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Saturday 6 August 2016

ℚ♫ Blue Moon: Mundy's Landing [2] - Wendy Corsi Staub

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Blue Moon (, William Morrow & Company, 448 pages), a Suspense Thriller, book second of Mundy's Landing series.

"Take one part Brothers Grimm, one part James Patterson, one part magic, and you ve got Wendy Corsi Staub s remarkable new Blue Moon. You never know who s around the next corner or coming at you from out of the past." --Reed Farrel Coleman, "New York Times" best selling author of "Where It Hurts"

"Wendy Corsi Staub is my go-to author for great suspense. Her novels are taut, compelling and impossible to put down." --Alison Gaylin, author of "What Remains of Me"

"WCS knows that evil things sometimes happen in small towns! If I were going to spend a few days lost in smalltown America, Mundy's Landing is where I'd like it to happen." --Alex Marwood, author of The Killer Next Door"

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

A very warm welcome to Wendy Corsi Staub; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

Here at BooksChatter we love music, so Wendy Corsi Staub has shared with us her music playlist for the Mundy's Landing series; she warns that Doris Day's By The Light of the Silvery Moon plays a creepy role in the book! Enjoy!

What was the inspiration for Blue Moon?
"BLUE MOON is the second in my new Mundy’s Landing trilogy for HarperCollins, which launched last fall with BLOOD RED. I know it sounds crazy, but the premise for this one popped into my head out of nowhere: what if you woke up one morning and found the body of a dead stranger tucked into your guest room bed? I could envision it: a corpse that appeared to be asleep, braids arranged just so on the pillow, hands clasped, eyes closed, covers tucked under her chin.

That idea morphed into—what if no one else had ever seen her before, either? The concept struck me as a little far-fetched in the electronic age, but a hundred years ago, communication limitations would have made it hard for authorities to figure out who she was and where she’d come from. So that’s when I knew the original crimes had to be historic.

What if the bizarre scenario unfolded in a small town, not once, but three times, a few days and blocks apart? What if, for a hundred years, the so-called Sleeping Beauty Murders remained unsolved, the victims never identified, the town always tainted by its bloody past and the lingering puzzle?

Flash forward to the present day, and I could imagine what would happen if the historical society offered a reward to anyone who can solve the historic crime and unmask the long-dead killer. The town would be thrown into the media spotlight, which would draw not just true crime buffs and amateur sleuths, but anyone craving a piece of the reward or the action…and perhaps a copycat killer who hasn’t just unlocked the key to the original crimes, but wants to recreate them. For the families living in the “Murder Houses” where the killer struck before, the clock is ticking loudly.

That’s the premise of BLUE MOON. I had committed to writing this book—and had set the stage in the launch book, BLOOD RED—long before I figured out whodunit and why and who the victims were. So it was a challenge for me to solve, too, barely one step ahead of the reader."
I love the sound of that! Unsolved crimes from the past - what a premise full of possibilities.

How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?

"My obsession with history and unsolved true crime definitely comes through. The premise of this book was born from that fascination, but there are plenty of other elements in the story that represent my own passions and quirks.

The murder houses—I love old houses, particularly Victorians.

The small town—I grew up in one, and like Mundy’s Landing, it was a former industrial boom town in upstate New York that fell upon hard economic times in the middle of the last century and is still trying to recover. I live in the Hudson Valley, where I’ve placed my fictional Mundy’s Landing, though I’m much farther downstate, in the NYC suburbs.

There’s a lot of poetry in the book—a way to enhance the killer’s creepiness and provide clues that help solve the historic crimes—and as a former English major, I love old poetry.

Oh, and if you watch the book trailer, you’ll see a lot of me – not just because it’s full of vintage photos from my family album and was shot in and around my home, but also because I make a cameo appearance!"
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Blue Moon - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The cover credit goes to the fabulous HarperCollins art department, and interestingly, this is NOT the original cover that we had all approved last fall.

My agent called me a few months ago to report that sales and marketing had asked for an eleventh hour, all-new design. My editor had asked her to break the news, knowing I really loved the first cover, but I was happy to go ahead with a new one. After all, my job is to write the books; theirs is to design, market and sell them and they do a fantastic job of it.

The revised cover—what you see now—is absolutely gorgeous and has the “bigger book” feel they were going for."
Why should we read Blue Moon and what sets it apart from the rest? 
"I keep you guessing.

If you like an intricately plotted whodunit with a twist, I’m your gal. My villains are masked behind familiar faces--characters you will get to know through the hero’s or heroine’s eyes, and then meet again in their own viewpoint…you won’t know who the villain is, but you’ll know what he or she is up to, circling ever closer to the main characters.

I love to go for that big twisty reveal that leaves a reader blindsided."
Can you tell us something quirky about Blue Moon, its story and characters?
"My villain is a history buff obsessed with the Sleeping Beauty Killer of 1916. He fancies himself not just a master detective, having figured out the identity of the historic murderer, but also a cunning criminal who is about to replicate the crimes. In that vein, he’s given himself a pseudonym: Holmes.

The name is an homage to a pair of historic figures: the great fictional British detective Sherlock Holmes and H.H. Holmes, the very real nineteenth century American serial killer who prowled the Chicago World’s Fair.

Oh, and my Holmes did spend some time in London—which he recaps chillingly in his “Case Files” sprinkled throughout the book."
Who would you recommend Blue Moon to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"Though I write psychological suspense, my books tend not to be as graphic in terms of violence, sex or language as some in the genre, so I consider them rated PG.

I began as a young adult suspense author, and when I made the switch to adult suspense a few years into my career, I quickly realized that a number of my readers had crossed over. That’s why DEARLY BELOVED, my first adult suspense novel, is more graphic than later ones. I kind of thought it had to be, when I was writing it—but when I started getting fan letters from twelve year-olds, I realized I could make the books terrifying without resorting to graphic violence."
If you could / wished to turn Blue Moon and the Mundy's Landing series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Annabelle, my heroine, would be played by a slightly younger, short-haired version of one of my favorite actresses, Sela Ward.

Annabelle’s husband, Trib, would be Paul Rudd, because—God, I love Paul Rudd.

David Fincher, a gifted master of mystery/suspense, would direct."

What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"Regardless of genre, I write about ordinary characters who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances. For example, in my thrillers, my heroes and heroines aren’t superspies or FBI agents. They’re people to whom most of us can relate. They’re going about their everyday business, and unexpectedly cross paths with danger. Very often, they’re parents—the stakes are particularly high when you’ll stop at nothing to protect your child, your home, your family.

Having published over 80 books in the last 23 years, I’ve written in just about every genre but sci-fi. I’m best known for my psychological suspense novels, like BLUE MOON, and for the women’s fiction I write under the pseudonym Wendy Markham, though I haven’t had the time to write one of those books in the past couple of years. But one of my favorite Wendy Markham titles, HELLO, IT’S ME, was made into a Hallmark movie last fall starring Kellie Martin."
What is your writing process?
"I can piece-meal the first third of a book or so—if I’m in the midst of a book tour, or have a lot going on at home, I can pick it up and put it down, squeezing in a few hours here and there, honing the plot and characters. But then I get down to business, and I tend to write the bulk of it in marathon sessions seven days a week, twelve to fourteen hours a day. I take a mandatory midday exercise break, preferably outdoors—I’ll swim laps for an hour, or hill walk.

Day in, Day out, I get up early, gobble two meals at my desk, cook the third every night around 8, eat it in front of the TV with my husband, climb into bed, and get through about 10 DVRd minutes of Real Housewives or Bachelorette before I’m out.

Wake up, rinse, repeat, until the book is done."
What is in store next?
"I’m finishing BONE WHITE, the sequel to BLUE MOON and the third book in the Mundy’s Landing trilogy (the first was BLOOD RED).
      In this one, a 350 year-old skull unearthed at the site of the town’s first settlement holds the key to another historic mystery. In 1666, all but 5 of the original English colonists starved to death over a treacherous winter when their supply ship was stranded downstream on the frozen river.
      In the spring, the fresh band of settlers arrived to find that the Mundy family—mother, father, and three children—had survived by eating the flesh of the dead. The parents were tried for murder and executed despite their claims that they’d only eaten those who had already died, and had done so purely for survival. The children went on to redeem the family name, and the town was named after their descendants.
      Now, a forensic anthropologist is trying to determine whether the skull’s butchered owner was a victim of murder, or accidental death—and someone doesn’t want the truth to be told.

I’m also excited about my new hardcover traditional mystery series that launched last fall with NINE LIVES. The series is set in the very real Lily Dale, New York, a town entirely populated by spiritualists. My heroine is an outsider, and a skeptical one at that, so this isn’t a paranormal series. It’s more of an are they, or aren’t they, talking to dead people?

The paperback version of NINE LIVES will be out in September, followed by the new title, SOMETHING BURIED, SOMETHING BLUE, in October, and I’ve just gone to contract on a third."

And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I have a pair of rescue cats who rescued us. Two summers ago, we had no pets when an enormously pregnant stray tabby took up residence on our back steps. My husband is deathly allergic. We fed her, called a rescue organization, and by the time they got here two days later, we were in love—all of us, including my husband.
      She delivered six kittens a few days later and became desperately ill with a massive infection. I rushed her and the kittens to the emergency vet, where I learned that she and the kittens would probably die without immediate surgery that would cost thousands of dollars.
      There’s a long story I’ll spare you, but in the end, she lived. We adopted her and with the help of wonderful friends, found homes for all the kittens. Her name is Chance.
      My mystery NINE LIVES was triggered by this experience and features a pregnant stray cat named Chance. Our family later became involved in animal rescue, saving and fostering cats and kittens from the kill shelter in the city.
      Last summer, we adopted a tiny orphaned Russian Blue kitten we named Chapter—Li’l Chap for short. SOMETHING BURIED, SOMETHING BLUE, features a stray kitten named Li’l Chap."

They are gorgeous babies :-D Thank you for sharing them with us and for the lovely pictures!
And what a wonderful story - I am glad our little feline friends have won you over :-)  They make wonderful glamorous assistants!

Many thanks again for spending time with us and hitting so many of my favourite topics: Victorian houses, unsolved crimes, serial killers, cats and David Fincher ;-)

Blue Moon
Available NOW!

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1 comment:

CMash said...

Having read this book, I truly enjoyed this interview, especially as to how it came to be and the inspiration behind it.