Monday, January 28, 2008

Meet Sharon Dunn - Interview & Book Giveaway

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Today I’m pleased to present Sharon Dunn, author of the Ruby Taylor and Bargain Hunter mystery series. Her latest book is Death of a Six-Foot Teddy Bear (A Bargain Hunters Mystery). Let’s meet Sharon!

The Bio
Sharon Dunn didn’t have to do much research for her new Bargain Hunter mystery series. Dunn is a dedicated coupon clipper and haunter of clearance racks. Her heart beats a little faster when her punch card for the local burrito place fills up.

In addition to Death of a Garage Sale Newbie, Sharon is the author of the Ruby Taylor mysteries. Book Two in that series, Sassy Cinderella and the Valiant Vigilante won the Book of the Year from American Christian Fiction writers. Her humorous who-dun-its have received praise for their honest portrayal of the Christian journey. Sharon lives with 3 kids, 3 cats, her hubby of 20 years and lots of dust bunnies.

The Interview

JA: Your latest novel is Death of a Six-Foot Teddy Bear. Tell us a little bit about it.
SD: This is book two in the Bargain Hunters Mysteries. In Teddy Bear, The bargain hunters head down to the fictional town of Calamity, Nevada. The senior bargain hunter, Ginger, is going to help her husband market his invention at an Inventors Expo. The other bargain hunters go along to outlet shop, attend the world’s largest garage sale and help out at the Expo booth.

The convention is at the Wind-Up hotel, which is a hotel with a classic toy theme. The floors are checkerboards, the doors are bubble gum colors and the bell boys push Radio Flyer carts full of luggage. A man in a Teddy bear costume is found dead. Ginger jumps in to solve the crime when the police start to suspect her and Earl and she has to prove her innocence.

JA: This is the second of your Bargain Hunter mysteries. Your heroine, Ginger, is a bargain hunter extraordinaire. Do you share her passion for a great deal?
SD: I didn’t have to do much research about bargain hunting. I am a coupon clipper from way back. I love punch cards and clearance racks. I don’t think I have ever paid full priced for anything. Writing these books has been so much fun because is involves two things that I love, a fun follow-the-clues mystery and the hunt for a good deal.


PhotobucketJA: This time around, your bargain hunters head off to Calamity, Nevada. As a Las Vegas resident, I’m quite familiar with buffets and outlet malls. Did you get to do any on-site research for this book?
SD: I’ve been to Las Vegas several times years ago, but did not make a specific trip for this book. One part of the book takes place in Vegas. One of the things I wanted to address was that people think of Vegas as Sin City and the rest of Nevada pretty much the same. I wanted to show there are Christians everywhere trying to reach the lost. I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but Ginger gets to meet one of those neat Christians who is making a difference in “sin city.”

JA: What do you hope people take away when they finish reading Death of a Six-Foot Teddy Bear?
SD: Always, my books provide a fun follow-the-clues mystery without any blood and gore. Readers have told me that they like the humor in my books, so I think there a few chuckles in Teddy Bear. There is relationship growth between the characters that I really enjoyed writing about. Ginger and Earl make new discoveries in their marriage. Kindra, the college student and junior bargain hunter, even finds herself in a romance with Xabier.

JA: What’s next for you in the writing arena?
SD: I am working on the edits for Book Three in the Bargain Hunters which has a working title of Death at Discount Prices. In this book, Ginger and her bargain hunter friends go to a shopping channel called the Discount and Value network.

JA: You and your husband have been married for almost 20 years and have three kids at home. What’s your secret?
SD: The greatest revelation I have had in my marriage is that “my husband is not me.” The fact that we are opposites in so many ways is an asset not a detriment to our marriage. When I gave up trying to make him into me or change him into Ideal Christian Husband our marriage got a lot easier.

The best advice I ever got about parenting was to do the right thing but to let go of outcomes and results with your children. Children have free will and unique personalities, they are not machines that if you do everything the parenting books say, you will get a certain kind of child. I have learned to celebrate my kid’s and my husband’s uniqueness because our individuality is a gift from God. That comment makes it sound like everything is settled in my roles as wife and mom; believe me, I still have bad days and make poor choices that I have to apologize for. I am so glad God knew we wouldn’t be perfect and that is why he put that whole repentance and forgiveness clause in place.

JA: What’s something that people would be surprised to learn about you?
SD: I attended a small two room school house until the sixth grade. There were only three or four kids in each grade, and three grades per room, no principal.

JA: Almost every author I know has a stack of to-be-read books a mile high. What’s in your stack?
SD: I am about half way through C.S. Lewis commentary on the Psalms. On deck right now is Lisa Samson’s Women’s Intuition, Shelley Bates’ Grounds to Believe, Donald Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel and I have made plans to reread Mere Christianity cover to cover, I read parts of it last year. What a rich book. I just picked up a copy of Lewis the Problem of Pain at the library.
Also, my daughter wants to read Chip Ingram’s Sex 180: the new revolution. If time provides, I will read it with her.
I better stop, the list goes on and on. I keep thinking that my retirement will be renting a beach house somewhere and working my way through the list.

JA: Last but not least, how can people keep up with the latest Sharon Dunn publishing news?
SD: my website can be found at www.sharondunnbooks.com and I blog twice a months at www.faithchick.com.

Thank you, Sharon, and continued blessings on your writing journey!

Win A Book From Sharon
If you’ve ever wanted to read one of Sharon’s Ruby Taylor Mysteries, now is your chance! Just leave a reply to this blog to be entered to win one of the Ruby Taylor books. The winner will be picked at random on February 4th. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!

9 comments:

Emma said...

Wonderful interview with Sharon Dunn. Your books sound great. Have a good week.Please enter me in the book giveaway.Thank you.

Brandi H. Roberts said...

Hi, I'm offering "One Smooth Stone" by Marcia Laycock to anyone who will review it on their blog free of charge. It had been previously set to run in the CFBA, but due to differences in publisher laws in Canada, it had to be canceled. I have about 100 copies to give, so if you're interested, e-mail me at brandihroberts@gmail.com

Debra said...

Please enter me in your book giveaway.

debradotcallowayatsbcglobaldotnet

Hannah said...

great interview! i'd love to win a copy of one of her books! hsmuda[at]gmail[dot]com
thanks!

Sue H. said...

Terrific interview...can't wait to read the book. Please enter me for the book drawing. Thank you very mucn.

gheidema said...

I'd love to win this book.
Gail
bookwurm70 [at] yahoo [dot] com

gheidema said...

I'd love to win this book.
Gail
bookwurm70 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Pamela J said...

This book sounds SO fun!! Please enter me in your drawing. Thank you.
Pam
cepjwms at yahoo dot com

Amy said...

Please enter me, I've loved the Bargain hunters and would like to read these books as well!
mypalamy AT gmail DOT com