Thursday, October 15, 2020

Shady Hollow is back! Juneau Black talks about Mirror Lake, the third book in the series.

Mirror Lake, the long-awaited third book in the Shady Hollow series is here! The follow-up to Cold Clay is another delightful cozy mystery that once again is set in a forest hamlet where enterprising animals have created a unique self-sufficient economy devoid of human interlopers.

As Juneau Black states: "It is pointless to question too deeply the mechanics of this town. If a moose pours a mug of coffee for a sparrow sitting a the cozy counter of the local diner, why not focus on the friendliness of this gesture, rather than the logistics of dish size and seat height?"

We'll be hosting Juneau Black in conversation on October 29, 7 pm. Register here. But I thought it would be a great idea to ask a few questions in advance to the folks behind JB, Sharon Nagel and Jocelyn Cole (Koehler). It's a teaser!

Daniel: This is your third book in the Shady Hollow series. What was your initial impetus for the story.

Sharon: Jocelyn and I worked together at Boswell way back in 2010. On one very slow night, we assembled some adorable finger puppets in the children’s department and gave them names and occupations. Then we started telling stories about them. We decided to write the first book during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which takes place every year in November. That story became Shady Hollow, the first book in the series.

Jocelyn: And fun fact, people can see one of the very first named characters, Howard Chitters, in an illustration by the wonderful Aaron Boyd that’s hanging up at Boswell (see below) 

Daniel: Who is your favorite new character in Mirror Lake?

Sharon: I am partial to Arabella Boatwright, the Mirror Lake librarian. It might have something to do with the fact that I recently graduated from Library School and am a librarian myself.

Jocelyn: For me, Bradley Marvel, the wolfish thriller author who’s in town for a book reading, was incredibly fun to write. He’s the worst kind of alpha male! (editor's note: I'm also a fan of Marvel, who is often distraught about the inability to find a good steak dinner in this godforsaken outpost of vegetarianism).

Daniel: What were some of your inspirations for the Shady Hollow series?

Sharon: Both Jocelyn and I enjoy reading mysteries. We get inspiration from reading the works of other authors that we admire. We also thought it was important to vary our crimes somewhat, so that Vera is not constantly tripping over dead bodies on the way to work in the morning.

Jocelyn: Yes, we much prefer our bodies to be discovered in odd places, sometimes years after the crime.

Mirror Lake is so much fun. The characters, whether rat or raven, are fully furred (or feathered) out, the story is compelling, and I really enjoyed many of the turns of phrase, such as when Vera the fox trotted over to her next clue. There was a lot of giggling. All three books are now available - Shady Hollow, Cold Clay, and Mirror Lake.

Event is Thursday, October 29, 7 pm CDT. Register here.

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