Friday, July 07, 2006

Get That Box Outta My Way or I'll Kill You

With diabetes camp coming up I have determined it is finally time to do something about our son's basal insulin rates. I'm sure they need to be increased; we're seeing a ~50 point rise in blood sugars overnight, and highs throughout the day. Have you ever done a basal rate check on your insulin pump? I got this notion from a book called THINK LIKE A PANCREAS. If you haven't picked up this book and are dealing with Type 1 Diabetes... I highly recommend it. So much practical information!

A basal check is demanding, but from what I hear, SO WORTH IT. I hope you'll be thinking of us tonight as I test him at 11 PM, 1 AM, 3 AM, 5 AM, and 7 AM. He will be fasting from 7 PM - 7 AM. Once we get a good sense of overnight basals we can tweak the morning, afternoon, and evening basals similarly. Basically, you repeat the process, but start at different times. At least we'll have the overnight basals settled before he leaves for camp on Sunday. The rest can wait--he can bolus to correct if he's running high during the day. At night, not so much. The overnight basal check is murder though. And... SEGUE!

Today I had the privilege of interviewing author Sara Rosett, author of the new novel MOVING IS MURDER. (Great title--and I heartily agree!) MOVING IS MURDER is the first in a series of "mom lit" mysteries, published by Kensington.

Here's a little bit about Sara to get us started:

THE AUTHOR (in her own words)
I've always wanted to write novels. During elementary school I started dozens of novels, but never finished them. I loved beginnings and interesting settings, but I was a little short on plot! As a kid, I spent a lot of time trying to describe the world around me. Since I lived in the flat plains of Texas the clouds and sunsets became my first (and most frequent) writing exercises. I loved going to the library with my mom when I was a kid. We'd go almost every Saturday and I still remember walking to the children's mystery section and thinking, "Please let there be a Nancy Drew I haven't read." Obviously, this was in the days before the internet and on-line bookstores. I hadn't heard of Inter-library loan either. Once I transitioned to the adult section in the library, I couldn't quite find my niche. It certainly wasn't romance. I knew I'd never be able to write steamy love scenes and suspense didn't quite fit me either.

In college I majored in English and graduated summa cum laude. That's also were I met my husband, an Air Force pilot, and we've been on the move ever since. We've lived in central and southern California, Washington state, Texas, Oklahoma, and Georgia. Hopscotching around the country gave me a checkered resume. I've been a credit processor, a staff reporter for two Air Force base newspapers, and a researcher/writer for a travel company. As we moved from one Air Force base to another, I'd hit the base library and local libraries, always searching for a good book. I discovered a new type of fiction was emerging, mysteries with female protagonists who lived in America and did everything from kick-butt PI work to catering. This was a type of fiction I could write. And it had a plot so I could finally get past my opening scenes! I'd found my niche, so after years of thinking and dreaming about writing a novel, I finally decided to give it a try. Moving is Murder is the result.


Air Force wife Ellie Avery is an ace at moving. A professional organizer, she plans ahead, packs efficiently, and even color-codes the boxes. But nothing in her bag of tricks could prepare her for the secrets that shadow her new neighborhood…secrets that drive one of her neighbors to murder.

Moving four times in five years has honed Ellie’s considerable skills. But moving with a newborn daughter and husband Mitch in tow, a record-breaking heat wave, and the realization that their dream neighborhood is known as Base Housing East is enough to make her turn to chocolate for comfort. Now half of their neighbors are with the 52nd Air Refueling Squadron. Forget privacy.

Forget peace of mind, too. Driving home from her first squadron barbecue, Ellie finds neighborhood environmental activist Cass Vincent dead on the side of the road. The police call it an accident—Cass, fatally allergic, was stung by wasps—but Ellie’s not so sure. And when it looks like Mitch’s best friend might be a suspect in the murder, Ellie starts snooping in earnest. What she finds shocks her—and when suspicious “accidents” start happening in her own backyard, Ellie realizes she’s getting closer to the killer…maybe too close!


Packed with helpful moving tips, Rosett's cute cozy debut introduces perky Ellie Avery…an appealing heroine, an intriguing insider peek into air force life.

—Publishers Weekly

A cozy debut that'll help you get organized and provide entertainment in your newfound spare time.

—Kirkus Reviews


1. How did you get this idea for this book? Please describe how the book grew from a glimmer of an idea into a whole novel.

I’d finally decided I was going to get serious and try to achieve a dream I’d had since I was a kid. I wanted to be a writer. I was a really good reader and I’d been doing some research on the publishing aspect of writing. I found out I had to have a hook, something that would interest agents and editors. Lots of books I loved had hooks: Diana Mott Davidson (cooking), Carolyn Hart (mystery bookseller) and Rett MacPherson (genealogy). I could go on here with authors all day, but I’ll stop at three. I thought about my life and tried to come up with a compelling hook. I found out I was a boring person. No rock climbing or knitting or even an interesting profession on my resume! Then one day friend asked me all sorts of questions about what it’s like to be a military wife. (Did I worry when my husband flew? How often did we move, etc.) I realized that I did have a new angle, a hook, for a mystery: the life of a military family. I love writing about the military lifestyle. I get to take the ridiculous things (arrows on the floor of the grocery store!!) and the great things (the friends you make in the military) and blend them into my stories.

2. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Find out everything you can find about the publishing process and the craft of writing. Contests associated with writing conferences are a great way to get feedback on your writing. I entered several and the comments I got from published authors helped me revise my manuscript. I love writer’s conferences, too. Find a general writer’s conference in your area and go! You’ll get to meet editors and agents, practice your pitch, and learn about the business of writing. Conferences are also great for making connections with other writers.

3. What's your writing day like? Any tips or tricks for getting organized?

Funny you should ask for tips on getting organized. My main character, Ellie, is a military spouse and a professional organizer. Let me say right here that I’m not organized. I think writing about a professional organizer is a bit of wish fulfillment for me! I love to research the tips and talk to professional organizers, but I have to say, I probably won’t ever be super organized! My writing day is wedged into the rest of my life pretty much whenever I can work it in. During the school year, I get my kids off to school and then I do publicity in the morning. I take a break to go for a walk and do errands during lunch. In the afternoon, I write and revise. That is the plan, at least. During the summer, all schedules are off and anything goes!

4. What's been the most exciting thing about publishing? The most frustrating?

The most exciting thing to me is knowing my book will be in libraries. Libraries seem more permanent than bookstores. I love that my book is in bookstores, too. And I’m a very good bookstore customer, but I like knowing that a couple of years from now that my book will still be on library shelves where someone can discover it. That’s cool! The most frustrating: following up on press releases. I don’t like being persistent, but I do like it when I get an article in the paper.

5. Do you think you might write a follow-up to this book? If not, what else is in the works?
Yes, MOVING IS MURDER is the first book in the Mom Zone Mystery series, so there will be at least two more adventures with Ellie. I’ve just turned in the second book, STAYING HOME IS A KILLER, and once the kids get back to school in the fall I’ll start the third book. I have some ideas for totally different books, but I have to get the third book going before I start on something new.

6. What research have you done for this book?

Well, since I am a military spouse I used my experiences as a kind of backdrop for the mystery. It’s actually been very therapeutic because dealing with the huge bureaucracy of the military can be so frustrating. Now when those crazy things happen, I know I can put them to good use in another Mom Zone mystery. For the professional organizing aspect, I did some internet research for a professional organizer in my area and then I called her up and asked for an interview. She was great. We met and she gave me the scoop on organizing and we even did a bookstore event together. I talked about my book and she gave organizational tips. I had to research the Office of Special Investigations, too. That’s the office that handles investigation of crimes that occur on Air Force bases. That was a little trickier. No one really wanted to talk to me there and I can’t say I blame them. I was an unpublished author asking about what happens when someone is murdered on-base. I’m probably lucky they didn’t investigate me, too! I finally found a retired OSI agent. I asked him my wuestions via email.

7. What’s your best moving tip?

Pack an “Open First Box.” This has saved my life several times! When I first became a military spouse I thought that if they loaded certain boxes on the truck last, those boxes would come off the truck first. Wrong! If your shipment has to go to storage then they take everything off and store it a couple of weeks (or months) and then reload it in random order. I finally realized if I put everything we’d need for the first couple of days into one box and label it, “Open First,” it would be easy to find it no matter where it was loaded it. Our “Open First” Box usually has a phone, an alarm clock, sheets, towels, paper plates, cups, and tools to connect the washer and dryer.

8. Do you write in other genres?

I write essays. I like the short length. It’s a relief after dealing with the masses of text in a 300-page manuscript. And it’s nice to write a slice-of-life piece instead of fiction, at times. I’ve had essays published in several anthologies, including two in CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE MILITARY WIFE’S SOUL. So far, my fiction has been in the mystery genre, but I have an idea that won’t go away and it’s more romance/humor so I’ll have to see where that goes.

Thank you so much, Sara! Sara's book is available in your local store, or check Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or your local indy bookseller.