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Thursday, 27 August 2015

ℚ The Frailty of Things: Windsor [4] - Tamsen Schultz

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Frailty of Things (, Booktrope , 299 pages) a Romantic Mystery, book four of the Windsor series.

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops


A big welcome to Tamsen Schultz; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter.

What was the inspiration for The Frailty of Things?

"Most of my books are made up of a mish mash of different ideas and inspirations but for “The Frailty of Things” I was really inspired by two things: the concept of being the adult child of a criminal and what would happen if someone witnessed a crime they didn’t know they witnessed.

The first idea was sparked by one of those “where are they now” articles about the only surviving daughter of a man who killed his family. Of course, I started to wonder just what it would be like to grow up knowing one of your parents was a killer…I let my mind travel down that path and while Kit Forrester, the main female character, is strong and fun the more I thought about it, the more it made sense that those two traits could be born from such a tumultuous past.

As to the second inspiration, that one came mostly from my own failings…I love people watching, but I admit, having grown up in the wine country, my street smarts aren’t, well let’s just say they aren’t that sharp. One day I began to wonder if I saw something illegal (other than something obvious) would I even know? Would I recognize it? Well, like me, Kit didn’t and it gets her into just the tiniest bit of trouble. "
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I think the thing about me that is reflected most in my books is the importance of friendship. There are several strong ladies in my stories who I adore because they challenge each other, support each other, and make each other laugh. There are also strong relationships between men friends too since I think that is often missing in many stories, but such an important part of life. I value people who are real, flaws and all, and that tends to show up in all my stories."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for The Frailty of Things - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I always love talking about covers because I get to work with my one of my closest friends on them. She’s a designer that usually works on projects much bigger than mine but she takes on my covers as a labor of love because we get to work together. For “The Frailty of Things” I knew I wanted something that represented a cemetery or death and we looked at tons of images of headstones. But along the way, she pointed out that what we were looking at had a very military feel to it, which isn’t at all what the book was about. So instead, she suggested focusing on images that evoke isolation and frailty. We found the image of the tree in winter and loved it and then she did her magic by adding the single, solitary cross, changing the colors a bit, and all those things I’m glad she knows how to do because I sure don’t! "
Why should we read The Frailty of Things and what sets it apart from the rest?  What makes your book unique?
"I know marketing types don’t generally care for books that straddle genres because they tend to be a bit harder to market, but I think they are sometimes a better representation of readers. I’m not all romance, or all mystery, or all literary fiction. I’m a mix of a lot of things, my life is a mix of a lot of things, and so are my books. My stories dive into people’s emotional motivations, fears, loves, and confusions but they also have a solid “mystery” foundation and maybe even some philosophy thrown in there too (I was a philosophy major in college ☺). My books recognize and celebrate the diversity of readers’ and characters’ lives which, while it may not be completely unique, is something I think a lot of people enjoy."
Can you tell us something quirky about The Frailty of Things, its story and characters?
"So while I don’t watch a ton of TV, my oldest son loves to watch Hawaii 5-0 (the new one) and we would sometimes watch it together. The actor who plays McGarret is definitely easy on the eyes and while I didn’t want to name a character McGarret, I decided I could use “Garret” which is how Garret Cantona got his first name. And as to his last name, there is a famous soccer player with the same moniker…soccer (or football) players are some of the most amazing athletes to watch and I liked the idea of embodying the players constant energy, fluidity, and drive in one of my characters, if only by using a name."
Who would you recommend The Frailty of Things to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I would recommend my books to anyone who is looking for a mystery that has a little bit of romance and is smart, entertaining, and full of engaging characters. Also, because my books are set (mostly) in the same town and have several reoccurring characters that weave in and out of all the stories, readers who like to feel like they are part of a community or enjoy visiting familiar “friends” may also like the Windsor Series. "
If you could / wished to turn The Frailty of Things and the Windsor series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Okay, I admit complete ignorance on this. I am clueless as to directors and actors because when I do watch TV it’s either BBC mysteries or something with my kids. Although I will say, the people behind “The Killing” would be fabulous…I don’t know who they are, but I LOVE that series. As to location, it would have to the Hudson Valley of New York where the books are actually set. The valley stretches pretty far south toward New York City, but my stories are set about thirty miles south of Albany. It’s such a gorgeous area and I couldn’t imagine a movie or TV series of my books being set anywhere else. "
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"Right now, I’m sticking with what I’m doing, which is more romantic mystery (rather than romantic suspense). I like the freedom of being able to dive into people’s emotions that comes with writing in the romance genre coupled with allowing my darker side to come through in the mystery of each story. Someday, and probably soon, I will write a more traditional mystery, but for now, I really enjoy writing what I write."
What is your writing process?
"I write when I can. I know, not much of a process, but there it is. Life is busy and I love writing, it’s the perfect counter-balance to so much else in my life. And more to the point, I want to keep loving it. And because I want to keep loving it, I try not to create too much structure or process around it. Don’t get me wrong, when I sit down to write or edit, I’m completely focused and engaged, but I don’t tend to fix times of day to write or word counts to hit—those just don’t really work for me and what I want out of my writing."
What is in store next?
"In “The Frailty of Things” the readers are re-introduced to Carly Drummond and Drew Carmichael. Carly made her first appearance in the very first Windsor Series book, “A Tainted Mind,” and Drew made his first appearance in my first published novel, “The Puppeteer.” They meet briefly in “The Frailty of Things” and the story that is currently with my editor, “An Inarticulate Sea,” is theirs. When I sent Carly and Drew’s story to the editor, I took a vote amongst my early reader group as to whose story should come next, Caleb, Kit Forrester’s brother, or Marcus, another police officer in Windsor. Most thought Marcus needed a little more time to heal after almost being killed at the end of “What Echoes Render” and wanted to see Caleb’s story next, so that one is also in the works! "
Quite a lot to look forward to!  Many thanks again for joining us today.  Have a great tour!

The Frailty of Things - available NOW!

UK: purchase from Amazon.co.uk purchase from Nook UK purchase from iTunes UK find on Goodreads
US: purchase from Amazon.com purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from iTunes US

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