Friday, September 21, 2018

Welcome back Christine Husom


My guest this week is author Christine Husom!

A long-time mystery lover, Christine Husom served with the Wright County Sheriff’s Department and trained with the St. Paul Police Department where she gained firsthand knowledge of law enforcement policies and procedures. She is the author of the Winnebago County Mysteries and Snow Globe Shop Mysteries. She wrote a collaborative novel, Rubicon Ranch, with eight other authors, has stories in six anthologies, and co-edited Festival of Crime for Nodin Press. Husom is a member of Mystery Writers of America, the National Sisters in Crime, and active with the Twin Cities Sisters in Crime.

Hi! Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I live in Wright County, Minnesota where my stories are set. I worked for the Wright County Sheriff and went through the St. Paul Police Academy. My experiences gave me a lot of “you can’t make this stuff up” ideas to craft my stories around. I write the medium-boiled Winnebago County Mysteries, and the cozy, but not too cozy, Snow Globe Shop Mysteries. Dan and I have been married for 46 years and are blessed with 4 children—2 are married—and 7 grandchildren. They are all live close enough to join us for Sunday dinners, nice!
Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?
I was so excited when I learned to read because I finally had a means to get the stories out of my imagination and onto paper. My stories address things that are happening in our communities and the impact they have on people’s lives, i.e., a variety of crimes, the victims of those crimes, the psyches of criminals and what motivates them to do what they do, such as greed, power and control, and selfishness. My heart breaks for people who are victimized, especially children and the vulnerable. I feel compelled to give victims a voice, to tell their stories. And in a perfect world, to see that they are awarded the justice they deserve, but don’t always get. I’m committed to my faith, my family and my friends, and much of that works its way intrinsically into my writings.

Please tell us about your newest release
 Firesetter in Blackwood Township is the seventh book in the Winnebago County Mystery Series. There is a rash of barn fires in the county that Sergeant Corinne “Corky” Aleckson and Detective Elton “Smoke” Dawes are investigating. Corky has particular concerns because they’re happening in her rural township. Too close to home. The investigation ramps up when a body is found in one of the barns. Meanwhile, deputies are getting disturbing deliveries left on their doorsteps that raises the question of why they’re being targeted, and if there is a possible connection to firesetter. There are some exciting moments in the story that will set readers’ hearts a pounding.
What was the inspiration behind this story?
About twenty years ago, someone was setting barns on fires in our county, and firesetters have intrigued me for years. There are literally countless reasons people set fires. It may be to cover a crime, or to collect insurance money, or for revenge, or to be the responder hero. The list of motivators goes on. In fact, the more I researched, the more difficult it was for me to decide who my firesetter was. It took me some time to finally nail that character, but I was happy with who it turned out to be.

Were you surprised by the behavior of any of your characters or the direction of your plot at any point while writing?
When I start mentally crafting a story, I know what the crime is, who the villain is, how the book begins, and how it needs to end. I also come up with a subplot. But I don’t always know the Winnebago County Sheriff’s personnel—aside from Corky and Smoke—will play a part, or what other characters may show up in the story. I’m often surprised at things my characters say and do, and how I weave the plot and subplot(s) together. I find the writing process a bit mystical.
What do you do when you are not writing?
I serve as a County Commissioner, and that’s fairly demanding. I volunteer for a number of organizations, and sing in the church choir. I have 40-50 author events a year—speaking at libraries, book clubs, and other groups; selling books at art and craft fairs; and doing author panels with the Twin Cities Sisters in Crime in Minnesota and Wisconsin. I have little time to get into trouble.
Is there an author or book that influenced you or your writing in any way growing up or as an adult?
 I loved reading Charles Dickens as a teen. But William Shakespeare and Herman Melville were right up there. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCollough is the only book I’ve read more than once, except for the books I’ve read to my children and grandchildren hundreds of times.
Do you think you may ever go into another genre?  If so, which one?
Like many writers, I’d love to write the next great American novel. I have a number of unfinished main stream fiction novels stashed away in a suitcase, and one of these days, I hope to finish at least one of them. I’d also enjoy writing childrens’ stories.
Would you ever write a screenplay?
 That would be a fairly natural medium for me. When I’m writing, it’s as though I’m walking along side the characters, watching them, and listening to them speak. Dialogue is a key element in moving a story along, and vital in screenplays also.
What is the easiest part of writing in your opinion?
 Coming up with ideas for stories and creating characters.
What is the hardest part of writing in your opinion?
 Having the patience to sit as long as it takes to develop the stories into full-length novels. On a long writing day I have to mix in some physical activity here and there.
 If you were in the witness protection program, what would you choose as a career?
That’s a good one. I’d change my genre and write under clever pseudonym.
Which do you consider more important, plot or character?
 Characters drive the plot. Writers need to know their characters well—their beliefs, how they act under stress, what’s important to them, who their friends are, what their best and worst memories are, their ambitions, etc.—and convey those traits. If characters don’t seem like real people to readers, the plot will be weakened.
Where can we learn more about you and your books?
 Check out www.christinehusom.com, Twitter: @christinehusom, Facebook.com/christine.husom, or email me at christinehusom@aol.com

Random Quickies!
Favorite book or author? Yeah we know it can be hard to choose! ;) I’ll say A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens so I don’t have to choose from among all my author friends J
Hardback/Paperback or eReader? All three.
Favorite color? Blue.
How many paperback/hardcover books do you own? Hundreds. I have a number of bookshelves full, and more in storage bins under a bed.
Do you own a laptop or desktop computer? Both, but I write on my PC.
What book are you reading today? Hard to Breathe by Tom Combs.
If you could live anywhere in the world it would be: Where I am in Buffalo, Minnesota.

Thanks for a great interview Christine!

Giveaway Time!
Christine will give one lucky commenter their choice of one of her Winnebago mysteries or her Snow Globe mysteries!

To enter, leave your name and email address in our comments section below. (entries without email will be disqualified). For extra entries, you can do any or all of the below:


* Follow my blog (+ 1 point)
* Follow me on Twitter (+ 1 point) (Link: https://twitter.com/RoccoBlogger)
* Tweet about the contest (+ 1 point)
* Friend me on Facebook (+ 1 point) (Link: https://www.facebook.com/ToniLotempio)#!/
* Mention the contest on Facebook (+ 1 point)
* Mention the contest on your blog (+ 1 point)

Winner will be chosen at random using random.org.  Don’t forget to mention all you’ve done in your comment. Good luck!
 US entries only. Contest ends  midnight, September 27.




9 comments:

  1. Your book sounds wonderful, Christine. I love all the motives you mention for setting fires. It would certainly be enough to make just about anyone a suspect! Marla Bradeen: mbradeen [at] yahoo [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  2. What an interesting life and nice interview. I think I would really enjoy her books. I follow this blog via email and we are FB friends. Thanks for the chance to win.
    sallycootie@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Carve out some time to get to that suitcase and its contents.
    Rocco, we are FB friends and I've linked this to my page
    I visit regularly
    I don't tweet or have a blog
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  4. Christine, I haven't read any of your books (yet), but my sister collects snow globes, so I'm going to have to check those out, and maybe give her some.

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  5. Hi I haven't read any of your books I love snowglobes and for years have sent my granddaughter them and she is 16 ! I love print books as severely disabled. ptclayton2@aol.com I visit blog reg,follow on fb,always mention the contest on facebook when I see the post and thank you for the chance as i don;t twitter!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'd love to know what your clever pseudonym would be.
    turtle6422(at)gmail(dot)com
    Following your blog
    Following you on Twitter
    Tweeted about the contest
    Friends on Facebook
    Mentioned the contest on Facebook

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Rocco,
    Good interview with a new to me author. As a snow globe collector I'm intrigued by a series that's set in a snow globe shop.
    I subscribe to your blog
    Follow on Twitter &
    tweeted about the giveaway https://twitter.com/mitzisSlave/status/1043718324792770560
    Thanks for a chance to win,
    Barbara
    cameronbarbara@ymail.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Interesting interview, nice to get to know Christine. She is a new author to me and I'm looking forward to reading her books.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com
    Rocco, I follow your blog and follow on Twitter. We are friends on Facebook and shared post on Facebook and Twitter.

    ReplyDelete
  9. If you set out to make me think today; mission accomplished! I really like your writing style and how you express your ideas. Thank you. friv Games 2020 || kizi games || abcya4 games

    ReplyDelete