Dec 082017
 

Suzanne Trauth, Harvard Studio, Montclair, NJ. 06/27/2014 Photo by Steve Hockstein/HarvardStudio.com

Suzanne Trauth, Harvard Studio, Montclair, NJ. 06/27/2014 Photo by Steve Hockstein/HarvardStudio.com

Author Interview – Suzanne Trauth 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a multi-genre writer. I started out writing screenplays and then transitioned to novels and plays. Since my background is in dramatic works, I focus a lot on plot and dialogue in my Dodie O’Dell Mystery Series.

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

I have had play readings at a number of theatres in the New York/New Jersey area and a number of years ago, I co-wrote a play about Hurricane Katrina survivors in New Orleans. I also wrote and directed a short film. But I am a mystery book lover at heart. I once stayed home from work to finish a novel!

What is the first book you remember reading?

I remember being read to at a very early age but Nancy Drew mysteries and the Bobbsey Twins series stand out.

What are you reading now?

I am reading several books now: AMERICANAH, Louise Penny’s series (specifically A FATAL GRACE) and ASTROPHYSICS FOR PEOPLE IN A HURRY!

What made you decide you want to write?

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write! In grade school and high school, I tinkered with plays and short stories. But then I got caught up with theatre and my focus shifted away from writing. But fortunately I found my way back about twenty years ago and now I am focused on my mystery series.

Do you have a special place you like to write?

I generally do most of my writing in a home office in northern New Jersey. But I do take notes everywhere… Snippets of conversation, character ideas, everywhere I go it seems I find material!

Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Now that I have a series going, there is a town and its inhabitants that lay the groundwork for each novel. But each novel also introduces new characters, so many ideas come from them! The characters speak to me…Ideas also are generated by the play that I have chosen for each novel. For example, the first Dodie O’Dell mystery featured ROMEO AND JULIET so the play was a springboard for the setting, character interaction, and murder mystery.

What books have most inspired you?

In the mystery world, I am truly inspired by Elizabeth George and Louise Penny. Each of their series provides food for thought, exceptionally well-plotted stories with strong and engaging characters. In the non-mystery world, I love to read a range of authors. ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE stands out. I love books set during World War II.

Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

For me getting the first draft down can be a challenge. Thoughts and ideas tumble out while I am trying to adhere to a very loose outline. Once the draft is finished and I start the next draft, it can be a challenge to establish clues, investigative procedures, and red herrings! I want to keep the reader engaged but not give away the end of the book.

What do you think makes a good story?

I think all of the standard elements must be present for a good story: well-drawn characters, a strong setting, believable and interesting dialogue. And then the X factor…that extra something that really pulls in the reader and makes her want to stay up all night, or skip work, to finish.

Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Hmmm…great question. I suppose I see myself in several characters. Dodie’s management skills, adventurous spirit, and sense of humor; Walter’s wacky rehearsal exercises; Lola’s friendship.

Why did you pick your particular genre?

Write what you know? Or at least write what you enjoy…I have loved mystery novels since I was a grade schooler, beginning with Nancy Drew. Reading a mystery novel is like solving a puzzle and puzzles fascinate me.

What makes your books different form others out there in this genre?

There are so many wonderful mystery series out there…when I started in on the Dodie O’Dell books, I decided to place the mysteries within the context of a small town restaurant (the Winderjammer) and community theatre (the Etonville Little Theatre). So, I am combining food and theatre. I think that combination might be unique.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

RUNNING OUT OF TIME is the third book in the Dodie O’Dell Mystery Series. Book number four—JUST IN TIME—will appear in the fall of 2018. Books five and six are already in the planning stages…

Thank you, Suzanne, for being my guest today!

About The Author

Suzanne Trauth is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and a former university theatre professor. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Dramatists Guild. When she is not writing, Suzanne coaches actors and serves as a celebrant performing wedding ceremonies. She lives in Woodland Park, New Jersey. Readers can visit her website at www.suzannetrauth.com and on Facebook.

 


Running out of Time (A Dodie O’Dell Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Lyrical Underground (October 10, 2017)
Paperback: 220 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1601837240
Digital ASIN: B01NBUM1LD

Restaurant manager Dodie O’Dell’s themed food ideas have been called cute, clever, and delicious, but never revolutionary—until now. Dodie’s Windjammer Restaurant is stocking the Etonville Little Theatre’s concession stand with colonial-era desserts and drinks: Swamp Yankee applesauce cake, pumpkin bread, hot cider punch, and mulled wine to complement the latest production. A local playwright has adapted Thornton Wilder’s Our Town into Eton Town, shifting the story to colonial America and the founding of Etonville, New Jersey, shortly after the Revolutionary War.

On opening night, hours before the curtain rises, Dodie runs into an agitated actress backstage with blood on her hands. Then a stranger is found among the chairs set for a graveyard scene with a knife in his chest. The show will not go on—the theatre is now a crime scene. Hoping to clear the red-handed suspect, Dodie returns to the role of amateur sleuth to mull over the clues and beat the backstage stabber to the punch—before someone else becomes history . . .

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS Please visit all the stops.

December 6 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
December 7 – The Montana Bookaholic – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – INTERVIEW
December 9 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – Ruff’s Drafts – INTERVIEW
December 11 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
December 12 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
December 13 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
December 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, GUEST POST
December 15 – Varietats – REVIEW
December 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
December 16 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 17 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
December 18 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT  
December 19 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

 

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  10 Responses to “Special Guest Suzanne Trauth – Author of Running Out of Time – Great Escapes Book Tour #Spotlight / #Giveaway”

  1. I like the snowy background on the cover.

  2. We had a rare light dusting of snow this morning, so the cover of Running Out of Time appealed to me. I love a light mystery, and this one sounds intriguing.

  3. Thanks for the great interview! I love hearing different author perspectives on these questions.

  4. I really enjoyed the excerpt from the book and would love to read. Great cover!

  5. This sounds really great–I’d love to read it!

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