This week, I’m please to host author, Sharon Love Cook.
All my books have a seaside setting. That may be because I grew up in Gloucester, Mass, where the smell of fish sticks was always in the air. A nautical setting feels natural to me. Likewise, I got my first writing job as a teenage correspondent for the Cape Ann Summer Sun, a newspaper supplement aimed at tourists. I drew cartoons to accompany my column. The latter were mainly about jellyfish invasions, sand castle contests and swim classes.
I tend to be a late bloomer. I went to college in my forties and got an MFA in writing in my fifties. I had the dubious distinction of being the oldest editor on the campus newspaper. Nonetheless, I have plenty of company among fellow baby boomers. As I mentioned, I’m a cartoonist and art school grad who’s illustrated the covers for all three Granite Cove Mysteries: A Nose for Hanky Panky, A Deadly Christmas Carol and Laugh ‘til You Die.
Like my protagonist, I’ve done stand-up comedy at nursing homes, something I don’t recommend as a career path.
Here’s a brief synopsis of Laugh ‘til You Die:
It’s midnight in Granite Cove; only the sea clams are open. Murder rocks the sleepy fishing village.
Rose McNichols, reporter for the Granite Cove Gazette, moonlights as a stand-up comic at Shady Nook Retirement Home. There she meets Mabel Smithwick, former Boston socialite. The elderly woman claims she witnessed a drowning at her Hemlock Point pool last summer. However, Mabel is partial to gin and tonic; she is not a credible witness. But when she turns up dead, Rose wishes she’d paid more attention. Before long, Rose herself is a target . . .
Here’s an excerpt:
What was the punch line?
I’d told the joke last week. The audience at Green Pastures Retirement Center had howled. I took a breath, telling myself not to panic. I’m only forty years old. I couldn’t forget a signature joke. Yet as I waited for the punch line, it seemed that I had.
I’d heard comics speak of “dying” in front of an audience. Now I knew the feeling. Shame washed over me. I wet my lips. My mouth was as dry as Shirley’s bouffant hair. In desperation, I mumbled a plea to Saint Jude Thaddeus, patron saint of hopeless causes: Help me!
The response was immediate: The door to the activities room burst open and Mabel, blonde wig askew, stumbled inside, almost falling over her walker. She shrieked: “My roommate is dead! She’s been murdered!”
I exhaled. Saved by the bell.
Laugh ‘til You Die can be found on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/zwhcbmj or ordered at local bookstores. I can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org and at my (sadly neglected) website: sharonlovecook.com, or Facebook: sharonlovecook
Lastly, I’ll send an e-book to someone who mentions their favorite childhood mystery sleuth and explains why that character was special. So please feel free to leave a comment.