I am pleased to have Author Christa Nardi on my blog today. Her new book Murder In The Theater was release on August 15, 2016. Let’s get to know Christa.
Thank you for taking the time for this interview Christa.
Thank you, Julie, for having me as your guest.
If people are not familiar with Christa Nardi what would you like them to know about you?
I read a lot – and I always have read a lot. I probably talked with the librarians at school as much as anyone else. As a child I mastered reading in dim light when I was supposed to be sleeping and now my kindle has a nightlight so I can read and not disturb my sleeping husband. The best thing about a kindle (or other ereader)? When I travel, I can easily bring along four or five books! Mystery and romance, and at various times, the fantasy side of science fiction were my favorites.
What is the first thing you ever wrote that gave you the idea that perhaps you would like to be a writer and author?
A short story back in grade school – I don’t even remember what it was about though. It was fun writing it though. In high school, I wrote poetry – much of which was never shared, some shared only with friends. I wrote some short stories and toyed with the idea of writing a book – writing was for my enjoyment.
You are a cozy mystery writer. Was it an easy decision to write cozies instead of something more gritty? And will you stay with this genre?
As a reader, I am a big fan of cozy mysteries, although I do like romantic suspense as well. I find I “skip” over the blood and guts and grit (and graphic sex) when I read – I’m more interested in the plot and the characters. I realize some readers like the graphic descriptions but that’s not for me. Will I stay with cozy mysteries? Probably, though I am working on a new series that is more young adult – still mystery, still not graphic or gritty.
Tell us a little about the beginning of your Cold Creek series. What made you choose the state of Virginia and what inspired the first book in the series?
I’m originally from the Northeast and particularly love the coast so I naturally graduated to the East coast. I didn’t want to draw from “Southern” theme or a “Yankee” one. I like Virginia with the coastal towns and the hill towns. It seemed like a reasonable place for a private four-year college to be situated.
As for what inspired the first book, academic settings (and pretty much large corporations of any kind) are the same regardless of where they are in terms of the pressures, academic culture, and personalities. Across settings, there is the eccentric, the bossy, the loner, and the womanizer. With all the personalities, it was a perfect opportunity to vent my feelings toward “the womanizer” in the workplace (any workplace).
How has the series progressed?
In the first one, Sheridan (the protagonist) is directed to help the detective investigating the murder of her colleague. Her curious nature leads her to ask questions and make connections between people, much as she would do in her previous life as a psychologist. At the same time, she is in charge of the crisis response on campus, so has to work with college administration and gets pressured from them. In each subsequent book, someone else is accused of a murder but believed to be innocent and others ask her to help prove the person’s innocence. At the same time, Sheridan and Brett’s (the detective) relationship progresses with a few bumps.
Was Murder in the Theater easier to write now that the series is established or was it harder knowing your readers expectations?
Both. The relationship with Brett was the easy part. Many readers commented how much they liked some of the other characters (Max and Kim in particular), so they had to be considered as well. The hard part was having the murder happen some place other than Cold Creek – after all how many murders and murderers are likely to be in one small town? A community theater in another town, but still somehow connected to Sheridan fit the bill.
What gives you joy and how is that translated into your writing?
I like solving puzzles or problems and having it all come together. I think that’s why I like reading mysteries or working with others to meet their goal. I don’t start with all the pieces to the story; I let the characters and the story tell me how to put all the pieces together as the story unfolds. I’m not always sure who the murderer is when I start writing – so creating AND solving the mystery is double the fun!
Tell us a little bit about your character Sheridan Hendley and how did you decide on the name. Was your character named after anyone you knew?
Sheridan Hendley is a smart, warm, curious, and strong female character; she is educated, middle-aged, and divorced. She’s a professor and a psychologist – she looks at problems very analytically. Where did the name come from? I looked through various lists of names and found a first name and a last name I liked. I’ve never known anyone named Sheridan (or Brett) and I wanted a name that wasn’t very common.
Where can we find your books?
Print and kindle version are available on Amazon, and only on Amazon. http://smarturl.it/Theater
And last but not least, what advice would you give to new writers starting out?
Write, write, and write. Find others who write and talk to them, find a local or regional writer’s group, share critiques, and be prepared to throw out whole parts and start over. Get lots of feedback. Be prepared to learn about writing, publishing, and marketing. Then write some more.
The drama program has never been so dramatic. It’d be the season to be jolly if only someone hadn’t set the stage for murder. When a student is arrested for the crime, Professor Sheridan Hendley is cast in the role of amateur sleuth. Tensions run high, friendships are strained, and the college administration is beginning to panic. As the plot thickens Sheridan is yet again drawn deeper into danger. Will she find the truth before the final curtain call? Cold Creek Series Book 4, Murder in the Theater by Christa Nardi, is another great cozy mystery.
Books in the Cold Creek Series
MURDER AT COLD CREEK COLLEGE
MURDER IN THE ARBORETUM
MURDER AT THE GRILL
MURDER IN THE THEATER
For more information on the Cold Creek Series:
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