Suspense writer, Saralyn Richard, joins The Spotlight to chat about her latest book, Bad Blood Sisters
Author Name: Saralyn Richard
Book Title: BAD BLOOD SISTERS
Book Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Release Date: March 9, 2022
Publisher: Encircle Publications
Welcome, Saralyn! I like your name 😉 How would you describe BAD BLOOD SISTERS?
In a small town on the Gulf Coast, an almost-thirty-year-old woman must confront a secret past when her estranged best friend is killed. Her decision to learn the truth leads to the owner of an adult entertainment empire and puts her own life in peril.
What sparked the idea for this book?
I have friends and family members who work in death services, and I interviewed one of them, thinking I might write a short story about someone who routinely confronts death. That idea passed through the “what if” portal, when I wondered how she would feel if she had to work on someone she had been close to. As I began writing the short story, I realized there was a larger story to tell.
How long does it usually take for you to write a book? Did you do any research for this one?
Each of my books has taken a different amount of time to write. Surprisingly, my 32-page children’s picture book, NAUGHTY NANA, took the longest, over two years to produce. BAD BLOOD SISTERS took the least amount of time, but that’s because during the pandemic, I wrote all day every day.
As for research, I always spend time researching the details for my books, even when the setting is familiar to me. For this book, I interviewed several people who work in death services, transplant surgeons, people who work in and patronize adult entertainment venues, librarians, and the usual policemen, attorneys, judges, and the list goes on. I often do internet research on clothes, restaurants, music, and other cultural details, as well. I enjoy doing research, and I want my books to have the authenticity research provides.
What drew you to the mystery/suspense genre?
Like most people, I enjoy a good mystery, and my favorite parts of any book from any genre are the ones that hook me with tension, anticipation, or surprise. As an author, I love to lay out an intellectual and emotional puzzle for my readers, and when they engage with that puzzle, it’s sheer delight. In no other genre are the reader and the writer so closely aligned with each other.
What’s your favorite part about writing/being an author?
I actually love it all—the creative process, the research, practicing the craft, revising and editing, publishing, publicizing, and teaching writing. But my most favorite part is connecting with readers. There’s nothing in the world like it.
What do you find challenging?
The hardest part for me is killing characters or putting them into violent situations. My characters are very real to me, and I identify with each one of them as I write about them. When my characters are endangered, my heart is pounding, and whatever misery they are feeling, I’m feeling, too.
If you were speaking to someone who hasn’t read your writing before, why should they want to read BAD BLOOD SISTERS?
Quinn McFarland, the protagonist, is an Every woman who is shaken from her safe, comfortable, but bland life by events out of her control. Her past relationships and secrets threaten to destroy her present and future, as she realizes that what she’s buried can kill her. Quinn could be any one of us as we confront the good and bad things that happen in our lives. How will we behave when we are tested?
What about the writing/editing/publishing process has been the most surprising to you so far?
I was most surprised when the pandemic suddenly turned the publishing world upside down. The effects on every aspect of writing were immediate, intense, and far-reaching. Like in other areas of life, the publishing industry has had to adapt, pivot, innovate, and rebound.
Any words of wisdom you give your pre-published writer self (or to a new writer)?
I always tell my creative writing students to have fun with every piece they write. Joyous writers make for joyous readers.
What are your interests outside of writing and reading?
I love people. As a former educator, I’ve had the privilege of knowing many thousands of wonderful people and cultures. I enjoy working with people on common projects. I still teach seniors at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and I volunteer at various institutions. I also love movies, theater, concerts, and my family, friends, and dogs.
Are you working on a new project? Please tell us about it.
My current work-in-progress is the third novel in the Detective Parrott mystery series, set in Brandywine Valley, Pennsylvania. The lush farm country where many of America’s wealthiest one percent live is the last place you’d expect a murder, but this time a meth explosion and a dead body in a rich lady’s bank barn sends Parrott into overdrive.
Where can readers find you?
My website is http://saralynrichard.com
Social media links:
Thank you, Saralyn! Bad Blood Sisters is OUT NOW.
Quinn McFarland has grown up around dead bodies…
Quinn’s always joked about death, but this summer, death stops being funny. For one thing, her brother finally undergoes transplant surgery. For another, Quinn’s estranged BFF, her “blood” sister, is brought into the family mortuary, bludgeoned to death.
Quinn’s haunted by the past, her friendship gone awry, and the blood oath she’s sworn to keep secret. The police consider her a person of interest, and someone threatens her not to talk. Quinn is the only one who knows enough to bring the killer to justice, but what she’s buried puts her in extreme danger.
Fans of Lisa Jewell, Shari Lapena, and “Six Feet Under” will stay up late reading BAD BLOOD SISTERS.
Award-winning and best-selling author, Saralyn Richard was born with a pen in her hand and ink in her veins. Her humor- and romance-tinged mysteries and children’s book pull back the curtain on people in settings as diverse as elite country manor houses and disadvantaged urban high schools.
A member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America, Saralyn teaches creative writing and literature at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and continues to write mysteries. Her favorite thing about being an author is interacting with readers like you.