Hi, Vickie, here. Today the Chicks are thrilled to welcome author Sarah Fox. The cleverly titled, AN ALE OF TWO CITIES, newest in her Literary Pub Mysteries, was released this week! Take it away, Sarah!
In the writing world, we often talk about whether we’re plotters or pansters. Some writers like to meticulously outline a book before they write it while others (the pansters) prefer to fly by the seat of their pants. I sit somewhere in the middle.
I’ve learned the hard way that I need to do some planning before I start writing, otherwise I end up wandering down the wrong path, one that can sometimes lead over a steep cliff.
I need direction to keep me away from straying down those hazardous paths, but not too much direction. Even though I write a basic outline before I begin, the story always takes unexpected turns when I’m writing it. That’s not a bad thing. I like to be surprised, and usually the unexpected twists and turns are more interesting than what’s in my outline.
What I’m not so fond of is when I have to change the killer part way through the book. Usually that becomes necessary because the killer’s identity is way too obvious. All those subtle clues I was planting turn out to be not-so-subtle after all and my sleuth would have to be on the dim side to miss them. Once I had to change the murderer because I liked him too much. As I wrote the first draft, I realized he was such a nice guy that I just couldn’t bring myself to make him the killer.
Of course, changing the murderer tends to require several other changes. I have to go back and move things around, add scenes and new clues. That can be a frustrating process, but it always results in a better story in the end. That said, every time I start a new mystery, I cross my fingers and hope that I won’t need to do a killer switcheroo.
About the book:
The Winter Carnival always brings holiday cheer, Christmas joy—and tourists with cash—to picturesque Shady Creek, Vermont. At the center of the glittering decorations and twinkling lights is booklover and pub owner Sadie Coleman, creating original cocktails, hosting a literary trivia evening, and cheering on her loyal employee Melanie “Mel” Costas as she competes in the ice carving competition.
But holiday cheer can’t compete with former resident and renowned chef Freddy Mancini, who arrives with his nose in the air, showing off his ice-sculpting skills like a modern-day Michelangelo. During the artists’ break in the night-long contest, Mel’s tools disappear . . . and Freddy is found dead with her missing pick in his chest.
Although the police turn their attention to Mel, it seems everyone in town had a grudge against Freddy, including his assistant, his mentor, his former flame, and even his half-brother.
Faster than she can fling a Huckleberry Gin, Sadie finds herself racing to make sure the police don’t arrest the wrong suspect—all while sharing a flirtation with local brewery owner Grayson Blake. Their chemistry leads to a heated rivalry at the hockey rink—and to the hot pursuit of a killer.
About the author:
Sarah Fox was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she developed a love for mysteries at a young age. She’s the author of the Literary Pub Mysteries, as well as the Music Lover’s Mystery series and the USA Today bestselling Pancake House Mysteries. When not writing novels or working as a legal writer, Sarah can often be found reading her way through a stack of books or spending time outdoors with her English Springer Spaniel. Connect with Sarah on her website, as well as on Facebook and on Twitter @TheWriteFox.
How do you feel when books/life take an unexpected turn? Share in comments.