Friday, June 8, 2012

It's a SLUG FEST!!

JAN BROGAN:  Slugfest, the fourth in the Dirty Business mystery series, takes your protagonist . Paula Halliday, out of Connecticut and back to her roots in New York City.  I know you live in both places, but what made you decide to move Paula for this story? And what special opportunities to New York City backdrop offer you?

ROSEMARY HARRIS: This is the second time I've taken Paula on the road, the first time was in The Big Dirt Nap. The fictional town of Springfield, Connecticut gives me the opportunity to develop my main cast of characters - Babe Chinnery, Mike O'Malley, Carolyn Sturgis and others - and I've enjoyed watching them grow from acquaintances to friends, but taking Paula to a different venue allows me to have her rub shoulders with some types that aren't going to be found in a nice suburban town!

JAN: I love the title Slugfest.  Tell me it's meaning in this book and how you came up with it.

ROSEMARY: Back in the day the working title for this book was Pest Management - which sounded a little clinical! Then, there was another title which I loved and everyone else hated - Bam-bi-no! (which was a play on baseball and Bambi, no! as in a deer repellant.) I thought it was terribly clever but there were fears that readers wouldn't get the joke. Slugfest, of course refers to a fight or confrontation and in the book, it's also the name of a supposedly foolproof pest repellant. There's a lot of money to be made   (if such a thing existed ..that's the gardener in me answering)  and bad guys have stolen the formula.

JAN: In Slugfest, you have a wide array of quirky characters from the high school black belt to the slick marketing guy. Tell us who is your favorite and how you came up with him/her.

ROSEMARY: Has to be Connie Anzalone. She doesn't let long nails, big hair and outlandish outfits get in the way of her garden plans. And if fact, if anyone tries to, she just might sic Fat Frank on him.

JAN: flower show is an unlikely, unpredictable setting for murder, tell us how you use this for comic and/or suspenseful effect? (contrast?)

ROSEMARY: Anyone who's ever been on the show circuit, whether it's dogs, cats or flowers, knows that jealousies, rivalries and egos can run wild.  And in addition to the honors bestowed, there's a lot of money to be made from products and endorsements and that's when the garden gloves come off!

JAN: What is the most important thing Paula learns in this mystery, outside of maybe, never do your friends a favor?

ROSEMARY: Everyone should own a red dress!

JAN: Ro is on hand to answer any and all of your questions. In the meantime, Slugfest in now available  in paperback and you can get it there: 


  1. My copy is already in the mail and I can't wait. Hanging out with Paula is almost as much fun as hanging out with Rosemary at a mystery convention. Laughter follows her like an entourage.

  2. Awww, Big Jack, thanks for the kind words and right back to ya. Hope you enjoy.

  3. Can't wait to read Paula's next adventure!

    There is a foolproof slug prevention: sprinkle wood ashes around plants that attract slugs. Their slimy bodies can't take the corrosive nature of the ashes and they won't cross them, not even to get to the plant.

  4. Rosemary, I'm curious about how your interest in plants and gardening developed. And I wouldn't mind hearing the story about kissing PeteTownsend, either.

  5. Growing up in Brooklyn we didn't have much of a garden, although my Italian grandmother had a bigger house and grew tomatoes and herbs in her backyard. When I got my first apartment I filled it with plants (still have too many houseplants)and then I rented a house in CT and that's where my love of gardening really took off. We have a little obver 3 acres now and I'm constantly making new gardens.
    Pete Townsend - where did I post that?? I was at a book party and we were introduced. What can I say..I must have had a few glasses of wine. He was surprised. The woman he was with was not amused but my future husband was.

  6. All right...another fun brush with that Darlene has reminded the back of a limo Frank Gifford let me try on his Hall of Fame ring. He was extremely proud of it. I marveled at its size.

  7. Ro-
    Geez, I wish I felt that way about plants. I think the problem is that they can't audibly communicate. If they would just whine a little, they might get watered more.

    Outside, they don't stand a chance.


  8. Ro, sorry. I'm not buying Slugfest in pb. I already have the hardcover:-)

    Such fun books, and LOVE the titles. Clever clever clever.

    And I love the Pete Townsend story. Good on you!

  9. Rosemary, I love the Pete Townsend story. Thank you. I'm also smiling, imagining Frank Gifford showing you his big ring. (Why does that read smutty?)

  10. As with all the JRWs I hadn't read before, I've been reading this series starting from the beginning. Slugfest is the only one I've not read yet, and I'm anxiously awaiting its arrival at my favorite bookstore. Ro, this is such a great series!

    And what were you doing in the back of that limousine with Frank Gifford anyway? ;-)

  11. I have a question or two for Gardener Rosemary:
    Do you have any suggestions for flowering plants that would do well on a deck that gets little sun?In the past I have had lots of good luck with Impatiens but I'd like to try something different. I have killed so many non Impatiens plants on my deck over the years! (Of course,I rarely remember to water them.)

    Another question...what about houseplants that would thrive in a condo with few windows and no actual windowsills?(I kill houseplants,too. Probably from the not watering.) When they keel over, I know that it's time to water again. I do currently have houseplants but the ones that are supposed to flower haven't flowered in years. I think the side of my building where the deck is and where the closest windows to the houseplants are faces east. Actually,the indoor plants are a few feet from a window and I can't get them any closer.

    And when will we see Paula again? I LOVE her and her friends!

  12. Oh,one more deck is shaded by the one upstairs from mine, which I think does not help.

  13. Darlene,

    Because it's FRANK GIFFORD.

    My chiropractor, who does work for the Patriots, actually wore his enormous superbowl ring once and I wanted to tell him to take it off and put it on a mantel where it belongs.


  14. My hardback of Slugfest is in pride of place on my bookshelf, too. Speaking of long nails and gardening, do you wear gloves when you garden? Curious minds...

  15. My copy came today!

    If you don't hear from me for awhile, well, you'll know where to find me!

  16. Rosemary,

    When are you coming to NJ again for a signing?

    Bob D.

  17. Hi all, I've been out in my garden all day..even in the rain! Next book is not a Paula Holliday, but i really am miss9ing her and the rest of the gang so hopefyly I'll have something next summer. I've discovered CreateSpace - which I'll yak about next week and may do a quickie Dirty Business novella. I've got one in the hopper.

    My shady containers hold hostas, coleus, ferns, liriope, hakone grass..not a lot of flowers. I've had great luck with clematis on decks. Also bacopa and calibrachoa (sp?) I plant lysimachia and coreopsis in containers for yellow flowers. I also plant creeping jenny and lamium in containers for shady spots because they'll grow anywhere.
    Frankie made a point of telling me that lots of people had Superbowl rings but not that many had HOF rings. We were on the way to a book signing. BTW i also sat in the back of a limo with Bill Clinton but there were three other people there. We went jogging around an Army base in the DC area. I used to be so interesting...

  18. Ah, Ro, you're always interesting!

    Three people in the limo with you and Clinton, huh? Were they all women? You have such interesting limo rides.

  19. RO! My two copies are already in my hot little hands. I remmber when we talked bout Bambino-- didn't get it at all--and then when I did, I laughed for about two weeks. And I still think about it!

    ANd I am forever in awe of you about your library.

    Sorry to come to the SLlugfest party so late! The day-job thing...xoxo

  20. Ro, I love all your titles. And the cover art! The Bambino, though... mmm could spark a riot in Boston. I love the name, Connie Anzalone - so many possibilities for plays on words.

    Jan, I'm with you... chiropractors should never wear rings, especially of the Superbowl persuasion!

  21. hallie...I rarely wear gloves in the garden ..that's why my hands look so lovely. I like to feel the soil. that doesn't stop me from buying them though.

    Yes..Bam-bi-no might have gotten some attention in Boston, but all of a sudden I'm hearing the word slugfest everywhere. Guess i'm watching a lor of sports!

  22. Clematis in containers - I never realized that was possible!

    I really enjoy reading about your oh-so-interesting Past Life.