Book Title: Broken Strings
Author: Nancy Means Wright
Release Date: May 7th 2013
Hi,Nancy! It’s a pleasure to have you on my blog. Would you like to tell us something about you,please?
Greetings! As you can see in my bio below, I’m a writer, author of numerous books, and living in cool Vermont. Well, not so cool—the weather is supposed to warm up tomorrow into the 80s—too hot for me! I’ve four grown kids, a sweet, loving man, and two friendly Maine Coon cats. I love to write, read, sing, act, hike, ski, garden, and lounge in a comfortable chair with my feet up.
Would you tell something to us about your book?
The latest is Broken Strings, a contemporary mystery set in bucolic Vermont with a puppeteer sleuth. My sister and mother-in-law were both puppeteers, and I’ll use some of their handmade marionettes to help launch the book with a short play I’ve written. My sleuth comes out of an earlier mystery series I did with St Martin’s Press. She’s a failed actress-turned puppeteer, with three offbeat foster children always in some kind of trouble. But they do rally to help with her sleuthing when one puppeteer dies and another woman is found danglng from a rod like a marionette.
How did the story come in to your mind?
We have a dozen handmade marionettes hanging in our livingroom and I decided it’s about time to weave a mystery story about them. Puppets aren’t just imitators of life, but instruments for showing up human folly. They are universal and therapeutic, representing humanity in all its moods and attitudes. New life flows down their strings! My novel is realistic, except for one intriguing psychic named Stormy Moon who uses a witch puppet to help locate a killer. I’ve tried to make the story come out of a love for fairy tales and acting.
When did you start writing?
In fourth grade. I was mad about Nancy Drew, and wrote my own long mystery story about the kidnapping of a pesky brother. My mother got hold of it, was horrified, and threw it out! That was my first rejection. From then on, though, I determined I would be a writer.
Who or what inspires you?
Many people have inspired me: Ghandi, great writers such as Dickens, Shakespeare, and Jane Austen. 18th-century Mary Wollstonecraft who wrote a Vindication of the Rights of Woman is my alter ego. She told women to get an education and speak up for themselves. She wasn’t asking them to have power over men, but over themselves! For this she was called a “hyena in petticoats,” But she persevered. Sadly, she died after giving birth to Mary Shelley who wrote Frankenstein. I’ve published two novels, Midnight Fires and The Nightmare, featuring Mary Wollstonecraft Her resilience after failures and persecution has greatly inspired me.
Which is your favorite book series or book? Why?
I love reading Kate Atkinson’s series with her delightful but laid back detective Jackson Brodie. She is a masterful storyteller who knows how to keep the pages turning. I love her dark sense of humor, her complex characters and the compassion she shows them. If you haven’t read her, begin with Case Histories. I’ve read it three times!
Which is your favorite movie?
Oh dear, I’ve so many. It might be The Bridge over the River Kwai. Or Helen Mirren in The Queen. Or Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho—which makes me shiver. Or maybe To Kill a Mockingbird—adapted from the novel.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to publish a book?
If you receive a rejection, don’t give up. Try elsewhere, or self publish. Believe in yourself and your writing. But also work with a good editor to keep improving your work.
What kind of music do you like?
I love jazz and blues and classical and folk. It all depends on my mood at the time! I sing in a chorus, and we even sing in Zulu and other exotic languages. I couldn’t live without music.
When puppeteer Marion collapses during a performance of Sleeping Beauty, her friend Fay Hubbard promises to carry on. But Fay already has her hands full with three demanding foster children, Apple and Beets, who have a fractious jailbird father—and sixteen-year-old Chance, who has a crush on a much older guy in a band called Ghouls. And now Marion’s husband Cedric seems more interested in a drop-dead-gorgeous French teacher than in any string puppets. And who is the mysterious Skull-man who warns of death if the show goes on with one of Marion’s offbeat endings? When an autopsy reveals that Marion had swallowed a dose of deadly crushed yew—and a friend finds her sister dangling from a rod like a marionette, a shocked Fay goes after the killer.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nancy Means Wright has published 17 books, including 6 contemporary mysteries from St Martin’s Press and two historical novels featuring 18th-century Mary Wollstonecraft (Perseverance Press). Her two most recent books are the mystery Broken Strings (GMTA publishing) and Walking into the Wild, an historical novel for tweens (LLDreamspell). Her children’s mysteries have received an Agatha Award and Agatha nomination. Nancy lives in Middlebury with her spouse and two Maine Coon cats.
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