My Thursday Redux guest today is Nikki Andrews, a multi-published author as well as my editor extraordinaire. She shares a humorous character interview with Maculato a canine featured in Framed that will make you want to hit that buy link.. A blurb, excerpt, and buy links follow the interview.
Today 2 Wild Women Authors are pleased to welcome author Nikki Andrews, who brings Mac (short for Maculato), from Framed, a current release from The Wild Rose Press. This interview first appeared on Wild Women Authors in November of 2012, and has been updated.
I’m in Nikki’s murder mystery Framed. I’m the most important character because I catch the bad guy!
What is Framed about?
It’s about how my human, Elsie, and her friends at the Brush & Bevel gallery figure out who really killed artist Jerry Berger and his model Abby Bingham. It’s kind of complicated for a dog to understand, but I get to help.
What made you choose bird hunting as a profession/career?
I was born to it. I’m a German short-haired pointer. Hunting is in my genes, and my wonderful human, Elsie, has helped me develop my talent.
Knowing what you know now, if you had it to do over again, would you stick with bird hunting or do something different?
I like hunting birds. It’s fun to get out in an open field and flush them into the air. I love to catch their scent and watch them fly away. I like hunting in the woods, too, except for having to get groomed for ticks afterwards. But—please don’t tell Elsie—what I really love is chasing frogs. They’re so funny and you can never tell which way they’ll jump. I could chase frogs all day long!
What is your biggest fear?
Getting separated from my human or lost in the woods. Sometimes I run off after a bird, but I always know where Elsie is, even if I don’t come right away when she calls.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why?
Enzo, the dog in The Art of Racing in the Rain. He’s so smart, and he gets to ride in a real race car. His people love him so much. And he even comes back to life as a human! I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet, but someday I’d like to try it.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Find a bird, Mac!”
Must I limit it to one? I go back to Tony Hillerman again and again for the sheer beauty of his writing. Although it is as spare as the land he describes, he packs more emotion into it than many more florid writers. Dick Francis’s novels are a joy to read because of the research he blends so seamlessly into them. Not only do you get to solve the mystery, you have the pleasure of learning about a different trade or career. I try to bring a little of both Hillerman and Francis into my writing.
With regard to research, where did you start for this novel? Did that lead you down different paths, thereby changing the original concept?
I worked as a picture framer for nine years and I loved it. Almost all my research springs from that experience. I should state right here that although I collected many stories and character sketches from my time at the art gallery, the people in my book are most definitely not real-life transplants. At most, the staff, vendors and customers served as inspirations for my fictional people. No artists were harmed in the writing of this novel.
I was very lucky in my research. When UPS did not have the lost and found policy I imagined, I searched out an independent courier to learn about her trade. She was very helpful, as were the police chief I talked to and my contacts in journalism. To my gratified surprise, I wasn’t so far off base that I had to make major changes in the book.
When a long-lost painting turns up at Brush & Bevel, a decade-old mystery is reawakened. What really happened to artist Jerry Berger and his model Abby Bingham? Was it a murder-suicide, as the police proclaim, or was it something far more sinister?
Gallery owner Ginny Brent and her loyal staffers, Sue Bradley and Elsie Kimball, each take a different path to unravel the mystery. Together, their discoveries start to form a cohesive whole. But as they get closer to the solution, they discover to their horror that art is not the only thing that can be framed.
“Were they lovers?”
Jenna asked, wide-eyed. “You always hear that about artists and their models.” Then she blushed.
“Oh, no! Jerry never had any interest in her as a woman.”
“But they died,” Jenna prompted, absorbed in the story.
Ginny nodded. “Ten years ago last winter. They went missing during a snowstorm. The police went nuts trying to find them. At first, everyone assumed they had just run off together, but it wasn’t like that. Mike, her husband, really stirred things up, insisting something had happened. He forced the cops to look into it.
“It took the authorities about three weeks to find them. A hunter came across them in the snow.” She looked rather sick. “The coyotes had been at the bodies, but it looked like he killed her and then himself. Mike moved out west and never came back.”
She sighed and returned to the present. “All of which means you may have a gold mine on your hands, Jenna. Let us clean it up, verify it is what I think it is. There may even be a signature under all the grease and smoke. Would you feel better if we came up with an agreement about what happens then?”
Sue and Elsie excused themselves and went to the workshop down the stairs from the gallery. “I’d forgotten he killed himself,” Sue said.
“Don’t you believe it,” Elsie replied. “Jerry wouldn’t hurt a fly. That was no murder/suicide. It was a double murder.”
Tell us a bit about your publisher. How did you hear about them? What influenced your decision to submit to them? Tell us a bit about their submission process. How long did it take from query to release?
My original publisher was L&L Dreamspell. I was very happy with the results at Dreamspell, but sadly, they went out of business after the death of one of the owners. The Wild Rose Press graciously stepped up and republished Framed after doing a new edit and creating a new cover. Framed is still the same story, but it has been improved.
TWRP is an independent publisher with a terrific reputation and has won many awards for its work. I’m thrilled to be one of their authors. Because of the unusual circumstances of my book and several others from L&L Dreamspell, the query to release period was somewhat shortened. TWRP’s policy is to release a book no later than one year after contract. From what I’ve seen, the process normally takes about nine months. The editing was thorough and the new cover is clean and enticing.
To purchase Framed in print or ebook, go to Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00HJEHFV2 or Wild Rose Press: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=5515
Thank you for dropping by, Nikki. Best of luck with Framed.