Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Death Runs Adrift Book Tour with Karen MacInerney: Guest Author & Giveaway

Death Runs Adrift (Gray Whale Inn Series #6)

My (Virtual) Criminal History
by Karen MacInerney

When I was in college, taking creative writing courses from professors with a penchant for spare, moody stories in which not a whole lot happened, I often heard the old adage “Write what you know.” 

To my mind – and maybe it’s just me – that seems a tad limiting.

I happen to be writer of crime fiction, which means if I write what I know, I’m going to be limited to stories such as “The Mysterious Thermostat Adjuster” and “The Case of the Missing Cadbury Mini Eggs.” (The second title evokes deep loss and conflict, I know, but is perhaps not enough to carry a whole novel.)  

Fortunately, when starting my crime-writing career, I decided that not all advice was good advice, and I think my plots have benefited from my willingness to stretch beyond my personal experience. (Again… “The Case of the Empty Soda Cans Under the Couch,” while evincing a rather strong emotional response from me, might not have the same effect on the casual reader.)

Because of what I write, I need to be fairly conversant with a number of ethically questionable topics. Things like how to embezzle funds from an estate. And the ins and outs of committing mortgage fraud. And whether or not it is possible to kill a person by sticking her with a bratwurst skewer. And despite being asked by a fan of my werewolf trilogy whether I “write everything from personal experience,” I do not actually commit every crime I write about. Which means I have to do a lot of research. Which almost invariably involves Google.

And I hesitate every time I have to type something unsavory into that search box.

I tell myself that, since most of the topics I look up eventually appear in a story, it must be obvious that I’m not pursuing this information for direct personal use. That still doesn’t keep me from fretting about the digital footprint I’m leaving behind. A brief perusal of my search history suggest I might be a cross-dressing, skewer-wielding murderer who makes a little extra cash by committing real estate fraud and fencing illegal drugs. (And who also obsessively Googles chicken recipes, has a snail problem in her garden, and buys an inordinate number of youth-sized camouflage cargo shorts from Old Navy.) 

Still, we must suffer for our art, I suppose. And if we’re going to write fun, imaginative fiction, I think we have to push beyond the boundaries of day-to-day life. Unlike Natalie Barnes of the Gray Whale Inn, I’ve never run a bed-and breakfast; I can’t even keep my own house clean, for goodness’ sake. Unlike my character Sophie Garou, I’ve never sprouted fur and claws during a marketing meeting. And I have never, ever, participated in a drag queen contest. But it sure was fun writing about it!

I think it’s a great idea to push past what we know and write about what we’d like to know – or what we’d like to find out about – even if it does lead to some questionable Google searches.

And if the FBI shows up at my doorstep one day asking my some questions, I know I can count on you to be character witnesses. 


With her own wedding fast approaching and her mother-in-law dating an unexpected beau, the last thing Natalie Barnes needs is to find a young man shot dead in a dinghy. A note she finds with the body suggests the dearly departed had a secret rendezvous planned with somebody on the island. But when suspicion is cast on a fisherman Natalie believes to be innocent, she begins to wonder if the murder was the result of a lover’s quarrel . . . or a lobsterman’s disagreement gone horribly wrong.

About This Author
Critically acclaimed author Karen MacInerney also teaches writers’ workshops and drives a mean carpool. Her book Murder on the Rocks was selected as an Agatha nominee for Best First Novel. When she’s not writing or chauffeuring children, she loves to read, drink coffee, attempt unusual recipes, and hit the local hike-and-bike trail. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two children, and escapes to Maine as often as possible.

Purchase Links
AMAZON          B&N

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, May 23rd for the chance to win a print copy of Death Runs Adrift. (US entries only, please.)


Anonymous said...

MOL Meez wuld be a witness, fuw whatevew good dat wuld du.

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses ♥♥♥


Acemommy said...

I adore this series! Would love to win!!!

Unknown said...

Another great cozy to read, thank you for the chance to win :)

Alicia said...

This is another great book in this series... I loved reading about Karen and her 'searches'.
P.S. I already have my copy, so don't enter me in the drawing.

Unknown said...

I like your take on "write what you know." Well said.

Unknown said...

I absolutely love this series, so well written , I love the setting too !

NoraA said...

I'm guessing that if I really wrote what I knew I could either end up dead or in hiding for the rest of my life. LOL At one time I worked in the NY offices of a friendly government and somehow ended up with the highest security clearance in the place. Very scary.

I've read a few of the books in this series and would be honored to actually the winner of "Death Runs Adrift".

traveler said...

Enjoyable interview. Thanks for this great giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

Very informative post and lovely giveaway. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

Unknown said...

Ah , come on, do tell me that you've really sprouted fur at a board meeting!!!! Actually, love reading about B&B owners and their mysteries. Something I might like to do, but I'm much better at being a pampered guest at that B&B. So, would love to read this book too!! Ronnalord(at)msn(dot)com

Debbie S said...

So glad that I wasn't drinking my coffee when I read “The Mysterious Thermostat Adjuster” and “The Case of the Missing Cadbury Mini Eggs.” , I think I would have spewed it all over my computer when I started laughing. I love the sound of this. Thanks for the chance to win.
momzillasteel at gmail dot com

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a good book.


Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard said...

I love this guest post, Karen! You had me laughing from “The Case of the Missing Cadbury Mini Eggs.” And my daughter, also a writer, worries about her Google search footprint, too. Yes, I'll be a character reference for you!

Mickey's Musings said...

ell, if the FBI should come knocking on her door
I hope she takes the opportunity to quiz them about
police procedure,cases etc. In other words, us them like Google ;) heehee
Sounds like a good book :)

holdenj said...

I think it would be very important to solve The Case of the Missing Mini Cadbury Eggs! :) Great post and thanks for the chance to win!


Yeah those computer files they are keeping on you at the NSA are heating up with your google searches. MOL!!!

Anita Yancey said...

I haven't read any book by this author, but this one sounds like a real winner. Thanks for having the giveaway.


Mariodacatsmom said...

I think I'd love one of your books, but it might not be fair for me to enter as I just won a book on this site about 2 weeks ago. I'll have to check Amazon or B&N. I love crime books, so I'm determined to read this.

cyn209 said...

all of the covers in this series are works of art!!!
I have some of the books in my TBR!!!
thank you for the giveaway!!!

cyn209 at juno dot com

bookwomen said...

I love reading this series in the summer. Did you solve the missing Cadbury Eggs?

Unknown said...

I have never read any of author Karen MacInerney's cozy mysteries. I would love to read this book since it takes place in a small fishing town. I enjoyed the author's interview when she said to write one has " to push beyond the boundaries of day-to-day life ."

Unknown said...

I love research, so I love the idea of pushing past the idea of what I currently know. It would be no fun to constantly write about only what I know. I loved the interview. michelle_willms at yahoo dot com.

Unknown said...

Wow, another cozy book series to explore. I am interested. mmamacitagrita@gmail.com

Nancy said...

haha, I enjoyed your post very much. As a writer, I often wonder what eavesdropping authorities might think if they were to follow my Google footprint! Too funny!

Patricia P. said...

I've enjoyed the earlier books in this series. Want to read this one also. Would love to win a copy.

Carol M said...

I would love to start reading this series! It sounds really good!
mittens0831 at aol dot com

Sharon Braswell said...

I love the title, the synopsis, and especially that Ms Karen MacInerney doesn't limit her writing to what she knows! We would sure miss out on a lot of good mysteries if she did!