I’m so delighted to welcome back Debra Sennefelder who has a brand new book coming out on October 29th! Thanks for join us!
I’m thrilled to be back on the Wickeds to celebrate the upcoming release of my third Food Blogger mystery, THREE WIDOWS, AND A CORPSE. My first visit was way back in 2017. While it was only two years ago, it feels like a lifetime has passed by. Back then, I shared what it was like to be a contracted author – newly signed by a publisher but not yet published. I wrote about my three-book deal, and this month THREE WIDOWS AND A CORPSE is the final book in that contract. How did that happen?
It feels just like yesterday when I got “the call” from my agent, telling me there was an offer for my series. And now in only a matter of days, all those three proposed books will be out there in the world. So much has changed since that day. I went from working a 9-5 job to full-time author, I sold a second series, Resale Boutique mysteries, I got a new contract for the Food Blogger series and our beloved Shih-Tzus both passed away this year. I’m now writing with a new companion and let me tell you my new co-worker, Connie, is a little sweetie and a huge distraction.
As I dive into plotting the fifth book in the series, Connie will be beside my desk, keeping me company. But this month is all about the book that’s about to be launched out into the world.
I’m often asked where I get ideas for my books, and most of the time, my answer isn’t all that exciting. THE HIDDEN CORPSE was inspired by a real-life event with a neighbor (luckily she didn’t face the same fate as Hope’s neighbor), and sometimes ideas come out of desperation. Like THREE WIDOWS AND A CORPSE.
When I was preparing to submit the first book in the series, which was complete, to publishers, my agent asked me for short summaries on the next two books in the series. I wasn’t prepared for that. But I had started working on the second book, so I knew what it was about. Easy. Those two paragraphs were a breeze to write. Then came book number three. What on earth was that going to be about?
Cue Jeopardy theme music.
Yeah, that’s a novel idea. Back to the music.
Three wives. I must have seen a news story on a bigamist at the time. Since I write murder mysteries, those three wives needed to become three widows. But of who? A very unsavory character who had shady business dealings, and we wouldn’t be surprised to find he’s been lying all along. Great. Got the murder, got the suspects. But I needed something else.
A scavenger hunt. That sounded like so much fun! A town-wide scavenger hunt as the backdrop to the murder, where the body is found. Genius. Trust me, that moment didn’t last long. I’d never been a part of a scavenger hunt and had no idea how one worked, especially one that is town-wide. But I wasn’t going to let that stand in my way to getting a book contract. No, no, no. By the end of the day, I had two paragraphs summarizing the book.
Fast forward to 2017 when I had to write the book. I pulled up my summary and stared at it. I hadn’t given the story idea much thought because I was busy writing the first book in my second series and doing all the writerly things for THE HIDDEN CORPSE. Now it was time to turn those couple hundred words into a full-length novel. All I can say is thank goodness for Pinterest. I spent hours researching scavenger hunts, creating the annual event for Jefferson, and dove into the manuscript.
And that’s how THREE WIDOWS AND A CORPSE came to be. I had a blast writing the book. The three widows were a hoot, Hope yet again had her kindness come back to bite her, and her new cat turned out to be more than she bargained for.
Thank you for sharing my upcoming release with me, and thank you, Wickeds, for the opportunity to be here today.
Readers: What activity, like a scavenger hunt, you’d like to participate in but haven’t had the chance?
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Debra Sennefelder loves to read – mystery books being her biggest passion. When she is not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and is a former food blogger. Born and raised in New York City, she now resides in Connecticut with her family. She is the author of the Food Blogger and Resale Boutique Mystery Series.