Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Art of the Reveal, plus Giveaway by Kate Carlisle

JENN McKINLAY: I am absolutely delighted to have one of my very dearest friends and writing pals joining us today to talk about the art of the reveal when writing a series. Take it away, Kate!

Kate Carlisle is the New York Timesbestselling author of two ongoing series: the Bibliophile Mysteries featuring San Francisco bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright, whose rare book restoration skills uncover old secrets, treachery and murder; and the Fixer-Upper Mysteries (as seen on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries), featuring Shannon Hammer, a home contractor who discovers not only skeletons in her neighbors' closets, but murder victims, too.

KATE CARLISLE: Writing a long-running mystery series is a delicate balance. Each mystery must be self-contained, so that a new reader can jump in with any book and enjoy the story. On the other hand, to satisfy longtime readers I must also show change and progression in the characters and their relationships.

And the change must be something that carries through into subsequent books. I can't just go on as though nothing happened. Lessons learned must not be unlearned. Without progress, the books become episodic, and the story world feels flat.



I'll confess, I gamed the system when I started the Bibliophile Mystery series. I set up the series with a large cast of characters deliberately so that we could learn something new about different characters in each book. Bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright comes from a large, quirky family—her parents are Grateful Dead superfans (aka Deadheads) who conceived Brooklyn and her five siblings while following the band on tour; she was raised on a commune that's still thriving; and she lives in a San Francisco condo building with several very interesting neighbors. (**cough**lesbian chainsaw artists**cough**) Not to mention her love interest, British security expert Derek Stone, and his equally large and quirky family across the pond.

In each book, readers discover new aspects about Brooklyn and that book's featured secondary character. It's fun and exciting, and when the information comes up later in the series, longtime readers feel like insiders. More than that, they feel like the characters are people they know. Friends, even, and they look forward to seeing them again in the next book.

I think of this as the Art of the Reveal. It's a literary fan dance. Show a little more in each book. Let readers put the pieces together in their mind.

In The Book Supremacy, I wanted to, at long last, delve deeper into Derek's mysterious background with MI6. While on honeymoon in Paris, Derek runs into one of his old friends from his spy days (though he insists he was never a spy). A coincidence? Or did the man track Derek down on purpose? When, just days later, Derek's old friend turns up dead, he and Brooklyn will have to dig into the cases the two men worked on together to find the killer before he strikes again.



In the latest in this New York Times bestselling series, San Francisco book-restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright investigates a mysterious spy novel linked to a string of murders...


Newlyweds Brooklyn and Derek are enjoying the final days of their honeymoon in Paris. As they're browsing the book stalls along the Seine, Brooklyn finds the perfect gift for Derek, a first edition James Bond novel, The Spy Who Loved Me. When they bump into Ned, an old friend from Derek’s spy days, Brooklyn shows him her latest treasure.

Once they're back home in San Francisco, they visit a spy shop Ned mentioned. The owner begs them to let him display the book Brooklyn found in Paris as part of the shop's first anniversary celebration. Before they agree, Derek makes sure the security is up to snuff—turns out, the unassuming book is worth a great deal more than sentimental value.

MAGNIFIER!

Soon after, Derek is dismayed when he receives a mysterious letter from Paris announcing Ned’s death. Then late one night, someone is killed inside the spy shop. Are the murders connected to Brooklyn's rare, pricey book? Is there something even more sinister afoot? Brooklyn and the spy who loves her will have to delve into the darkest parts of Derek's past to unmask an enemy who's been waiting for the chance to destroy everything they hold dear.

GIVEAWAY: I try very hard to make my book worlds feel genuine, and revealing new information about different characters is one of the main ways I do that. It's like when you live in a neighborhood for a long time, and you learn something new about the people next door. Tell me something you learned about one of your neighbors that surprised you, something that you wouldn't have expected when you first moved in. I have a Bibliophile Mystery magnifier for one lucky commenter!



95 comments:

  1. Congratulations on the new book, Kate . . . it sounds quite intriguing and I’m looking forward to reading it.

    Something surprising that I learned about a neighbor?
    I had wonderful conversations with my well-read, knowledgeable next door neighbor, so I was surprised to learn that she’d never finished high school. It didn’t seem like a big deal to me, but it bothered her so much, not having a high school diploma, that she completed a GED course when she was in her eighties. She was thrilled, and everyone in the class was proud of her accomplishment . . . .

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    1. Oh wow, that is amazing!!! What an amazing accomplishment. I find that incredibly inspiring. Thank you for sharing, Joan.

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    2. That’s awesome! The journey never ends!

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  2. And I do like series where the characters can grow and change. They don't necessarily have to have secrets, but they can learn new things from what they go through in each book.

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    1. Exactly. It deepens your understanding of the characters over time.

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  3. The new book sounds fabulous, Kate! When we moved to this house seven years ago, our neighbors across the street had a derelict above-ground swimming pool in their side yard, complete with trees growing out of it. A couple years later they got rid of it and I thought they wanted lawn for their grandkids to play on. To my surprise Pete put in an enormous vegetable garden ten times the size of mine. Now we exchange seedlings and tips and even excess produce.

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    1. Wow, that's quite a transformation. I can picture the pool with trees growing out of it, and it makes me laugh and groan simultaneously. I might need to use that in a book. LOL

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  4. Welcome Kate! Congrats on two hugely successful series. I'm wondering how your long-time readers react when you take the characters out of the San Francisco setting?

    I love this post, because you put into clear words exactly the thing that I try to do as the series moves along.

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    1. Actually, I love it when the characters go to different locations!

      DebRo

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    2. Interesting question, Lucy. The Bibliophile Mysteries have two main settings--San Francisco and the wine country commune Dharma, and my readers and I all love both of those places. The first time I took them further afield was in book 2, IF BOOKS COULD KILL, when Brooklyn went to the Edinburgh Book Fair. Readers responded very favorably, but I will say that book was a lot harder for me to write until I realized I needed to have Brooklyn's family fly in, too. When I first started writing it, that wasn't my plan, but it was quite difficult to reveal clues in an organic way when Brooklyn was surrounded by strangers.

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    3. Kate, I loved it when the story was set in Edinburgh. Since I usually prefer novels set abroad. It is unusual for me to like a novel set in San Francisco or anywhere in the USA. I love your Bibliophile books.

      Congratulations on your new release!

      Diana

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  5. Kate, although I am not familiar with your work this book sounds great. But I'll want to start from the very beginning.
    Several years ago I moved into an apartment next to an elderly lady and her cat. We became friendly and I admit I was surprised when she told me she used to live in Florida, was friends with Burt Reynolds, and had acted in several movies! That only came up when she told me she got her voting ballot for one of the award shows.

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    1. Oh, how fun! Did you subsequently watch any of her movies?

      (RIP, Burt Reynolds. An icon of his time.)

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    2. I did watch one but I couldn't find her in it. She had made it 30 years before. I'll have to try sometime again and watch more carefully. I just looked on IMDB and now that I know her character's name maybe it will be easier to find her.

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  6. Congratulations on your new release! I only realized our neighbor had a second family complete with "wife" and child when his current wife and sons moved out and the new family moved in.

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    1. Oh wow, that would set the tongues a-wagging! How interesting that the new "wife" was willing to live in the same home. I'm not sure I would have been.

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  7. I had an upstair neighbor, an attorney, who was nice and friendly but not around very much. I learned that he was a candidate for a high-ranking government job when I was contacted by the FBI performing a background check on him. They certainly were thorough, and he moved out shortly afterwards. But was it really a government job? Did he get it? Was it really the FBI? Did my description of him make him sound like a serial kiler?

    The Bibliophile Mysteries is a wonderful series. Thanks for coming to Jungle Reds and introducing us to your latest book -- it sounds wonderful.

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    1. Ooooooh, Celia... how intriguing! So interesting that they interviewed neighbors as part of the process.

      Thank you for your nice comment about the Bibliophile Mysteries. <3 I'm so glad you enjoy them. If you're interested, you can read chapter 1 of THE BOOK SUPREMACY here: http://katecarlisle.com/book-supremacy.php

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  8. Always a challenge making the characters grow, but stay true to the traits that made readers fall in love with them in the first place.

    I must have the world's most boring neighbors. Or I've never bothered to delve into their secrets.

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    1. LOL I bet they would have a few surprises for you if you discovered what was in their past. :)

      You're absolutely right about the tricky balance of making sure new information is revealed that doesn't fundamentally change the characters' nature. It's a challenge!

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  9. Over the years I've found out a lot of odd things about my neighbors: that the guy across the street from me had been married (and divorced) five times, and still held out hope for finding true love; that the elderly lady next door has an amazing collection of western art in her quiet little brick ranch house; and that the young woman I liked instantly when I rented a place for a short time shared my birthday.

    But I'll be honest. It's the stuff I don't find out about--the stuff I have to fill in the gaps about--that I most enjoy about some neighbors. The folks I share a fence with do not like my dogs, and believe every little transgression the dogs commit is worthy of calling animal control to complain, although if the neighbors themselves come outside to smoke cigars and let the smoke blow into my carport and patio, that's no big deal. Lately these folks have been gone a lot, and when they come back they move large boxes and heavy things around in their garage, leaving after dark with load upon load of stuff. Now, maybe they've finally figured out what to keep and what to toss, or maybe they've been storing stuff for an adult kid in transition, but I prefer to believe that they are hoarding and fencing stolen property, moving it from house to storage unit in the dead of night. Surely not true, but I may use it in a book someday.

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    1. LOL!!!! The true sign of the warped mind of a writer. Love it!!!

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  10. When I was in graduate school at Rice in Houston, I lived in a small, old apartment complex. The next door couple were nice but odd, I thought. She wore a muumuu type housedress every day and he went off to work in a tan overall with his name on the pocket so I thought maybe he was a mechanic. I found out that he was the tiger keeper at the Houston Zoo! Never judge by appearance.
    Then when I married and we lived in a neighborhood, our next door neighbors were a gay couple. One of them was prosaically, a decorator and we didn't know for the longest time what the other guy did but whatever he did, it was lucrative. After we were invited to and attended their Christmas party and met all the models (my husband was thrilled), it turned out he was the biggest designer of prom and pageant dresses in the Southeast. You never know..

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    1. Do you ever wish muumuus were considered fashionable--they look so comfortable! For that matter, so do overalls. LOL

      Prom dresses, on the other hand...

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    2. Atlanta, I was reminded about when I lived on the East Coast. I lived in a YWCA place. One of the residents was reading a gun magazine. Every time I saw her in the dining room, I was too scared to sit at her table. Turns out that she was a student at the Police Academy and training to join the police!

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  11. BTW I love your series and look forward to this new book.

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  12. I’ve had wonderful neighbors over the years, but became good friends with a couple who lived across the street ....over one of our afternoon tea chat - being a good Southern lady, there was always a pitcher of sweet tea in her ice box - she told me she’d been in a convent, months away from taking her vows, when she met and fell in love with her husband. Wonder how often the Sound of Music happens in real life....

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    1. Oh my goodness!!! Really??? That must have been such an emotional moment in her life. I hope she had a happy life with him.

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  13. Kate, I love both series!

    A long time ago when I was at the laundromat I was approached by a gruff man who said he recognized me from his condo complex and had often seen me walking there. Over the next few years we talked whenever we saw each other at the laundromat. He turned out to be an avid reader, re-read Moby Dick about once a year, loved Greek classics, and owned both the multi-volume and single volume versions of the Oxford English Dictionary! He was never so animated as when he talked about books and reading! He was in an accident a few years ago and died the next day. I miss him.

    DebRo

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    1. Oh, I'm so sorry you lost your friend, Deb. Books are such a unifier for people who love to read. Even if you don't enjoy the same books, just the joy of reading is enough to spark a friendship.

      Thank you for loving my books!

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    2. Deb, you're the random winner of the Bibliophile Mystery magnifier! :) Please send your mailing address to me at kate (at) katecarlisle (dot) com by 6/5 to claim your prize. :)

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  14. A number of years ago I learned that my down the street neighbor was under Federal indictment for murder. I still believe he was framed - and the belief seems justified since he ended up with house arrest and probation.

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    1. Sounds like a mystery novel!

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    2. I took notes and kept all the newspaper articles. It's hard to write about someone you know and have sympathy for.

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    3. Oh, I hate to think of someone wrongly accused in real life! House arrest is certainly better than prison, but if you're innocent, it's still a shame.

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  15. None of the neighbors are friendly nor approachable which is sad. We all mind our own business.

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    1. That's sad. Are there always new neighbors moving in and moving out?

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    2. That's tough. How do they react when you reach out to them?

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  16. Lesbian chain saw artists? I'm all in. I just ordered your first two books in your Bibliophile series.

    My neighbor across the street, was a bit of a recluse. Until one day about 40 people arrived for a party. It turned out all of the men were her 'children'. She had been a foster mom, and saw to it that many many young men had happy endings.

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    1. Oh, how special!!! Sounds like she gave a lot of herself over the years.

      I hope you'll enjoy your first foray into the Bibliophile Mysteries, Coralee. Thank you for giving my books a try. <3

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  17. we moved to our house 17 yrs ago and with our children grown already it was hard to meet neighbors. i joined the womens group in town and made friends that way. i love your books.

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    1. That was a good idea! Truth be told, sometimes it's better not to know TOO much about the people next door. :)

      Thanks for loving my books. Mwah.

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  18. Excited for the new book...my neighbor is a church..lol..so I can't say anything bad..haha..but I love to go over for the lunch buddies in the summer and meet people in my community!!

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    1. I bet there are a lot of interesting stories behind those church doors! :)

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  19. Love the Bibliophile series, Kate! I must be behind, though, because I didn't realize Brooklyn had gotten married. Clearly, I need to catch up!

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    1. Karen, you are in for a treat!

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    2. You're in luck, Karen! BURIED IN BOOKS (the wedding book) just came out in paperback a couple weeks ago. :) (In hardcover last year.) You can read chapter one here: http://katecarlisle.com/buried-in-books.php

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  20. Kate, welcome to Jungle Reds! I love that Jenn and you put together this post today. I met you and Jenn at Bouchercon. Thank you again for the pink measuring tape - that was a cool gift! And I love the green little book that I won in a giveaway a while ago from you.

    Love your Bibliophile series, especially after that evil lady moved away to Slovakia or Transylvania? LOL.

    When you mentioned Brooklyn's parents, I was reminded of the tv series Dharma and Greg.

    When I was a kid, we lived in a small town that looked like a Cotswold village in England. There was a new family across the street. At that time I was just starting to learn about the President of the United States, though I gleaned at the news. I was not aware of world affairs until I was a teenager. I think the new family came from China. They had one daughter who was my age. There were several kids my age on my street. We went over to her house and invited her to come with us. I remember the girl started crying because she did not want to be separated from the family. Years later, I learned that the mother thought that I was retarded because she was not aware that I was Deaf. My mom explained to her about my deafness and because I could not hear speech that we communicated in Sign Language. I was very lucky that the kids on my street learned Sign Language to communicate with me. Now I am aware that is RARE. I never knew about the mother because she was always polite and courteous.

    When I was in college, living in an apartment, there was a neighbor who was a cochlear implant doctor. At that time I was not ready for that. I decided to do my homework and met deaf people who had cochlear implants. They referred me to an excellent surgeon, who was wonderful! I eventually got cochlear implants and I surprised myself by how well I am doing with my cochlear implants. A relative mentioned that when I talk, my words are clearer. Sorry to go off the topic from neighbors here.

    Diana

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    1. Don't apologize, Diana, I found it all fascinating! Getting cochlear implants must have been such a big, worrisome decision. I'm glad they're working well for you. Interesting that it's making your speech clearer.

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    2. Diana, what a wonderful testament to your neighborhood - the kids learning Sign Language to talk with you!

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    3. Thanks, Kate! I'm glad too.

      Julia, yes, I was very lucky. Perhaps it also helped that Sesame Street tv series on pbs had Linda the Librarian who signed on tv. I agree that it was a wonderful testament to my neighborhood. I stay in touch with friends from that neighborhood even though I do not live there anymore.

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    4. I love that the kids learned sign language, Diana!

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  21. Always look forward to your new books in your series. (Both Kate and Jenn!)

    Not sure if I learned anything about the neighbor, but one day I arrived home and a little white card was taped to my front door. It was from the FBI. It had a note to please call. They wanted to talk about my neighbor. I was a little shocked! Turns out it was simply a background check before being granted top access for a job. Darn! I was hoping for something more espionage-ish than that.

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    1. Kathy, I got that TWICE when I was living in DC. Freaked me out the first time - of course, in retrospect, half my friends were young lawyers going to work for various gov't agencies. It would have been surprising if I HADN'T gotten a background call or two.

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    2. How amazing is this--three people so far on the blog today have spoken to the FBI about neighbors for background checks! What are the odds???

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    3. An FBI agent came to my office to speak to me years ago in El Paso. He was checking personal references and needed a woman's to help balance out all the men's. My husband was a Border Patrol agent at the time and one of his BP friends applied to the FBI and put me down as a reference. Impressed the heck out of my office mates!

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    4. I got the F.B.I. at my door looking for a draft dodger. I was able to show them my husband's uniform and they were on their way.

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    5. Whoa, Coralee, that sounds intense!

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  22. Hi, Kate! Always such a treat to see you here, and congrats on the new book!

    There is an alley-like street in my neighborhood where I've always liked to walk in warm weather, because it stays shady in the mornings. There was an elderly lady who lived in an Arts and Crafts house that backs up to this alley, and she was a terrific gardener. I would pick the figs and the blackberries that grew over the alley side of her fence, and admire her lovely back garden. I was quite sad when she finally moved (or died) and some college professors with whom we were acquainted bought the house. Some time later, I was visiting with them at a party and they told me that the nice elderly lady and her husband had been members of both the Nazi party and the John Birch society, and still got regular mailings at that address. Who'd have thought?

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  23. Hi, Kate! You are so continually fabulous--congratulations! Weird neighbors--hhmm. A new person just moved in net door to us--and threatened to cut down all the branches of our tree that were hanging over onto his yard! Grr. But it did create a situation where all the other neighbors got together for the first time--to fight back against the tree guy!

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    1. Wow, what a way to introduce himself to the neighborhood! I suspect he will not be your best friend, but I hope that he won't cause you too many problems.

      I'm feeling somewhat less than fabulous today, in a ratty old sweatshirt. LOL But thank you for your kind words, Hank. :) Back at you!

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    2. Hank, is your tree still there?

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  24. Can't wait to read your new book! I just let my friend borrow Homicide in hardcover for her trip to Ireland. I first picked it up by chance in November when I was going to Dominican and now it has become like the travelling pants of books. Its a great read and I have since caught up in in both Bibliophile and Fixer upper series! I took you recommendation and started reading Jenn McKinlay's library lover's mysteries in the interim and am hooked as well! Thanks!

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    1. Thank you! I love that Kate recommended me! She's the best!

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  25. Congrats on the new book, Kate! No exciting neighbor stories from me - I've lived in the same house on a quiet country road for the past 25 years, and the composition of the neighborhood hasn't chanced very much, which I guess says good things about the area!

    I love your strategy to make sure your protagonists are surrounded with lots of interesting secondary characters as family members, co-workers, neighbors, etc. I very luckily and unintentionally stumbled into doing the same thing when I started my series - now, if I were to begin another, I'd quite intentionally engineer lots of opportunities for character growth and discovery.

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    1. I'd definitely suggest this to any writer who wanted to write a mystery series. Even if the secondary characters never make more than a cameo appearance, their very existence makes the protagonist's world feel more authentic.

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  26. Thank you so much for introducing your friend to my books! Word of mouth is the best, and I so appreciate you advocating for my series. :)

    I'm very glad that you took my advice and started the Library Lovers Mysteries, too. Jenn is a delightful person and writer!

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  27. Congratulations on your new release, Kate! I have really great neighbors and can't think of any think exciting that I've learned about them. Love this series, looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the chance.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. LOL I bet they have a few secrets. :) Good luck in the giveaway. These magnifiers are really handy!

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  28. Love your books Kate. I must not have any interesting neighbors as the ones I talk too have no secrets. At least I haven't found them

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    1. You're probably just not as nosy as Brooklyn Wainwright. :)

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  29. My next door Neighbor was a guy who came and went at night hours dressed in black and disappeared for days. He also had a glamorous girlfriend who appeared once in a while and they argued constantly. I had him down for a mafia hit man with his large dark bags he loaded constantly and his mysterious appearance. This went on for several years...and he was not a friendly person not even a nod. People stayed out of his way with his menacing appearance. Once he moved out a few months later there was a big article in the paper he was a musician running a Music Publishing Company and one of his partners played with Alabama Shakes. I had a good laugh to myself out of it. I enjoy your books thank you for the contest.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com

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    1. Ha! Marilyn, you sound like a true mystery buff!!! I would've thought the same thing as you, I'm sure.

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  30. Our short street has several rental houses on it. I think one of them is cursed. It was vacant for several years after we moved in. Then it started. The first renter was a woman who tended to carry on all phone conversations on the front porch where we could all hear her. She threw parties in her front yard on school nights. One memorable night there was a drunk guest weaving down the middle of the street shouting "no one loves me." He didn't acquire any friends that night. Thankfully when the year was up she moved. The next batch was a woman and her teenaged son. She also threw parties and used foul language; never mind the young kids next door. Grr. Her son was also a piece of work. His friends would come over and skateboard in the street late at night; what a racket. Then there were a couple of young men. They were quiet enough but if any holiday food packages were mis-delivered to their address they kept them and ate them. The current residents are a musician, his wife, and daughter. They've made it past the one year mark and except for the police being called to their house a few weeks ago for a domestic it's been pretty uneventful.

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    1. That's the thing... when you move into a quiet neighborhood, there's never any guarantee that it will stay quiet. I hate to hear about a domestic dispute, especially with a child in the house. :( I hope they work it out.

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  31. It's hard to know quite how to answer this question. I moved into my neighborhood when I was 2 1/2 years old. So every original member of the street I'm on, with the exception of two other originals like me, has either died, moved or in the case of one person been locked away in an old folk's home for going batty when refusing to take her meds.

    As people moved out, the people that moved in would sometimes become known to me or my parents. But time moves on and nowadays while I know my neighbors exist, I very rarely know ANYTHING about them beyond saying hello when we see each other outside.

    But here's a breakdown of my street. To the left, three houses down is a family that had three kids. The boy I coached in basketball and he became a cop here in town. The two sisters, both adults, are drop dead gorgeous.

    Don't know much about the house two doors down from me, the one right next door is an original neighbor. To my right is a house that has had so many people live there that I can't keep count. Almost always some ne'er do well family that causes a ruckus, except for the current people living there who have a now adult son that I coached. The last house on my side of the street I know very little about except that one summer day the parents were arguing VERY loudly. I was mowing the lawn and had to stop to change the bag out. While I was doing that, the husband yelled, "Don't talk about my mother like that." When the wife responded, "Oh your mother's a whore!", I was done. I started laughing so hard that I had to go in the house and wait till they were finished or I likely would've kept laughing.

    As for the houses across the street from me, to my left is an original neighbor. Then the house directly across from me has had a lot of people live there. But the couple that is there now has been there for a long time. They were friendly with my mom, so when she passed they were saddened. The husband went so far as to refer to my mom as a neighborhood legend.

    The house next to them is the last on the road and used to be where my best friend as a kid lived. Now, there's been so many people there, I can't recall them all. The family that lives there now, the dad was in my mother's Cub Scout group when he was a kid.

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    1. Sounds like a very cozy place to live, Jay (for the most part. The "Your mother is a whore" part isn't exactly what I'd describe as cozy. LOL) We moved a few years ago, but we live in a new neighborhood, so all our neighbors are newcomers, too. :)

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  32. Congrats on the new book, Kate! I have been wanting to start your series, and this may just give me the final push I needed.

    No big dramatic neighbor stories, though I do have one neighbor who is a retired NFL player, and he is a sad testimony to the toll the sport takes on the human body. He just turned 62 but is using a walker to get around -- he's that damaged from his playing days.

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    1. Oh, how tragic. And the young men who are playing the sport are obviously very into their bodies, as all athletes must be, so that makes it even more difficult. Very sad.

      I hope you will give the Bibliophile Mysteries a try, Susan. You can read chapter one of the first book, HOMICIDE IN HARDCOVER, here: http://katecarlisle.com/homicide-in-hardcover.php

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  33. I love both your series, especially Brooklyn and Derek's families. If you take your sleuth to another location, it works best to have some of the supporting characters along. It's nice that you have the series set in San Francisco part of the time. Sometimes I get tired of all the small towns. Also avoids the Cabot Cove syndrome.

    I've lived in my house since I was one so like Jay all my original neighbors are gone. I don't know the new people that well, and some houses are empty.

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    1. There's still a bit of the Cabot Cove syndrome in effect even with series set in big cities--it's very unlikely that one person would be connected to so many murders. The one way around that is to have a protagonist who's a cop, but then we lose all of the interesting career fields in traditional mysteries.

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  34. Years ago, I was sitting in an adult Sunday School class which included my neighbor, at the time 80+. She casually mentioned that her son (a local newspaper publisher) had never been circumcised. I was not expecting that, nor did I really need to know that information!

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    1. ROFL!!!! I just laughed while drinking a cup of coffee. Pardon me while I clean myself up a bit... LOL

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  35. I found out recently that my neighbors fostered a little girl! lindaherold999(at)gmail.com

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    1. Oh, sweet! I've been seeing a lot about foster parenting lately. It's sad that it's a necessary service, but so admirable that people are willing to open their hearts and homes to children who need someone.

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  36. My family shares a driveway with our neighbors, husband and wife. When we moved into our home, we needed a phone number so hubbie went to local phone company and lo and behold the wife worked there. She assigned a number she said would be easy for our kids to remember. But the one amazing thing I discovered later was she was a beautiful artist. No matter the medium she was so talented. robeader53(at)yahoo.com

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    1. That's a lovely discovery, Robin. <3 Do you have any of her pieces? (Does she sell them?)

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  37. The random winner of the Bibliophile Mystery magnifier is Deb Romano! Deb, please send your mailing address to me at kate (at) katecarlisle (dot) com by 6/5 to claim your prize. :)

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