I'm happy to welcome Elaine Faber back to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Elaine's most recent release is THE SPIRIT WOMAN OF LOCKLEER MOUNTAIN.
Kathy: You take a departure from your historical Mrs.Odboddy mystery series and come into present time for your latest book. Other than historical accuracy, what's the biggest change you had to make as a writer?
EF: The biggest change was that the main character was a modern day young woman, and the story line is written without as much attempt to write humorous dialogue, such as my previous Mrs. Odboddy series or Black Cat mysteries. I started out thinking this would be a humorous cozy again, but the characters, though there are humorous spots, are much more serious in their attempts to resolve conflict. Nate is quite distraught, believing the woman in the woods with the mountain lion is his sister, who mysteriously disappeared following an MVA 3 months prior.
Kathy: THE SPIRIT WOMAN OF LOCKLEER MOUNTAIN brings a Native American legend to your mystery. How did you learn about Spirit Woman and why decide to incorporate her into your story?
EF: Though there is a Native American reservation near the setting of my story, I made no attempt to make this an accurate depiction of a specific tribe or legendary figure. Native American culture includes spiritual beings felt to aid in daily life. These are sometimes represented by Kachina dolls given to children. However, my legendary Spirit Woman is completely fictional.
Kathy: Societal issues such as development, drug dealing, and civil unrest play a part in your mystery. There's also a touch of the paranormal and a bit of romance. Which of these do you find easiest to include?
EF: Once the issue pops up in the story, it’s not hard to write any of it. I allow my vivid imagination to take me and the characters wherever they lead.
Kathy: Was there a specific inspiration for this story?
EF: The storyline evolves as I write and the characters often lead places I had no intention to go. It was not my intention to write this story when I sat down to write. I intended to create a humorous cozy mystery regarding Lou’s sewer truck, The Pooper Scooper. Eventually her septic tank service would lead to the discovery of some crime when she pumped out a septic tank. I also planned a mysterious government facility nearby. Beyond that, I just started to write and before long, an owl crashed into Lou’s kitchen window and the legendary Spirit Woman came to play when she wonders if the Spirit Woman sent the owl. Nate explains that ‘seeing an owl during the day means someone is going to die.’
Kathy: When it comes to writing, I understand there are 2 general camps-plotters, who diligently plot their stories, and pansters, who fly by the seat of their pants. Are you a plotter, a panster, or do you fall somewhere in between?
EF: I guess I’m a pantser. Other than starting with a general concept of Lou and her sewer truck, and a glimmer of an eventual crime and solution, I just start filling in the middle to get to that end goal. The characters lead me to the ‘in between.’ Sometimes it’s very exciting to see what’s going to happen next. When writers block occurs, I read what I just wrote and say, ‘what’s the worst thing that can happen right now,’ and make it happen. That leads me through the next chapter.
Kathy: Authors are required to do a lot of their own marketing, especially for a new release. What's your favorite part of marketing? What do you dislike about marketing?
EF: Under normal circumstances, my favorite way to market is to be out and about selling my books directly to the public at craft fairs and Writer events. That hasn’t been possible this year which saddens me. I love to talk to customers about my books and see repeat customers who are anxious to read the next book. The next best thing is to do interviews and write guest posts for bloggers. Thank you for allowing me to share my latest novel with your friends.
Kathy: Will you share any other upcoming books?
EF: I’m currently working on the sequel to Spirit Woman. Though she brings about some resolutions to the problems in the current story, of course, things change and new issues arise. The winner of a million dollar lottery ticket brings challenges and murder to Lockleer Mountain. The Spirit Woman and her mountain lion will return to assist in the new problems facing Lou and her friends. Look for this novel in 2022.
All my books are available at Amazon for just $3.99 in e-book.
Black Cat Mysteries: With the aid of his ancestors’ memories, Black Cat helps solve mysteries and crimes. Partially narrated by Black Cat, much of the story comes from a cat’s often humorous and poignant point of view.
Mrs. Odboddy Mystery/Adventures: Elderly, eccentric Mrs. Odboddy fights WWII from the home front. She believes war-time conspiracies and spies abound in her home town. Follow her antics in these hysterical, historical novels as a self-appointed hometown warrior exposes malcontents, dissidents and Nazi spies…even when she’s wrong.
The Spirit Woman Mystery/Paranormal/Adventures
The Native Americans believe the legendary Spirit Woman ‘protects the community.’ When Govt. demands create social unrest in a small mountain town, and drugs threaten the lives of their youth, the Spirit Woman and her mountain lion companion come to their aid.
Black Cat’s Legacy http://tinyurl.com/lrvevgm
Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer http://tinyurl.com/q3qrgyu
Black Cat and the Accidental Angel http://tinyurl.com/y4eohe5n
Black Cat and the Secret in Dewey’s Diary NCPA Cover and Interior Design Silver award 2019 http://tinyurl.com/vgyp89s
All Things Cat (anthology of short stories) http://tinyurl.com/y9p9htak
Mrs. Odboddy-Hometown Patriot NCPA 1st Fiction 2017 http://tinyurl.com/hdbvzsv
Mrs. Odboddy – Undercover Courier NCPA 3rd Cover and Design 2018 http://tinyurl/com/jn5bzwb
Mrs. Odboddy – And Then There Was a Tiger NCPA 2nd Fiction 2019 http://tinyurl.com/yx72fcpx
The Spirit Woman of Lockleer Mountain http://tinyrul.com/y82t4xsh
There are sightings of a woman and a mountain lion near Lockleer
Mountain, seen at moments of crisis. Is she the legendary Native
American’s Spirit Woman, sent to protect the community? Nate is
convinced his sister, missing for three months, and surely suffering
from amnesia, is the elusive woman. He fears she will not survive the
coming winter months, living wild in the wood with a mountain lion.
While Deputy Nate Darling pursues a relationship with Lou Shoemaker, he and Sheriff Peabody pursue a drug dealer, selling to the youth at the Native American reservation. Things are even more complicated by civil unrest regarding the government’s secret plans to build a mysterious facility, a big box store, and a housing tract close to Lockleer Mountain, threatening the livelihood of the local merchants.
Is there any hope that the Spirit Woman, real or imaginary, can bring harmony to the troubled community? Will Nate be able to apprehend the drug dealer, locate his missing sister, maintain his budding romance, and guarantee the financial future of Lockleer Mountain?