ABOUT THE BOOKCeCe Prentice returns with her band of Dumpster-diving pals in this fast-paced mystery that puts the eco-friendly heroine back on top—of a pile of trash.
When Big Bob, manager of the town dump, goes missing, CeCe is worried about more than where she’ll score her next salvaged car. First at the scene when Bob’s body is recovered from under the weekly recycling haul, CeCe is quick to identify potential witnesses and provide crucial scene sketches. But when CeCe is uncharacteristically startled by an unidentified woman at Bob’s abandoned house, her artistic talents are challenged, and her drawings, much to her frustration, come up short.
With CeCe’s observational talents on the fritz, Detective Frank DeRosa, CeCe, and her network of Freegans are forced to recreate Big Bob’s life from the garbage up. The team is soon thrust into the underworld of recycling where what appears to be junk could actually be the clue that saves a life.
INTERVIEW WITH DIERDRE VERNE
Dierdre, how often do you read?
I’m always reading something. I start the day with the New York Times and then I juggle a few magazines a week. I can easily move from news to gossip as in Time magazine to People magazine. I used to work for Time Inc., so I enjoy having lots of magazines at my disposal.
I also stop by my local library once a week where I choose three books. I know this might sound odd, but I can’t seem to break my three-book habit – never more, never less. I started my three-book routine as a teenager, and it continues to this day. I may not finish all three books within the week, but that’s my goal.
What books do you currently have published?
The first book in the A Sketch in Crime mystery series, Drawing Conclusions, was published in Feb 2015. The second book, Drawing Blood, became available on February 8, 2016. The third book, tentatively titled, Drawing Fire, will be available in February 2017.
You may notice the titles all include the word ‘drawing.’ The main character, CeCe Prentice, is a sketch artist and helps the police solve crimes using her artistic talents.
Do you have a writing routine?
I have a writing and a thinking routine. When I’m writing, I’ll write everyday for six months straight. If I’m not writing then the rule is that I have to be thinking. I have a journal where I jot down notes, and I’ll often pull articles from newspapers or magazines and tape them into my journal.
My protagonist, CeCe Prentice, is an eco-friendly, Dumpster-diving artist. Years ago, I stumbled upon a newspaper article about extreme, eco-friendly lifestyles. This type of content is right up my alley. I start thinking, then researching and finally writing. Hopefully, this routine will continue to inspire more books in my series.
Is writing your dream job?
My dream job is storytelling. When I look back at my career, I realize that each job I’ve had involves storytelling.
My original background is in business – specifically marketing where I spun stories about products. I eventually left a corporate job, and for the past sixteen years, I’ve been teaching college where I weave stories about marketing. Of course the best place to tell stories is in books which is what I’m doing now.
If you could watch one television station for a year, what would it be?
Oh! This question is so unfair for a devout channel surfer. I will admit, however, to one television vice. I’m addicted to TLC, but in my defense, I include the channel as part of my writing research. TLC does a great job bringing average people with interesting stories to the forefront. Is it scripted? Of course it is, but I write books, and I appreciate a good script.
What five things would you never want to live without?
My library card
Elizabeth Arden 8-hour cream
And may I please have a cup of coffee?
Oh, all right! What do you like to do when there is nothing to do?
Now that my two boys are in their teens and basically self-sufficient, I’ve allowed myself a small indulgence. In the summer, I sit on my deck with a book and promptly fall asleep. I like to tell myself that this is actually part of my thinking routine, but it’s not.
Would you rather be a movie star, sport star or rock star?
Move over Pat Benatar and make some room for me on that stage. I would give anything to sing one song, on tune from beginning to end. Unfortunately for my family and those around me, I’m embarrassingly tone deaf. My voice is not even worthy of ‘Wheels on the Bus.”
I’ve considered giving this lack of talent to my protagonist, CeCe Prentice, but I love her too much to curse her with a torturous singing voice.
Do you procrastinate?
I have the opposite personality of a procrastinator. In fact, I tend to prepare so far in advance that I forget what I was doing in the first place. That’s why, somewhere hidden in my house, are a stack of holiday presents I pre-purchased, stored and now can’t find.
What is the stupidest thing you have ever done?
The stupidest thing I’ve ever done was hitchhike in Fort Lauderdale during Spring Break. Long story short, the car’s interior door handles had been ripped out and I was trapped in the back seat with my college roommate . . . Wait a second; maybe this is the beginning of a story?
No fair! That story was too short. What is your most embarrassing moment?
Let me take you back to the mid-1970’s when the wrap-around skirt was popular. The thing about those skirts is that they wrap and they unwrap which is exactly what happened to me in my school cafeteria. Are you cringing?
I'm right there with you. What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote is “You are your actions.” This quote came in handy as I developed the characters in my series. I wanted my characters’ actions to describe their personalities and reveal their motivations. This quote helped me keep character consistency throughout multiple manuscripts.
What’s your favorite song?
This is so easy. My favorite song is Otis Redding’s "Coffee and Cigarettes" and here’s why I love this song: I’m not a ‘bells and whistles’ type of girl. I don’t need sunsets and white horses to create a moment. I like to keep things simple, and that’s what Otis Redding does in this song. In "Coffee and Cigarettes," a man is spilling his heart out to his girl over a cup of coffee – "I don’t want no cream and sugar, ‘cause I’ve got you."
What is your favorite movie?
My favorite movie is Grease. That’s right. Only I could pick a movie that requires me to sing along (horribly) with Olivia Newton John.
What are you working on now?
I’m writing a book set in the 1970’s for two reasons. As a child of the late ‘60’s and early 70’s, this era holds great memories for me. But more importantly, I’d like to write a book that occurs before the technology explosion. It’s so easy now to press a button and have an entire mystery solved by a Google search. I’d like the characters in my next book to work a bit harder to find the answer.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A member of Sisters in Crime, Deirdre’s short stories appear in all three New York chapter anthologies – Murder New York Style, Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices, and Family Matters.
Connect with Dierdre:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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