Winners of the I Spy contest will be posted tomorrow! Yay!
I love the premise of Sara Rosett's new novel, Getting Away is Deadly, for several reasons. One, I'm always up for a good mystery, especially when the heroine is pregnant (LOL!), two) Publishers Weekly calls it "sparkling," which is hardly faint praise, and three) the plot revolves around a murder in which someone is pushed on a subway platform, and as a rider on the NYC subway, I always, always think about this...someone pushing me over the tracks or how easy it would be to kill someone on the spot. (Yes, I'm evidently disturbed. Moving on...)
Anyway, here are some more specifics on Sara's book, and then, she answers my five usual questions for Ask Allison readers!
GETTING AWAY IS DEADLY is the third book in the mom lit mystery series about a military spouse who runs a professional organizing business.
It was the perfect vacation until murder rearranged the itinerary.
With swollen feet, pregnant Ellie joins the nation’s tourists in seeing the sights in Washington D.C. But a fatal incident at the Metro station convinces Ellie that something is rotten in the capital city. Should she do the safe thing and pack her bags? Not likely when too many people are telling lies, hiding secrets, and acting suspiciously. Luckily, Ellie Avery is just the right woman to clean up the most mysterious cases of murder—even if she has to brave the most dangerous byways in the corridors of power . . .
1) What’s the backstory behind your book?
I accompanied my husband, who is military pilot, when he went to Washington D.C. for two training classes and those trips inspired the book. I didn’t witness a fatal accident in a Metro station, but I couldn’t help thinking what dangerous places they were. And then I made the typical mystery writer leap—what if someone fell into the path of an incoming train? It would be a great place for a murder since there aren’t any guardrails to prevent someone from falling into a train’s path.
2) It seems that a lot of readers confuse fiction with real life, assuming that a novel must be an autobiography of the author as well. How many elements of your real life are reflected in your book?
This happens to me all the time! Just because I’m a military spouse and I write about a military spouse, doesn’t mean the book is autobiographical. Of course, I understand how people could make that leap, but I’ve never found a dead body or helped the police solve a crime, so you’d think, it would be pretty obvious that Ellie isn’t me! I use my experiences as a military spouse for background for the book. I’ve written about deployments and what it feels like to move to a new city. In Getting Away, I write about what it’s like to go on a sort-term training assignment with your spouse. He’s focused on work and you’re flitting around the city sight-seeing. It’s a fun experience, but not quite a vacation. I try to include details about being a military spouse and a mom. Real life often inspires some of those tidbits, but the mystery and mayhem is all made up.
3) A lot of my blog readers are aspiring or new authors. How did you land your first book deal?
I always wrote stories as a kid. They were very short, usually about one chapter. I realize now that I didn’t have any plot in those early stories! Anyway, I went to school and got an English degree, then I worked as a reporter at a few Air Force base newspapers and as a writer/researcher for a travel company. All the time I was working at these jobs, I was filing away ideas for stories and reading as much as I could. I finally started writing a draft of what would become the first Mom Zone Mystery, MOVING IS MURDER, about eight years ago. It took me about a year to complete the manuscript. I revised it, entered it in contests to get feedback, and then began querying agents. After a year, I find an agent and then it took her several months to sell my mystery. Kensington Books published MOVING IS MURDER in April 2006.
4) I have a serious procrastination problem when it comes to tackling my fiction. What’s your routine? How do you dive it? Do you have any rituals or necessary to-dos before or while you write?
I began writing during my kid’s naptime, which was wonderful training in getting down to work right away. No time to surf the Net or check email. I had thirty minutes to get some words down on paper and I had to write fast! Now my kids are in school and I can be a little more relaxed. I usually start at the beginning and write all the way through to the end before I go back and do a revisions, but I do look over what I wrote the day before when I first sit down. For some reason, going over what I’ve already written helps me get into it and before I know it I’m into the story again.
5) Clearly, your book will be optioned for a multi-million dollar film deal! Who would you cast as the leads, if you were given creative control?
This is always a bit of a stretch because I don’t think about movie stars as I’m writing, but I’ll give it a shot:
Ellie: Sandra Bullock—she’d be able to pull off the seriousness and the humor.
Mitch (Ellie’s husband): Val Kilmer—loved him in The Saint
Livvy (Ellie’s daughter): don’t know any actor this young—Livvy’s only 20 months old!