Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sara Hoskinson Frommer Talks About Her Brother's Keeper

Welcome to Mysterious Writers, Sara. Tell us about your mystery series.

The continuing characters in this series have aged very little over the long years since the first one, Murder in C Major. It began because I was
mad at an oboe player in the orchestra I played in for many years. I gave my protagonist Joan a viola and a seat in a small-town orchestra so she could sit next to the oboist when I bumped him off. I widowed her and gave her a couple of
mostly grown children to complicate her life, which it certainly did.

Back then, I didn’t think past that first book. But then I thought "what if?" and was off on the next one. It’s natural that I hear Joan’s voice in my head–we’re a lot alike. But how do I hear my cop's? No idea, but I’m grateful, as I am to all the walk-ons who don’t ask me how to talk but just spout off on their own. The awful mother-in-law in the new book is a gift. Someone asked me whether I’d kill her off. I wouldn’t dream of it–I want to know what she’ll pull next time.

Her Brother’s Keeper is a long-overdue book. In The Vanishing Violinist, the fourth of the Joan Spencer mysteries, Joan’s daughter, Rebecca, announces her engagement to a violinist competing in the very real International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. Joan, who has just promised to marry Detective Lieutenant Fred Lundquist, of the not at all real Oliver, Indiana, police force, promises her daughter that they’ll wait till she can be there. But in fact, they don’t wait beyond the end of that book.

Instead, it’s Rebecca and Bruce who have to wait–for three whole books–to be married. The trouble starts when Joan’s ex-con brother arrives early for the wedding, Bruce’s mother shows her controlling, interfering self even earlier, and Joan’s own mother-in-law, whose mind is failing, shows up in the middle of a bloody murder, with the bloody murder weapon in her hand. (The knives on that book cover aren’t just for decoration.)

My new publisher, Perseverance Press, chose me. Some years back, Meredith Phillips, the editor, invited me to submit a book to her. I knew books by some of her other authors, and so I was glad to send her this one and have enjoyed working with her on it.

Sara Hoskinson Frommer, author of the Joan Spencer mysteries, lives with her husband in Bloomington, Indiana. They have two adult sons. Her seventh Joan Spencer mystery, Her Brother’s Keeper, is just out from Perseverance Press. Thank you, Sara. You can learn more about Sara at her website:


Jean Henry Mead said...

Welcome to Mysterious Writers, Sara, and thank you for an interesting post.

Anonymous said...

This looks like a book I'd like to read.


Kay Kendall said...

The background to developing each of your mysteries is fascinating. Thank you for sharing, Sara!

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Sara,

The novel sounds very interesting. I'm really impressed that the editor of a distinguished press chose to contact you! Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

Thank you all very much, especially Jean. I feel very lucky. And of course I hope you'll all beg your libraries for the new one.

Sara Hoskinson Frommer