For those who braved our people-sicle weather on Thursday night, MAF achieved a special technical milestone, with one of our favorite authors: we Skyped Zoe Sharp! From England to the U.S. no less. At 1:30 a.m. her time. And she let us put her on video – along with Treacle the cat. We’re still talking about Zoe’s incredible generosity and this latest evidence of her spirit of adventure.
She joined our discussion of her first stand-alone mystery, The Blood Whisperer. We all enjoyed Kelly Jacks, heroine of the story, and the way Zoe creatively uses her skill at wall climbing at different points in the story. Everyone commented on the fast pacing of the story and the number of story threads there were to follow. We had a question on one of the threads in particular, and when we asked Zoe about it, she promised to email us a specific answer to it. A woman of her word, I got the email yesterday, so here is her response:
I managed to find my original outline and looked up why I'd had Warwick meet with Grogan at the training gallops. Basically, it was to interweave the relationship between the characters a little further, to increase the uncertainty surrounding the legality of Harry Grogan's activities, and to hint that Myshka had a plan in place so that Warwick would not have to pay for the 'goods' Grogan was importing for him. I hoped the reader might suspect these goods were illegal rather than perfectly innocuous, and perhaps even that Grogan was involved in human trafficking -- which Myshka hints to Kelly is how she met Warwick. I needed the reader to think that Grogan was more of a bad guy than he eventually turned out to be.
Hope this makes sense!
Thank you again for inviting me to take part. It was a lot of fun :)
We also told Zoe that while we agreed that this stand-alone fully completes its story – maybe we could squeak in another visit with Kelly if Zoe does a prequel novella or short story?… then she told us about all the current projects she has in the works and the ones to come. She is finishing up a new stand-alone, working on a paranormal story involving a supernatural being who will exact revenge for you in exchange for your soul, the next Charlie Fox book, and a short story for a collection. Frankly I don’t know how she squeezes little things like sleep and eating into her schedule, so we’re just going to make re-reading The Blood Whisperer our chance for another visit with Kelly. Zoe also mentioned that her novella Absence of Light is one way to update yourself on what Charlie is up to after the events in Die Easy. We have both in our mystery collection – just click on either title to go to it in our catalog. A nice holdover till the next Charlie novel!
In our wrap-up after Zoe’s Skype, we used the MAF Book Rating Scale on The Blood Whisperer which garnered the group’s first perfect score and more of 5.1! It was a very nice way to end the evening.