I recently received a tablet as a birthday gift, and I’ve been using it to catch up on reading. First on my list was Maddie Cochere’s Sunshine Hunter, a Susan Hunter mystery.
Sunshine Hunter tells the story of athletic and attractive Susan, who just wants to have a normal life. After some boyfriend troubles, she takes some time off with her best friend and goes to Florida for the weekend… only to be followed by a different kind of trouble over there, involving a stalker and a murder on her head.
I thought Sunshine Hunter was a lovely book. Susan is sweet, and the rest of the cast is fun and colourful. At first it seemed like the story would be about how Susan deals with the issue that has arisen with her boyfriend, Mick, but slowly it became clear that that was not the case as Susan starts facing trouble wherever she goes. Friends and fun can only do so much when someone’s out there trying to kill you, and it was interesting to see how Susan dealt with it all… especially one particular incident with a shark.
This is a light and fun read, and you’ll find yourself going quickly through it just to see if Susan will emerge victorious at the end. The writing is good and straightforward, and I found myself soon connecting with the characters. I will definitely be checking out the other books in the series. =]
After reading this book, I asked Maddie for an interview and was delighted when she said yes. This was the first time I conducted an interview, and apparently it was the first time she was interviewed, but I think we both did well!
Hello, Maddie! How are you doing today?
Hi, Zen! It’s an exciting week, and I’m doing well. Thank you so much for asking to chat with me about my books.
You’re quite welcome! So as you know, I recently finished reading your first book, Sunshine Hunter, and really liked it. One thing I was wondering while reading it was: how similar are you to Susan? Because I noticed she liked Rueben sandwiches, which I know you like as well.
I’m really tickled you read my book and liked it. 🙂 There are a lot of similarities between me and Susan. Yes, we both love Reuben sandwiches and the color pink, but our personalities are similar, too. I wrote her as a nice person, as someone who genuinely loves her friends, who isn’t mean or snarky, and as someone who is helpful. I hope I am all those things.
Well, you definitely seem that way to me. 🙂 What sort of research went into writing the book? Have you gone to Florida yourself?
I have been to Florida a few times, so I did draw on my own experiences. The conversation I wrote with the first mate on the fishing boat was almost word for word the actual conversation I had in real life. Most of my research was for little things like checking boat facts for the races, the size of the fishing trawler, and descriptions of specific areas.
I know you have three other Susan Hunter books and another one coming up soon. My question is: how long do you think you’ll write about Susan?
I’d like to take her to Canada for a fishing trip via Niagara Falls. I thought I was done with Susan after the second book, but a third story came to mind, and it’s been like that ever since. I’m thinking number six will be the final book though.
I bet it would be sad to say goodbye after all these books. Would you like to tell readers about the newest one then?
Yes! Darby is a finalist in a cooking competition in Chicago, and Susan travels with him to assist. One of his ingredients is sabotaged, another contestant appears to be a local art forger, and back at the condo where they are staying, the woman across the hall from them is murdered. Susan and Darby are in the hallway when the body is discovered, and they become suspects. Detective Bentley from back home in Ohio comes to town to help them. I’m on schedule to have Windy City Hunter published at Amazon and Smashwords on December 14.
You hear that, readers? December 14th! Make sure you check it out. So, Maddie… do you suffer from Writer’s Block? How do you deal with it?
I almost feel guilty saying it, but I’ve never had writer’s block. I get lazy at times and don’t want to write, but once I start writing, the story is always there. Sometimes, I’ll realize I’ve stopped typing for several minutes, and the scene with all of the dialogue has gone through my mind – like a movie. I then type it as I saw it. I hope that’s normal. 🙂
You’re so lucky! Writer’s Block is something I often struggle with, haha. So anyway… when I’m reading interviews, I like to know something about the author as a person. If you were asked to write a brief bio – like the ones found at the back of books – what would you say?
This is my third person blurb from Amazon:
Maddie spent five years working for a major weight loss company by day and playing racquetball by night. Her writing career began by writing operations training manuals for both corporate and franchise weight loss centers. Children’s books came next, and Maddie has spent the last 12 years in sales of children’s books. It was only natural to use her experiences from the weight loss industry and playing racquetball as inspiration for Susan in her Susan Hunter Mysteries.
What are your favourite things to do besides writing?
I definitely like to read. I have an extensive library of mysteries, political thrillers, chick-lit, and biographies. In warm weather, my husband and I love to get out in the sun on our motorcycle. When it turns cold, we play Dr. Mario on a Pikachu Nintendo 64.
I think it’s really cool that you have a motorcycle. 😀 And now it’s time for some random questions! I’m going to start you off with a difficult one: if you had to give up one thing, would it be reading or writing?
That’s not difficult! 🙂 It would be writing. I would never give up reading. Even if giving up writing meant I had to give up my blog, it wouldn’t keep me from reading other blogs and leaving silly comments all over the place. I would be content to have my five books out there, hang up my keyboard, and start reading again.
Great answer! I don’t know if I could have made the same choice. Now… if you could change one thing about your life, what would it be? “Nothing” is not an option. 😉
I’m a happy person, and I think that comes through in my books and my blog. I would like to change our financial circumstances, and I may do that next year. Like many people, we’ve cut back, and chocolate isn’t cheap, so I may look for work outside the home – or do better marketing for my books.
No, chocolate isn’t cheap at all. 😦 But that takes me to my next question. Knowing me, this would be obvious, but I just have to know… what is your favourite dessert?
It’s not M&M’s. They are for writing inspiration only! You won’t be surprised to hear it’s chocolate cake. And if the restaurant has any kind of hot, gooey, chocolate sauce drizzled over it, I’m all the happier.
Oh you’re making hungry. I need to get me some cake soon, haha. But for now, onto the last question!
At one point there was a site called Save the Words, where you could adopt an unusual word to save it from extinction. It’s gone now, but there’s another website that features unusual words – the Phrontistery. I’d like you to go there, adopt a word, tell us why you chose it and promise us to use it in your next post. 😀
Zen, that is such a cool site. I love obscure words! When I saw macaronic, it seemed such a silly word, I had to have it. Macaronic means muddled or mixed-up, and I will not only use it in my next blog post, but it’s perfect for a Susan Hunter situation, and I’ll work it into my next book. 🙂
Huh. I would’ve thought for sure that macaronic would have to do with macaroons! You learn something new every day. But… it was great having you here, Maddie! Thank you for the lovely answers.
Thank you again, Zen, for having me today. I enjoyed your questions!
Maddie has also offered to give away three ebook copies of Sunshine Hunter through Smashwords and Amazon. To win a copy, you simply have to comment on this post and that will count as an entry for a random draw. Bonus points if you visit the Phrontistery and adopt a word of your own! =D You have until Monday the 17th to enter!