Maltipoos are Murder
By: Jacqueline Corcoran and Lane Stone
Publisher: Ignite (Entangled Publishing)
Publication date: 5.27.2014
Can a murder investigation keep these opposites from attracting?
Cara Rogers wants a fresh start after a slew of bad luck in Washington DC. Moving to Virginia to help her aunt run La Maison de Chien, a doggie spa, is just the peace of mind she needs. No stress. Just her aunt, the dogs, and wide-open country. But when she finds Aunt Marian floating in the doggie swimming pool, the rest she so desperately needs flies out the window. The only witness to the death is Rex, an apricot maltipoo, and while he may not be able to talk, he's communicating the only way he knows how – one paw at a time. And Rex's clues lead to murder.
Can Cara keep the doggie spa afloat, convince Middleburg homicide detective Cole Sampson that Aunt Marian's death was no accident, and keep Rex from the killer's clutches before they all end up as dead as dogs?
Hi, ladies. Thank you for joining us here on The Gal. Let's start with y'all telling us a bit about yourselves.
Jacqueline: I was born to Irish and Welsh parents in England and we came to the US when I was five. From the time I was in kindergarten to a senior in high school, I attended six different schools in three different states. I started writing novels when I was 20 years old, and have been at it ever since. Meanwhile, I also became a social worker and then an academic. I currently teach at Virginia Commonwealth University and live in the Washington DC area with my husband, two children, and rescue animals, Gootch and Luna (the cats) and Tina the Chihuahua.
Lane: I'm a native Atlantan and graduate of Georgia State University. My husband, Larry Korb, our standard schnauzer, Abby, and I divide our time between Sugar Hill, GA and Alexandria, VA. If I'm not writing, just look for me on a golf course. My volunteer work includes the Political Science Advisory Board for Georgia State University, Sugar Hill's Anniversary Planning Committee, and the Delaware River and Bay Lighthouse 75th Foundation Board.
What is the first book you remember reading?
Jacqueline: The first novel I remember reading is a Nancy Drew, The Mystery of the Old Clock, which my father bought me as a gift when he was on a business trip.
Lane: I remember my older sister helping me read, The Little Engine That Could. The next book that made an impression was The Island of the Blue Dolphins. Both books have stood the test of time.
What made you decide to begin writing in the first place?
Jacqueline: My mother remembers me telling her when I was seven years old that I wanted to be an author. I enjoyed reading from a young age, and I wanted to inspire in people that special feeling of delight and connection I had when I read a book I enjoyed.
Lane: I spent most of my childhood daydreaming. It'd be a shame to let all that time I spent training my imagination go to waste, so I try to channel it to plots and character development.
What books have most influenced you?
Jacqueline: For mysteries, I have been most influenced by women mystery authors, such as Sue Grafton, Sara Paretsky, Linda Barnes, and from there, I have focused in the last three decades on just reading mysteries by women.
Lane: When I read the Lucia books by EF Benson, I knew I was meant to write humor. PG Wodehouse is another favorite. And, of course, Agatha Christie's books are smart and light.
What inspires you most?
Jacqueline: Reading novels, reading writing craft books.
Lane: Hanging out with readers! That's why I speak at a lot of book groups. Sometimes I meet them at conferences and book fairs.
Do you have a special place you like to write?
Jacqueline: I either write at home or at a coffeehouse.
Lane: I split my time between Alexandria, VA and Sugar Hill, GA, and I make that drive once a month. I get a lot of outlining done during that 10 hour trek. In Sugar Hill, I have a home office and in Virginia, I usually go to Panera's. I have to be far enough away so I can't hear the laundry calling my name.
Which of your characters do you think is the most like you?
Jacqueline: My characters generally are based on me. In Maltipoos are Murder, the main character is least like me because I had a co-author forcing me to lighter and more upbeat.
Lane: I usually answer that question by saying I'm all of my characters and none of my characters. I did Emma's youthful outlook in life. I think Jacqui would agree that we are both extremely jealous of these people who work with dogs and in Middleburg.
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?
Jacqueline: It's all very challenging. I find coming up with "what happens next?" hard, as is getting words down. I edit and edit and edit, as if I'm working a block of marble into a statue.
Lane: With my first book, I was stuck with what a big thing a book is. You have to keep up not just with each character's whereabouts, but their clothes, eating preferences, homes. For instance, I was beta-reading a friend's book. The retired men in the book all wore white long-sleeved shirts. Were they covering prison tattoos, or what? No. My friend hadn't realized she'd written that.
What do you think makes a good story?
Having interesting characters and excellent plotting. That's all!
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?
Jacqueline: I try to do a lot of freewriting in which I stumble around in the figurative dark, trying to figure out what to write next. I take writing craft book exercises and do them to try to come up with ideas. Lattes also help!
Lane: I keep a nice caffeine buzz going most of the day. I'm definitely an outliner, even though it changes as I write. Some days the characters just kick it to the curb.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Jacqueline: I am finishing a middle grade historical paranormal inspired by Agatha Christie and writing a romantic suspense set in Paris that involves a Surrealist artist.
Lane: I'm writing a nonfiction book about nuns in Poland who saved the lives of Jewish girls during the holocaust. I'm also writing book 3 in the Tiara Investigations mystery series. And we have three more books to go in the doggie day spa series.
Where can we find you?