1. Please tell us a little bit about what is currently going on in your life?
Mosaic Mayhem (An Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mini-Mystery)
The second novelette to the critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series.
So much for a romantic getaway…When cash-strapped mom and reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack is offered an all-expense paid three-day trip to Barcelona, her only worries are whether her passport is still valid and arranging care for her semi-invalid mother-in-law during her absence. However, within hours of landing in Europe, she finds herself staring down the barrel of a gun and needing to convince a Spanish crime syndicate they’ve kidnapped the wrong person. Why do people on both sides of the Atlantic keep trying to kill this pear-shaped, middle-aged single mom, and magazine crafts editor?
2. What made you decide to take on such a risky endeavor?
Well, it certainly wasn’t my idea! I’m a reluctant amateur sleuth, forced into dire circumstances where I’m constantly trying to keep from getting killed, thanks to author Lois Winston. She seems to take a huge amount of pleasure in getting me into trouble. Then she takes off for Aruba or Bermuda or who-knows-where, and I have to figure out a way to save my own neck.
3. Did you ever imagine yourself being involved in fighting crime?
Are you kidding? I have enough problems without playing Mighty Mouse or Underdog or Batman. Again, it’s all Lois Winston’s fault. Before she came along, I was living a typical middleclass life with my typical middleclass husband and two kids. I had a great job as the crafts editor for a women’s magazine. The next thing I know, I’m smack in the middle of Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun. My husband has dropped dead in Las Vegas after gambling away our life’s savings, and I’m stuck with no money, bills up the wazoo, a Mafia loan shark breathing down my neck, and my communist mother-in-law as a permanent houseguest. I ask you, what did I do to Lois Winston to deserve such treatment?
4. Who would you say is the least pleased about your additional career choice of amateur sleuthing? Or is detective work your only career?
If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m the least pleased. Zack Barnes comes in a close second. Zack is my tenant-turned-boyfriend. Given my financial situation, I was forced to move my studio to my cold, damp basement and rent out the apartment above my garage. Zack is the one bright spot in my life since Dead Louse of a Spouse done me wrong. He’s a globe-hopping photojournalist. Or maybe he’s a spy for one of the alphabet agencies. He denies it, of course, but don’t they all?
5. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
I’m fabulous at juggling. I have to be, given my work schedule and my dysfunctional home life that not only includes me and my two teenage sons but the aforementioned communist mother-in-law, my self-proclaimed Russian princess mother, Manifesto the French bulldog, Catherine the Great Persian cat, and Ralph, the Shakespeare quoting parrot—all squeezed into a small three-bedroom ranch. And of course, thanks to Lois Winston, I also have to find time to solve murders and kidnappings.
My weakness? That would be coffee and Cloris Confections. Cloris is the food editor at our magazine. She also occasionally plays Watson to my Sherlock. Her cubicle is directly across the hall from mine, and she’s always tempting me with something yummy and fattening. Of course, she’s a Size Two with a fabulous metabolism that never gains an ounce. I’m pear-shaped and overweight and apparently genetically incapable of passing up anything with chocolate in it.
6. Describe what being a self-rescue princess (a strong, confident woman) means to you.
My current situation has taught me that you can’t depend on anyone. Forget the knight on a white charger. Chivalry is dead. If you want something done and done right, you have to be willing to do it yourself. I wish I’d learned that lesson years ago before I allowed Dead Louse of a Spouse to handle all our finances.
I’ve also found, given the situations Lois Winston has forced upon me lately, that you can’t necessarily depend on the police. They’ll hone in on the most likely suspect and build a case around that person. But when that person is you, and you know you’re innocent, you’ve got to find the real perpetrator yourself before you find yourself behind bars.
7. What one advice/wisdom would you like to pass onto young women?
Never marry a man with a communist mother-in-law.
8. What was one lesson you learned during this challenging time in your life?
I learned I have skills I never knew I had. I’ve been able to get myself out of some sticky situations and figure out whodunit when no one else could. Still, I’d be more than happy to go back to my old life. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen any time soon. I have it on good authority that Lois Winston plans on writing many more full length Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries and Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mini-Mysteries.
9. If your story or life had a theme song, what would it be?
“It Sucks to be Me” from Avenue Q.
10. Do you plan on dabbling in amateur sleuthing in the future, or have you hung up your detective hat?
As I mentioned above, thanks to Lois Winston, I’ll be reluctantly sleuthing for many years to come.
Read Mosaic Mayhem:
Bookstore Without Borders: http://www.bookstorewithoutborders.com/ebooks/lois-winston/mosaic-mayhem/
Learn more about the author, Lois Winston:
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