Shoulder tapped by award-winning author, Darcy Scott, to participate in this blog hop, I’m thrilled to be a part of The Next Best Thing, yes indeedy, especially since I’m working on the fourth book in the Serafina mystery series and, like most of us, enjoy talking about my work in progress, so here goes.
What is the (working title) of your book?
The working title is MURDER ON RUE CASSETTE and it’s the fourth book in a series starring Serafina, Florio a midwife-turned-sleuth.
My husband and I traveled to Paris often, and sometimes stayed in a hotel on the Rue Cassette. When it came time for Serafina to solve the mystery of the death of her lover’s estranged wife (you read it right), I had to place the murder somewhere in Paris in 1874. Luckily I found a map of Paris in 1874 and the Rue Cassette existed then, so, hence, the working title.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I’m not good with actors’ names, even though I was married to one for a long time, but for Serafina, I’d choose Zoe Wanamaker and for her lover, Loffredo, I’d choose someone tall and a bit reserved, but not too serious, and regal with conflicts, at least in this book, of his own—he’s a Sicilian count, you see—and for the dead body of his estranged wife, well, I’d choose someone a little richly made up, frowsy, a free spirit with an enormous wardrobe and a hankering for poets and painters (there are flashbacks, you see, so it would be a cameo role), and for Serafina’s sidekick, Rosa, an erstwhile madam, I’d choose someone short and buxom, outfitted in outré costumes, smart and opinionated—she thinks she owns all the one-liners.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
From my head—which is the same thing as saying, how should I know.
What genre does your book fall under?
It’s an historical mystery—Victorian, but in a baroque Sicilian sort of way, which is to say without all the rigidity and what-to-call it of British and American upper-class society—well, all right, rigid in some respects but in others, not so.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
April 1874, days before the First Impressionist Exhibit: Serafina Florio investigates the murder of a Sicilian countess in Paris despite demands at home, haunting peril in a foreign land, and a heady romance.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The book I just published this month, DEATH IN BAGHERIA, took about six weeks to write the first draft, once all the research was done and I knew the beginning, middle, and end, and the characters had had their way with me. After the first draft, the editing took another six weeks.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
This is hard to answer, but I’ll give it a go:
There are two storylines in the Serafina mysteries—one is solving the mystery of the body in the library, or whatever; the other one plays about Serafina’s central conflict which concerns her role in society as a mother and a woman. She’s got that gender thingy going on—that’s her core conflict—and one of her children makes demands in the middle of the plot and Serafina is once again torn. Plus, her lover, Loffredo, naturally grieving for the death of his estranged wife is, shall we say, between a rock and a hard place, and this plays havoc with Serafina’s core conflict.
So I’d have to say that it’s comparable to any historical mystery series with subplots.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Serafina, of course. She’s at work in my head, thinks she’s the one manipulating my fingers since hers have turned to dust. Other than that, I don’t have a clue.
Two top authors have agreed to participate in this blog hop. Their “Next Best Thing” post will appear January 9, but do take a look before then at their sites:
Photo: Detail from front cover of Death In Bagheria, the third book in the Serafina Florio mystery series.