Happy Wednesday, Everyone–which means we Chicks have a wonderful new guest for you to meet, if you haven’t already: the very inspiring Karina Bartow, whose latest book BROTHER OF INTEREST is now available. Take it away, Karina!
It’s my honor to be welcomed by the Chicks and get to meet all of you mystery lovers! Mysteries have captivated me from childhood, starting with board games like Guess Who and Clue, as well as whodunit CD-ROMs—yes, I’m old enough to remember those. After I outgrew the Scooby Doo Mystery Inc. books, however, I didn’t read many mysteries but mainly watched them in film and television until the past few years. Yes, even this author will sometimes skip the book and watch the movie!
I think we can all agree the best part of mysteries is trying to figure out the culprit before the characters do. Truth be told, that’s why they’ve become my favorite genre to write; I like to play with readers’ minds. When I’m watching one and see a character’s subtle but guilty look, I can get wound up for the remainder of the show, yelling at the screen and trying to convince the make-believe sleuth that I’m right. Whether I am or not, it entertains me just the same.
That said, I get disappointed if it’s too easy to crack the case. On one series I liked, the bad guy was always the suspect they interviewed around the twenty-minute mark. It griped me! A while back, I read a modern whodunit and made my guess from the first chapter based on the character’s statement. I continued to have my suspicions of her but allowed the author to shift my attention elsewhere as she wove the story. She never really persuaded me otherwise, as none of the suspects made such an intriguing remark. In the end, my prediction proved correct, but it didn’t gratify me the way I thought it would.
Because I love the thrill of the “hunt”, I take great effort not to give away the villain in my books. In fact, I don’t always know who it is for about half the book. I have a general idea, but I don’t strain to put a face on it if I still haven’t decided. I figure, if I don’t know, how will the reader peg him/her?
From the feedback I’ve received, I accomplish my mission to a fair degree. You’re welcome to test me out for yourself by reading my latest mystery novel, Brother of Interest, or its forerunner, Husband in Hiding, which is available for 0.99 on Kindle for a limited time.
Now that I’ve stated my case, what do you think? Do you prefer to nail the culprit before anyone else or be completely stumped? Let Karina know in the comments below!
About the Author:
KARINA BARTOW grew up and still lives in Northern Ohio. Though born with Cerebral Palsy, she’s never allowed her disability to define her. Rather, she’s used her experiences to breathe life into characters who have physical limitations, but like her, are determined not to let them stand in the way of the life they want. Her debut novel, Husband in Hiding came out in 2015, followed by Forgetting My Way Back to You, 2018. She may only be able to type with one hand, but she writes with her whole heart!