Scroll below for Photos, Bio, Book Descriptions, Blurbs and Q & A
PHOTOS – C. A. Newsome
PHOTOS- BOOK COVERS
BIO – LONG
Carol Ann “C. A.” Newsome writes the Lia Anderson Dog Park Mysteries, a series of fun, romantic mystery novels inspired by her mornings at Cincinnati’s Mount Airy Dog Park with her two rescues, Shadda and Chewy (Chewbacca Wonderpup, Master of Confusion).
She is also an artist with an M.F.A. from the University of Cincinnati. You’ll see portraits of her four-footed friends on the covers of her books. She enjoys creating community-based public artworks. As an artist, she is best known for her New Leaf Global Good-Will Guerrilla Art Project.
Her other interests include astrology, raw food and all forms of psychic phenomena. She likes to sing to her dogs. The dogs are the only ones who like to listen.
Carol Ann “C. A.” Newsome is a writer and painter living in Cincinnati with two former street urchins named Shadda and Chewy. She and her furry children can be found most mornings at the Mount Airy Dog Park.
BOOK DESCRIPTION – A SHOT IN THE BARK (Book 1 – available free at all major ebook outlets)
Would you recognize a serial killer if you talked to one every day? Artist Lia Anderson doesn’t. Neither does anyone else who frequents the Mount Airy Dog Park. But a violent death brings Detective Peter Dourson into the close-knit group, convinced someone is not who they seem. As his investigation uncovers secrets, a grieving Lia fights her growing attraction to the laid-back detective and a killer watches.
(Edited to 350 characters)
Would you recognize a serial killer if you talked to one every day? Artist Lia Anderson doesn’t. Neither do her friends at the Mount Airy Dog Park. But a violent death brings Detective Peter Dourson into the close-knit group. As his investigation uncovers secrets, a grieving Lia fights her attraction to the laid-back detective and a killer watches.
tweetable blurbs: I had a slew of these that I didn’t save, I will have to come up with more.
BOOK DESCRIPTION – DROOL BABY (Book 2 – concludes the story-line begun in book 1 – available free via the C. A. Newsome email list )
Artist Lia Anderson survived the murder of her boyfriend and betrayal by her best friend, emerging from trauma with a hunky new boyfriend, an exciting art project, and a straight-talking therapist to help her sort everything out. Life at the Mt. Airy Dog Park is returning to normal, and that suits Lia just fine. Then a message delivered by a stranger raises questions about Luthor’s murder, starting Lia on a search for the truth that will ultimately have her fighting for her life.
(Edited to 350 characters)
Artist Lia Anderson survived the murder of her boyfriend Luthor and now has a hunky new boyfriend and an exciting art project. Life at the Mt. Airy Dog Park is returning to normal. Then a stranger with a message raises questions about Luthor’s murder, starting Lia on a search for the truth that will ultimately have her fighting for her life.
BOOK DESCRIPTION – MAXIMUM SECURITY (Book 3)
It’s not like she’s going to do anything dangerous . . . When Detective Peter Dourson arrests a nice stranger for the brutal murder of a dog park regular, he begs his girlfriend, artist Lia Anderson, to stay out of it. But her best patron takes the woman under her wing, and Renee insists her new friend needs help. Lia isn’t going to do much, just ask a few questions. Surely that won’t lead to trouble. Besides, she’s got an escape-artist foster dog to deal with. Not to mention Peter’s desire for a commitment she’s not ready to make. Lia’s dog park friends refuse to be left out in this romp of a mystery laced with humor, dogs, and love.
There’s a killer on the loose and Peter wants a commitment. Lia’s not sure which frightens her more.
BOOK DESCRIPTION – SNEAK THIEF (Book 4)
Starving artist Lia Anderson makes a new friend at her seasonal job scoring academic proficiency tests. Desiree is a sassy, fun, pocket sized sex-pot and owner of a larcenous beagle named Julia. Desiree also has a secret admirer who leaves her tiny figurines sculpted from twisted aluminum foil. The friendship falls afoul when the pair discovers a connection in their past, something Lia’s detective boyfriend, Peter Dourson, kept mum about.
When Desiree is murdered, Lia not only winds up with the woman’s kleptomaniac beagle, she also inherits her stalker. On the outs with Peter and with the police on the wrong track, Lia will have to rely on her wits and her friends if she wants to stay alive.
BOOK DESCRIPTION – MUDDY MOUTH (Book 5)
Coming December 2015
BOOK DESCRIPTION – FUR BOYS (Book 6)
Coming in 2016
BLURBS and TESTIMONIALS
Q & A
Please tell us about yourself. I spent many years as an artist with a day job before I fell into writing by accident, when a head injury derailed my plans. I paint the dog portraits on my covers.
Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time? Half-time. The rest of the time, I live with a head injury. My symptoms dictate when I can write. I’m horrible at following schedules. I make commitments instead. I’ll set a launch date, then aim to meet it.
When and why did you begin writing? I’m an avid reader of crime fiction, but I’d gotten to the point where I wanted something more than what was available. In 2010, I set out to write A Shot in the Bark, just to see if I could. My mother encouraged me to find a publisher, and I put it up on Amazon instead. It started selling and I haven’t looked back.
What inspired you to write your first book? A co-worker asked me to help him edit his book. After two months of having my advice rejected, I had to prove to myself that I knew what I was talking about. The first thing I did was invent a character based on my co-worker, then kill him off.
What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing? Hang out at the dog park with my dogs, Shadda and Chewy, ride my bike up at Mount Airy Forest or Spring Grove Cemetery, experiment in the kitchen. I lead a quiet life.
What are your thoughts about promotion? Done right, it’s fun. It’s also necessary if you want anyone to find your book.
What was the toughest criticism given to you? The biggest complaint I’ve received is the lack of resolution in my first book. People either loved it or they hated it.
What was the biggest compliment? My favorite compliment is being told my book kept someone up all night reading it.
Did those change how or what you did in your next novel? I resolved never to leave readers hanging again. Partly due to reader complaints, but also because I discovered I didn’t like writing when the plot was limited by the previous book. There is a long story arc about Lia and Peter’s relationship, but each book can be read as a stand-alone after the first two.
Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it? Writer’s block is one of two things: either not knowing what happens next, or being so concerned about crafting a good sentence that you can’t get started. If I don’t know what happens next, I dig into my characters and think about how each would react to the situation. If that doesn’t work, I bounce ideas around with my sister or my friend, Pat. I never stress about craft in my first draft. I just get down what I know is happening however I can. Either the words start flowing or else I can come back later and fix it when I have more insight into the scene.
Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them? Two Pup Press is my own imprint.
What are your current projects? What do you plan for the future? Right now, I’m working on Muddy, Mouth, Book 5 in my Lia Anderson Dog Park Mysteries. For 2016, I plan two books. Fur Boys features an extortionate music professor, and (tentatively titled) Fat Boy is about a rehabbing couple in their own personal War of the Roses.
How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?
Through my website is the best bet: http://canewsome.com
I’ve recently started experimenting with Periscope. You can follow me @C_A_Newsome
I’m on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/carolnewsome, though I don’t spend much time there. I always respond to email, email@example.com
What genre do you write in and why? I call it “Semi-Cozy Mystery with Dogs.” I like a book that has humor along with thrills, some romance, and a puzzle. I write what I know, and what I know best are life as a struggling artist (the basis for my main character, Lia Anderson) and the regulars at my local dog park.
What comes first: the plot or characters? Long before I ever thought I would write a book, I thought it would be fun to have a series with amateur sleuths who connected at their dog park, and I based my first book on my dog park friends.
Which of your characters do you love the most and why? Peter Dourson is my fantasy guy. Tall and lean, laid back, and the kind of guy that grew up working with his hands. He’s solid, a nice guy and former boy scout with still waters that run deep. He loves Lia, though he doesn’t entirely understand her. He’s willing to take some bumps in the road for the sake of the relationship.
How did you decide how your characters should look? Most of my characters are based on real people (with their permission) so I start there. I have been known to shave off a few pounds.
Did your book require a lot of research? If so, what kind? I want everything that happens in my books to be possible, no matter how outrageous. I research anything I don’t know for a fact. I can do most of this on the internet. I’ve consulted an assistant funeral director about burial mishaps, and a pair of firemen I know about gas leaks. I have a couple of former cops I can go to for issues with police scenarios. I attend the Writers’ Police Academy, which is a real blast.
Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not? I prefer writing romance to sex, and I will do a tasteful fade to black instead of showing sex acts. They don’t bother me, but I think they would bore me. I’m more interested in the seduction. As for violence, I won’t do violence against animals. I once wrote two sentences where a killer remembers drowning a kitten. That continues to bother me years later, even though it was essential to the development of that character. I’m okay with writing violence against people because it’s more of a fair fight. I try to stay on that line where the violence is thrilling and believable, but not gratuitous or gory.
What was the hardest part of writing your book? Figuring out how to catch the bad guy.
How long does it take to write a book, and what is your process? Right now it takes about a year. I hope to cut that down so I can put out 2 books a year. I maintain a mental inventory of scenes and premises that I’d like to see in a book. At some point, two or three of these will gravitate together and I’ll start building a story around them. Muddy Mouth is based on a local knitting club full of cat ladies, the Northside Fourth of July Parade, and fellow author Russell Blake. Then I ask how my characters would logically react to the situation.
What advice would you give a new writer starting out? Know your genre inside out. You’re playing to an audience with certain expectations. Whether you are going to follow the prevailing tropes or explode them, you need to know what you’re doing and why.
What, if anything, bugs you when you read a novel? I read a lot of series, and I hate it when they gel into an aggregate of series-specific cliches. I’ll often stop reading when that happens. I lose interest when the author goes so far overboard creating an interesting character, that the final result is unsympathetic. I also dislike the current mantra that the author’s job is to torture their character, then torture them more, with no relief. Huge body counts bug me too. I was reading one book where someone died, then everyone the protagonist talked to died. When the body count got up to six, I stopped reading. Lots of things bug me in books, so it’s a good thing I can write my own.