Search this blog

Wednesday 26 August 2015

ℚ Hair of the Dog : Dan Mahoney Mysteries [3] - Susan Slater

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Hair of the Dog  (, Poisoned Pen Press, 239 pages) a mystery, bookthree of the Dan Mahoney Mysteries series.

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A big welcome to Susan Slater, thank you for joining us on BooksChatter.

What was the inspiration for Hair of the Dog ?

"I’m a dog lover!  And there are two breeds in this country that are struggling—the Greyhound and the Pit Bull.  I couldn’t imagine myself seeking out a dog-fighting ring so that left the track. The purpose of Hair of the Dog was not to pass judgment on dogs and gaming but just to set a good mystery against this backdrop and show these dogs to be the wonderful companions that they can be."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"There’s always a little bit of me in how my characters see the world.  And I always write about a topic that interests me—something that will make the research a joy and not a grind.  The dog topic was a natural—I’ve spent a lot of time training dogs over the years.  I live with three sets of paws at the moment."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for Hair of the Dog.
"I so agree—covers really set the stage and draw readers in.  My very first mystery, Pumpkin Seed Massacre, was set in the Southwest.  I remember getting the cover art to proof and asking Tony Hillerman what he thought.  After a few moments he said, “If I saw this book on a bookstore shelf, I’d reach for it first.”  That’s what I want from all my covers.  I’ve been lucky here in the states—only the foreign publishers have been less than creative.  For example, New Mexico does not have Saguaro cacti or Georgia O’Keeffe bleached cow heads lying about but every book in my Indian series that was published abroad has them on the cover!

This cover is one of my all-time favorites—a gorgeous head-shot of a greyhound holding a bloody latex glove in its mouth.  Striking to say the least AND a major clue in the story!"
Why should we read Hair of the Dog and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"If I had to say one thing about my writing—it’s original.  You won’t soon forget the story, the setting or the characters.  It’s not “formula”.  Real things happen to real people and the reader can relate.  And learn something.  I’d like to think I give the track and racing a fair shake and share facts that might otherwise not be known by the average reader."
Can you tell us something quirky about Hair of the Dog , its story and characters?
"Short of losing friends, I base most of my characters on people I know or have heard about.  I’ve given my protagonist’s mother a bigger role in this book—after listening to readers. She’s a very active 70-something with a boyfriend and penchant for cruises and getting into trouble.  I won’t mention who she’s based on"
Who would you recommend Hair of the Dog to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"As most writers do, I take liberties with facts.  If someone from Daytona Beach is expecting “my” track and grounds to look exactly like the local Kennel Club and Poker Room, they will be disappointed.  I needed a maintenance barn, for example, and wrote one in.  But I think anyone who likes a good mystery and enjoys reading about dogs will forgive me."
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I’m basically known as a mystery writer but mysteries are such hard work for me I often write a couple then take a little time to “cleanse” my writing palette.  I love to write women’s fiction and have a quasi-memoir out there, 0 to 60 and I just finished a family saga, Tangled Web.  I’d like to see it in print next year.  A short story of mine made the anthology to commemorate Rod Serling’s fifty years of Twilight Zone published by Tor in 2010.  Eye for an Eye was fun to write but paranormal just isn’t my thing.

I’m a voracious and eclectic reader—it’s all those degrees in English Lit.  I’ll read anything that’s good.  I want and expect to be entertained.  From Pulitzer winners to Amazon’s top 100, they’re on my Kindle."
What is your writing process?
"Discipline, discipline, discipline!  If I didn’t treat it like a 9 to 5 job, it wouldn’t get done.  Writing comes first; the fun stuff has to wait. "
What is in store next?
"The next Dan is tentatively titled, Epiphany.  Relics are stolen from the Basilica in St. Augustine, Florida and Dan is brought in to see if the Church has a claim.  Elaine goes underground as a nun and Mom moves to Casadaga, Florida—a small community where one has to be a psychic or, at least, studying to be a medium to live there.  I’m going to try to make this one a little edgier—some thriller elements, maybe."
As we are also animal lovers, I just wanted to finish by sharing some lovely pictures you have posted on Twitter of you and your two little furry ones: Toby (he is the grey one) and his sister Tess.

Thank you again for joining us and we look forward to reading Hair of the Dog.

Hair of the Dog - available NOW!

UK: purchase from purchase from Nook UK purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK find on Goodreads
US: purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo purchase from iTunes US

1 comment:

Omnimystery News said...

Terrific interview! Thanks so much for introducing us to this author and her latest mystery.