I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of The Clock Strikes Midnight by Joan C. Curtis, a mystery due out on November 25th. Here’s my review:
When main character Janie learns of her devastating prognosis, she knows she must finish a task she started twenty years prior. This means going back to her home town of Atlanta, a place she’d vowed never to visit again. A lot has changed since she left home, and she finds her sister Marlene in a bad way. As both sisters move through dangerous situations, they learn that they have to face the past – something they’ve both tried to bury.
This book has a strong plot and very good characterization. I enjoyed the way the author wove together three points of view – that of Janie, Marlene, and their mother Eloise. There were many twists and turns – with a final surprise that I did not see coming. In fact, I stayed up way too late for two nights in a row because I simply wanted to see what happened next.
I really enjoyed this book, and recommend it to anyone who loves a good mystery.
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And now, we welcome author Joan Curtis for an interview. Let’s get right to it!
Brainerd & Fraser: The Clock Strikes Midnight is a thrilling read. What inspired this story?
Joan Curtis: Don’t you know? My exciting life inspired the story. Ha! If that were true. It’s hard to say what inspires a story. This one began with a simple idea and the characters ran away with it. Things just started happening as more characters came on the stage. I really can’t pinpoint a single moment of inspiration.
B&F: According to your website, your stories “are told from a woman’s point of view.” Have you ever tried to write from the male perspective?
JC: Actually, the original version of The Clock Strikes Midnight had more points of view. It helped me to get to know the characters that way. I wrote from Peter’s point of view as well as Mark’s. I really hated eliminating Peter’s internal thoughts because he became such a rich and interesting character. Perhaps that will inspire me to write my next book from the man’s viewpoint. Who knows?
Oh, yes, the story, Butterflies in a Strawberry Jar which is posted on Wattpad is from the male point of view up until it’s exciting end.
B&F: We understand that you have published several nonfiction business-y books. Was it difficult to change gears from nonfiction to fiction?
JC: I started writing fiction and then turned to nonfiction. I made the change because I thought it might be easier to publish nonfiction and the business books were related to my work. I knew a lot of stuff—so why not write about it? If you have the courage and enough caffeine in you to read one of my business books, you’ll see there’s a lot of “fiction” in them. I created examples to illustrate my points.
I find fiction so much more exhilarating to write because you can let you characters run away with you (your imagination runs rampant.) With nonfiction, even though I tossed in some fictional examples, I had to stick to the real world. Just plain isn’t as much fun to write 🙂
B&F: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
JC: Italy. That’s an easy question. I never want to go anywhere else. A dream of mine is to live there. But, maybe if I did I wouldn’t love it as much. Love from afar is the best kind, right?
B&F: What are your future goals?
JC: Okay I gave one away in the previous question. My ideal life would look like this: Living 6 months in a chateau in Umbria while writing new stories and then living the next 6 months in my home in Athens Georgia while writing. I’d have cats all around me in both settings and many friends.
I will note that on past trips to Italy, I spotted artists living in the small villages with their canvases. I used to think, “Imagine that life. Living in this beautiful spot and painting all day to your hearts content.” I guess my dream is to replace the painting (since stick figures are my forte) with writing. Move over Frances Mays, I’m on my way.
And now it’s time for the rapid fire round!
Coffee or tea? Yikes! Coffee absolutely
Marinara or alfredo? Marinara
Roller coaster or merry-go-round? Roller coaster
New York Yankees or Atlanta Braves? Gotta be Atlanta for me!
Benedict Cumberbatch or Basil Rathbone? Okay, so, I admit I had to Google Benedict but once I saw his face, I knew my answer! Benedict Cumberbatch is a great Sherlock, but my all time fav was Jeremy Brett.
This was fun!
Glad you enjoyed it, Joan. We had fun, too!
The Clock Strikes Midnight by Joan C. Curtis
Release date: November 25, 2014