Tuesday, November 11, 2014

From the Stars to the Page

 
 
A Snitch in Time
by Sunny Frazier
 

Christy Bristol and the astrology mysteries I write emerged from a single incident while working for the Fresno County Sheriff's Department undercover narcotics team. I've been doing astrology for 40 years now, quietly, not really advertising the fact that I cast horoscopes. People tend to look at the practice of astrology with skepticism and I have always wanted to be taken seriously, not some sort of kook. When one of my detectives (Wolfe in the book) asked me to do a chart on a notorious drug dealer who was hooked on astrology and calling the 1-800 astrology hotline on a regular basis, I refused. I could just see getting up on the witness stand and saying, “Yes, judge, I did a horoscope on the criminal to scare him into showing us where the bodies were buried.”
 
But, what a great book, right? I actually did charts on not only the drug kingpin but also all the members of his meth crew. I used the case as the storyline for “Fools Rush In.” In the book, Christy is an office assistant, much like my position. Captured by the drug dealers, she uses her knowledge of astrology against them to stay alive. Much of what is in the book is true, as strange as it all seems. The publisher would not put my photo on the back cover for fear he might put a hit out on me from prison. The man conveniently died in incarceration.
 
I forced Christy to go undercover to a sex club to find a missing person in the second novel, “Where Angels Fear.” Christy's shyness makes this an excruciating endeavor but her wild friend Lennie (based on a friend from my wild days in the Navy) won't let her off the hook. By doing the horoscopes of three dead men, Christy finds the connection and the motive for their deaths. And yes, this is also based on a true incident, and yes much of the strange stuff I wrote about is true.
 
In every book, Christy grows and, hopefully, grows on the reader. She is Every Woman, not Wonder Woman. I didn't make her pretty or rich, but I gave her warts, insecurities and many of the same daily problems women experience. I also gave her the strength to overcome whatever I throw at her. 
 
 1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or historic?
Christy Bristol. She's fictional but is very similar to me in a lot of ways. Awkward!

2) When and where is the story set?
All of my stories and novels are set in the San Joaquin Valley. They are contemporary and set in the now. 

3) What should we know about him/her?
Christy is a 32 year old office assistant for the Central County Sheriff's Department. She's unmarried but has a hot boyfriend who she can't believe loves her. She's plain, but improving both in looks and confidence with every book.
Christy does astrology, receives unwanted glimpses into the future and relays messages to her sister, a nun, via ESP. She is not comfortable with her “gifts” and resists being pulled into doing horoscopes. Unfortunately, fate doesn't let her off the hook. 

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?
In the latest book the main conflict is that Christy is at the wrong place at the wrong time. She just wanted a long weekend with her friend Lennie up in the Sierra Nevada foothills. But, when a murder occurs and the homicide detectives need an office assistant to man the phones at the substation and type up reports, she conscripted to work with them. Unhappy at the arrangement and anxious to go home, she decides to try and profile the killer using reverse astrology.
Her relationship with girlfriend Lennie is also strained because Christy takes an instant dislike to Lennie's latest man. She's jealous because her former co-worker now owns a newspaper and has left the drudgery of office work behind.
While up there, she is given a forest ranger's cabin to live in. He shows up and they have to share the small space. They bond over literature and his poetic nature. Never having had much attention from men, Christy is flattered that two men are now interested in her.    

5) What is the personal goal of the character?
In each book, I force Christy to go outside of her comfort zone and grow. In this book her impatience with the homicide team's inner politics and personality clashes finally  makes her throw up her hands and do her own investigation with the only tool she's got: astrology.
The conflict with her BFF comes to a head and Christy is forced to recognize that she has, in the past, belittled Lennie for her lack of education and sexual escapades. It's hard for her to admit that Lennie has been the better and less judgmental friend in the relationship.
Christy also has to decide between her love for the man who has stood by her but is frequently away and a new man who seems to “get” her on an intellectual level.  She's never had choices like this before. It's all very flattering.

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
The title is “A Snitch In Time.” No, nobody gets to read anything until the book is out.

7) When can we expect the book to be published?
The book is in the final edits at Black Opal Books as we speak. I think the launch will be early 2015.

And now, to continue the blog hop, I nominate Che Gilson and Liane Spicer.

32 comments:

Patricia Gligor said...

I loved your first two Christy Bristol mysteries, Sunny, and I'm looking forward to reading "A Snitch in Time."

Maggie King said...

Having enjoyed your other two mysteries, I'm looking forward to A Snitch in Time.

jrlindermuth said...

Sounds like a good one, Sunny. Look forward to reading it.

M.M. Gornell said...

Looking forward to your latest, Sunny!

Madeline

Amy M. Reade said...

This one sounds good, too, Sunny. Congratulations on A Snitch in Time! Thanks for sharing your picture for Veterans Day. I love it!

Nancy LiPetri said...

Love the photo and description of the new book!

Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to reading A Snitch in Time, I already know it will be a good read and I am also already letting the wheels turn trying to guess who the murderer is with the glance that you gave us.

C.L. Swinney said...

I CAN'T wait to read this latest novel. You always nail the police stuff in your novels, and I love Christy. LOOKING forward to this one for sure!

Linda Thorne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda Thorne said...

I've been waiting for this one for a long time. I will buy it and keep it. I'll buy one for my sister in Tucson, Arizona (she'll love it too, but will give her copy to her daughter after she reads it). Good going. Sunny.

Sunny Frazier said...

It will not disappoint, I promise all of you! There are strange people and strange practices in the Nevada foothills I write about. I based the town, but not the plot, on what I learned from cases and my own exploration of the area.

Linda Thorne said...

That's exactly why I'm excited about it. It's still a Christy Bristol novel, but the twist with the strange group of people in the strange place, sounded so good. You told me about it too long in advance and the curiosity has been killing me. You've also sneaked some scenes to me here and there over the years. I like Cora's blog. You are more than welcome to blog hop to mine anytime you want. It is
http://www.lindathorne.com/blog/

cncbooks said...

Can't wait to read this, especially because I really like mountain settings ;-)

Sunny Frazier said...

Thank you so much, Patricia!

Sunny Frazier said...

Can't wait to get it into your hot little hands!

Sunny Frazier said...

You know what everyone is going to remember with this one? Where a turkey's testicles are! I went where no man (or woman) has ever gone before!

Sunny Frazier said...

It's been quite a wait, hasn't it?

Sunny Frazier said...

I loved sharing my photo of me at 21 in my WAVE uniform. People seemed so pleased!

Sunny Frazier said...

I think I'm going to fool you with this one!

Sunny Frazier said...

One scene you'll love is insubordination in the squad room. I FINALLY get to say what it really feels like to watch all those egos crashing. You've been there too!

Sunny Frazier said...

Linda, thank you for all your support over the years! I know you'll promote me to those Southern SinC!

Sunny Frazier said...

I'm hoping for a review from my favorite site!

Linda Thorne said...

Also to the Nashville Writers Meetup group.

Cora said...

Oooh, moving into romance I see. I like the premise of this book, her growth as a person and the cabin in the mountains...so romantic. Looking forward to reading this one.

Sunny Frazier said...

It will break your heart, Cora.

Robin Coxon said...

I haven't read any of Sunny Frazier's books but after reading your interview I have added her to my need to read list. Thank you so much for sharing.

Sunny Frazier said...

Robin, I'm flattered! "Need to Read" list--I'm going to have to steal that line. So much better than TBR (To Be Read).

Liane Spicer said...

Looking forward to reading your series, Sunny! Thanks for tagging me!

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