Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"Sometimes I wish I had an etch-a-sketch heart" - Interview with @ChloeGetsAClue

What is your name?
Billie Thomas

Tell us about you.

I'm a Birmingham-based author writing under a pseudonym. After my mother,  the real Billie, passed away unexpectedly at the end of 2011, getting Murder on the First Day of Christmas, the first of a series, revised and published was my top priority as a way to honor her. In my real life, I write for the advertising industry and am a founding member of the writing collective, IndieVisible. Other publications include Bar Code: Your Personal Pocket Decoder to the Modern Dating Scene. I'm still trying to solve the mystery of my own love life.

Tell us about your book.

Finding a severed hand at a client’s house might throw lesser decorators off their games. But Chloe Carstairs and her mother, Amanda, won’t let a little thing like murder keep them from decking the halls. With a body under the partridge’s pear tree and a dead Santa in a sleigh, they have to crack the case before the killer strikes again - this time much too close to home.

What inspired you to write this book?

My mom and I have always been big mystery fans and we traded books back and forth endlessly. No matter how our relationship was going at the time (can you say ‘rollercoaster’?), our love of mysteries was always neutral ground. One day, out of the blue, I asked her to collaborate on a mystery with me. I think I surprised us both, since I’d been struggling to write another book and hadn’t planned on putting that aside, much less starting a project with my mom. But the idea of a fun, funny mystery with a mother-daughter relationship much like our own, appealed to us both.

What can readers expect when they open your book?

Laugh-out-loud humor, romance and a delightfully difficult mother-daughter relationship.
Do you have any suggestions for writers just starting out?

Connect with other writers. I love writing but it’s not the solitary experience everyone thinks it is. You need to workshop your early drafts and network at conferences. You need to have a good support system to commiserate with when rejections start rolling in. And you’ll need connections to help you market your book – which you’ll have to do yourself whether you go the indie or the traditional publishing route. I’ve met some of the best, most creative and generous people through writing. It's really one of the best parts of this whole crazy gig.
If your book was made into a movie which actor/actress would play which character(s)?

Definitely a fifty-something Debbie Reynolds to play the mom, Amanda. She’s the perfect combination of sophistication and dry humor. As for the Chloe character, Julia Louis-Dryfus at thirty, maybe. Or Mindy Kaling, though I’d have to revise the plot quite a bit to accommodate her ability to tan.

Anything else you want to share with us?

What's the best feedback you could get about your book?
If I ever hear that a daughter loved it and passed it along to her mom, or vice versa, saying “this is so us”, I would be thrilled. I’d bawl my eyes out, probably, but sometimes I do that when I’m thrilled.

Tell us 5 random things about you the person, not the author:

1) I have an incredible group of girlfriends who amaze and inspire me.
2) I like outdoorsy granola guys with sketchy hygiene.
3) Sometimes I wish I had an etch-a-sketch heart.
4) I consume my body weight in chai every week
5) I dance to the words.

Where to connect online

Twitter / Handle name:  @ChloeGetsAClue

FEATURED BOOK:  Murder on the First Day of Christmas
Genre: Mystery
Buy on Amazon