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Monday 10 June 2019

ℚ♫ The Wedding Crasher: Sam Tate Mysteries [1] - Nikki Stern

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with returning author to talk about The Wedding Crasher (, Ruthenia Press, 343 pages), a Mystery, book one in the Sam Tate Mysteries series.

"Stern weaves a suspenseful and intriguing story, and surprising revelations will keep readers guessing about the murderer’s identity. An absorbing and surprising mystery tale" ~ Kirkus Reviews

“The Wedding Crasher possesses the claustrophobic menace that makes small-town crime so terrifying, with an ending you won’t forget." ~ David Corbett, award-winning author, THE LONG-LOST LOVE LETTERS OF DOC HOLLOWAY

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

A very warm welcome to Nikki Stern; thank you for joining us again on BooksChatter!

Here at BooksChatter we love music, so Nikki Stern has shared with us her music playlist for The Wedding Crasher - enjoy!

What compelled you to write this particular story, The Wedding Crasher?
"I wanted to write a mystery about a female sleuth, not an amateur but a pro.  A woman with a secret or a tragedy apart from the mystery she had to solve that could inform a series.

I didn’t want to locate her in a big city; in fact, I wanted her to move around a bit.  I began to think about rural areas.  I went on Google maps, which influences a LOT of my location decisions, and ended up setting my story in Pickett County, TN, one of the most sparsely populated counties in the United States.  I’ve driven through it."
Pickett County, TN

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

"I have some things in common with Sam Tate, the female lead: she’s restless, conflicted, a little bit guarded, determined to do a good job and she finds yoga relaxing."
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating The Wedding Crasher.
"That I could rewrite it so many times.  At one point, under the guidance of a smart editor, I restructured nearly half of it."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for The Wedding Crasher - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I worked with Diana Ani Stokely at GRAFIX to go.  The cover was her idea after I stubbornly tried my hand at cover design (and failed).  I was coming up with something very obvious—a woman dressed like a bride found in the woods, which is the book’s opening.  She came up with a subtler look—somber palette, a wildflower bouquet (which is part of every crime scene) but without any obvious wedding or murder trappings.  It’s clean and elegant.  I really like it."
Why should we read The Wedding Crasher and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"Sam Tate is an interesting, complicated protagonist.  The story has enough twists and turns to keep anyone guessing.  There is a lot of fascinating detail about how murders are investigated in a small community and how agencies work together (or not).  Sam’s got a backstory that is unknowable yet completely menacing.  There’s some damn fine writing in parts, if I do say so myself."
Can you tell us something quirky about The Wedding Crasher, its story and characters?
Devil Anse Hatfield and Ole Randl McCoy
"The owner of a wedding shop Sam and her deputy visit is named Hattie McCoy (a sly little reference to the Hatfields and the McCoys, though they were out of Kentucky, not Tennessee).  She is larger than life, always colorfully dressed and one of the most fun characters I’ve had a chance to create."
Who would you recommend The Wedding Crasher to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"It’s a murder mystery but I don’t kill anyone “onstage.”  Gore and violence aren’t my things.  So any reader, female or male, who likes a well-plotted suspense mystery, memorable characters, and wants to be surprised, is a good candidate."
If you could / wished to turn The Wedding Crasher and the Sam Tate Mysteries series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
Damien Lewis Angie Harmond
"I have not thought about this.  I think Angie Harmon or an actress like her could play Sam.  I always go to Damien Lewis when I think of redheads (which Terry is).

I’d love to see a female director.

And absolutely the film would/should be shot in north-central Tennessee."
North-Central Tennessee

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer?

"Disciplining myself to sit down and write."
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
"Criticism?  I’ve received criticism on some of my work but not on my overall authorial approach, thank goodness.  I was told by one or two critics that parts of my first book moved too slowly.

The compliments have to do with creating compelling characters—strong believable women."
What is in store next?
"I plan to make The Wedding Crasher the first in a series revolving around Sam Tate.  I also think there may be another nonfiction book in my future, something amusing."
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?
"Molly, my thirteen-year-old Cavachon (spaniel/bichon mix) continues to be my inspiration, my muse, my steady companion."
Hello beautiful Molly! Welcome back :-) It's lovely to see you again with your human! Lots of head-scratches and belly rubs to you, Molly!

Nikki, thank you so much for sharing Molly with us again.

Five victims. One murderer. No clues.

The Wedding Crasher
Available NOW!

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1 comment:

CMash said...

Enjoyed this interview. The author convinced me that I need to read this..."twists and turns and a complicated protagonist". And Molly is such a cutie!