Today’s author, HL Carpenter, is actually a mother-daughter writing team. I met these lovely ladies way back when I worked for Musa Publishing (now defunct), and their first novel, Skyhorse, was freshly out on its first print run. Musa closing was not going to stop them, and this dynamic duo has not only gotten Skyhorse back into print but also published five more novels. Today they’re here to chat about their most recent novel, A Cause for Murder.
Please give them a warm welcome!
Septuagenarian sleuth Emma Twiggs thinks her neighbor’s death was an accident—until her friend Arnie says he suspects murder.
Arnie is convinced he knows the killer’s identity. He wants Emma to prove it.
Is Arnie right? And is he right in his belief that Emma’s best friend is the killer’s next target?
As Emma navigates madcap mayhem, multiple mysteries, and murderous motives, she discovers more than one person is hiding deadly secrets.
The question is, who has a cause for murder?
Welcome back to The Dabbler! It’s nice to see a pair of familiar faces.
Hi, Dianna, and thank you for inviting us to The Dabbler today! We appreciate your generosity in sharing your blog space, and we’re happy to be here! (waves to everyone)
Can you tell us a bit about your book, A Cause for Murder?
A Cause for Murder is a cozy mystery, so solving the crime is first and foremost, and the hero, Emma, works through a zany collection of mysteries as she figures out who killed her friend. Behind the mystery is a tale about the perils and pleasures of friendship and love, both old and new.
What part of the story came to you first?
Once upon a time, in a magical land called Carpenter Country, a pair of aspiring authors wanted to be part of a competition calling for short tales of villainy featuring brainy female sleuths. The authors sat on the hard wood bench of a picnic table under a spreading oak, and brainstormed ideas, most of them sadly lacking. When a septuagenarian named Emma Twiggs walked up and said she was bored with her life and ready to tackle mysteries, we scooted over on the bench and invited her to tell us her story.
What was your biggest challenge in working on A Cause for Murder?
The zany collection of side mysteries woven through the book each needed a solution that tied into the main plot. We had a real job keeping all those threads straight!
You’ve now co-written 5 novels. How has your co-writing process changed since the first book?
Pardon us while we think back to the first book….hey, wait a minute! That five-count is a bit short. We’ve written…ahem…a few more than five together. So far five have been published. To the question — the writing process for the published and unpublished ones is very similar and hasn’t changed much over the years. We start with the bones, then build a skeleton, sketching the entire story to make sure the body will form correctly. Once the frame is in place, we tag-team, with one of us writing to a natural stopping point, and the other picking up at that point and going forward. We swap back and forth until THE END.
If you could sit down for lunch with any author, dead or alive, who would it be & why?
That’s a tough question, because we read so much and we’re interested in so many different topics and types of writing. For us, picking one author is an impossible task. As a general guideline, we like authors with a strong voice, which includes most of the usual suspects in young adult and adult fiction. The writers we like best are the ones that teach us something new, or that capture thoughts and experiences in a way we might not have been able to express ourselves.
What are you working on next?
Up next is the reissue of a young adult novel, Walled In, about a young woman who discovers her entire life has been built upon a lie. We’re also in the first draft stage with an experimental book told in multi-story format, and we have another idea that’s too fresh and tender to talk about just yet.
Thank you for giving us this opportunity to talk about A Cause for Murder, and about writing in general. It’s been a pleasure!
Florida-based mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter writes sweet, clean fiction that is suitable for everyone in your family. The Carpenters write from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit HLCarpenter.com (http://www.hlcarpenter.com/) to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happening in Carpenter Country Connect with HL Carpenter.
Purchase A Cause for Murder today!
*Assume all Amazon links are affiliate links