I am so pleased to host the inimitable Lois Winston at Type M today. Lois is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning author who writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and non-fiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry. See the links to Lois' wonderful crafting and writing blogs below.
In this book for the first time Anastasia is confronted with a murder in her own neighborhood. Halloween also plays a role in setting the stage for A Stitch to Die For.
Like most authors, I’m often asked how much of me went into creating my protagonist. Anastasia and I have many things in common, including a communist mother-in-law, but we’re also different in many ways. Luckily, I don’t have a Dead Louse of a Spouse who gambled away all our money and left me up to my eyeballs in debt. However, in A Stitch to Die For Anastasia and I have something else in common—my hatred of Halloween.
I was a very shy child. Having to dress up in a cheap plastic costume and go door-to-door begging for candy was something I dreaded each year. From a very young age I was pushed out of the house to walk the neighborhood on my own, ringing strangers’ doorbells. If I didn’t come back with a full bag of candy, I was sent back out. Add to that the multiple times I was the victim of egg-hurling, marauding teenagers, and you can understand why I’m not a fan of the holiday.
I tamped down this hatred when my own kids were young, even making their costumes. I also accompanied them as they went trick or treating and never allowed them to approach homes where I didn’t know the residents. As a result, my kids have a much different attitude toward Halloween than I do.
Writing about Anastasia having the same feelings I have about Halloween was a bit of a cathartic experience for me. I still hate Halloween, though, not only for the memories it stirs up but also for other reasons, ones which Anastasia gives voice to at one point in A Stitch to Die For:
“Everything okay?” asked Zack as he unloaded the contents of our cart onto the conveyor belt.
I frowned at the bags of Halloween candy he grabbed next, wondering how many of the kids who rang my doorbell Monday night would offer a thank-you. Most of them didn’t even live in the neighborhood and few bothered with costumes—another reason I hated Halloween. “Hardly.”
A Stitch to Die For
The adventures of reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack continue in A Stitch to Die For, the 5th book in the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series by USA Today bestselling author Lois Winston.
Ever since her husband died and left her in debt equal to the gross national product of Uzbekistan, magazine crafts editor and reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack has stumbled across one dead body after another—but always in work-related settings. When a killer targets the elderly nasty neighbor who lives across the street from her, murder strikes too close to home. Couple that with a series of unsettling events days before Halloween, and Anastasia begins to wonder if someone is sending her a deadly message.
Visit Lois/Emma at www.loiswinston.com and Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog, www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com. Follow everyone on Tsu at www.tsu.co/loiswinston, on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/anasleuth, and onTwitter @anasleuth. Sign up for her newsletter by clicking here.
Her books are available in paperback, on Kindle, Nook, iTunes, Kobo, and Google Play