Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sunny Frazier & The Christy Bristol Mysteries

Fast-paced and riveting, Fools Rush In is a salute to good cops, an insider's view of astrology, and a grim descent into the dark world of drug dealers.—Carolyn Hart, Agatha Award-winning author

"Where Angels Fear"
Well crafted and suspenseful, Where Angels Fear will keep you turning pages—and wondering what’s in your own astrology
chart! —Honora Finkelstein and Susan Smily, Lovey Award winners and Agatha nominated authors of the Ariel Quigley mystery series

Brought to you in part by:
WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty , Wendel Wordsworth, Cynthia's Attic


  1. Welcome, Sunny! We hope you have a pleasant stay in Bookland Heights...

    Some of us were just wondering: What or who most influenced your writing?


  2. Your books sound exciting, Sunny! Welcome to Bookland Heights! I've always heard to "write what you know." The fact that you and MC, Christy both worked in the sheriff's dept. and are both into astrology, makes the stories even more intriguing.

    Have fun!


  3. Genetically, I believe the Frazier side of the family tree gave me the writing DNA. They are natural storytellers from the Carolinas, I'm one of several authors in the family.
    From my education, I believe my journalism teacher, Mrs. Rachford, was the most encouraging. She went to the principals office with me when one of my columns got me in trouble.
    Finally, my stint in law enforcement gave me the stories to become a mystery writer.
    Oh, and I'm a Gemini, the natural communicators of the Zodiac!

  4. When do you find time to write with all the promo you are doing? (he he--I'm hoping for a secret.)

    What are you doing in the way of physical promo--what's up next for you?

  5. Sunny,

    What do you recommend for writing believable antagonists, especially in women's fiction?


    P.S. Your promo is inspiring :)

  6. Hi Sunny!

    What are your opinions on networking? How much should an aspiring writer do in the beginning?


  7. Marilyn,
    I'm really into pacing myself and not setting unreachable goals. My secret? Kitchen timers. I have them all over the house. I work at the computer on a story, email, promotion, for 45 minutes. Ding! I get 15 minutes to eat, write bills, clean a room, read a book, watch TV, power nap or play with the cats. This goes on all day. It's my productive way of being OCD. The day flies by, I get a lot done, and I don't feel I've neglected other parts of my life. I go to bed every night tired but fulfilled.
    Kids, don't try this at home.

  8. Michelle,
    Empathy. The world is not black and white, so heroes are not always heroic and villains are not all bad. Remember, they don't see themselves are "bad." Usually, they will argue that they have perfect motivation to qualify their behavior.
    In FOOLS RUSH IN, I gave you Lloyd Parr, meth dealer and killer. He was a seriously flawed human being. However, he had a conversation with Christy where he gave his side of the story, and it was poignant. That didn't make him less of a sociopath, but hey. I gave him his moment.
    Many readers told me, "I know he was a terrible guy, but I found myself feeling sorry for him." That's when you know you've nailed it.
    In WHERE ANGELS FEAR, the antagonist again has some very serious reasons for his/her behavior. I try not to make Christy judgmental.

  9. Sarah,
    I have some very strong opinions on networking. Find published authors and people who know the business, then shut up and LISTEN! Follow up what you hear with your own homework. At some point, when you actually know what you're talking about, start putting out the connectors. Start with people at your level, novices, but always look to the ones higher up the ladder.
    One of my first forays into networking was contact with J.A. Jance. I was a huge fan, got absolutely tongue tied. But, she invited me to sit with her husband and agent and we became friends. I've been to breakfast with her, to her hotel room, and once to the hospital for her. She is a mentor and friend.
    Even though a writer is starting out, I believe business cards and a website are very important. So much can be done now with the social networks, get involved. Do some blogging. Don't think of this as a "waste of time" when you could be writing. Nobody will buy a book they've never heard of from an author who has never had their name out there. Start right away to become the writer you aspire to be.
    Constantly build on your network. I pick up a lot of contacts at conferences and conventions. I am attentative to the careers of other authors, I think it's important to be on top of things, not just your own career. That's why I created The Murder Circle. Telling people what other authors are doing makes me a valuable network connection. We all could use a little help promoting our writing.
    You've highlighted me on Passion & Patter. I appreciate the plug and, in return, will support your writing. It's all Karma.

  10. Great to hear about your newest book. I'm happy Christy has more stories to share. Does she have more currently in the works?

  11. John T. "Jack" Miller from Public Safety Writers had trouble getting his question here, but he asked: What did you do in the Navy?

    Jack, I'll tell you what I WANTED to do: I wanted to be a JO. Journalist. Yes, I wanted to write for the military newspapers, do press releases to sailors' hometown newspapers, attend Fort Benjamin Harris all services journalism school.
    However, the Navy had other plans. Women weren't given guaranteed schools when I went in, so we pretty much got assigned where the Navy needed us. They needed dental techs when I went in. I cleaned teeth for four years.
    But, I got around all that by volunteering at publications at every base I where I was stationed. In Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, there was an award-winning base magazine called "Mira Que Pasa"= "Hey, What's Happening." I did travel articles on Haiti and Antigua, an article on dental care. When I was asked to do a controversal piece on the Navy's views of abortion, Washington DC got wind of it. They contacted my Captain and said, "Why isn't this dental tech a journalist?" Yeah, I wondered too. But, they wouldn't change my rank. Offered to make me an officer as long as I stayed medical.

    I got out and when to college on the GI Bill. Got a degree in Journalism, top of the class. I would have gone for 20 if the Navy had just given me the JO rating.

    So, what did I do in the military? Not what I wanted to do. But, I got some terrific duty stations, saw the world, got 22 marriage proposals, learned to drink rum and got an education. They say I protected me country, but I don't remember that part.

  12. (Opps. That should have been Fort Benjamin Harrison. Obviously, I'm not up on the presidents. However, since it's not my alma mater, who cares?)

  13. Hi Sunny,

    As one of your long time fans, I think you look great dressed in success. Now that I know your tied into an egg timer system I will keep an eye open for your next Easter gift ....keep up the great work and save me an autographed photo of Christy!

  14. You got it, Bob!
    How many people have a thing for egg timers, huh? Seriously, I have this thing about controlling time. It keeps me focused.

    I just realized Marilyn's question was a two-parter. Physical promotion? Well, I'm planning an invitation-only book launch at the Carnegie Museum around my birthday (June 14). Then, I'm off to Las Vegas to get down with the Public Safety Writers at the conference. And, around Veterans Day, my sister and I are sailing on a Salute to Veterans cruise on the Carnival Valor around the Caribbean. 2010, I have both Left Coast Crime and Bouchercon; 2011, the Canadian mystery writers invited me to Bloody Words in Victoria, BC. I'm sure there will be plenty going on between gigs.

  15. Hi Deborah!
    I'm writing A SNITCH IN TIME, loosely based on an informant in the foothills. This time Lennie has decided to publish a newspaper to keep her reporter/boyfriend happy, which Christy basically thinks is a hare-brain idea. They get in a fight about it and it looks like the friendship is over. But, murders are happening all around the town of Burlap and Christy is conscripted to take the reports. She want the case solved so she can get back to her life in Coronita. To do that, she has to join forces with Lennie.
    There's a second romance in the works for Christy as well. So, the book is very layered, but very much about the value of friendship.

    I'm also contemplating something called THE CHRISTY CHRONICLES. These would be short stories based on real horoscopes I've done. In first person, Christy would walk the reader through the reading, then the story continues with the aftermath of the reading for each individual--how it changed their lives (or not). I don't know if that's something people would want to read. I don't even know if I can be brave enough to write it down. For me, it would be like opening a vein and just letting it bleed out.

    Which makes it even more of a temptation to try.

  16. Amazing questions/Amazing answers! You're a ray of sunshine this week, Sunny (pardon the pun)!

    And, I'm definitely going to invest in an egg timer. My most repeated phrase: Where did the time go??


  17. How many books do you see Christy having before you end the series? Would you have a ending that has her go out with a bang or just a slow fade? So many series go on for years when they should have ended, kinda like the Rolling Stones. ;-0
    your favorite fan
    Karyne Corum

  18. Good answers to all the questions. See you soon.

    Marilyn a.k.a F. M. Meredith

  19. The versatile Sunny is working on a children's book. Any new news there? Also, since you are the all time winning-est writer of short stories contests are you still entering them?

  20. Karyne,
    I have titles for six in the series, but I see no reason to stop there. Lennie, of course, is the catalyst for many of the adventures. She decides to run a health food store and gets in trouble with the pharmaceutical companies when she finds a "cure" for hayfever; Christy must go to Mexico to find Rodrigo's missing uncle; both girls are off to investigate Lennie's coffee plantations in Puerto Rico for a drug smuggling operation. There's also a spin-off Hispanic series in my head.

    As long as there's an interest in astrology, I don't see why the series should end. That's my Big Bang Theory.

  21. Del,
    The children's book (Food Channel meets Pirates of the Caribbean) is being quickly wrapped up and I'm contacting some of the children's publishers. I wrote it 35 years ago on a manual typewriter and was told that children wanted to read about space, not pirates. What do you think about that, Johnny Depp?

    Every now and then I can't resist doing a short story. The Christy Chronicles would satisfy the need. However, there is a story about Haiti based on an experience when I was caught in the middle of a coup on Baby Doc's life. I should probably write that story.

    How do I find myself in these weird situations?

  22. I loved reading "Fools Rush In." I lived in the Central Valley of California at the time and your description of that area was "right on." My question is when will "Where Angels Fear" be out and how do where's the best place to purchase a copy. From what I've heard about this second in the series, something tells me it will be even better.

    Linda Thorne
    Nashville, Tennessee

  23. Here's a poser, Sunny. I've often talked about the ten deadly sins of first novels because I've read tons of them, often as a judge in the Arthur Ellis award (Canada's top prize). I'll let you off easily and ask you to name five sins which you recognize as being strictly amateur night, for example, every chapter starts with the main character getting up and ends with him/her going to bed. I'm serious. I have seen this so many times (probably in my own first novel).

  24. Linda,
    WHERE ANGELS FEAR has been out less than two weeks. I ordered some for a book event and sold out. The book is available through Amazon or my publisher, Oak Tree Press.
    Yes, I think this book is "better" because it's not a kidnap mystery. There's no place for Christy to go during FOOLS RUSH IN, so it was a challenge to keep it interesting. This time there are clues to follow. Christy and Lennie run all over Central County. Again, I think you will recognize some of the areas. I changed the names of the towns and streets to protect the innocent.

  25. Lou (ohh, you're making me think!)
    Frontloading: putting too much info right at the beginning. How are you going to fill the rest of the pages?

    Backstory: much like frontloading. After extensive reseach, I have come to the conclusion that backstory should start around page 50.

    Bad names. Please. Don't even try to compete with Rhett and Scarlett. One odd name in the cast of characters is plenty.

    Lack of introspection. I don't want the characters moving around the story like cardboard cutouts. Let's have some deeper thoughts going on.

    Authenticating details. Sure, you can make up storylines straight from the imagination, but I want to walk away thinking I've learned some actual facts.

    Creative punctuation. What??? You don't think I should get nit-picky!!! Well. . . .that's your
    problem: lady!!!

  26. I'm in awe of these amazing questions, Sunny (along with your detailed answers). You have a devoted following!


  27. Aw Mary, my friends are always trying to make me look good! Gotta love them for playing along. I'm hoping you and Diane get a chance to host them on Bookland Heights in the future. A good group. No, a GREAT group!

  28. Sunny:

    Tell us more about your Murder Circle.


  29. Well, Dorinda, I love the mystery community and I'm loving being part of it. While promoting myself is good, I really get a kick out of promoting others. Part of it is nosiness on my part: what the heck are my mysterious friends up to? I love finding tidbits, announcing upcoming books, making puns with book titles. Everyone wants a little promotion and needs friends. It's a tough world out there! That's why the Murder Circle exists, and why Bookland Heights exists. It simply can't just be about me, me, me. It's got to be about US.

  30. I was going to write a nice pithy note, but I just got an Amazon order--due, I am sure, to Sunny's very effective book promoting activities...Maybe later!

    Billie Johnson

  31. Sunny, good going!! You're book is officially out. I am buying it today. I'll try Oak Tree Press first. I have a feeling you might have Lemoore and Hanford (The Arts Works in Hanford) disguised in the book. I think I'll recognize them.

    Linda Thorne - Nashville, Tennessee

  32. Sorry, no. This one is still Fresno-based.
    BTW, Art Works has temporarily closed. Maybe permanently. We are all dismayed. You and I had some good times there.

  33. Your book is being mailed to me from Oak Tree Press as we speak. I'm sorry to hear about Art Works closing. Such a neat little place. I believe that's the last place I saw you and Dorindo. You dropped in with a friend from Sister's in Crime at the same time I was meeting Dorindo to exchange some material to critique.

    Linda Thorne