Today Debra Sennefelder is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about Beauty and the Deceased, her latest novel in Resale Boutique Mystery series.
Welcome, Debra. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about your novel. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too.
BEAUTY AND THE DECEASED is the fourth full-length novel in the Resale Boutique series. The series features an out-of-work fashionista who inherited her granny’s old consignment shop in the hometown where she never thought she’d live again. Kelly Quinn has made the consignment her own and along the way, she has reconnected with friends and family. She’s also discovered she has a knack for amateur sleuthing as she’s found herself involved in one too many murder investigations.
Where did the idea for the mystery that is central to the story come from?
For BEAUTY AND THE DECEASED I wanted to explore the tragedy of the loss of a family member. I wanted to put Kelly into that situation and see how she handled it and how it changed her. As I’m writing the next book in the series, I’m seeing the fallout of the event in Kelly’s character.
Is there a theme or subject that underlies the story? If so, what prompted you to write about it?
In addition to wanting to write a story about the tragic murder of a relative of Kelly’s, I wanted to explore the “someday” attitude that is all too common. Someday we’ll get together, someday I’ll take that trip, someday we have to meet for coffee, etc. That’s how Kelly’s relationship with her cousin, Becky Quinn, has been for the past few years. Their busy lives kept them from being closer. And then Becky is murdered.
How do you create your characters? Do you have favourite ones? If so, why are you partial to them?
Characters come to me in different ways. Sometimes there’s a slot I need to fill – pesky neighbors, by-the-book cop, etc. Other times they come to me as I’m fleshing out a plot and they appear. I don’t have favorite characters. Though, the main characters of my two series are very special to me since I write about them the most.
How do you bring to life the place you are writing about?
I rely on my memory of places I’ve been that are like the locations I write about in my book. I try to dig down and find the feelings that I experienced while at those places. And I’ll search the internet for photographs to get some inspiration. The other thing I do that I feel helps brings the locations I write about to life is to fill the town with characters that draw readers in and that gives the reader a connection to the location.
What research do you do to provide background information to help you write the novel?
Other than some research on police procedures, I didn’t have to do much research for the novel.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about the book?
I’d like for readers to know that while the subject is heavy, Kelly’s cousin is murdered, there is hope and lightness sprinkled throughout. And that even though the cover screams “beach read”, it’s the perfect cold, wintry day read because there’s hope for warmer, sunnier days.
Thanks for answering my questions, Debra, and good luck with Beauty and the Deceased, the latest book in Resale Boutique series.
The novel is available at the following online retailers:
About Debra Sennefelder: Debra is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery.
Her first novel, THE UNINVITED CORPSE (A Food Blogger mystery) was published in 2018. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.
Born and raised in New York City, where she majored in her hobby of fashion buying, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She’s worked in retail and publishing before becoming a full-time author. Her writing companion is her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih Tzu, Connie.