ABOUT THE BOOKA cheating wife in a classic car drives someone to murder.
Interior decorators turned amateur investigators, Chloe and Amanda Carstairs have spent the summer transforming their client’s creepy old castle into a luxury hotel. But before the first guest checks in, the owner’s wife checks out – with the help of a bullet to the head.
When Chloe’s dad is accused of the crime, there’s no time for the ladies to drown their sorrows in the hotel’s mini bar. Instead, they have to contend with a sneaky blackmailer, an unsolved murder from the past, and a cunning killer with nothing to lose.
The second Chloe Carstairs Mystery is filled with the same clever twists and hilarious mother-daughter relationship that made Murder on the First Day of Christmas such a fun, fast-paced read. The mystery will keep you guessing, but as any good decorator will tell you, even a beautiful setting can’t hide the ugly truth.
INTERVIEW WITH BILLIE THOMAS
Billie, how long have you been a writer?
I’ve been a writer since I first put a jumbo pencil to paper. In school, I would actually write the books I did book reports on. (Love that my teacher let me do that.) I learned to love the flow early and have been chasing that feeling ever since.
What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?
The second Chloe Carstairs mystery. I wrote the first one with my mom and the mother-daughter relationship was very much like ours. After she passed away unexpectedly, I told everyone I was really glad I had the series to work on because it made me feel close to her. But the truth is, it made me pretty sad and I missed her feedback. Luckily, I have some great beta readers to pull me through my doldrums.
What’s the worst thing someone has said about your writing? How did you deal with it?
Usually, bad reviews don’t bother me. (My favorite is: “I didn’t know if I could get through this book after the first chapter but I stuck with it and it turned out okay.”) Writing is subjective and humor is subjective, so not everyone is going to be a fan. But I once had a boss who said I had no talent. Hearing a huge overarching statement like that, from someone I thought was the arbiter of such things? I pretty much collapsed like a dying star. Luckily, I’m a little older and hopefully, a little wiser and know the difference between constructive and destructive criticism.
Who would you want to narrate a film about your life?
Tina Fey. And she’d need to write it too. I think she’d make me sound much smarter and funnier than I really am.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
An unapologetic introvert. My day job in advertising makes me interact with people and make presentations far more than I’d like, but as long as I can retreat to my house (a.k.a my fortress of solitude), I’m fine. I love having a calm, cozy place to close out the world and enjoy my own company for a while.
What is the most daring thing you've done?
After losing my job and getting divorced in the same year, I started freelancing so I could finally do the traveling I’d always wanted to do. Within just a couple of years, I’d visited Italy, Thailand, Cambodia, Guatemala, Peru, Ireland, and Vietnam. It was a total life reboot and my comfort zone was just a dot in the rear view, but I learned so much about myself and what I’m capable of.
You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be?
Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series. Girl’s got some serious skills and isn’t afraid to use them!
If you had to choose a cliche about life, what would it be?
What’s for dinner?
What scares you the most?
Losing people close to me. After losing my mom, I know it can and does happen. I think my worry keeps people alive. Worry is my superpower.
How do you feel about Facebook?
I’m getting a little jaded about it. I want to see your kids’ first-day-of-school pictures and funny posts about your day. Rants and outrage and ugliness make me feel very weary.
What's your favorite thing about the writing process?
Flow! When you get in the zone and actually lose time and the only thing that brings you back to the real world are reproachful dog eyes demanding dinner.
If you could only watch one television station for a year, what would it be?
I’m going to cheat and say Netflix. I love binge-watching shows, especially Masterpiece Mysteries.
Cake or frosting? Cake!
Laptop or desktop? Laptop.
Chevy Chase or Bill Murray? Bill Murray.
Emailing or texting? Emailing.
Indoors or outdoors? Outdoors.
Tea: sweet or unsweet? Unsweet. (Curse you, slowing metabolism.)
Plane, train, or automobile? Train.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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