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Merry Christmas from Beyond Blood characters and Sharon A. Crawford

Dana Bowman, David Bowman and Bast Overture from Beyond Blood are here with me on this Christmas Eve. I am posting a day early this week because southern Ontario has a horrible weather forecast from late tonight and into tomorrow – very heavy winds so there is the worry of damage and power outage. Scrooge’s saying “Bah Humbug” comes to mind.

Dana: Now Sharon, it’s not that bad.

Me: Fine for you to say – you are 30 miles north of Toronto in Thurston.

Dana: But we do have Snow Lake, a pretty big lake so could have lake effect weather issues. We do have a wind warning.

Me: But not 60 k an hour with gusts up to 90 or 100 k depending on where around the Great Lakes you are.

Dana: True.

Bast: It doesn’t hurt to make preparations.

Dana: Yeah right, little brother. Like you did for Y2K? Bast already is creating outside-the-fridge storage for our food.

David: And I’m making a tent for my stuffed beavers.

Me: Really? How many beavers do you have now?

David: Twenty.

Me: Will they all fit in your tent?

David: Yes, it’s a big tent.

Dana (scratching her head): At least that gets them out of his bed. At this rate we’ll have to get him a bigger bed.

David: Aw, Mommie.

Me: I, too am making preparations for this wind storm, but hadn’t thought of a tent. Anyway, aside from the storm, what are you doing to celebrate Christmas? David, I bet you are waiting for Santa.

David: Yes, Uncle Bast says the chimney is big enough for him to get down. But is it safe for him to land on the roof?

Bast: Santa could also land on the ground and get through a window.

David: But all the windows are locked.

Bast: Santa will figure a way to get in. Don’t forget he is magical for Christmas.

David: Goodie. Mommie; don’t forget to leave a snack out for Santa – near a window.

Dana (ruffling David’s hair): Don’t worry, I won’t.

Me: So how else are you celebrating Christmas? Is Great Aunt Doris coming for dinner?

Dana: No way. If that woman comes, she stays and stays and stays. No just the three of us this year. We have a turkey…

Bast: already cooked in case of power outage.

Me: And where are you keeping it in case?

Bast: In a Styrofoam container on the back porch outside the kitchen door.

David: With a brick on top to keep out racoons.

Me: I thought Thurston was rid of racoons.

Dana: Sh. Don’t give the plot of Beyond Blood away.

Me: Did I mention Beyond Blood?

Dana: Well, no.

Me: Let’s just wish everybody a happy and safe Christmas.

Dana, Bast, David and Me: Happy and safe holiday.

David: And build a tent to keep you safe.

 

Next week’s post will feature my review of another suspense-mystery author’s new book – Rene Natan’s The Woman in Black. I’ll also be asking Rene some writing-related questions. Stay tuned and hopefully I’ll post on New Year’s Day instead of one day early.

Meantime see Sharon’s website http://www.samcraw.com for more info on Beyond Blood and other writing, editing and workshops. And visit Sharon at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sharon-A-Crawford/412730865439394
For last-minute Christmas shoppers: see below and click on book covers for online purchase of Beyond Blood e-copies from the publisher Blue Denim Pess (e-pub and Kindle). For print copies go to http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/contributor/author/sharon-a-crawford/?langtype=4105 Or go to any bricks and mortar bookstore and ask to have the book ordered in.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

 

 

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Dana Bowman from Beyond Blood takes over

Sharon reads from her Beyond book series

Sharon reads from her Beyond book series

Listen to Sharon talk about writing Beyond Blood including characters and plot at

http://bluedenimpress.com/authors/sharon-a-crawford/

Dana: Okay, Ms Creator, I have a big question for you…

Sharon: Hey, wait a minute, you are supposed to be talking about yourself. So, I’m going to ask you to do the same as I asked your brother – talk about your feelings about what happens in Beyond Blood, particularly your son’s kidnapping and well, just being Dana.
Dana: Oh all right. But I’m watching carefully what you are writing in our next mystery novel.
Being Dana, as you put it, is fun and exasperating. I’m not sure how much of me is you. We both feel things very deeply, especially where our sons are concerned. I know your son is in his mid-thirties but he was once six like David. Losing David from kidnapping broke my heart but there was no way I was going to do nothing. So I had to get out there and look. It meant talking to my ex-husband Ron even though I never wanted to see him again. But circumstances, thanks to Ron’s actions and Fielding’s follow-up (see, I’m not giving it away) put me in a position where I had no choice.
And before you ask about Fielding. Yes, we were attracted but after Ron I did not want to get involved with another man. Ron hurt me too much. Fielding can be a pain. He is protective but he pulls that “police business” card and that just makes me want to investigate more. I think he thought he was God and he was the only one who could find David and find Debbie’s killer. No spoilers here – like Bast said this info is on the back cover of Beyond Blood.
Having close friends, like Debbie, get killed is a terrible blow and handling it badly with her mother and my best friend Madge, I don’t think I can ever forgive myself for that. But some of that blame has to go to Great Aunt Doris.
That woman – Doris is really Ron’s aunt but I hate her habit of just dropping in on us when she feels like it. She stays and stays and interferes with everything. At least she helps Madge. But Doris thinks I’m a bad mother and in Beyond Blood I wonder if she isn’t right. What good mother would “let” her son be kidnapped almost from right under her nose. I should have stopped it. Maybe if I had let him stay for our Attic Investigative Agency open house as he wanted to, he would never have been kidnapped.
And I know what you are thinking here, Sharon A. Then there would be no story, or not as much of a story. And it might not tear at readers’ hearts. Mothers and their children – kids or adults – feature a lot in Beyond Blood.
I guess I am glad you created me –for whatever reasons – and let me have my say and way. If you want to hear Sharon talk about us and Beyond Blood, listen to her in this radio interview at http://bluedenimpress.com/authors/sharon-a-crawford/

Dana, Bast and Sharon A. Crawford: Merry Christmas to all.
See Sharon’s website http://www.samcraw.com for more info on Beyond Blood and other writing, editing and workshops. And visit Sharon at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sharon-A-Crawford/412730865439394
For last-minute Christmas shoppers: see below and click on book covers for online purchase of Beyond Blood e-copies from the publisher Blue Denim Pess (e-pub and Kindle). For print copies go to http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/contributor/author/sharon-a-crawford/?langtype=4105 Or go to any bricks and mortar bookstore and ask to have the book ordered in.

Cheers.
Sharon A. Crawford
Dana Bowman
Bast Overture

 

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Dana Bowman interviews author Sharon A Crawford

Cover of Beyond Blood by Sharon A. Crawford, published by Blue Denim Press

Cover of Beyond Blood by Sharon A. Crawford, published by Blue Denim Press

I suppose all fictional characters, especially in adventure or heroic fiction, at the end of the day are our dreams about ourselves. And sometimes they can be really revealing.

  • Alan Moore

Dana Bowman sits before me, sketch pad and charcoal in hand. She is going to give me the third-degree interview.

Dana: I understand you and my brother Bast share a career background.

Me: Journalistic, yes. I am a former journalist for 30 years, so a bit longer than your twin. I did write a few crime-related articles but my beats were the arts, health, seniors, and profiles of all kinds of people.

Dana: How and why did you switch from journalism to mystery fiction?

Me: That’s really two questions. First, the journalism one – it wasn’t really a switch. I just got tired of all the work for newspaper and magazine stories for little pay. Guess I ran out of steam but I am still interested in people and writing their stories, so profiles aren’t off the table completely.

Dana: But why mystery fiction?

Me: Because that’s what I like to read and watch on TV. I grew up with Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and from age 12, Agatha Christie. And my late mom and I used to watch the Perry Mason TV series – the original one in black and white. From all that I got hooked on the puzzle – why people do what they do, why it brings them to murder and who the heck is the guilty party. I also have a sense of justice – people who do the crime should do the time – in one way or another. That doesn’t seem to be happening anymore in real life, even back in your days in the late 1990s.

Dana: As Bast would say, let the record show, that Sharon is referring to the timelines in Beyond Blood and Beyond the Tripping Point. So, Sharon, can you tell us how you, well created Bast and I? Are you and I similar in any way?

Me: That’s two questions again. I see that’s how you operate.

Dana: You started it all.

Me: Right.

Dana: How are we similar? Especially with our height.

Me: Yes, you and I are shorties, but I have a couple of inches on you.

Dana: Why did you make me 4’11”? Couldn’t you have brought me up to 5 feet at least?

Me: Too close to me. Actually the idea of both yours and Bast’s height came from an aunt and uncle on my dad’s side. Aunt Marguerite was 4’ll” and Uncle Miles was 6’2” But I did give Bast an inch. But I gave you some qualities and traits I don’t have. You own and drive a car. I couldn’t drive a car to save my life.

Dana: Would you want to?

Me: Very occasionally but seldom. I know I would be guilty of roadkill, so it’s safer if I’m never behind the wheel of a car. Also you have a cell phone and I don’t. Sure, it would come in handy in emergencies but cell phone technology is a whole lot more complicated in 2014 than in the late 1990s. And I gave you the gift of being able to draw because I can’t draw a straight line even with a ruler.

Dana: A little jealousy here?

Me. Maybe, but I wanted you different than I. And you and your brother evolved over 15 or 16 years of on and off writing, now definitely in the on stage.

Dana: And Bast? Why did you make him gay?

Me: Because when I first started writing Beyond Blood back in the late 1990s, gay people were just coming out more. The annual Pride parade was just starting up in Toronto. And I wanted a character that was different than what was being published. I know there are now gay (male and female) mystery characters, but how many of them are a fraternal twin?

Dana: True. What about my son David? Where did he come from?

Me: Well, I do have a son, who is now in his mid-thirties and I too was a single parent, so I suppose some of that originated there. And I had issues with being a working mom and wanted to bring that out in the stories.

Dana: Okay. Now, moving along. You mentioned that you want justice done in this world. Is there anything in your background, particularly when growing up, that made you feel this way?

Me: Several things. I was bullied as a child by both one of my best friends and also by a nun in grade school. Never beaten up – it was more verbal. Also I read a lot in the newspapers about 11 and 12-year-old girls getting murdered and that really upset me. I was the same age then. You have to remember this was around 1960 when things were supposedly stricter. Well, they were at school and church – I grew up a Catholic and so there was this belief in the bad being punished for their bad deeds, even an eye for an eye. So, if you killed someone, you deserved to die. But Canadian justice seemed to be getting too liberal. Many convicted murderers were getting their executions (hanging in Canada back then) stayed. I remember in grade 11 at high school class discussion on capital punishment – it was around the time that the government was considering dropping the hanging sentence. I was one of the few in the class who wanted Canada to keep the death penalty. We all know that didn’t happen and a lot of the criminal law got too much in favour of the criminals since then. Sure, some harsh sentences remain, but the convicted killers get jail credit for time spent in prison leading up to and during the trial. The bottom line is I don’t think justice for the victim is being given. But in a mystery novel you can have this happen – one way or the other – even with any lenient laws.

Dana: Wow. That sounds familiar. That’s me; that’s how I feel. And now understand better why I do what I do.

Me: Well, remember I may have created you, but you go out on your own in my stories.

Dana: Oh, so you give me enough rope to hang…. sorry, bad choice of words.

Me: Right. We don’t want you getting killed. It would kill the stories.

Dana: Of course. And I thought it was because you like me.

Me: I do.

Dana: Okay, that’s it for this time. Bast wants to interview you next week.

Meantime 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.

 

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

 

 

 

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