Sharon Daynard talks about Murder Points North
Sharon Daynard’s writing runs the gamut from light and quirky to downright dark and troubling. Her debut novel, Murder Points North, takes a humorous spin on murder in a small town. Her short stories include “The Boss of Butlers Square” which received Honorable Mention for the Al Blanchard Award and “Widows Peak” which was nominated for a Derringer Award.
What would you say are your strengths as an author?
I’d have to say my greatest strength as a writer is the ability to write both humorous and downright creepy. Sometimes it’s hard to pick one specific genre for my work. My stories are humorous, twisted, dark, and sometimes a combination of all three. I like venturing into the dark side to keep the reader off guard. I don’t know what it says about me, but there’s always at least one scene that makes me laugh.
How often do you write, and do you write using a strict routine?
With a fulltime job, I find it almost impossible to stick to a strict writing routine. I make use of what little time I have during the week and those few precious hours I can snag on the weekends. Because my time is limited, I always have a notepad and pen handy to jot down ideas. I don’t set a word count goal when I sit down to write. I’d find that incredibly stressful, unless of course I constantly exceeded my goals. Some days I’m happy just to add 100 exceptional words to a story. Other days I’ll top 2000 far from exceptional words. But in the end, it all evens out.
Five years from now, where do you see yourself as a writer?
Five years from now, I’d like to see myself as established as a cozy novelist with a few more installments in the Liesl Alan series under my belt. I’d also like to have at least one standalone in another genre.
If you could offer once piece of advice to a novice writer, what would it be?
The best piece of advice I could give is don’t give up. Overnight successes are often years in the making. Listen to your gut when it comes to editing and never lose your unique voice.
What would you consider to be the best compliment a reader could give your book?
The best compliment a reader could give is in the form of a book review. I don’t think many readers know how important reviews are to writers. There’s nothing quite like reading a book review from a reader who stayed up past their bedtime to finish my book, or one who thought solving the murder was going to be too easy only to find out it wasn’t.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on the sequel to Murder Points North that takes place right around Valentine’s Day. For my amateur sleuth, Liesl Alan, what starts out as a harmless night of speed dating spirals into murder. I’m also working on a darker standalone set on a fictional island off the coast of New Hampshire.
MURDER POINTS NORTH
With one week until Christmas, picturesque Points North, New Hampshire, hasn't seen as much as a token flurry and the temperatures are almost as high as local tempers. The lack of snow, however, is the least of Liesl Alan's worries. Liesl teaches geology, collects rocks, minerals and ex-husbands-three at last count. On the brink of turning forty, she finds herself living amongst a group of eccentric "innmates" at the Muddled Moose, an inn her family has owned for generations. Hardly in the Christmas spirit, the last thing Liesl's looking forward to is a night of wearing a too tight, too ruffled, too plaid gown for the village's annual Home for the Holidays open house celebration. When the event ends in a fiasco and someone from the Muddled Moose is found murdered, Liesl becomes the prime suspect of everyone from the lead homicide detective to her own mother. Fellow residents at the inn are even offering fashion tips for her inevitable perp walk and mug shot. Determined to prove her innocence and find the real killer, Liesl teams up with a private eye wannabe. With a list of suspects that might as well include all of Points North, she has her work cut out for her, especially when each new clue points her in a different direction.
The links to purchase Murder Points North are: