New interview with mystery author Susan Santangelo

Mystery author Susan Santangelo is back to tell us about her newest novel, Marriage Can Be Murder: Every Wife Has a Story. You can read about last year’s novel, first, if you like.


Welcome back, Susan. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
An
early member of the Baby Boomer generation, Susan Santangelo has been a feature
writer, drama critic and editor for daily and weekly newspapers in the New York
metropolitan area, including a stint at
Cosmopolitan
magazine. A seasoned public relations and marketing professional, she has
designed and managed not-for-profit events and programs for over 25 years, and
was principal of her own public relations firm, Events Unlimited, in Princeton
NJ for ten years. She also served as Director of Special Events and Volunteers
for Carnegie Hall during the Hall’s 1990-1991 Centennial season.
   

Susan divides her time between Cape Cod MA and the
Connecticut shoreline. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Cape Cod
Writers Center, and also reviews mysteries for Suspense magazine. She shares her life with her husband Joe and two
English cocker spaniels: Tucker and Boomer.

A portion of the sales from the Baby
Boomer Mysteries is donated to the Breast Cancer Survival Center, a non-profit
organization based in Connecticut which Susan founded in 1999 after being
diagnosed with cancer herself.


Please
tell us about your current release, 
Marriage Can Be Murder.

Nantucket Stars in Baby Boomer Whodunnit

West Dennis, MA, July 15, 2012
It’s no mystery why popular Cape Cod author Susan Santangelo, who pens the
best-selling Baby Boomer mysteries, chose Nantucket as the setting for the
third book in her series, Marriage Can Be Murder. “I’ve always
loved Nantucket,” she says, “and I have many friends who either live here
full-time or summer here. When I was plotting out this book, I wanted to
feature a destination wedding. Nantucket was the only place I considered. If I
were a bride, it would be my number one choice!”

            The
humorous Baby Boomer mysteries capture common issues facing the 78.2 million
Baby Boomers, now in their 50s and 60s, how relationships change and
communication breaks down with each other and with their grown children. The
series follows typical boomers Carol and Jim Andrews as they navigate their way
along life’s rocky path toward their twilight years.

            The first two Baby Boomer
mysteries — Retirement Can Be Murder and Moving Can Be Murder –
have received five-star reviews and been suggested for a television series by
national critics.

            Book Three of the series, Marriage
Can Be Murder
, brings the Andrews family to Nantucket. Carol is
thrilled when daughter Jenny announces her engagement. She’s dreamed of
planning her daughter’s wedding since the day Jenny was born. But with only two
months to pull together a destination wedding on Nantucket, Jenny insists on
hiring Cinderella Weddings to organize the event. Father-of-the-bride Jim
objects to the cost, and Carol objects to having her opinion ignored. When
Carol finds the wedding planner dead at the bottom of a spiral staircase at a
Nantucket inn, and the husband of Carol’s BFF Nancy is accused of her death,
Carol has more to worry about than getting to the church on time!


What
inspired you to write this book?
The
Baby Boomer mystery series is my way of depicting the issues facing the 78.2
million Baby Boomers in the United States. The first was retirement, the second
was down-sizing and moving. Then I decided to tackle the wedding of an adult
child – something most of us go through at one time or another. Just for fun, I
made it a destination wedding. And, of course, I had to throw in one dead body!
What’s
the next writing project?
The
next book in the series will be about a high school reunion. I’m toying with
the title of Memories Can Be Murder,
but I’d like to come up with something a little more schmaltzy than that. I
like to start with a title, and a blurb. Both go through many changes as the
story develops, however.
What
is your biggest challenge when writing a new book? (or the biggest challenge
with this book)
I
always start with the dead body. When you read any of my books, a reader is
introduced to the victim within the first ten paragraphs. In Book 1, the victim
was identified immediately. But in the second and third books, I had a body and
no idea who it was. I kept writing and writing and finally figured
out who it had to be. That’s a challenge for me, but I enjoy writing that way.
It’s fun.
If
your novels require research – please talk about the process. Do you do the
research first and then write, while you’re writing, after the novel is
complete and you need to fill in the gaps?
I
don’t do a lot of research. After all, I’m living the life of a Boomer, as are
all my friends. The topics we talk about are the topics that usually end up in
the books. But when the first draft is complete, I always have to go back and
fill in gaps. I like the mystery to be completely logical. (Unlike me!)
What’s
your writing space like? Do you have a particular spot to write where the muse
is more active? Please tell us about it.
I’ve
discovered that it’s very important for me to write in front of a window with
lots of light and a view of the water, rather than at a regular desk.
Fortunately, living on Cape Cod and also spending time on the Connecticut
shoreline, I don’t have any trouble finding space that fits that criteria. And
I also like to write with one of my dogs, usually Boomer, near me. Since he’s
the cover model for the books, I value his opinion.
What
authors do you enjoy reading within or outside of your genre?
I
love Donna Andrews, Rosemary Harris, Roberta Isleib, Hank Phillippi Ryan,
Carolyn Hart, Joan Hess, Lois Winston – I could go on and on. There are so many
talented writers today, and I wish I had more time to read.
Anything
additional you want to share with the readers today?
Just
a big thank you to you for hosting me on your blog, and to all the readers
who’ve supported my books. Oh, and Boomer, who’s nudging me, says “Woof” from
him, too. 
Thank
you for coming back to Reviews and Interviews, 
Susan. Let us know when your next novel is out!

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