09 June, 2015

#Interview with Cassidy Salem, #Author of Think Murder

About the Author:

Cassidy Salem has always been an avid reader. She is especially fond of mysteries (both cozy and traditional). Over the years, her favorite mystery authors have included Agatha Christie, Kathy Reichs, Mary Higgins Clark, and John Grisham. Cassidy also enjoys reading historical fiction focused on American and world history, as well as the classics. 

Cassidy has never met a dog she didn't like - a fact that influenced her decision to have the protagonist in "Think Murder" volunteer at a dog rescue center. When she's not reading, Cassidy enjoys singing in an a cappella ensemble. Most of all, Cassidy enjoys spending time with family and friends, and travels with her husband and son whenever possible. Her travels have taken her to destinations throughout the United States and Europe, as well as Scandinavia and the Middle East.

Connect with the Author:
Website I Twitter I Amazon Author Page I Goodreads

Interview with the Author:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/storyteller?  
That is harder to answer than you might expect.  I never made a conscious decision to become a writer. As a child or even young adult, I was an avid reader but had no great desire to write fiction. My writing skills were always solid – even in college I always did better on term papers than tests. Over the years my various jobs have all involved some elements of writing of a semi-academic nature, and later as a full time technical writer. Think Murder is my first work of fiction.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
I love to read mysteries, especially cozy mysteries. After graduating from college, I spent a couple of years living and working as an administrative assistant in Washington D.C. When I decided to try my hand at writing, I wanted to create a mystery centered around a character that I could identify with, in a setting and job that would hopefully ring true. 

Tell us about your writing process.
I was mostly a "pantster" when I wrote Think Murder, writing scenes and chapters as they came to me and then moving them around a lot. When I started writing, I knew who would be killed and why.  But I had no idea who the actual perpetrator would be, not to mention how Adina and Jonathan would solve the case. Midway through the process, I sat down and created a working list of plot points and scenes to give myself a better sense of what I had and where it was going.  It was definitely an adventure.  

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why? 
One of my favorite scenes is when Adina first meets Bruce.  The scene takes place outside the Dog Rescue Center when a pair of precocious beagles wrap themselves around Adina’s legs and topple her to the ground.  Her embarrassment and his nonchalant reaction. What a way to make a first impression.  

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
Absolutely.  Although Adina and I are very different, a few of her quirks were inspired by my own quirks.  For example, her allergies and a tendency to sneeze loud enough to wake the dead. On a recent flight, I think I almost gave a fellow passenger a heart attack when I sneezed.    

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
I read a lot. My favorite authors span different genres and time periods. At the more classic literature end of the scale, I would have to say Charles Dickens and Jane Austen. At the same time I am a fan of many of today’s mystery/suspense writers including Harlen Coben, Kathy Reichs, Mary Higgins Clark, Janet Evanovich, and Sue Grafton.  I am sure that everything may have had some subtle influence on my style, but I can’t point to any specific writer or book. 

How do you spend your free time? 
I love listening to music and I sing all the time.  My husband and I enjoy folk dancing at least once a week.  Great exercise, and I sing along with the music while I dance.

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
I love to see new places and experience different cultures. Although I have already travelled extensively I doubt that I will ever get around to visiting all of the continents, but hopefully I will get to Australia one day. I have heard that it is a country with amazing natural beauty, not to mention koalas and kangaroos.

What do you have in store next for your readers?
I am currently working on another mystery featuring Adina Donati and her life in Washington, D.C.  Readers will find out who/what lies in Adina’s future as she helps discover the reasons for another mysterious murder.  

About the Book:
Discovering the body of her friend and colleague was not what Adina Donati had in mind when she moved to Washington D.C. in search of excitement. A linguist trapped in a mundane job as an administrative assistant at a prestigious think tank, at least the job pays her bills. Assigned the task of helping complete a project for the victim’s boss, Adina finds herself the target of resentment and at the center of the office rumor mill. And if finding the body wasn’t enough, she is soon drawn into the middle of the murder investigation. The tension rises as Adina and other people in her life become suspects, including colleagues, a former boyfriend, and a new potential love interest. The nice detective in charge of the case doesn’t seem to be making much progress until Adina stumbles onto important clues. As Adina becomes more and more involved in the case and her personal safety is threatened, she finds herself questioning her instincts about people and constantly looking over her shoulder.  In the course of solving the murder, Adina discovers just how dangerous life in the nation’s capital can be.  

Book Links:
Goodreads I Amazon

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