Friday, September 8, 2017

Murder Wears Mittens - An Interview and Giveaway

I'm happy to welcome Sally Goldenbaum to the blog today. Sally writes the Seaside Knitters Mystery series. MURDER WEARS MITTENS, the first book in the series, was released August 29th.

Kathy: The Seaside Knitters join together to knit...and solve murders. Do you knit alone, or do you knit with a group?

SG: I usually knit at night while watching TV. Sometimes I take knitting to meetings, but I guess you’d say I’m a ‘lone’ knitter. To get flavor for my books, however, I often visit yarn shops and join groups knitting together in the shop. But instead of knitting, I take notes!

Kathy: MURDER WEARS MITTENS deals with scandalous secrets and rumors. Have you ever witnessed such things threatening a town?

SG: I must confess that most of the crimes I write about are mostly ones that I make up in my own head, or things that I’ve read about. However, I think no matter how good we are, there are things that happen in ordinary lives that would make even the best people ‘wish’ for something to protect someone they love or so save a family from scandal or the like. And I have met greedy people who might be tempted to commit a crime to gain great wealth.

Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

SG: I’ve enjoyed reading mysteries from when I was very young. I think I had every Nancy Drew ever written. Agatha Christie also had a place on my bookshelf. But it was when a good friend who had a cozy series of her own, the Jenny Cain Mysteries, encouraged me to collaborate with her on one of her own books, that I was hooked as a writer.

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

SG: I don’t, but I have a book tucked away in my head that isn’t a cozy, and maybe not even a mystery—a family story about members who deal with a particular episode and how it affects their lives. Someday I hope to write it!

Kathy: Tell us about your series.

SG: The Seaside Knitters are 4 amateur sleuths (Nell, Izzy, Cass, and Birdie) who share a passion for knitting and solve crimes in a small town.

They range in age from 30 something to 80, and come from varying backgrounds: Nell is a retired nonprofit director; her niece Izzy was a Boston lawyer before giving up that career to open a yarn shop in Sea Harbor; Cass is a lobsterwoman; and Birdie is the grand dame of Sea Harbor, wise and wonderful and kind. The series delves into and celebrates the friendship of these four women as well as exploring how their lives connect with one another and with the other residents of the small town. The seaside knitters tend to celebrate the goodness in people, even when they sometimes find evil lurking close by.

Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?

SG: Each book brings me closer to one character or another, and in that moment, THAT character becomes my favorite. But the four women have now become a part of my own life, and, just like with my own children, I couldn’t chose between them.

Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?

SG: There are people in my own life who inspire some of the characters. As for the stories themselves, I am inspired—as are the four seaside knitters—by the goodness in people. I find it fascinating to explore that along with a murder.

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

SG: I think most writers want to be published. A validation, of sorts. So the wish was there. But the real decision was made by an agent who believed in the series and a publisher who wanted to publish them.

Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?

SG: Anna Quindlen, Colum McCann, Julia Child, and Harlan Coben

Kathy: What are you currently reading?

SG: A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW. Very enjoyable.

Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?

SG: Besides knitting, I love to cook, hike in the mountains, take long walks along the beach, read, be with friends, and play with my grandchildren.

Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.

SG: Pita chips, Wisconsin cheese, half and half, and apples. (I had to add the apples, lest you think I am an awful eater. We do eat better than this all sounds—honest!)

Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?

SG: In addition to MURDER WEARS MITTENS that comes out August 29, I have two more in the series under contract. The next one, HOW TO KNIT A MURDER, is in the making! And then there is always my ‘someday’ book, waiting in the wings.

Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?

SG: I find writing very difficult. But on those days when the words flow and the ideas take wonderful shapes, I am very happy. And having a completed manuscript in hand is pure joy. I also enjoy the connection with readers and other writers. I have made good friends through corresponding with readers and meeting them at events.

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  1. I'm a lone knitter and like visiting yarn shops, too. Would love to read about the Seaside Knitters and see how they solve the murder.

  2. Don't know how to knit but wanted to learn.

  3. Wonderful interview with a favorite author

  4. I don't know how to knit but have been anxious to learn.