Interview with novelist Sherilyn Decter

My special
guest today is author Sherilyn Decter.
She’s here to chat a bit about the first release in her new historical women’s
crime fiction, Innocence Lost – Book One
of the Bootleggers’ Chronicles series.

During her virtual
book tour (schedule is listed below), Sherilyn is giving away two (2) autographed paperback copies of Innocence Lost. Each of the books comes
with a couple of sheets of flapper paper dolls. To be entered for a chance to
win, use the form below.
Welcome, Sherilyn. Please tell us a
little bit about yourself.
The Roaring
Twenties and Prohibition were a fantasy land, coming right after the horrors
and social upheaval of World War I. Even a century later, it all seems so
exotic.
Women got the
vote, started working outside the home, and (horrors!) smoked and drank in public
places. They even went on unchaperoned dates (gasp)! Corsets were thrown into
the back of the closets, and shoes were discovered to be an addictive fashion
accessory after hemlines started to rise. And thanks to Prohibition, suddenly
it was fashionable to break the law. The music was made in America- ragtime,
delta blues, and of course jazz. Cocktails were created to hide the taste of
the bathtub gin. Flappers were dancing, beads and fringes flying. Fedoras were
tipped. And everyone was riding around in automobiles (aka struggle
buggies
 and I leave it to your imagination why – wink.)
Bootleggers’
Chronicles grew out of that fascination. Writing as Sherilyn Decter, I will
eventually have a series of historical crime fiction novels dealing with the
bootleggers, gangsters, flappers, and general lawlessness that defined
Prohibition. The Bootlegger blog rose out of all the research that I’ve been
doing about this incredible era.
Growing up on
the prairies and living next to the ocean, I am a creature of endless horizons.
Writing allows me to discover what’s just over the next one. My husband and I
have three amazing daughters, a spoiled grandson, and two bad dogs.
Please tell us about your current
release.
Innocence Lost is the story of Maggie, a young widow
struggling to raise her son in 1920s Philadelphia. Prohibition has turned her
neighborhood into a bootleggers’ playground. When her son’s friend goes missing
and the police aren’t interested in investigating, Maggie steps way out of her
comfort zone to begin investigating. After all, the safety of her son may be at
stake. Providing support and guidance is a ghostly police detective, Frank
Geyer. Together they battle police corruption and dangerous bootleggers in
their attempts to bring evil-doers to justice.
What inspired you to write this book?
I start a
story with the idea ‘what if?’ and begin to knit up those fascinating threads
into something that grabs the reader and holds them to the end.
Stories about
women at the crossroads have always inspired me. Maggie started out life as a
feisty, independent girl but wound up thinking and acting like her
turn-of-the-century mother. With her back to the wall financially and worried
about the safety of her son, Maggie is forced to rediscover who she was before
life got her down.
I am also
intrigued about how people react when faced with extraordinary circumstances.
They’re tested– revealing their true character, for better or worse. Several
of the characters in Innocence Lost must come face to face with that truth.
Innocence Lost is set in dangerous times, ‘not because of evil, but because of
people who do nothing about it.’
Finally, the
1920s was an exciting era. Hemlines were going up, hair was being bobbed, women
were stepping out, and that razzmatazz jazz got fringes flying. Prohibition may
have cut off the legal supply of liquor, but that didn’t stop people from
drinking, which created a business opportunity for folks who enjoyed risk and
adventure. Great change has interesting consequences, often unexpected. And
that leads me back to answering, ‘what if?’.
Excerpt from Innocence Lost:
Philadelphia
has not yet lost its soul. It’s still the early days of Prohibition. Sure, you
can see the rot around the edges beginning to creep in, but people, for the
most part, are enjoying the thrill of being lawbreakers. The times; they’re
dangerous, but not yet deadly. Bootleggers are still the boys from down the street,
and hooch still has a bit of quality control to it. Hell, the most dangerous
thing about the Twenties, so far at least, is hemlines. Those short skirts are
trouble.
You can smack
your lips at the scandal of it all. Everyone has a bit of an outlaw in them,
don’t they? Many of the good people of Philadelphia are secretly thrilled to be
able to thumb their noses at a senseless bit of government regulation imposed
by morons in Washington. It’s a buzz to sneak out to the local speakeasy, get
in with a secret password, and tip back a refreshing swig of illegal booze.
Ah yes, that
inevitable illegal booze. Stashed in old warehouses; some of them are by the
river, some close to the tracks, all hidden from view. Brick carcasses of
abandoned enterprise, those warehouses now bustle with new business. Risky
business. Bootlegging.
What exciting story are you working on
next?
The decade of
Prohibition and its effects on America provide an endless source of inspiration
for compelling, dramatic stories. Having completed the five book series about
bootleggers, the ghost of a police detective, and Maggie Barnes, I’m now
heading south.
The next
series is set in Florida and delves into the dangerous world of rum runners.
There’s a trio of dynamic women who run things along Rum Row, a fortune teller
who finds answers in the tarot, and a very nasty villain.

When did you first consider yourself a
writer?

I’ve always
been a reader, losing myself in the pages of a good book. But I was finding it
harder and harder to find the stories I wanted to read: stories of strong women
facing exceptional circumstances, who find themselves along the journey. I love
history and a touch of the paranormal. The stars aligned and I started to
write.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?
I’m retired,
so have the luxury of writing full time. As an early bird, you can find me at
my desk well before dawn, spinning tales. I usually spend all my creative
energies by lunch time, leaving me the afternoons to research historical
aspects of my books, to look after the business side of being a writer, to cook
or garden, to visit with my grandchildren, or play with my two bad dogs.
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
All my
stories have been written with one dog in my lap and another at my feet. (Yes,
I have poor writing posture and long arms!) They wisely refrain from commenting
on my first drafts and a good tummy rub often inspires the solution to a
particularly vexing conundrum in the plot.
As a child, what did you want to be when
you grew up?
As a child, I
was the tall, awkward, nerdy girl in glasses and her nose in a book. If I
couldn’t be a teacher, I wanted to be a librarian. One of those weird quirks of
fate that I had mentioned earlier put me behind a country bar slinging beer and
mixing drinks instead of cool, quiet book stacks. But regardless of where I’ve
been or what I’ve been up to, I’ve always had plenty of bookcases and my
‘to-be-read’ pile is at dangerous heights.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
If you like
flapper fashions, you can find all kinds of eye-candy on my Facebook author page, on my Pinterest page, or on my website. There’s just something about
sequins and feathers that stirs those creative juices.
Links:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

The full tour:
Monday, Feb. 25 – What Is That Book About – Spotlight
Juneta @ WritersGambit – Guest Post & Excerpt
Mythical Books – Excerpt
The Story of a Writer – Excerpt
Rockin’ Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Today, Feb. 26 – Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews – Q & A
Thoughts in Progress – Spotlight
Wednesday, Feb. 27 – A Smile And A Gun – Interview
Thursday, Feb. 28 – Book Reviews by Pat Garcia – Review
Hank Quense’s Blog – Excerpt
No Genre Left Behind – Excerpt
Friday, March 1 – Carole’s Book Corner – Spotlight
Celticlady’s Reviews – Excerpt & Spotlight
Reviews by Crystal – Excerpt

2 thoughts on “Interview with novelist Sherilyn Decter

  1. Mason Canyon says:

    Lisa, I enjoyed your interview. It's always interesting to find out more about an author. Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  2. Pat Garcia says:

    Hi,

    To Sherilyn Decter: One of the things that I enjoyed about the book was the Crossroad, a woman at the Crossroad and not really knowing whether she had the courage to go her own way. I enjoyed Maggie's character but also the character, Frank.

    Thanks for a great book and thank you, Lisa, for this wonderful interview. I enjoyed the questions that you asked.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G

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