Give a warm welcome to fellow Wild Rose Author Karen C. Whalen with her new release Not According to Flan!
Pull up a chair, grab a drink of your choice from the cooler, a Chocolate Chip or Peanut Butter cookie from the plate, and let’s find out a little about Karen and latest release Not According to Flan.
Happy Release day Karen and thanks for being here! Let’s get right to it.
What defines you as an author? As a person? Are they one in the same?
I’m an inward thinking person, observing what is going on around me, from the weather to the scenery to the conversations of strangers, to inner thoughts and feelings. I often write down snippets of what I see, hear, and feel. I thought everyone had this inner life, this awareness, but I’ve come to learn that mostly authors share this experience. I can’t separate me as an author from me as a person.
What do you want your readers to take away from your books?
I want my readers to take away what I take away from the books I love. My best-loved books contain characters who become like my friends. I know I can open a favorite book and visit a character I know well, who inspires me and gives me an example to follow (confident when disaster strikes, brave in times of struggle, happy even when sad events take place). My protagonist, Jane Marsh, is twice-widowed, middle aged, and a little bit zany. She enjoys life in spite of being lonely, and she’s not afraid to put herself in danger when investigating murders. I would like my readers to feel as if Jane is their friend and someone they would like to spend time with.
Where do your story ideas come from? If they come to you in the middle of the night, do you get up and write them all down?
My ideas often come from my job as a paralegal. They also come from personal experience. As a paralegal, I have investigated many lawsuits with bizarre sets of facts, from robberies, suicides, wrongful deaths, and all manner of accidents. Truth can be stranger than fiction and certainly provides me with unlimited story ideas. Also, many of the events in Jane’s life, such as preparing gourmet club dinners, riding her bicycle in downtown traffic while wearing a suit and heels, and smoking cigars, are things I have done myself. And, yes, ideas come in the middle of the night. Sometimes I’ll intentionally concentrate on a difficult scene I’m working on as I fall asleep, knowing that my subconscious mind will work it out. I’ve often awakened with the solution.
Gee it sounds like we have a lot in common, I spent 17 years as a paralegal in a criminal law firms, yep the stories I could tell. Truth can definitely be stranger than fiction. So tell us a little about Not According to Flan.
Jane Marsh wants to shake off the empty nest syndrome, plus the notoriety of the death of her first and second husbands, by starting over in a new place. She sells her family home to move to a far northern suburb of Denver. At the same time, Jane’s dinner club is undergoing a transformation, and a new man—a gourmet chef—enters her life.
But, things turn sour when, on the day Jane moves into her new home, she discovers a dead body. She cannot feel at home in this town where she’s surrounded by cowboys, horse pastures, and suspects. Not to mention where a murder was committed practically on her doorstep. How can she focus on romance and dinner clubs when one of her new friends—or maybe even her old ones—might be a murderer?
How about a peek between the pages of your new release?
She slipped outside into the warmth of the early September, blue-sky, Colorado day to check on her puppies sniffing around their new territory in the backyard. Leaning over the deck railing facing the lot to the east, she gazed into the bottom of an open excavation where a basement was being poured. Someone had parked a tractor down in the dirt, and near it a white cowboy hat lay on the ground. A man’s hand stretched toward the hat’s brim. Had someone fallen into the pit?
Jane bounded down the deck stairs and out the wooden gate, only stopping for a moment to secure the latch. She rounded the corner of her new house and rushed to the adjoining lot, pausing near the edge of the concrete that formed the basement’s foundation.
A man was shoved against the corner of the foundation wall. His torso and legs were partly covered with dirt. The cowboy hat concealed the top of his head. His left hand almost touched the brim, as if he were about to take off his hat and say, “Howdy do.” A large manila envelope lay a foot or so away from his other outstretched hand.
On the envelope tall, block letters spelled out: “Jane Marsh—welcome to your new home.”
Wow, I love murder mysteries, putting NOt According to Flan on my to read list! Where can we find Not According to Flan?
Karen C. Whalen is the author of the Dinner Club Murder Mystery series. She worked for many years as a paralegal at a law firm in Denver, Colorado. Karen has been a columnist and regular contributor to The National Paralegal Reporter magazine. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and participates in a local writing group, the Louisville Writers Workshop. Find out more about Karen at:
It was wonderful having you with us today. Please feel free to stop by anytime. Good Luck with Not According to Flan and your Dinner Club Murder Mystery Series!
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