Monday, August 29, 2011

Scene of the Crime with Author Sunny Frazier!

This week we'll be getting to know Sunny Frazier a bit better. Sunny lives in California's San Joaquin Valley. At various times in her life she's been an operator for Ma Bell, a dental tech for the Navy, and a photo journalist before she found a job in the Fresno Sheriff's Department working with an undercover narcotics team.

Sunny has always loved writing, and she's published two mysteries featuring Christy Bristol, an amateur astrologer who works as a secretary in a sheriff's substation in the San Joaquin Valley. The books are Fools Rush In and Where Angels Fear. I certainly hope you'll give them a try-- if you haven't already!

Sunny Frazier
If you'd like to get to know more about Sunny, here are a couple of links for you:

Let's get to the fun part, shall we? On to the interview!

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

Betsy's Little Star by Carolyn Haywood. It was about a girl and her baby sister, Star. I didn't like my sisters much so I guess it was wishful thinking. My parents tried to get me to read The Bobbsey Twins--yuck!

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

Read. I wish I could say housework and gardening, but anyone who shows up at my doorstep knows better. Oh, and I do love TV. I lived without it for so many years of my life that it's still exciting. Especially in hi def. I'm pretty much a couch potato. Except when I'm swimming. Love to swim but I can only indulge a few months out of the year.

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.)

Lemoore, California
Okay, you have to understand that I live in Lemoore. That pretty much limits us. I could take you to the Navy base where I grew up, but after 9/11 security is heavy. I could treat you to lumpia and panzit at the Filipino restaurant, Zeni's. We'd drive out to 16 1/2 Ave and pick up white peaches at the farmhouse if they're in season. We'd walk down D St. where music is piped out on the street and look at the murals depicting the dairy industry, which is important to the town (we have the biggest mozzerlla factory in the world). If it's the right time of the year, we could watch the Portuguese Festival with the queens of all ages parading down the street in their beautiful gowns and capes, then eat free sopish (a stew of big chunks of beef, cabbage and bread served communily in a huge pot). If you come on the 4th of July, we'd go to the park and have a piece of flag-decorated cake the Navy bakes for us. D Street is closed down during the Pizza Festival in the spring when the natives competitively decorate slices of a huge pizza (all ingredients are grown here). After judging, the whole thing is carted down the street to a place where they bake paint on cars. When it's ready, it's trucked back to main street and everyone eats a slice. Not me, but the kids like it. We find ways to amuse ourselves in rural California.

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

Sandra Bullock
I'm gonna have to say Sandra Bullock. It's the bangs.

Who is your favorite recurring character in crime fiction?

I'm a Kinsey Millhone fan, but I also like J.A. Jance's Beaumont. It's a draw.

Name one book that you've read that you wish you had written. What is it about that book that made it come to mind?

Hands down, Choke by Chuck Palahniuk (he's the guy who wrote Fight Club). I find his writing brave, quirky and in-your-face. I wish I had the courage to put down what I really want to say without worrying about offending the world. I despair at the alter of his talent.

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?

You know, I really didn't have a reaction. Even when I win a contest or manage a major achievement, I let myself gloat for three days and then it's back to work. I think that comes from being a newspaper reporter where your best stories wind up on the bottom of a birdcage collecting bird droppings. At least, that's what my family did to recycle newspapers. It's sort of the world telling me to get over it.  

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?

At Malice Domestic I found myself sitting next to well-known author. Her books had not arrived and she didn't have anything to sign. I felt bad for her so I handed her one of my books and said, "Do you want something to read?" Okay, that was snarky, but I meant it in the nicest way. Really.

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?

I love the idea for others, but I haven't learned yet how to answer my cell phone, so I'm afraid I'd either lose it, break it or forget how to operate it. I never read directions (they don't make sense). The books spilling out of my bookshelves will suffice for the rest of my life. But, I can see the practicality of e-books and my sales are healthy in that arena. So, thumbs up--but not for me.


Thank you so much for spending this time with us, Sunny. May your book sales do nothing but increase!

Learn More!


  1. Wonder if Sunny was named after the 50s song? Love her story about the book signing. With a short list of questions you manage to get some great stories from authors. I enjoy this series.

  2. No, Barbara, I was named after my dad, "Big Sonny." I looked so much like him that I was "Little Sunny" and still referred by that by my NC relatives. My legal name is Virginia Mary--don't ever tell anyone. Who would compare ME with the Virgin Mary??????

  3. I like the description of your town, I love small towns and the unique flavor each has. Good interview!

  4. Sunny-- Your secret is safe with us!

  5. See, I like these types of interviews. Yes, it talks about the book, but it shows other thoughts about the author.

  6. This is a fun and interesting interview, and Sunny, you're quite a character. I mean that in a good way. Thanks for sharing Virginia, uh, Sunny.

  7. Great interview but the most intriguing part was in Sunny's comments. Virginia? Really? I can't see you answering to anyone yelling that name. Sunny is perfect for you because of that twinkle in your eye that says either you like 'em or you are going to sock 'em. So far I've been lucky enough to be the former and not the latter. LOL
    W.S. Gager

  8. I've written down Choke because I trust Sunny and JA Jance's Beaumont because I like Kinsey M. a lot -- recommendation by association, as it were. Thank you for this enLIGHTening interview with Sunny!

  9. One of my (several) nicknames as a boy was Sonny. I mistakenly thought it referred to my disposition. In Sunny's case, it does fit her disposition.
    And I didn't think it was snarky she handed her book to a better known writer. It was simply good marketing strategy.
    Good interview, Sunny.

  10. I could just eat my way through your town!


  11. Sandra Bullock? I can see it. Thanks for this glimpse of your hometown. I like the way you make the interview so refreshing.

  12. Hey Sunny - race you (in the pool!?

  13. Melanie, although I loved "Choke," you will probably think I'm warped. The book starts with a man who goes to sex addict meetings to pick up women. It is raw, raunchy and shocking, but the writing--oh, the writing! He breaks every rule and gets away with it.

  14. Pleasure hanging out with you, Sunny. As always.

  15. Nice interview! I'm learning a lot.

    I thought Fools Rush In was a blast. See my review on And I share Sunny's appreciation for Chuck Palahniuk. Fight Club had two of the most outrageous lines of dialog ever written.

    William Doonan

  16. Sunny, I was in your high school graduating class (LHS '69, last name was Phillips back then). Lived on the base and took the big grey bus into town for school. I'm in NC now and have not been to any of the class reunions. Reading your description of Lemoore in the interview just brought back a flood of memories. Oddly enough, after years of living in Memphis and Raleigh, I've ended up in a similar small rural town. And love it. Thanks for the memories :)

    Debbie Merritt

  17. Giving the book to the author at the signing really was cruel. Deliciously cruel. Did she slap at you or scream an obscenity? Did the woman holding a book out for you to sign cluck her tongue and tsk tsk in judgmental judgement? Not that it would matter, you'd just pop a Dr. Pepper, kick back and ask her who to make it out to.

  18. Great interview. Love the humor and the way you view life.

  19. ditto::::love the interview. This was fun to read.

  20. Great interview. I also grew up in a small town. One of my classmates started a Remember Waukee when...I'm remembering lots of things I've forgotten since leaving. Looking forward to seeing more interviews.

  21. I grew up in a small town, too. Population 1600. It was a more important place, though, because we had a 4-way stop in the middle of town!

    I'm glad you all enjoyed the interview. I'll do my best to keep 'em coming. Authors are a great bunch of folks, aren't they? :)

  22. Thanks for this nice, and I mean that, nice interview. I love getting to know more about Sunny and how her mysteries come to life!

  23. Theresa-- You're very welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed it!


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