Late September 2007, I was sitting in a hotel room filled with novelists eating chocolate. We were at the American Christian Fiction Writers annual conference. It was Friday night. Chocolate night. My dear friend Sara Mills was showing me her proposal, beautifully crafted, for a mystery series she would be pitching to an editor the following day. I was excited for her. She was excited. We were high on chocolate. It was such a fun evening. I said an extra prayer for her that night as I lay in my bed waiting for the chocolate to metabolize so I could fall asleep. I wanted her to get good news.
The cool thing is, she did. A year later she and I were standing in another hotel, in another city, at the ACFW annual conference. Her book, Miss Fortune, was right next to mine in the conference bookstore. Meissner and Mills. Again, we were giddy. No chocolate this time. We were just happy at the wonderful turn of events.
Sara’s second book in her mystery series, Miss Match, just released in March. A new release is an exciting time for an author, but it is also an exhausting time. There is so much to do. Sara’s writing buddies can’t take away her ache, solve all her dilemmas, or her comfort her children, but we can help her promote her new book.
These books are so good, I wish I’d written them. How did you set the stage to capture that gritty PI feel without being dark?
Sara: I find that a lot of PI stories are gritty and dark, focusing on the worst of the humanity, and while I wanted the Allie Fortune mysteries to be exciting and tension-filled I didn’t want them to be stark and hopeless. One of the things I tried to do to counteract the darkness was to give Allie a multi-layered life. She has cases, relationships, friends and family, all of which I hope combine to make the stories textured, rich and full of life.
What did she teach you while you wrote these books?
About Sara’s books:
Meanwhile, the FBI is working the case as well, and she is partnered up with an attractive, single agent who would be perfect for her under other circumstances-if only she knew whether her fianci was still alive.