Whoot! I’m thrilled to have MSW alum Deborah Coonts — terrific writer and all-around great gal — back to blog, celebrating the release of her fifth Lucky book! I *met* Deb through Mysterious Galaxy owner Maryelizabeth Hart. I was the guest speaker at San Diego RWA and Maryelizabeth was the bookseller … she had a few other titles available, including Deb’s WANNA GET LUCKY? which I bought for my mom … and pre-ordered the second book, because Deb was coming in for a signing. I didn’t know her, but the book sounded terrific, and Maryelizabeth sang its praises. She was SOOOO totally right. I loved the book, and so did my mom, meaning TWO BIG THUMBS UP for the Lucky series from two avid readers. I was “lucky” to meet Deb at the RWA conference in (New York???) well, one of them, and we had drinks when she was a double RITA finalist. Obviously, I’m not the only reader who thinks Deb Coonts rocks. So welcome her back to Murder She Writes for the day!
By Deborah Coonts
As a writer, often I am asked where I get my ideas. Well, 1-800-GET-IDEAS, of course! I wish! (Clearly I wasn’t behind the door when the snark was passed out.)
When I wrote the first book in my current series, WANNA GET LUCKY?, I was certain that story was the only decent idea I’d ever have. I’d worked so hard to capture that one I just couldn’t see being able to grab any more. I was wrong.
Little did I know, once I opened the door to possibilities, ideas would dog my every moment like the ghosts bugged Whoopi in the movie Ghost. And what a blessing it would be.
Like conjuring spirits with eye of newt and leg of frog, to find an idea all I had to do was ask the right questions. You know them: who, what, when, where, how… and the MOST important… why. Good thing I’d had a lifetime of irritating parents, teachers, peers, strangers, anyone who would listen, with THAT question☺
My books are set in Vegas, an ever-changing mix of the weird and wonderful. So, to capture that heady mix, I started asking questions like:
How would someone kill another in a Vegas sort of way? Push them out of a tour helicopter into the middle of the Pirate Show in front of the Treasure Island Hotel? Toss them into the shark tank at one of the major Strip hotels as a late-night snack for the tiger shark? Make a second-rate magician really disappear in the middle of his show? Embed the heel of a Jimmy Choo stiletto in a woman’s neck? Or, maybe, just maybe, use a smoking gun?
Which gets me to the new book, the fifth, LUCKY CATCH.
The idea for this story, or at least for the first murder, snuck up on me when I wasn’t looking. I love it when that happens! It was over dinner with friends. I casually remarked, as I am wont to do, “I wonder how they gave the nice smoky flavor to this mozzarella?” See, there’s that “how” question. Frankly, I’m from Texas where smoking things is a religion, so I was curious—I just couldn’t see cheese roasting for 18 hours over smoking hickory chips.
Lucky for me, one of my dining companions was a chef. He looked at me like my IQ had plummeted as he said, “With a smoking gun, of course.”
At my wide eyes and wicked grin, my other dining companion whispered, “You wouldn’t.”
Oh, yes! Yes, I would.
And I did.
I mean, what mystery author could resist killing someone with a smoking gun? There’s just something so prosaic about that, don’t you think?
Anyway, the smoking gun led me into the world of gourmet dining that has made Vegas a destination for foodies the world over looking for dining Nirvana. And it was fascinating to discover how those delicate rare foodstuffs are transported to a place that resembles the surface of the moon to be served up to discerning palates.
With staggering money, inflated egos, and a limited supply involved, the whole scene was ripe for a murder….or two.
And LUCKY CATCH took off from there. With a cadre of celebrity chefs with the maturity of teenagers in Vegas for a televised cook-off, a prized Alba truffle in the Babylon’s care, and Lucky’s mother’s pregnancy racing toward the inevitable, what could go wrong?
When the truffle is stolen from the walk-in in Lucky’s lover, Jean-Charles’, gourmet burger joint at the Babylon and a young chef apparently killed with a smoking gun is found in Jean-Charles’ food truck on the back lot, trouble that had been simmering, boils over.
And Jean-Charles goes AWOL. Add Teddy, Lucky’s former lover, to the stew, and mystery, murder, and a few laughs—as well as a tug or two on the heartstring—are all on the menu.
As bodies pile up, will Lucky catch the killer before her goose is cooked?
And will I be shot for working a metaphor so hard it rolled over and died?
Please, check out LUCKY CATCH, and let me know what you think.
If not at the bar, you can find me at www.deborahcoonts.com. Would love to hear from you!