About the Book:
What’s worse than being stranded in a small town in northern Wisconsin? Being stranded during the worst winter in recent memory. Claudia Alexander’s problems are piling up faster than the snow on Lake Superior’s shore. Her noble mission to find the owner of an old pocket watch is complicated by incessant snowstorms, a mysterious vandal and the appearance of an old flame. The local dogcatcher, a blind street preacher and an arthritic bloodhound come to Claudia’s aid. A promising romance warms up even as the temperatures drop. But something evil is at work in Barley. As another blizzard approaches, so does a killer. Claudia must choose between her mission and saving the lives of the people she has come to love. Even if it means losing her own.
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What do you love about Winter Watch, Anita?
The people. Even the local mass murderer. The setting. I wish Barley really existed. I would move there in a heartbeat. Even with the never-ending snow.
This is your debut novel. How does it feel to be an author in print?
Like I am missing something. As though I should either be Jessica Fletcher with sudden insight into solving murders and globetrotting—I would especially like to trot the globe—or in a garret somewhere with cobwebs in my hair shaking my fist at the world and saying ‘Someday you will appreciate me!’
The biggest ‘feeling change’ is appreciation for family and friends and complete strangers who are willing to encourage me with kind comments and wonderful luncheons. I know all the nicest people.
Share three things you learned during the writing and publishing process.
Oh Lisa. You don’t know me very well. ‘Slow learner’ would be a kind adjective to apply. I did learn the importance of proofreading. It is so aggravatingly easy to miss little details. I usually worked my waitresses in the book to death. They would take orders twice, deliver meals twice, clear away dishes twice. And I never caught it. My editor Susan Baganz and publisher Joan Alley had their work cut out. So I learned one thing of triple importance: get others to read the manuscript. Several others. Maybe faster writers don’t have this problem but if you are a protracted, stop-and-start writer like me you will need help.
What do you hope readers will tell other readers about Winter Watch?
That the people were real to them. That they won’t regret the money and time spent on reading this book.
What are you working on now?
Funny you should ask. I’m picking up the action in Barley about a week after ‘Winter Watch’ ends. Many of the same people will show up and so will some new characters.
~Lisa: Yay! We were just talking about that on BarnDoor.net
What do you like to read?
Fiction. Suspense, mystery, good writing in most genres. Martha Grimes is an incredible writer. Some of her work is dark, some a bit more lighthearted, but all is excellent. Mary Stewart, especially her older suspense/romance. I read and reread, among others, Airs Above the Ground, My Brother Michael, This Rough Magic. Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels. PG Wodehouse. Catherine Aird books are hard to find but she is a delightful mystery writer. Agatha Christie. Dickens.
I avoid self-help books like the plague, which may explain a lot.
About the Author
Winter Watch is Anita Klumpers’ first novel, but she has previous experience writing skits and short plays. These have been performed for dozens of audiences and hundreds of people. Lately she has been doing some technical writing and editing and content marketing. Romantic suspense is her favorite genre, especially when a bit of humor is interjected. In an attempt to make the world a tidier, more civil place, she blogs as The Tuesday Prude. Anita lives with her husband and mutt in south central Wisconsin. Spare time is spent meddling in her grown children's lives, spoiling grandbabies, teaching drama class and acting in an independently produced movie.