Carol Newsome is the author of A Shot in the Bark (A Dog Park Mystery). Here she discusses her unique book and how important it is for new writers to make a great first impression.
1. Tell me briefly about your book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?
It’s about an artist, Lia, who’s friends with a serial killer and doesn’t know it. When her writer boyfriend dies under suspicious circumstances, the dog park and its motley crew of denizens is the focus of the investigation. Of course the handsome detective, Peter, crushes madly on Lia. She’s struggling with questions about her relationship with the deceased. Secrets come to light in Peter’s pursuit of the truth, and that complicates things. And you’ve got this serial killer working to stay one step ahead of the investigation.
I’m a big fan of mysteries. One thing I’ve noticed about our dog park is that people rendezvous in the parking lot and don’t think anyone is watching, but all of us doggie parents don’t have anything better to do than pay attention to who comes and goes, and speculate on what they’re up to. I’ve been saying for years that we needed to have a dog park mystery. So it was in the back of my head that this would be a fun thing to do.
I was motivated to start my book after an acquaintance asked me to help him edit his thriller. There was a lot to like about the manuscript, but he was trying to write popular fiction, and he’s not a popular fiction kind of guy. He thinks it’s junk. He had a passive aggressive approach to feedback which showed up in his manuscript. What could have been a nifty book was turning into a mess. I wound up wanting to kill him.
So I quit his project, picked up a pen and took him out.
2. How have your sales been?
Sales have been steadily growing since I published in September. Right now I’m averaging 2 sales a day. Knock on wood.