Today Bryn Baczek, the main character in Why Me?: Chimeras, Conundrums and Dead Goldfish is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about the novel.
Welcome, Bryn. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about the novel that you live inside. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too
BB: Why Me? Chimeras, Conundrums and Dead Goldfish is the first in the series featuring me and my good friends Logan and Sophie. The tentative title for the second is Who me? Fraud, Mental Floss and Aphrodite. I’m very lucky to be in this series. I get to drink all the coffee I want, live on a classic wood sailboat, share my home with a loveable but cantankerous cat, and interrupt my normal life as a management consultant with the adrenaline rush of an occasional adventure. I do have to put up with criticism from several family members, but being an aunt to three wonderful children makes up for that. All in all, I lead a very satisfying life.
Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too?
BB: My writer hears my voice in her head, but she doesn’t always understand what I’m saying right away. Of course, that’s partly my fault. I change my mind a lot. And sometimes I don’t end up where I intended to go. Life is complicated.
How did you evolve as the main character?
BB: I was born on a boat in a small marina. Like my good friend, Logan, I’m tall and have red hair. People often assume we’re related. My cat, Macavity, and I both have two different colored eyes. That’s why I adopted him when I went with a friend to find a cat for her. I never wanted a cat, but now I can’t imagine my life without him. Logan is my soulmate, Macavity is part muse part familiar, and Sophie is my best friend and has been since we were kids. Together we manage to bump into disturbing situations and solve mysteries.
Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them?
BB: I’m very fond of my brother’s twins and his older daughter by his first wife. They light up my life with their youth and energy. And, when they are on good behavior, I’m also fond of my parents and my brother. Unfortunately, my mother and brother are seldom on good behavior.
What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?
BB: This story begins with me being absolutely miserable. I’m in the Scottish Highlands, hiking alone in a downpour, surrounded by a swarm of midges, horrible bugs that don’t have enough sense to get out of the rain. After coming across a body, I finish my vacation on a more pleasant note and return to my urban marina home in Seattle. My consulting office is in a building at the marina, so my daily commute is short. I’m happy living and working at the marina, surrounded by boats and water and just one dock away from two liveaboard friends.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?
BB: Some people have very rigid expectations about cozy mysteries, and my story violates a few of the rules. I’m traveling in Scotland at the beginning of the book. I’m perhaps not as nice as most cozy protagonists. And I get involved in serious issues as well as trying to discover who did it. Although I don’t get stalked by serial killers or get tortured by sadistic psychopaths, Miss Marple I’m not. I do, however, wear sensible shoes and try to approach the mysteries I encounter with logic and intelligence. As well as with a smattering of humor.
Thanks for answering my questions, Bryn, and good luck to you and your author, Charlotte Stuart, with Why Me: Chimeras, Condundrums and Dead Goldfish, the first book in this new series.
The novel is available at the following online retailers:
About Charlotte Stuart: In a world filled with uncertainty and too little chocolate, Charlotte Stuart, PhD, has taught college courses in communication, gone commercial fishing in Alaska, and was the VP of HR and Training for a large credit union. Her current passion is for writing lighthearted mysteries with a pinch of adventure and a dollop of humor. She is the VP for the Puget Sound Sisters in Crime. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys watching herons, eagles, seals and other sea life from her Vashon Island home office.