Friday, January 24, 2020

Survival Can Be Deadly - An Interview & Giveaway

I'm happy to welcome Charlotte Stuart to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Charlotte writes the Cameron Chandler Mystery series. Survival Can be Deadly is the first in the series.

Kathy: In Survival Can be Deadly Cameron Chandler's search for a runaway leads her to a survivalist camp. Have you ever known someone is a survivalist camp? Have you ever been to one?

CS: I’ve knew a survivalist couple, but I’ve never been to a survivalist camp. I have, however, been to a commune that was cut off from city life. I used that as the model for my survivalist camp.

Kathy: Cameron is armed only with her wits and a Swiss Army Knife. When I was a little girl I was in awe of Swiss Army knives and I did eventually get one. What is it that makes them so appealing? Do you have a Swiss Army Knife?

CS: Yes, I have several Swiss Army Knives, including a small one I carry in my purse. Before the surge of tech tools, they were the ultimate in gadgetry. They are still the charm bracelet of knives.

Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

CS: I think of my mysteries as “modern” cozies because my main characters occasionally swear – nothing too strong – and, in Survival, Cameron is eventually going to graduate from amateur sleuth to a “real” private investigator as she has more experience. But the emphasis on positive relationships and family as well as the assurance of a happy ending for most of the characters is a real draw for me.

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

CS: Once upon a time I wrote academic articles and humorous boating articles. More recently, I self-published a nonfiction book – Disastrous Interviews: the Comic, Tragic and Just Plain Ugly – to use in my consulting practice. It was intended to make people feel better about messing up an interview by reading about what happened to others and to help HR professionals be better interviewers.

Kathy: Tell us about your series.

CS: Survival Can Be Deadly is the first in a series of discount detective mysteries. My idea was that Penny-wise Investigations would draw in middle class people with smallish problems that morphed into murder investigations. The second, Campaigning Can be Deadly, will be out in the fall. It starts with the theft of campaign signs and events take off from there.

I also just published Why Me? Chimeras, Conundrums and Dead Goldfish. I am fascinated by the research being done on growing human organs in animals and am appalled by the illegal organ trade. I think of this book as a lighthearted mystery about a serious subject.

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

CS: My favorite character is the cat, Macavity, in Why Me? He is my image of the perfect yet quirky pet that I would have if I wasn’t allergic to cats.

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

CS: Not really, although I wanted to write a book that would include action on my favorite island in the San Juans.

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

CS: I’ve always wanted to get my work published. I have a quite a few mysteries that remain in boxes in a cabinet.

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

CS: I would definitely want Lawrence Block and Lisa Lutz. I love their mysteries. Add to that Colson Whitehead (The Intuitionist is one of my all-time favorites) and Amor Towles. What a diverse and interesting group.

Kathy: What are you currently reading?

CS: The Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier and The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick. Since I belong to three book clubs, I always have another book to read.

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

CS: We live on the water. I love to swim and kayak. I also love to just sit and watch the water do its thing.

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

CS: Cheese (several kinds), popcorn, clementines and coffee.

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

CS: YES. In addition to the two I mentioned already, I have a cozy set on the island where I live.

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

CS: I’ve always enjoyed writing. And I love going on walks with my husband and talking about what we are working on. It’s great fun to think up plots and live adventures vicariously. All the excitement without being in danger.


Survival Can Be Deadly: A Discount Detective by Charlotte Stuart

About Survival Can Be Deadly


Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 
Publisher: Walrus Publishing (September 10, 2019)  
An imprint of Amphorae Publishing Group  
Paperback: 308 pages 
When single mom and recent widow Cameron Chandler takes a much-needed job at Penny-wise Investigations, a detective agency conveniently located in a suburban shopping mall, she grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Her first case is to locate a runaway girl, something her predecessor had been pursuing before he disappeared. Following in his footsteps, the trail leads to a survivalist camp on a remote island in northern Puget Sound. Armed with only a Swiss Army Knife and her quirky on-the-job training as a suburban sleuth, Cameron uncovers more than she bargained for. She soon finds herself in a fight for her own survival in this lighthearted mystery set in Seattle and the San Juan Islands to the north.

About Charlotte Stuart

In a world filled with uncertainty and too little chocolate, Charlotte Stuart, PhD, has taught college courses in communication, gone commercial fishing in Alaska, and was the VP of HR and Training for a large credit union. Her current passion is for writing lighthearted mysteries with a pinch of adventure and a dollop of humor. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys watching herons, eagles, seals and other sea life from her Vashon Island home office.  

Author Links:

Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Kobo - IndieBound

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  1. Thank you for the interview with Charlotte Stuart and for being part of the book tour for "Survival Can be Deadly".

    Can't wait for the opportunity to read this book on my TBR list.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  2. Great interview, this book sounds WONDERFUL. I think the entire
    Story line is terrific :-) my husband was quite taken by the
    Knife. Hahaha although he actually might be with the storyline
    Also. Blessings

  3. So glad that you put your book on tour as I am hoping you get a lot of new readers such as myself! peggy clayton