August 19, 2012

North Carolina Mystery Writer, Susan Whitfield

 Susan Whitfield has written four books in the Logan Hunter Mystery series, including Genesis Beach, Just North of Luck, Hell Swamp, and Sin Creek. She sets her novels in the state she loves. North Carolina is blessed with The Crystal Coast, The Blue Ridge Mountains, and a wide array of unique dialects, customs, and personalities. It’s said that there’s a writer under every bush in North Carolina because it’s such a wonderful place for inspiration.
Genesis Beach, the first in the series, is set in a fictitious place only Susan can locate with any accuracy. “It’s actually a weaving of several of our beaches. I was first inspired to write my first novel while visiting The Crystal Coast and the Outer Banks, looking down at a tanned man with a pierced nipple in a hot tub.”  

Excerpt from Genesis Beach:
I’d come all this way to slap him and tell him to go straight to Hell only to find out he was already there.

“I liked my female protagonist, Logan, so much that I decided without hesitation to send her off to the Blue Ridge Mountains after a serial killer. Just North of Luck challenged us both. I’d never written from a villain’s point-of-view, certainly not a serial killer’s.
I try to showcase aspects of North Carolina, so in this book, readers get the switchback curves, prolific kudzu, moonshine stills, skunks, and some Appalachian culture. I stayed for days at the time in Hot Springs, a world famous small town with its own mineral springs and spa, relaxing and learning more about that area.   
                   
Excerpt:
A white plastic banner across the road twinkled bright lights: Go Nuts at the Testicle Festival! I spotted a television cameraman filming cooks and getting reactions from tasters. People were bestowing glorious accolades on the samples.
We approached the tables and a man shoved sturdy cardboard platters into our hands. I tried to give mine back, but Pepper pulled me toward a deep fryer filled with bubbling oil. Chase gave me a bemused look and egged Pepper on to get me to try a fried bull gonad. Unexpectedly one was on my plate, sizzling, and smelling--alluring. I shook my head. What was I thinking? I turned and watched in horror as Pepper and Chase counted to three and bit into a crispy gonad. They both leaned toward me, chewing and moaning as if it were wonderful, but they weren’t fooling me.
Susan went back to her childhood home and the nearby mansion she loved in Pender County to set Hell Swamp along Black River, and use The Black River Plantation for the crime scene. “There really is a Hell Swamp somewhere down Black River but I didn’t venture there because I’d been told about the canopy of water moccasins that call it home. I have since become friends with the plantation’s owner, Ed Padfield, a real sweetie. I treasure that friendship.”                                            
The fourth novel in the series, Sin Creek, is set along the Cape Fear Riverfront in Wilmington. I love Wilmington, but this fictional novel was a major challenge. I stopped many times but finally completed it, wanting to showcase the stunning port city and set an ugly story there as well. The topics of rape and pornography give me the creeps, but it’s out there all around us all over the world and this story had to be told.”  

Here’s a tidbit to tease you:
The Cape Fear River snakes through eastern North Carolina past the stunning port city of Wilmington, and sidling up next to it is Sin Creek, a sliver of water where wickedness and decadence take precedence over decency and threaten to bring the city to its knees.

Whitfield’s series can be purchased anywhere books are sold as well as online in print or digital format. “If you want a book autographed, just go to my site at www.susanwhitfieldonline.com and order from there. I’ll personally autograph it for you or someone else.”
Whitfield also has a cookbook she compiled after asking writer friends to submit recipes for Killer Recipes, not only a book of writers’ favorite foods but also book titles, web sites, and other interesting tidbits. All proceeds from this cookbook are donated to cancer research. “I feel so good about doing this because so many of us have been affected by cancer in some way. I appreciate eighty-seven authors submitting as many as five recipes for this project. Killer Recipes will be released in August and we hope you’ll buy some and spread the word.” This cookbook is available on Whitfield’s web site, from the publisher at www.lldreamspell.com, as well as Amazon.com and other online stores. “I’m proud and grateful that L&L Dreamspell jumped at the chance to publish this special book and donate their earnings to the cause.”                                                            

Susan Whitfield is currently working on a stand-alone about the misadventures and perils of two women who’ve been friends since infancy. The title is The Goose Parade of Old Dickeywood. She’s also working on the fifth Logan Hunter Mystery, Punch Street, and researching a medieval ancestor in hopes of writing an historical novel. Susan also has an award-winning blog at www.susanwhitfield.blogspot.com and interviews authors and industry experts. She’s also on Facebook, Twitter, and www.booktown.com set up “Susan’s Interviews” for its members. Come and visit her in North Carolina. She’d be glad to have you.
(pictures provided by author)

16 comments:

maggiebishop said...

Hey Susan, I love and write in the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains. We do have a few crazy people like you wrote about but most of us are just "unique" but harmless. Love your books.
Maggie Bishop

Christy Tillery French said...

Susan, I love this series and am looking forward to reading and reviewing your latest. Hot Springs! Absolutely one of my favorite places to visit. Cyndi and I have spent many days there. Great blog!

Cindy Sample said...

Hi Susan. I love your series - great plots combined with the allure of the south. I always learn so much, even some unusual recipes - that's one entertaining BBQ festival!

Anonymous said...

Good job on the interview, Susan. I could almost hear you speaking. I love your books and am looking forward to your stand alone. As a native of NC I have to say that I agree, it's a wonderful place to live and write.
Lynette Hall Hampton

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Susan,

This is a perfect blog for your work! Your sense of setting and place are wonderfully integrated into your mystery novels. They are a pleasure to read.

Susan Whitfield said...

Why thank you kindly, ladies! Cindy, I personally have not eaten testicles, but it was fun to write about. LOL. All of you are great writers as well, and I hope that folks check out your books and stories. Special thanks to Annette for lettimg me showcase North Carolina and how it inspires my writing.

Pauline B Jones said...

We got to visit NC once and I loved it! Fun blog post, Susan. :-)

Joyce Lavene said...

Hi Susan! Good interview! North Carolina is loaded with very good mystery authors!

Mary L. Ball said...

Great blog. Susan is a great writer.
I too live in NC and write Inspirational suspense, I feel just like Susan-the wealth of creativity an author gets from NC is amazing.
Blessings to you Susan may you continue to write the wonderful books that keeps us entertained.

Debby said...

Hi Susan! Your books sound wonderful. I have not read one yet but I have added it to my list.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Hi, Susan! Great to see you here! I've been meaning to get your cookbook - I"m sure I'll love the recipes as much as I loved reading Sin Creek!

Anita Page said...

Susan, I love the excerpts and look forward to reading the books. I've spent some time in Wilmington--a great food city, and good setting for a mystery.

Nikki said...

Hi Susan, nice blog about your books and NC. They're on my TBR list and I can't wait to get to them.
Nikki

Susan Whitfield said...

Thanks for the great comments, folks. I'm glad you're enjoying the books. Aaron, with your love of growing your own food, you certainly do need this cookbook. And you'll get plenty of laughs from the titles. None of the recipes will harm you.

Susan Coryell said...

Susan: Excellent blog. The excerpts make me want to read your books! I also love the Killer Recipes idea and your generous contribution of proceeds from the book. Susan Coryell

Sarah J. McNeal said...

You're right about the number of writers that live in N.C.--me, too. I've used Wilmington as the setting for several of my books. I live in Charlotte so I have day trip access to the mountains and the beach. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else besides N.C.
I wish you great success with your wonderful books