if I always liked to write. I wrote my first book in kindergarten because I already knew how to read and was bored during the lessons. I wrote my first romance in middle school because I thought the ones I was reading weren’t true to life enough.

But as an adult, I finally decided to write when I was forced into an involuntary hiatus in my job as a school psychologist. The social worker and I had discovered a cult that was abusing children and the leaders came after us. We couldn’t get the police or children’s services or anyone else to believe us and we both finally quit because we truly thought our lives were in danger.

During the time I had before my new job started in the fall, I dug out my notes and wrote my first book, Murder of a Small-Town Honey.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?

My next mystery will be out April of 2018 and begins a new series called Chef-to-Go. My sleuth runs a catering/personal chef/ sack lunch business in a college town.

I also hope to release my next romance, Dangerously Delicious, by the end of 2017. 

Finish the sentence- one book I wish I had written is….

Harry Potter. As a school psychologist there’s just so much fun with a setting like Hogwarts.

How long do you generally let a story idea ‘”stew” in your brain before you start the book?

Some have been in the back of my mind for years and sometimes I get an idea one day and start writing it the next.

What distracts you the most when you’re trying to write?

Not much. I’m pretty focused. But if I’m waiting for an important e-mail, I will check after every page or so…

Series: Welcome Back to Scumble River (Book 1)
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (September 5, 2017)
Genre: Cozy Mystery
ISBN-10: 1492648329
ISBN-13: 978-1492648321
ASIN: B06XRJQ5CV
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository

dead-in-the-water

The first book in a brand new series featuring New York Times bestselling author Denise Swanson's beloved Scumble River setting and characters, Dead in the Water is a gripping mystery that won't let you go until you've turned the last page.

A twister, a kidnapping, and a murder―oh my! Scumble River may never be the same.

For school psychologist Skye Denison, there's certainly no place like home. When a violent tornado devastates her small hometown of Scumble River, she can't see how the community will ever recover―especially since town councilman Zeke Lyons appears to have perished in the twister.

But things get even worse for Skye when her police chief husband, Wally, disappears in the midst of investigating Zeke's death, and evidence arises pointing to foul play. Did Zeke really die in the storm, or was he murdered? And could Wally be next on the criminal's hit list?

 

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deniseDenise Swanson, The New York Times best-selling author of the Scumble River Mystery series, began writing after coming face-to-face with evil. She quickly decided she would rather write about villains than encounter them in her daily life. She was also shocked to discover that getting a book published was nearly as difficult as vanquishing scoundrels. Little Shop of Homicide is the début book of her new Devereaux's Dime Store Mystery series featuring Devereaux Sinclair, the happy new owner of the old-fashioned shop in Shadow Bend, a small town near Kansas City, Missouri.

Denise was nominated for RT Magazine's Career Achievement Award. Her fellow nominees includedSue Grafton and Janet Evanovich. She has spoken at hundreds of library events and other civic organizations. She has also been interviewed on radio and TV.

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