|Posted by christinehusom on March 22, 2017 at 9:45 PM||comments (0)|
Christine Husom interview with David Alan Binder
1. Where are you currently living?
2. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?
You need to be very patient with the process, from writing your manuscript, to polishing it, to finding a publisher, to seeing it in print. It takes a long time, usually years.
3. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?
If a writer wants to get his or her work published and can’t find a house to do that, they can consider self-publishing. It has gotten easier to do, and is accepted far more than it once was. But ensure it is as error-free as possible, with a nice cover and good interior formatting. Don’t pay a vanity press to “publish” your books—you can do that yourself without a middle man and it will cost you far less for the printing.
Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they?
My Winnebago County mysteries are published by Indigo Sea Press in North Carolina, and my Snow Globe Shop mysteries are published by Penguin Random House in New York.
4. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
My books are both print and electronic. Some authors have good success selling electronic-only books. Getting published by a traditional house is wonderful, but the world is changing drastically, and more and more people are self-publishing because of it.
5. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?
Be diligent with your researching, writing, rewriting, editing, taking honest critiques to heart, and marketing. It takes considerable effort, and lots of seat time, to create a great product and get it into readers’ hands.
6. How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?
I tried to enlist an agent for several years for my Winnebago series, without success. After five years of sending out query letters and sample chapters, etc., I found my first publisher through an online writing contest. Then a New York agent contacted our Twin Cities Sisters in Crime group looking for a Minnesota author to write a Cozy mystery series. He ended up choosing me. I was over the moon when he sold a three-book deal to Penguin Random House/Berkley Prime Crime.
7. Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)?
Be very patient and persistent if you want to get published. It’s a highly competitive business, and it often seems good things happen to those in the right place at the right time. And that person could be you. Make contacts with other writers and people in the publishing business by attending book fairs and writers’ conventions. Develop an online presence, and visit others’ websites and blogs and comment on their posts. Post reviews of books you’ve read.
8. How many books have you written?
I wrote two books many years ago that were never published. So far I have books six published books in the Winnebago County Mystery Series, and three in the Snow Globe Shop Mystery Series. I’m working on my seventh Winnebago now.
9. Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer (please be as specific and information as you possibly can)?
Study the craft and art of writing. Take writing classes and read as much as possible, especially in the genre you write in. Being in a writers’ group can be very valuable. At least share your manuscript with others, people who will be honest with you and tell you what works and what doesn’t. It will make you a better writer.
10. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?
I wish I did. I’m a pantser, and the twists and turns in my books show up as the story unfolds.
11. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?
That’s the challenge in such a flooded market. I find meeting people at author events, book clubs, or art and craft fairs are valuable. Making one-on-one connections with people is great. It helps them learn more about my books and many buy them.
12. What are some ways in which you promote your work?
I collect email addresses at events and send out emails to the list when I have a new book release. I also send a letter to libraries and bookstores with the same information, asking if they’d like to schedule a book signing. I have been the featured guest on a number of blogs. I’m on Facebook, and intermittently on Twitter. I do a fair number of author panels and other events with the Twin Cities Sisters in Crime at libraries in Minnesota. I’ve spoken to classes. Plus I go to book clubs and art and craft fairs where I sell my books.
13. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?
It’s been a process and I’m grateful for the people I’ve met, and the experiences I’ve had along the way I have learned a lot and can’t think of how I would have done things differently.
14. What saying or mantra do you live by?
To thine own self be true.
|Posted by christinehusom on March 10, 2017 at 7:10 PM||comments (4)|
The characters are well developed and well rounded. I enjoyed reading about the relationship between Cami and Pinky. They are good friends and they would do almost anything for each other. I like reading about their conversations and fun antics and they felt like realistic characters to me. I liked the mix of old characters from the previous book and new characters that we meet for this book. The secondary characters added a lot to the story.
The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and I love the setting of the curio shop. All of the snow globes gave the story a whimsical feeling and I think this is a great setting for a cozy mystery. I could picture all of the snow globes and the scenes they depicted and that made me smile.
The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read. The mystery is carried on throughout the entire book. There were enough suspects to consider and clues tossed in to make it nearly impossible to solve. That is what I look for in a mystery.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery. I have read the first book in the series (which I liked) and now I am looking forward to reading the next one.
|Posted by christinehusom on February 24, 2017 at 2:10 PM||comments (0)|
Thank you, Joanne for the review! http://www.newandusedbooks.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=this_review&ID=12815
When snow globe store owner Camryn Brooks finds Mayor Lewis “Frosty” Frost dead in his office, the list of people who might have motive is longer than Santa’s Naughty List!
Was his death because he was encouraging a microbrewery to open in the charming town of Brooks Landing, Minnesota? Or is it because he pushed for a manufacturing plant to be built on 90 acres of farmland? Or perhaps the Mayor had some mighty dangerous skeletons in his closet? Camryn, who seems to make a career out of always ending up in the wrong place and the wrong time, joins with her best friend Pinkie, owner of the Brew Ha-Ha, to look into who used one of Cami’s snow globes to bash his head in.
Frosty the Dead Man is the third book in the Snow Globe mystery series, which features Cami Brooks who has returned home after a scandal in Washington DC derailed a promising career. At first, it felt like Cami was slinking back to her hometown where her family and high school friends still lived, but she has realized that she missed her roots, and she felt more grounded and peaceful in Brooks Landing than she had in DC. It was peaceful, well, except for those pesky murder victims she always seems to find.
Author Husom keeps the story moving with interesting recurring characters and intriguing suspects who pop in and out with regularity. And there’s even a bit of a romance which progresses—albeit slowly—in each book. Though it has a Christmas timeframe, don’t let that stop you from enjoying Frosty the Dead Man in any season!
Joanne Hamilton-Selway, ReaderToReader.com
|Posted by christinehusom on February 11, 2017 at 11:35 AM||comments (0)|
Thank you very much, My Empty Nest! http/myemptynesting.blogspot.com/2016/11/frosty-dead-man-snow-globe-shop-mystery.html
This time last year I told you about a most adorable series based in a quaint curiosity shop. I am so happy to say it's time for the next part, Frosty the Dead Man (Snow Globe Shop Mystery #3) by Christine Husom. I hope you took to the time get caught up because this one was just as much fun.
It was great to be back with Cami and Pinky, and Mark, and Clint. Those are my favorites, but the entire cast is extremely sweet. Well, most of them, there was obviously a killer and few people who were a little frosty as well. I really also like Clint for Cami, he is a well written romance interest with enough quirks to make him endearing.
The mystery was clue based and I solved it! I love when that happens. There was a bit more to it than just a murder and that helped me to figure it out actually. What is really neat is that in the back there is a craft to make a snow globe! I love snow globes and will be making it this holiday season. This will be available December 6th so you still have time to grab the other parts and get caught up if need be.
Take some time to browse the other great mysteries available from Berkley Prime Crime. While you are there, you can sign up for the newsletter so you never miss a new release. I must warn you though, after browsing my wish list is longer than I could probably read. You can also connect with them on Twitter where you can happen across a fun giveaway as well.
Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers.
|Posted by christinehusom on February 11, 2017 at 11:10 AM||comments (0)|
Many thanks for the review, Omar! http/openbooksociety.com/article/frosty-the-dead-man-snow-globe-shop-mystery-book-3-by-christine-husom-book-review/
Frosty the Dead Man is the third book in this fun cozy mystery series. I had a hard time when I first heard of this series envisioning a store that sold snow globes. Well, author Christine Husom not only pulled it off, but this installment is the best yet. What a quaint and enjoyable town Brooks Landing is and I for one, love visiting it. Camryn Books runs an adorable snow globe store and she is one fun and fabulous main character. Along with her friends and family, Camryn is once again tangled up in a murder. And once again she is able to sift through the clues and find the killer.
When Mayor Lewis Frost, known as Frosty, stops by and asks Camryn to consider becoming a member of the city council, she is a bit shocked. Yet after another councilman had just stormed off, maybe it should not come be that much of a surprise. Camryn has to think about Frosty’s offer and talk it over with her friends. When she goes to talk to him at his office she not only finds Frosty dead, murdered, but it looks like the murder weapon is a snow globe he was actually interested in when he was in her shop. And if that is not bad enough, there is a huge diamond on the floor as well. Why are people interested in this odd snow globe she has gotten in, with three bears and a man with a gun? What is going on that so many people would want that one, when she has so many other wonderful ones.
Intrigue, shady people, questions, politics, and snow globes, what a combination. I love the characters populated this fictional town. Each book in this series is better than the last. A bit more suspense in the one, but I was able to figure out a few things before Camryn. I did not have it all figured out though and enjoyed getting all the answers along with her. Pinky is a great friend and the duo run a fun combined store. I enjoyed the addition of a few more new characters and the store atmosphere leaves things open for strangers to come into the story without things seeming odd.
Frosty the Dead Man is the most exciting and intriguing in this wonderful series. Definitely the best yet. No matter the season, stopping by Camryn’s snow globe store is a treat. Camryn has to shake things up and see where they fall and she does it so well. Author Christine Husom has written another sparkling cozy that shines no matter what time of year you read it. You do not have to read this series in order as they all work as standalone reads, but they are all worth the time. And it will be a pleasure for sure. I cannot wait for the next installment of this fantastic series.
|Posted by christinehusom on February 11, 2017 at 10:45 AM||comments (0)|
Thanks so much for the review, Jennifer! http://moonlightrendezvous.com/blog-tour-review-frosty-the-dead-man-by-christine-husom/
Review (4.5 Stars): Frosty the Dead Man is the third book in the Snow Globe Shop series and I have to say that this is a winner. Cami is enjoying the success of the store when Mayor Lewis Frost approaches her about taking a seat on the council. Not sure what to do, Cami visits Mayor Frost after hours to discuss things and finds his dead body with one of her snow globes laying beside it. Now, Cami has to solve another murder before she charged with a crime she didn’t commit.
This is such a great series and I love learning about Cami’s snow globe business. The characters are fun and entertaining and the mystery will keep you guessing until the very end. Such a delightful series and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.
|Posted by christinehusom on February 11, 2017 at 10:35 AM||comments (0)|
I was featured on two sites with this blog, http://www.lorisreadingcorner.com/2016/12/guest-post-with-giveaway-frosty-the-dead-man-by-christine-husom.html and https://gottawritenetwork.wordpress.com/tag/frosty-the-dead-man/
Frosty the Dead Man
In creating Frosty The Dead Man, the first thing I came up with was the title, not my standard operating procedure. For the series proposal, I needed to come up with the synopses for three books. I already had the first one in mind, and did some brainstorming one cold, dark late afternoon December day in Minnesota. The ideal time for books with snow globe/winter themes, right? I came up with titles for books two and three, The Iced Princess and Frosty the Dead Man. Then I formulated basic plots. The big question for book three was, just who was the man with the nickname of Frosty.
As a little background, my protagonist, Camryn Brooks, had served as Director of Legislative Affairs for a U.S. Senator before returning to her hometown of Brooks Landing, Minnesota. Coincidentally, I’d just been elected as a Wright County Commissioner a couple of weeks before that and it seemed natural to incorporate some local politics into the storyline. So Mayor Frost was born.
Differences of opinion among elected officials, constituents, and outside interests get heated at times, and provided good conflict in the subplot. When Frosty dies from a snow globe blow to the head, there are a number of suspects. What Cami and the police don’t know is the mysterious people who keep stopping by Curio Finds may know more about his death—in addition to a large criminal operation—than they’re willing to share.
In the Snow Globe Shop Mysteries, protagonist Camryn Brooks lost her parents when she was five. She senses her mother, in particular, is never very far away, and leaves her pennies from Heaven at key moments. To add a bit to that theme, after an employee died in the Curio Finds bathroom, the shop lights have gone off now and then, and even the electrician can’t explain why that happens. So it’s been fun to work in a little spiritual mystery. Thankfully for Cami, the lights go out at a very opportune time in Frosty the Dead Man.
Like in my other books, Frosty the Dead Man is multi-layered. The characters have personal lives and relationships. There is some humor, a little romance, and needed conflicts. The crime may or may not be as it first appears, and although there are clues along the way, I hope readers will enjoy a surprise or two at the end.
|Posted by christinehusom on January 21, 2017 at 1:05 PM||comments (0)|
There are two basic purposes for writing book reviews: helping potential readers decide whether they’ll read a particular one, and letting authors know what’s good, or not, about their book. It’s an evaluation of the book from the reviewer’s perspective.
Book reviews should be helpful to both reader and author alike, written as objectively as possible. A good rule of thumb is to highlight what the author did well employing the basic elements of storytelling—genre, plot, characters, dialogue, pace, conflict, climax—and to offer suggestions of ways to improve the story, or the writing itself, if need be.
One thing to watch for is if you can’t write a review of the book itself—genre aside,—don’t. You may enjoy books from a genre, or sub-genre, and then read one in a genre you find you don’t like. It’s not good practice to write a review criticizing the genre itself. Most people who read your review are partial to those books. If you read thrillers, historical romance may not be your cup of tea. If you favor traditional mysteries, horror may be too graphic for you. An evaluation of a book is meant to be just that.
Another thing to be careful of is viciously slamming a book or author. A review that reads like a personal attack is not regarded as valid, and will be dismissed as such. It makes readers wonder what vendetta the reviewer has against the author. This is a mildly-written example: “I am glad that this book only cost me a penny. Maybe I’ll donate it to my library…just so I don’t have to look at it anymore.” Or the person who left a 1-star rating on a book then wrote, “This is a book I did not order and have not read. I have no idea how I can review a book I don’t have.” What purpose did she have for rating the book, and posting her comment?
On the other hand, constructive criticism is valuable to both authors and readers. If there are a number of grammatical mistakes or typos, and that is noted in reviews, it alerts the author he needs a better editor, and perhaps a team of proofreaders. An author should know if reviewers think the characters need to be better developed, or if the ending seems to come out of nowhere, or if the pacing was too slow, or too fast. The following review gives the author something to ponder: “The author writes a thriller that is hard to put down, but her sentence structure needs improvement.” It’s not written as an attack. Instead, it is constructive criticism.
If you don’t like a book, but want to write a review on it, you can be thoughtful and honest without being cruel. Think of it as a personal critique to the author. Be respectful, and leave out any personal put-downs. When you evaluate a book and post it on sites, your review is out there for the world to see. People, in general, appreciate honesty served with a measure of decorum.
|Posted by christinehusom on January 17, 2017 at 6:40 PM||comments (0)|
Christine Husom's "Frosty the Dead Man"
Christine Husom is the national bestselling author of the Snow Globe Shop Mystery series, as well as the Winnebago County Mysteries, also set in central Minnesota. She served with the Wright County Sheriff’s Department and trained with the St. Paul Police Department, where she gained firsthand knowledge of law enforcement procedures.
Here Husom shares some ideas for casting an adaptation of the latest Snow Globe Shop mystery, Frosty the Dead Man:
Authors go about creating characters in many different ways. My basic process is figuring out their names, ages, family and friends, educational backgrounds, hobbies, interests, clothing preferences and so on. Their physical descriptions, and the way their voices sound, come to me as I work through their traits and interests. I form a mental image of each of them, and envision and hear them speak when I write.
In the Snow Globe Shop Mysteries, Camryn Brooks has returned to her small hometown of Brooks Landing, Minnesota after getting fired from her position as a Director of Legislative Affairs in Washington D.C. She’s independent and spunky, and feels like a fish out of water working in her parents’ Curio Finds shop after living for many years in big cities. On the other hand, she loves being close to family and friends again.
Cami’s one fun claim to fame is she can transform herself into a believable-looking Marilyn Monroe for costume parties. Her friend, Pinky Nelson, runs Brew Ha-Ha, a coffee shop adjoining Curio Finds. Pinky is tall and lanky and provides comic relief at the oddest moments. Their other best friend, Erin Vinkerman, is a teacher who’s dedicated to her students and friends. Erin is a petite Vietnamese American who was adopted as a baby by a Minnesota couple.
Assistant police chief, Clinton Lonsbury is Cami’s tall, dark, very attractive, and equally irritating (to her) love interest. Their other good friend, police officer Mark Weston is another good-looking, strapping man who takes his job, and sometimes himself, a little too seriously. All five are in their late thirties.
Although I envision the Brooks Landing characters a certain way, I know there are many actors who could bring them to life, and make them believable on the screen. I had the privilege of meeting Alison Sweeney this past spring in Hollywood, and know she’d easily make a great Camryn Brooks. I’d love to cast her in the role.
Because of time constraints with my two careers, I’m not as in-tune with contemporary actors as I used to be. So I had to rely on some research, and this the cast I came up with. I hope my readers agree!
Camryn Brooks, Alison Sweeney
Clint Lonsbury, Orlando Bloom
Pinky Nelson, Jennifer Wilson
Erin Vinkerman, Devon Aoki
Mark Weston, Chris Evans
There are many other characters in Brooks Landing—family members, bad guys, victims, suspects, other strange ones—that would be equally fun to cast, and I’d be thrilled if that opportunity arises!
|Posted by christinehusom on January 17, 2017 at 6:30 PM||comments (0)|
I have stacks and stacks of to-be-read books on my shelves, and each one seems to cry out, “Pick me, it’s my turn,” when I’m perusing through them. I discovered Up Like Thunder by Colin T Nelson was a treat to read. I first met Colin at a Twin Cities Sisters in Crime some years ago. Besides being a wonderful storyteller, he’s also a great guy, all around.
Up Like Thunder follows Investigator Pete Chandler from Minneapolis to Myanmar, the former Burma. Myanmar, after years of maintaining closed borders, began allowing tourists and limited business interests in the country in 2011. When Bridget Holmes, a young American woman who is working in the country, goes missing, her influential father contacts Chandler, and implores him to find Bridget and bring her home safely. Although it’s about the last thing on earth he wants to do, Chandler reluctantly agrees. He soon finds himself in a dangerous world he knows little about, with few people he can trust.
Up Like Thunder is written with the right amount of detail to fully engage, and yet not bore, readers. Nelson’s descriptions of people, and most notably Chandler, are very well done. Places in Myanmar are vividly depicted and bring sights, smells, and sounds to life. I appreciated the way Nelson wove the country’s history into their modern day struggles with poverty and government corruption. At times I was in awe, other times I was on the edge of my seat wondering if the good guys would prevail after all. Two thumbs up for Colin T Nelson’s Up Like Thunder, a great read!