Today we're talking with Jill Shure, author ofA Clause for Murder.
FQ: Courtney Farrow is one of those women who every woman loves to hate, but secretly would enjoy having all the attention thrown her way. Did you pattern her character over someone you know? No names please!
Courtney is an amalgam of narcissistic women I've known. But basically, she's an exaggeration because it makes her outrageously annoying and funny.
FQ: Lisa, Arlene, and Tabitha felt a tad ghoulish when Aunt Perdith gave them the go sign to clean out Courtney’s condo. If you were there and all kinds of designer clothes galore were available to you, what would you choose? Burberry, Dior, Prada, Georgia Armani, Kate Spade?
Wow! I suppose I'd go for the Dior and Prada. But I'm not someone who worships designer goods. Although I love fine purses. But I'd behave more like Betsy did under the circumstances. I'd probably feel weird about going through a dead girl's things.
FQ: Betsy had a marvelous sense of humor that emanated from the pages of this book. Even the name of the insurance agency she worked for, “Aloss,” will elicit a few chuckles. You do have a little twinkle in your eye. Tell us about your own sense of humor.
I believe that laughter and a good smile can help us through the toughest times. And it's the most gratifying thing in the world to know that I made someone laugh and feel good.
FQ: A Clause for Murder has all the elements people love in cozy mysteries. Was it an easy task to write this mystery or did you have to “study” the work of other authors? If so, which ones?
I guess I've always been a good reader, so maybe I've been studying my whole life. I like all good books, including mysteries, so I can't say I studied any specific writer's work. I just had the idea and managed to make it work.
FQ: Speaking of authors, if you were browsing the shelves of your local bookstore, which genres would you make a beeline for?
I love mainstream fiction, thrillers, mysteries, and historical romances. I'm a huge fan of Nelson DeMille, who writes fast-paced novels which always intrigue me and often make me laugh.
FQ: Dr. Spunkhoffer claimed Courney’s “honey exterior hid the morals of a dangerous sociopath.” She was an intensely complicated, interesting character. How were you seamlessly able to integrate her hidden lives into this book without giving away too much? The clues were there, but I for one missed many of them!
Hard work, lots of luck, and a character with a past she felt ashamed of. In a world where image is so important, Courtney Farrow just took it to the next level by creating a fantasy others could believe, because she seemed to have all the things money can buy.
FQ: Several of your characters were very appealing and some of them downright hilarious like Consuela Alma Tranquillo, the wronged wife set on revenge. Will we be seeing the likes of her in the follow up to A Clause for Murder? Mmmm, perhaps I should ask if there will be a follow up!
I am working on the next book in the series. No easy thing because I want it to have similar elements yet be very different.
FQ: Success seems to be coming you way these days. You released two other books this year in addition to A Clause for Murder: Night Caps, Night Glitter, the sequel to the award winning, Night Jazz. You must be very pleased with your accomplishments. Tell us a bit about these books and your plans for the future.
I wish I could say I feel accomplished. But I need to enjoy the work and sell plenty of books. Writing requires so much time and isolation. And some days are more productive than others. So I work and work and then I finally get results which please me. But every book is a unique challenge.