An Interview with Shari Randall, Author of Curses, Boiled Again!
Question: What’s the title of your book?
Shari Randall: The title is Curses, Boiled Again!
Q: I hear it’s a fish out of water story. No pun intended.
SR: It’s a mystery set in a New England village called Mystic Bay. There’s a murder at a food festival which entangles my heroine, Allegra Larkin, a former dancer who is working at her aunt’s Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack while she recuperates from an injury.
Q: Tell us about the research for your book.
SR: Last summer I spent a week on a lobster roll eating extravaganza, er, research tour. My husband and I traveled along Route 1 – which runs along the New England coast -- visiting quaint towns along the shore, checking out cedar-shingled lobster shacks covered with sun-faded buoys and circled by hungry diners and thieving sea gulls. Did I learn anything beyond how nice it is to sit on a dock with a cold beverage and a hot lobster roll as the sun sets? You bet, and I put all those delicious details into the books.
Q: Why is New England such a great setting for a mystery?
SR: The appeal lies in several elements, one of which is right in the name. New England has many small villages, just like the ones you’ll find in British mysteries -- charming places where the residents have known each other forever, where there are long memories and long buried secrets. I do like long-buried secrets.
Q: What’s the recipe for a good mystery?
SR: An intriguing setting, a fish out of water detective, and a tightly plotted mystery.
Q: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
SR: A plotter outlines carefully. A pantser writes without a plan. I just read a blog that said there’s a third option – a puzzler. A puzzler writes individual scenes and then figures out how they go together. That fits me to a T.
Q: What are people saying about Curses, Boiled Again?
SR: One reviewer compared Curses, Boiled Again to Murder, She Wrote. I was really happy about the comparison – I’ve always been a fan of that show.
Q: What’s next?
SR: Book Two of the series, Against the Claw, releases on July 31 from St. Martin’s Press. When the body of a young woman is pulled from the waters off Mystic Bay, Allie – oops! Don’t want to give any spoilers!
Links to Shari Randall