The Story Of My Own Childhood

Carolyn Summer Quinn Author Interview

Cloudy with a Chance of Answers follows a grieving woman as she closes out her uncle’s estate and discovers a clue to her cousin’s disappearance over thirty years ago. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I’ve heard that when there’s an unsolved crime that happens to a family, especially when it involves a child, they are never, ever fully able to move forward from it. There’s always that question of who did it. There’s like a cloud over their heads, figuratively. And how do people stand to live in a community where one of the citizens is a killer but nobody knows who it is? I wanted to write a book about that, but featuring a gutsy main character who never gave up hope of one day finding a resolution. The main character, Bethany, of course, persists.

Did you plan the tone and direction of the novel before writing or did it come out organically as you were writing?

The story all came about naturally, just popping into my head one day during the beginning of the pandemic. There wasn’t a crime like the one in the book in my family, thank God, but I drew on another part of my own family history with the characters of Bethany’s mother, grandmother and father. The mother and grandmother have been battling one another since before Bethany was born. The father sits on the sidelines, does nothing, and watches them go at it, and Bethany may be a child, but she constantly steps in as the family referee. That was exactly the story of my own childhood, so I knew it well. My mother and grandmother’s battles were so over-the-top and crazy that they were almost funny, and a story like CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF ANSWERS needed a lot of comic relief.

What was the hardest part about writing a mystery story, where you constantly have to give just enough to keep the mystery alive until the big reveal?

It’s a juggling act with handling all of the clues, that’s for sure! There has to be just enough information for various people to look suspicious, but it’s a question of just enough and no further, so the reader will wonder which one of the potential suspects might have done it. I love it when someone reads one of my books and then tells me they had a whole other suspect in mind for the crime. I figure that means I did my job well!

What is the next book that you are working on, and when will it be available?

The next one is a murder mystery set in a Broadway talent agency. I used to work in one myself so I kind of know the territory there. Talk about having to juggle a lot of potential suspects! It’s a challenge and I’m having a wonderful time writing it. I’m hoping it will be available by the winter of 2023.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Website

An ominous cloud full of questions has hung over Bethany Barrows’ wildly dysfunctional family ever since her little cousin Ashley was abducted from their eccentric Jersey Shore neighborhood in 1988. It’s part of a series of unsolved crimes against children. Now, in March 2020, as Covid-19 is starting to disrupt the whole country, Bethany, the last of the Barrows, is back at the shore to close up her late uncle’s house. Uncle Ryan was a kindhearted detective who never stopped searching for a solution to the crime that robbed him of his daughter and Bethany is astounded to find what looks like a viable lead while sorting through his possessions. Could it be? Is this the answer she’s always been waiting for, and did the old family cold case just turn marvelously hot?

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on December 25, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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