Cover of Beyond Blood by Sharon A. Crawford, published by Blue Denim Press
My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.
The other fraternal twin in Beyond Blood – Bast Overture is now going at me with the third degree. At least his journalistic techniques appear familiar to me – he has a recorder running and is also taking notes by hand to back it up in case of technological difficulties.
Bast: Okay, Sharon A., I’ll try not to cover exactly what my sister did last week, but I may want to add to it.
Me: Okay. Fire away.
Bast: First, I’d like to know more about your journalism career. You mentioned you did some crime stories but not a lot. As that is my forte, I wonder if you could tell me what stories you did write and why you wrote them.
Me: Sometimes the story was about a crime that I had first-hand experience with. I see you looked perplexed. No, I didn’t do the crime but it was done against me. For example, when I lived in Aurora, Ontario, my house was broken into. So I wrote a humorous personal essay on that. It was published in Wordscape Seven: Mystery & Suspense Anthology, MTB Press, 2001. I also wrote a story for a community newspaper about protecting your home from invasion.
Bast: What about other stories?
Me: I wrote a story about fraud against seniors in their homes, particularly about home renovations and repairs – this was before Identity theft, although I did write a story on that too. But as I told your sister Dana, I believe that if you do the crime you do the time – one way or the other. So, one of the ways I get back, if you will, is to write about prevention, so people don’t become victims of crime. I talked to seniors as well as police and a unique hardware store then in Aurora – the owners recommended legitimate and trustworthy tradespeople for this. I even found a handyman for me, although I didn’t interview him as that might be considered not at arms length – you know too close to the writer.
Bast: Hmm. You mentioned writing a story on Identity Theft. Can you tell me a bit about that? Did you pitch that story to a magazine or was it assigned?
Me: A little of both. I pitched it to the now defunct Homemakers magazine and the editor there was interested and added more scope to the story so that besides police and identity theft protection experts, I interviewed a couple of people who had their identify stolen – one by getting his regular mail redirected so he had to replace all his credit cards and other ID. The other one was the victim of mortgage fraud – someone put a mortgage, in her name, on her house without her knowledge.
Bast: I gather fraud is something you are interested in and you have that as one of the many crimes in Beyond Blood. How did that come about?
Me: Well, without giving the plot away beyond what is on the back book cover, the fraud in there comes from or maybe I should say is related to some of the other crimes. And I’m not saying any more except that some of the plot events are peculiar to that time (1998) and not completely relevant today.
Bast: That’s a bit obtuse. Care to elaborate.
Me: All right. Without giving it all away (and this is on the back cover) abortions, or rather illegal abortions are part of the story in Beyond Blood. And you know, abortions are in the news again with all the anti-abortion movements in the States and even some press in Canada. But the interesting thing here is not that so much as that one thing related to abortions which was illegal in Canada in 1998 is still illegal in Canada today.
Bast: Let the record show that Sharon A. is not talking about Canadian law regarding abortion itself. Abortions are legal in Canada. Sharon A. is referring to…
Me: Stop. Don’t give the plot away. Let’s just say it all is part of the plot and you and Dana figure it out, but will you do so in time to save Dana’s son and your nephew David?
Bast: Right. But maybe you could include that plot blurb on the back of Beyond Blood. That book cover photo at the top of this post shows the front page only.
Me. Okay. Here it is.
In Beyond Blood (Blue Denim Press, fall 2014), Dana Bowman has misgivings about starting the home-based Attic Investigative Agency with her fraternal twin, Bast Overture. Especially when the agency’s launch is preceded by a break and enter downstairs and a kidnapping at the Mini-Mall involving her son David’s babysitter, Debbie Sangwell. Especially when David is kidnapped and Debbie is murdered during the agency’s opening ceremonies. Hovering in the background is the mysterious “Him.”
Further digging reveals more kidnappings, murders, fraud, and abortion. The twins’ investigation also leads to run-ins with police detective Donald Fielding and CKNT TV reporter Charles Haas, the latter who has the “dirt” on Bast. A colourful cast of characters dot the pages, including Dana’s ex-husband Ronald, Great Aunt Doris, Mini-Mall merchants Lois and Ray Chalmers, and various nosy neighbours. Hovering in the background is the mysterious “Him.”
Dana is pushed beyond blood ties trying to avoid an emotional meltdown as a mother and focus on finding her son. The twin detectives discover that everything seems to be connected. Which connection will lead them to David, and to Debbie’s murderer? Will they be too late for David?
Click on my book cover above – it will lead you to my publisher Blue Denim Press’s website. Scroll down and you can see where Beyond Blood is currently available, including at www.bluedenimpress.com.
And check my website www.samcraw.com – click on Beyond Blood. I constantly update the gigs etc. on that page.
Sharon A. Crawford