DEATH IN THE FAMILY by Marlene Bateman. Take a look at this great book and the interview at the end of this post. It will be a great one. Stay tuned for my review. :)
Erica Coleman, a gifted and quirky private investigator with OCD is with her family in the picturesque town of Florence, Oregon, happily anticipating Grandma Blanche’s eighty-first
birthday celebration. But when the feisty matriarch, a savvy businesswoman, suspects wrongdoing and asks Erica to investigate her company, things get sticky. Before the investigation can begin, Blanche passes away. But her unexpected death leaves Erica with more questions than answers. It soon becomes clear Grandma’s passing was anything but natural: she was murdered.
When another relative becomes the next victim of someone with a taste for homicide, Erica uses her flair for cooking to butter up local law enforcement and gather clues. As she works to unravel the case, Erica’s OCD either helps or hinders her—depending on who you talk to—but it’s those same obsessive/compulsive traits than enable Erica to see clues that others miss. When she narrowly escapes becoming the third victim, Erica is more determined than ever to solve the case but wonders if she’s bitten off more than she can chew.
What made you decide to become a writer?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer--ever since I was in elementary school. I think a large part of this came from reading so much. As a child, I was a voracious reader. For three years in a row in elementary school, I won the award for reading the most books. And the prize was: A book! I was delighted, of course. Sometimes I wonder if writers are born, because I’ve certainly always wanted to write. However, once I got married, I had to cut back because—let’s face it—you can’t do everything at one time. To everything there is a season. When my children were little, I concentrated on writing for short articles and stories for magazines. Then, as the children got older and I had more time, I started writing books.
What makes your mysteries standout from the crowd?
First, my books are ‘clean’ books, which means no swearing and no gratuitous sex or violence. Second, I like to keep the reader guessing. My novels are ‘whodunit’ mysteries that keep readers trying to figure out who the killer is. Many current TV shows focus on high tech prowess to solve the crime. I focus more on the psychological aspects—why this person did that, why that person didn’t do this. I try to delve into the killer’s psyche and show the psychological aspects that drive their behavior. I like to have a lot of fun and interesting characters. Third, I like to incorporate humor, because everyone likes to laugh now and then. Fourth, and last, I include plenty of intriguing plot twists and turns to keep readers turning the page. Each ending of every book has a surprising, final twist.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Never. Give. Up.
People don’t fail because they can’t write, they fail because they stop trying. I have a yellowed newspaper clipping by my computer that says; “For most of us, it isn’t that we don’t have the ability to write, it’s that we don’t devote the time. You have to put in the effort.” Another way of saying that is if you want to write and be published bad enough, you’ll work for it. And if you work at it, your writing will improve, and you WILL be published.
What can we expect next from you?
I have two books that are awaiting publication. The first is Crooked House but my publisher always changes the titles so I don’t know what they will call it! Here is a short summary: Someone is trying to kill Liz Johnson, and it is up to quirky private investigator, Erica Coleman, to find out who it is. With an authentic setting in Dover, Delaware and against a background of NASCAR racing, Erica works to stop the killer who has already survived two murder attempts. It’s up to Erica to pinpoint the killer before he can succeed. As always, ten delicious recipes are included.
My second book that is awaiting publication is called, A Home for Christmas. Here is a short summary: Kenzie has big plans—the only problem is she hasn’t told anyone about them. One of them is to buy the house she grew up in—the home her brother, Tom, recently put up for sale. When she arrives in Lake Forest for Christmas vacation, Kenzie is shocked to find that her brother has accepted an offer on the house she desperately wants to buy. Unwilling to give up her plans, Kenzie tries to wrest the house from the man who made the offer, a handsome widower named Jared Phillips. Although they find themselves attracted to each other, it’s impossible for Kenzie to even think about a relationship with the man who is taking away the house she desperately wants. Then, a surprising revelation works a Christmas miracle. As a special bonus, seven delicious cookie recipes are included.
I’m also working on another Erica Coleman mystery, called, Murder in the Black Hills. I’d also like to do a sequel to Gaze Into Heaven—Near Death Experiences in Early Church History, which came out last year.
Where can we purchase your book?
A Death in the Family is available at bookstores such as Deseret Book and Seagull Book and others. Here are 3 links where A Death in the Family can be purchased online.
Seagull Book: http://www.seagullbook.com/lds-products-823999.html
THANK YOU, MARLENE.