MysteryAuthors.com is proud to have Carolyn J. Rose and Michael A. Nettleton with us for an interview today. Thank you for joining us.
M.A.: Tell us a little about your featured mystery, The Crushed Velvet Miasma.
MN/CR: This is the sequel to The Hard Karma Shuffle and it continues the adventures of Paladin, a tie-dyed Portland bike messenger who never got over the 60s. In this mystery he’s recruited to help a rock band reunite. The Velvet Miasma had a series of hits in the early 70s, but one member died in a pyrotechnic mishap and others went their separate ways after an on-stage blowup. Thor, the band’s egocentric leader, bribes Paladin to track down a missing musician and lead singer Maggie Thunder. All have good reasons to hate Thor and it’s not long before he’s found beaten to death with an electric guitar. Paladin’s son, Eugene Springfield, is accused of the crime and forced to hide out with a troupe of cross dressing performers while Paladin attempts to clear his name.
M.A.: Can you share with us (without giving anything away, of course!) a personal favorite moment or line in your book?
MN/CR: We’ve always enjoyed Paladin’s efforts to reason things through. He lost a lot of brain cells in the 60’s and it’s a challenge. Plus, he doesn’t get a lot of help from his friends. Here he is, backstage with his son and a group of female impersonators, trying to make sense of a clue:
. . . So why did the inside of my head sound like a bell solo by that hunchback dude from Notre Dame?
“Whassup? You okay, Dad?” Eugene put his hands on my shoulders.
“Maybe he’s dizzy,” Fannie suggested. “Sit him down, Eugene . Get his head between his knees. Ladies, find me a bag.”
“I’m fine,” I insisted, but Eugene guided me toward a low stool in front of a vanity loaded with cosmetics.
A man in an ermine stole handed me a rhinestone-studded evening bag. Fannie snatched it back. “A paper bag, you ninnies, not an evening bag. I want him to breathe into it, not accessorize with it.”
“I’m okay!” I raised my voice and uncovered my ears. “I was trying to think.”
Crystal smothered a snicker . . .
And then there’s that bizarre hostage situation at the end of the book. But telling you about that would be giving too much away.
M.A.: Why mysteries? What makes them so compelling for you to write?
MN/CR: As a writer you can exact revenge by killing off a villain and you can see justice is done in a way that may be more satisfying than what would happen in real life. We love to read mysteries and follow clues and enjoy crafting them and trying to keep readers guessing.
M.A.: What about other work? Do you write in any genres other than mystery?
MN/CR: We’ve co-written a fantasy for young adults: The Hermit of Humbug Mountain.
M.A.: What was your funniest writing-related moment?
MN/CR: Probably back in 1991 or 1992 when we were in a critique group chaired by writing coach and author Elizabeth Lyon. After several sessions she asked us to stay on after the others left. We imagined she intended to compliment our work. Instead she told us that one of us would have to move to another group. It seems that others thought our critiquing of each other’s work was too vicious; they feared our marriage would disintegrate in Elizabeth ’s living room and didn’t want to be seated nearby in case we threw things. Since then we’ve written five books together (two not yet published) and managed to stay together. And our critiques of each other are still in the “what the heck were you thinking when you wrote that?” vein. We’re both extremely sarcastic and we’ve developed thick skins.
M.A.: So, what's your current writing project? Is it a mystery, too?
MN/CR: Right now Mike is working on a memoir about his radio career called I Might Be Naked for All You Know. Carolyn has recently completed a suspense novel called The Refuge and is now working on a young adult novel set in 1966.
M.A.: Other than MysteryAuthors.com, do you have any websites where readers can find out more about you and your work?
Come and meet our dogs, Bubba (she’s the one in the biker outfit) and Dudley.
Thanks again for agreeing to take a Minute for Mystery by joining us here today.