American Eve Holdsworth is living her quintessential English dream in a picturesque village in the countryside. Meeting an attractive stranger adds to the appeal.
But Ben Dryden is a pariah in Eve’s new neighbourhood, since his wife was murdered five years ago, and he was the only suspect.
Eve, who is absolutely sure someone as charming as Ben could never be a killer, is
determined to solve the case and clear Ben’s name, even if it’s against his will.
Soon enough Eve finds herself in deep waters, and with her life at stake, she can only pray that her romantic notions won’t be the end of her …
When and where do you prefer to write?
A quiet, airy room, with a mood board for pictures on the wall, a noticeboard with plot points, character names and a rough chapter outline next to it. The scent of fresh coffee refreshes my senses, and peace reigns supreme while I create a whole world with the touch of my fingertips.
Except, it’s all fiction. This is how I would love to work ideally, although my first choice will forever be scribbling away in my notebooks in the cafés of Montparnasse in the early 1920s, and then go home and type up my masterworks. Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein have a lot to answer for.
At least my workspace is also slightly on the bohemian (translate: messy) side. It’s a tiny desk, squeezed into a corner. On it or under it are reference books, crumpled pieces of paper with illegible notes – not to self: buy decent pens or work on your handwriting for goodness’ sake – and half a dozen small notebooks in which I keep notes on – well, anything. Their actual usefulness is highly suspect due to the myriad of entries that make no longer sense. One example: Who’s the source? An excellent question, you will agree. If you know the context. The source of the Nile? The source of money? That flaky pastry I can still taste on my tongue and feel on my hips? No idea. Alas, if I ever throw away these notebooks, their importance will reveal itself the instant the recycling van speeds away. At least it’s in a good tradition; wasn’t it J.K. Rowling who jotted down the original Harry Potter idea on a napkin?
On a good day it still takes me close to an hour from intending to write to physically put words onto the screen, but then I get lured in to this world that I not so much create as give in to. I write until my eyes blur, or someone or something interrupts me, lbecause I have to do chores. That’s the hardest bit, the struggle to end a writing session. Peace and quiet are hard to come by, because I write at home, and there’s always some interruption or background noise. Still, it could be worse …
If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
Terry Pratchett or Agatha Christie, although both geniuses were fine without my input. They are both on my list of constant re-reads and sources of inspiration.
Say someone asks if they can use your name in a book. Would you rather be the ‘good one’ or the ‘bad one’?
Good question. The answer is, it depends. I’d be only too happy to be the heroine, or a quirky secondary character as the good one. I’d also like to be a villain, unless it involves abuse and torture or the slightest cruelty to animals. I don’t mind a good murder or two but count me out when it comes to kicking a puppy.
Who would you like/have liked to interview?
I once, in my reporter days, had the pleasure to interview Ken Follett. Great writer, great interview partner, and a genuinely nice person. Lots of writers are like that. We get rid of personal demons on the page. I would have loved to interview Nora Ephron. She never fails to make me chuckle and think. Of course, Terry Pratchett will forever be on my list of favourites, with the night watch and the witches and his breath-taking takes on Shakespeare.
Where can I find you when you are reading?
In bed, on the sofa, or standing in the kitchen while I’m cooking. In my youth I had a fabulously comfortable armchair where I’d spend hours curled up with a book – I used to have a serious one-book-a-day habit. #ComfortGoals
Where can I find you when you are not writing/reading?
I might be going for a walk, or taking my tap dance class, or at the cinema. We’re not talking about the humdrum parts of my life, are we?
What goes through your mind when you hold your new book in your hands for the first time?
I’m constantly amazed at the beauty of books. To know that I’ve written these words is a wonderful feeling, followed by the aching dread, what if nobody loves my book baby? I want to tell them it’s alright, my lovely, they’re cared for, and I won’t let anyone hurt them. They have their own special place on my bookshelves as well as in my heart (and luckily, that of a few readers!).
How do you come up with a title for your book?
Usually, it comes to my mind while I mull over the story and the characters. Let Sleeping Murder Lie was the exception. It was named “Untitled Project” until well into the second half of the first draft.
How do you pick a cover for your book?
In this regard I’m exceptionally lucky. Most of my covers are designed by the absolutely fabulous, multi-talented bestselling cozy mystery writer Fiona Leitch, and she always comes up with something I love.
In the case of Walking in the Shadow, my only non-mystery, I found a graphic designer on Facebook whose work I admired, and I approached her. She read the manuscript and loved it so much, she said yes! She used a period picture of Quail Island, where the novel is set back in 1909, and created a stunning cover illustration which was also used by Ulverscroft who have published several of my novels in audio.
Thank you, Carmen Radtke and Zooloo’s Book Tours
About the author
Carmen Radtke has spent most of her life with ink on her fingers and a dangerously high pile of books and newspapers by her side.
She has worked as a newspaper reporter on two continents and always dreamt of becoming a novelist and screenwriter.
When she found herself crouched under her dining table, typing away on a novel between two earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, she realised she was hooked for life.
When Carmen is not writing cozy mysteries, reading or dreaming of travel, she is busy acting as resident cat servant or tap-dancing (badly, but enthusiastic).
She is currently working on her next Jack and Frances mystery.
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