This is a story about What The Chat Dragged In. It's my second published mystery novel. It's also my best-reviewed work and the most difficult thing I have ever written. A few years ago when I started the book, I did a brief post about the music that was inspiring me as I wrote.
A lovely 5-star review for this novel said that it was a difficult book to classify:
"I cannot pin down exactly what genre to put this book in. It's a quirky romance, it's a witty mystery, it's a foodie book, it's a crime novel, it's a little bit of a police procedural, there's elements of Christian fiction, it deals with non-combat PTSD... This is not entirely an easy novel to read because even though it's fiction we know that the evil that is a main character actually exists in our world."
This is how I feel about this story as well. I started out with the inspiration to write a book about a food blogger who lived in the Texas Hill Country. I was inspired by images like the one below:
But that idea was transformed by a real-life incident similar to what the character of Martie experiences in the book. So my cozy little foodie mystery also became about two broken people traumatized in very different ways by child sexual predators. I know that sounds like a downer, but it's actually a romance with lots of tasty recipes...and some very bad people to hate. My inspiration music for writing these characters jumps genres just like the story. There's pop, country, Christian, and rock. I've included a YouTube playlist below. If you've read the book, you'll probably see how songs like "Demons," "Hurt," "Collide," and "Life Ain't Always Beautiful" relate. "Collide" was the first song I associated with these characters. Give it all a listen if you're so inclined. Even if you haven't read the book yet, give the playlist a listen.
I have a goal of making all of Seth's food into neatly organized blog posts. There are already quite a few good food posts on this blog. The most popular is the recipe for liver and onions. My favorites are the honey fried chicken and the piggy pops.
Speaking of inspirations, this is the person who most reminds me of how I picture Seth. Though I think Seth is leaner. (and also covered in tattoos.) This is actor Eric Christian Olsen from NCIS: Los Angeles. (I swiped this photo from NCISLA Magazine.) If this is not how you picture Seth, you are absolutely right.
As for Seth's house, I'm pretty sure it looks almost exactly like the home my cousin Carol and her husband Tony built from the ground up. (which is not in Texas, but actually not far from the city that I based the town of Himmel on for my Goode/Grace Mystery series.)
If you enjoyed "What The Chat Dragged In" and have any questions or comments, let me know. You can pick it up as a Kindle book or paperback over at Amazon.com by clicking here. Check out the reviews; apparently it's awesome.
Right not I'm editing the sequel "Best Served Cold."