My latest mystery novel Killer Clowns From Out Of State is now available on Amazon.com. It’s the first book in my new Ballardville Mysteries series, and it introduces you to Police Chief Andrea Taylor. She wasn’t even supposed to be working the night she mows down handsome stranger Dash Fletcher during a police chase. Now she’s got an injured circus performer on her hands who might or might not be the guy she’s been waiting for all her life.
But since her last romance ended with her pumping a bullet into her boyfriend, she’s a little gun shy. Plus, she’s got a murder to solve, a murder that might be tied to the handsome stranger with the broken leg her aunt has moved into the family home.
With her career in jeopardy and her heart on the line, her whole life is turning into a three-ring circus.
But just how did this particular three-ring circus come to be?
Here are 5 fun facts about this novel:
I got the idea while at the circus.
I was innocently enjoying a performance of the Cirque Du Soleil’s Alegria at the Huntington Arena and an idea popped into my head. So you have all of these performers in makeup and costume, including the band and the singers. And it occurred to me that these people have to tell people things like, “I’m an accordion player in the circus.” I had a great seat behind where the technical people had their boards and I became fascinated watching the director and other people work during the show. So this guy popped into my head. A guy who might be the accordion player’s understudy and also a technical guy that works on the show. And then there’s my main protagonist a small town police chief named Andrea Taylor who runs over him in the course of a high speed chase. Leaving him unemployed and stuck in the small town. And as these things often do, within fifteen minutes, my mind knew who he was, why he was in that small town, why he would stay in that small town and the crimes that would drive this particular story along. I also knew why the police chief had shot her last boyfriend. By the time I was headed home from work the next day, I knew about a stunning surprise that would change that former accordion playing clown’s life in the second book. It involved a… Oh well, you’ll see when the sequel comes out.
It’s a love letter to theater geeks
I did plays in college. My husband was active in theater in high school. I know and love so many actors, writers, and others who have given their heart to community and professional theater. I’ve had the privilege of seeing so many plays brought to life by the love and care of people who live and breathe theater.
The Meet Me In St. Louis Connection
I watched one of my favorite movies, Meet Me In St. Louis, while working on this story. And the character of Lucille Ballard, played by June Lockhart, inspired two things: The name of the town of Ballardville and the first name of the very important character of Lucille Gerber. That’s June Lockhart as Lucille on the left. She later went on to be the mom on Lassie and Lost In Space. You will also notice that one of the characters in the story takes a trip to St. Louis. Sadly, no one sings “Clang, clang, clang went the trolley!”
I named my characters after their spirit animals
Andie is named after Sheriff Andy Taylor from The Andy Griffith Show. It’s also meant to reference one my favorite TV couples. I explain why in the book.
Dash is named after the writer of The Thin Man, Dashiell Hammett.
FYI, the Thin Man is not Nick Charles, but the person he’s looking for in the book.
Nick and Nora have my favorite romantic relationship in print or the movies. They are each other’s wingman.
The title comes from a 1980s horror movie
The title comes from the 1980s horror movie Killer Clowns From Outer Space. The summer after I graduated college, I worked in a convenience store/ gas station. Back in those days everyone and his brother felt the need to add video rentals to their business. We had a video department in the back of the store. A TV continually ran trailers for the movies offered. One of those movies was Killer Clowns From Out Of State. I watched the trailer for that flick 50 times a day for months. It is burned into my brain. Now it finally gave a little something back to me. It’s really the least it could do.
You can check out a free preview of Killer Clowns From Out Of State below
Killer Clowns From Out Of State is available as a Kindle book for $2.99
The paperback is available for $19.97 and you can read it free on Kindle Unlimited.