A fellow witer Patricia Rockwell is having a Virtual Book Tour of her book Sounds of Murder. This is more of a question/answer session with the author than an actual book review.
- Hi, Patricia, thanks for stopping by on your virtual book tour for your new cozy mystery Sounds of Murder. Is this your first book?
Yes, it’s my first attempt at fiction, although I’ve written an academic research book and several textbooks that are now out of print.
- I notice that I am the only male host on your tour. Does your book only appeal to women?
Chris, I surely hope not. Cozy mysteries typically feature female main characters doing the sleuthing, but there’s no law about it. Men have read Sounds of Murder and told me they liked it. Of course, as a cozy mystery, it doesn’t have any graphic violence, explicit language, or gratuitous sex. But I think men will enjoy the mystery aspect of the story and will try to figure out who the killer is just as much as women.
- Do you write or do you like to write other genres of fiction besides mysteries?
I prefer to read mysteries—mostly cozy mysteries, so I guess that’s why I only want to write cozy mysteries.
- What’s the book about?
The book is all about Associate Professor of Psychology Pamela Barnes, who never envisioned herself a detective. But when she finds her department’s star professor and top grant producer Charlotte Clark strangled to death with headphone cords in the department’s state-of-the-art experimental computer lab, she feels compelled to track down the killer. Who could it be? The list is long, because, although Charlotte is nationally famous, she is despised by all her colleagues for her nastiness and her over-bearing manner. Pamela feels torn, because she did not like Charlotte any better than her colleagues did, but driven to find the murderer because she was the one who found Charlotte’s body. When Pamela discovers that the actual sounds of Charlotte’s strangulation have been recorded on a spectrogram on the lab’s Master Control panel, she makes a copy of it and begins a surreptitious attempt to analyze the sounds she hears. As she listens to Charlotte’s agonizing choking sounds, she also detects a strange double clicking noise—a noise that occurs after Charlotte’s death gasps have ceased. Could these clicking sounds be a clue to the killer? As Pamela’s questioning of and curiosity about various faculty members intensifies, she worries that she may inadvertently alert the killer to her suspicions. As she fears, Pamela’s insistent questioning leads her to an unexpected confrontation with the killer.
- It sounds exciting and fun. Is it?
I think it is, Chris, but, of course, I wrote it so I’m a bit partial.
- I think maybe I heard about your book. Wasn’t there a trailer for it that got some notoriety?
Yes, fortunately—or rather unfortunately. I made a short book trailer one night sitting on my bed with my digital camera. It only took about a few minutes and, on a lark, I submitted it to the Moby Book Trailer competition in the "Least Likely to Sell a Book" category. I really never expected anything to come of the entry, but, to my surprise—it won. Not much of an honor, as it says more about my horrible videography skills than it does about the book—or at least I hope it does. I recently uploaded a more polished version, so if you check it out online you won’t see the original which was truly awful.
- So you’ll stick to writing and give up your aspirations of becoming a filmmaker?
Definitely. Making book trailers is a task best left to professionals.
- What made you decide to write Sounds of Murder and do you have any advice for new writers?
Chris, I spent most of my career as a university professor (much like my heroine in Sounds of Murder) and I had to do a lot of academic writing for publication. Also, I worked as an editorial assistant for several years for one of the major Communication journals and also as an editor of a regional journal for eight years—so writing, editing, and publishing are in my blood. However, while I was working and before I retired, I couldn’t really write what I wanted to write—mysteries. Now that I’m retired, I’m free to write exactly what I want—and that’s what I’m doing. It’s a lot of fun, but a lot of work too. There are a lot of similarities with the academic writing I used to do and I rely on my experience in that domain. There are also differences. I never had to create a plot or characters or write dialogue in my previous type of writing—so there’s been a huge learning curve there. But I think I’m getting better.
- Will we be seeing any more books from Patricia Rockwell?
Oh, yes. Next summer, my second cozy mystery, and Pamela Barnes’ second murder case—entitled tentatively Radio Murder—will be out. I also have a third in the Pamela Barnes’ series planned and will be working on that one this year.
- Where can we get copies of Sounds of Murder?
From the typical online sources—Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com for print copies, and Amazon.com for Kindle versions and Smashwords.com for other electronic versions.