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What they're saying...
"Julie Kramer superbly blends two very different worlds—television news and the mysterious society of the Amish. Shunning Sarah is a compelling novel chock full of all the elements readers of crime fiction crave. Riley Spartz is a very human heroine—and a force to be reckoned with. You will remember her and this story long after you finish the book." —Linda Castillo
"This series is more addictive than 24/7 cable news. A captivating heroine you'll root for and a shocking ending you won't see coming, Shunning Sarah delivers with a satisfying punch." —Alex Kava
"A stunning entry in this dynamic series with a fascinating glimpse into two worlds unknown to most of us: the Amish and the behind-the-scenes truth about local TV news. Talk about a culture clash!" —Karen Harper
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Let's chat with Julie, shall we?
I first met Julie at Bouchercon in 2009. We've been running into each other at conferences ever since. I confess I bought her first book because the title--Stalking Susan--caught my attention. It was a great read, and I've eagerly awaited each new Riley Spartz adventure.
Susan: Welcome, Julie, to Get Lost in a Story! I'm so excited to have you as a guest on the blog! Wow, being an investigative journalist must give you a great background for writing novels. What a wealth of fodder! How much are you inspired by actual cases?
Julie: I've covered numerous crime stories during my career from murders to missing people to white collar crime. Many of those experiences find their way into my thrillers because I truly believe you should write what you know. That's why my debut novel – STALKING SUSAN (Sorry, Susan, nothing personal) dealt with some cold cases I'd covered. I'm also highly influenced by happenings around me as I write. That's why you'll see references to current news events in my books. Example: the Amish haircutting scandal in Ohio plays a role in SHUNNING SARAH – but with a twist.
Susan:How did you do Amish research for SHUNNING SARAH?
Susan: What caused you to switch from journalism to fiction?
Susan: What do you do to unwind and relax?
Susan: Oh my, I do love a bubble bath. What is your biggest vice?
Susan: I hear you there, too! Chocolate may not be my biggest vice, though--there are other contenders for that title. How much is Riley Spartz like you?
Susan: I can attest to that. Julie, when reading and/or writing, do you put yourself in the heroine’s role?
Susan: What is Riley’s biggest vice?
Susan: What is something that not a lot of people know about you but you WISH more people COULD know?
Susan: Of course you are--why, you're one of the nicest people I've ever met. What would you say is your most interesting quirk?
Susan: What's on your desk right now?
Julie: Cats. Two cats like to be near while I write. I wouldn't mind if all they did was nap. It's the fighting and walking across the keyboard I find distracting.
Susan’s GOTTA ASK: What is your favorite scene in Shunning Sarah?
Julie’s GOTTA ANSWER: This is tough without divulging spoilers. If I knew the folks reading this had already read the book, I'd answer differently. My days as a journalist have taught me that just because a question is asked doesn't mean it has to be answered. As it is, I have to play coy and say I had a lot of fun writing the Amish scenes and have gotten great reaction to those. Readers are welcome to pretend we're a book club and email me later to discuss my real answer.