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Tuesday 1 May 2018

ℚ♫ Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally Murder: Sam Lagarde Mysteries [3] - Ginny Fite

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally Murder (, Black Opal Books, 288 pages), a Mystery, book three in the Sam Lagarde Mysteries series.

"Ginny Fite has entertained us the past two years with the Sam Lagarde Mysteries, each time planting us in the middle of a murder. It just keeps getting better! Her latest, Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally Murder, takes us into the devious world of pharmaceuticals, genetics, and molecular research. Just when you think you have it all figured out, you don’t… again and again. A rollercoaster ride to the end. Excellent!" — CJ Loiacono

"Detective Sam Legarde has another murder on his hands and plenty of suspects. Who shot commercial real estate broker Harold Munson? Was it Harold's scientist wife Charlotte, who's been fudging her research results? Or one of her many lovers? Or perhaps Harold's business partner? This book will keep you guessing until the very end. There's also a hint that Sam may be thinking about retirement, but I hope not!"
 — Amazon Reviewer

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

A very warm welcome to Ginny Fite; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

Here at BooksChatter we love music; do you have a music playlist that you used in Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally Murder , or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?

"While I’m writing, I listen to the “Gandalf” thread of new age music from the Amazon Alexa music library, which includes the sound of rain, a burbling brook, the sea breaking on the shore. The sounds distract my list-making self so I can tune into the story and find the words."
What was the inspiration for Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally Murder ?
"A few summers ago, I was researching an idea that disease occurs first at the molecular level and if we could attack it there, we might find cures that don’t kill people. Truly, I have no idea why this thought occurred to me but, accustomed to following my curiosity down a rabbit hole, I looked up molecular medicine and realized a huge amount of investigation is being done in this area.

But I also discovered that serious medical researchers sometimes massage their results to show a better outcome than their experiments actually produced—changing, for instance, a drug’s efficacy from nil to positive. I read enough to realize this happens at the very best laboratories and at the highest levels of medical research. Instantly, the first part of a title for a new novel, Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally… flashed across my mind.

What kind of person would falsify the results of a clinical trial that affects people’s lives and under what circumstances would they do that? Did they want fame, adulation, power? The answer to my questions was Charlotte Rolle—brilliant, beautiful, and very determined to get a Nobel Prize in medicine for finding a way to cure brain cancer.

Once Charlotte appeared, I knew the last word of the title: Murder. Someone had to die. And Detective Sam Lagarde had to find the killer."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"There’s a little bit of me—the curmudgeonly skeptic—in Detective Sam Lagarde. My love of art influences Beverly Wilson’s painting. A pinch of my social clumsiness infuses Harold Munson’s sometimes total cluelessness, and more than a little of my single-minded determination shows up in Charlotte’s quest for a cure.

But mostly I’m not writing about myself. The stories take me into their world and introduce me to people I’ve never met. That’s the best part of writing. It’s always an adventure to somewhere else. It’s a quest I can undertake sitting quietly alone in my room with my laptop—my own Everest climb or Amazon River paddle, if you like."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally Murder - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The covers of my novels are created by an amazing artist in the art department at Black Opal Books. He asks me if I have something in mind and usually I just say, “Umm, ah, huh,” because visual representation of an idea is definitely not my area of expertise. I’m completely useless.

For Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally Murder, I suggested a car on a dark night slamming into a building and Jack found a way to make that idea wonderful. He spun off a few options and all of a sudden there it was, the perfect cover for Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally Murder."
Why should we read Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally Murder and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"A murder mystery is the platter on which a story of human foibles and frailty are served up. Murder mysteries are the modern version of Greek tragedy. The heart of the matter is always an attempt to answer the questions: “How could anyone kill someone else and why?”

Detective Sam Lagarde, the protagonist of the three-book mystery series of which Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally Murder is the latest, isn’t a genius. He isn’t a famous criminologist. He’s not a particularly doomed or magnificently flawed human being—and that’s what makes him different and interesting.

He’s just an ordinary person slogging through life, like the rest of us, doing his job as best he can because that’s what he signed up to do. Now close to retirement, he’d rather be riding his horse or spending time with Beverly—a late-in-life romance that amazes him. At sixty-something, he still considers love a mystery he’ll never solve.

The reader’s relationship with Lagarde is what makes this mystery series unique. The reader becomes Lagarde’s sidekick—examining the clues, listening to people’s alibis, and figuring out who did it. As Lagarde drives down the road in the wrong direction, hopefully the reader is shouting, “No, no, go back. Go back. You missed something.” Often, the reader knows more than Lagarde does, which creates tension and anticipation, and is more fun than being told at the end how everything transpired."
Can you tell us something quirky about Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally Murder , its story and characters?
"Each the Lagarde books is set in the West Virginia Eastern Panhandle and real local places play a role in the plot—the bench on the porch of the South Jefferson Public Library is where a homeless man rests after witnessing a murder; a meal receipt from Grandma’s Diner in Charles Town serves as an alibi for a smarmy lawyer; a small French bistro in Shepherdstown is where Harold Munson and Charlotte Rolle meet the first time.

These real places help me visualize the scene as I’m writing it, and they take the reader on an imaginary tour of the small towns, rolling hills, and rural countryside of this part of West Virginia."
Who would you recommend Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally Murder to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"The Detective Sam Lagarde series are adult books with R-rated scenes. They’re not cozy cat mysteries; they’re dark stories about people’s ambition, anger, jealousy, lust, greed, frustration, and selfishness gone terribly awry."
If you could / wished to turn Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally Murder and the Sam Lagarde Mysteries series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"J.J. Abrams, producer
Debra Granik, director
Ed Harris – Sam Lagarde
Meryl Streep—Beverly Wilson
Jessica Chastain –Charlotte Rolle
Young Woody Harrelson—Harold Munson
Yunjin Kim –Betty Liu
William Hurt –Dr. Dickerson

Shot in Jefferson County, West Virginia"
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 like to write. I write the stories that come to me, stories that sidle up next to me while I’m driving and whisper in my ear or wake me in the morning with an idea. In addition to the three Sam Lagarde mysteries, I’ve written a political thriller, No End of Bad, that will be published toward the end of 2018. I’m working on revising a ghost story set in a small Maryland river town, and I’m editing a fantasy/adventure about a young Phoenician girl set in 2500 BC and her descendant, a very 21st century woman police commando who meet when the girl is in grave danger and her descendant is in a coma.

I read omnivorously, almost anything that someone recommends or that I stumble on. I read mostly for fun, sometimes to learn how to do something in storytelling that I need to know for the novel I’m working on. My only requirement is that the writing be good and the story absorbing. Recent favorites are Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, Louise Erdrich’s La Rose, Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and Atkinson’s Life after Life."
What is your writing process?
"My writing process includes a lot of thinking, which probably looks a lot like daydreaming and random note taking, and then some furious typing as characters and bits of plot start arriving. I research what I think I need to know and take notes. I make lists of characters and what they look like, when they were born, who they’re related to, what they want. I sketch in words what the place looks like and search online for images of it, say towns near water or the Lebanese coast or Cyprus. When I’m thinking about a new story, information seems to come to me from everywhere and I collect it.

Writing novels feels more like something that comes through me than something I do. I know, that sounds like new age folderol, but that’s how it feels. I see a movie in my mind, I hear the characters. Sometimes, Lagarde tells me the story. In the mysteries, once I know who died, or who the main character is, I can write a fair way into the story until I get confused. Then I back up and start imagining what has to happen to get me and the reader from one place to another. "
What is in store next?
"I’m thinking about a new character, an amateur detective who’s a mortician. He might have a sidekick who’s an angel who’s a little more of a buttinski than a good messenger/witness angel is supposed to be. It’s very early stages, but I think he’s very tall, skinny, and looks something like Abe Lincoln. Maybe he talks with dead people. He might have a daughter. His first case is a woman who tells him she didn’t die of a heart attack. I’m waiting to see what happens . . ."
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?
"My family—from grandmothers to grandchildren—is the most special thing in the world to me. I’m surrounded by photos of them as I write and I look up at their faces for encouragement every so often. They all smile back at me."
Thank you for sharing! It was lovely having you with us :-)

When it comes to murder, even brilliant scientists aren’t immune.

Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally... Murder
Available NOW!

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CMash said...

I enjoyed this interview and am now planning on reading this series!

Kay Garrett said...

Thank you for being part of the book tour for Ginny Fite's book "Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally Murder". I enjoyed the interview. I always like learning more about the authors. I'd love the opportunity to read the book.
2clowns at arkansas dot net