Monday, July 04, 2011

Scene of the Crime with Author Sue Ann Jaffarian

I hope everyone who celebrates it has had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend. Since my weekend was filled with 118° weather, I spent a portion of it sitting in the pool in the shade with a good book and a cold drink. Rather low-key I know, but it doesn't pay to get too rambunctious when it's this hot.

Speaking of hot, have you had the pleasure of reading any of Sue Ann Jaffarian's books? She writes three series: the Odelia Grey books featuring a plus-sized, middle-aged paralegal in southern California; the Emma Whitecastle books featuring a divorced mom and the ghost of her great-great-great grandmother; and the Fang-in-Cheek vampire mysteries featuring Madison Rose, a waitress in Los Angeles, California. Jaffarian is also employed full-time, so I have no clue where she finds the time to do everything!

Sue Ann Jaffarian
If you'd like more, more, more information on this talented author, here are some links for you:

Time to get to the interview!

What was the very first book you remember reading and loving? What makes that book so special?

I know this wasn’t the first book I ever read by a long shot, but when I was about 11 or 12 I read The Count of Monte Cristo. That was the first time I can recall reading really coming alive for me.  Or maybe I came alive to reading.  I was always a big reader, even when I was much younger, but looking back, getting lost in that book was what got my reading juices going. I think it was because it was so exciting and I became totally lost within its pages.

Outside of your writing and all associated commitments, what do you like to do in your free time? 

I like to read, go on walks, meet up with friends, watch TV, movies.

If I were to visit your hometown, where would you recommend that I go? (I like seeing and doing things that aren't in all the guide books.)

I’m not really sure about this.  My hometown is Haverhill, MA.  There I’d probably direct you to the old cemetery next to Linwood Cemetery because it has lots of cool and very old headstones. I live in Los Angeles and everything here is in one guidebook or another.  But I enjoy taking people to the top of Mulholland Drive where you can see over almost the entire city.

You have total control over casting a movie based on your life. Which actor would you cast as you?

I’d probably cast Angelina Jolie, but I’m sure the movie folks would be more inclined to cast Rosanne Barr.

Who is your favorite recurring character in crime fiction?

I have so many favorites, I’m not sure I can pick just one.  But this list should give you an idea:  Easy Rawlings (Walter Mosely), Stella Hardesty (Sophie Littlefield), Skin Kadash (Bill Cameron), all the attorneys at Rosato & Associates (Lisa Scottoline)

Before your very first published mystery, what else had you written (short stories, articles, unpublished manuscripts)?

I had written 2 novels, neither of which was a mystery.

What did you do the first time you saw one of your books on a shelf in a bookstore? How did you celebrate when you first heard you were to be published?

The first time I knew my books were on a bookstore shelf, I was at home and a friend called to say she’d just seen Too Big To Miss at her local Barnes and Noble.  We squealed together on the phone.  I immediately went to my local B&N and there it was! I was so overwhelmed, I couldn’t stop caressing the copies and had to leave because I started crying.  Is that sappy, or what?  When I first heard I was to be published, I went out with the man I was dating at the time for a nice dinner and drinks, and got thoroughly soused.

I don't know if you've seen it, but I love Parnell Hall's video about book signings. What is the most unusual experience you've had at a book signing or author event?

I have seen that video. It’s hysterical.  My most unusual thing happened a couple of days after one of my first book signings. At the signing I met a lovely man. He bought my book and we had a nice chat about reading, etc.  About two days later I received an e-mail from him saying he’d read the book nearly non-stop and loved it. To the e-mail, he’d attached several naked photos of himself.  Kind of floored me.

The way some people talk, the only way to read now or in the future is with some sort of electronic device, like my husband's Nook. What is your opinion of eBooks, and how will they affect you as a published author?

E-books are here to stay and I love them! I buy and read both print and e-books and read a lot more than I used to.  I know a lot of people who are reading more now because e-books make it more convenient. It’s really too early to say for sure, but I think my three series will reach more people now that they are available in both formats.

Thank you so much for spending this time with us, Sue Ann. May your book sales grow and grow and grow!

Learn More!


  1. OMG -- I can't believe the guy sent her pictures of himself. Yikes!!

  2. 118 degrees? WOW!

    Great post, I totally would cry too if I seen a book I wrote on the shelves for the first time.... probably second and third time too :)

  3. Beth-- I can believe it, but then I've worked with the public almost my entire life and have MANY stories to tell!

    Sheila-- I think I'd cry, too-- or mow a few people down on my way out to the car so I could sit there and cry!

  4. Cathy, thanks so much for having me on your blog! And thank folks for leaving comments. And Shelia, I still cry almost every time I see a new book of mine in a store.

  5. What a terrific introduction to a new author for me. Thanks~! I plan to seek out a few of her books now after such a great set-up.

    Boy this weekend was a scorcher, wasn't it? (Of course it didn't help that I chose the 118 degree day to move everything out of my classroom!)But, it makes me all the more grateful for the monsoons - if they would ever get to MY house!


  6. Sue Ann is a hoot! Thanks again for introducing me to a new author. How would I discover anyone new if it weren't for you, Cathy?

  7. IAB-- I'm hoping for a good monsoon season this year, i.e., one where all the rain doesn't try to fall in ten seconds or less. We tend to flood here. By the way, I think you'll enjoy Jaffarian's books!

    Barbara-- Oh... you're such a bookaholic that you'd soon find other ways! ;)


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