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Sleuth Samantha Jamison is Interviewed by another mystery Sleuth protagonist

peggySamantha, you’re an author who gets caught up in real-life mysteries that you then turn into books. Love that idea. Think we could ditch your real author, Peggy, and my author and keep all the royalties for ourselves?

“Great minds think alike! I knew there was some kind of karma thing going on between us the minute I sat down. What a novel, forgive the pun, idea! We deserve some payoff, don’t you think? We’re the ones taking all the risks out there. The way I look at it, it’s a win-win situation that tips in my favor. Peggy may get all the glory, but I get to have all that fun. Who do you think is the one whispering all those crazy scenarios in her ear, especially after she’s had a glass of wine? Trust me, she’s not so uptight then.”

In your books, you’ve dealt with ice storms, bikers, a mysterious cat lady, antique enthusiasts, drug dealers and, of course, murderers. Who knew writing and sleuthing came with so many occupational hazards?

“Hey, even Peggy surprised me with some of those unusual mysteries. She’s running me ragged, even dragging me over to her old house in France on the Riviera. I believe that was Book 3, 86 Avenue du Goulet (Sam pauses and smiles) …Okay, I must admit that wasn’t so terrible. I mean some of those French guys were really hot! And she did eventually invite my girlfriends, and then Clay over, who also happens to be very hot.”

In Book 1, The Puzzle, you initially began solving mysteries when the details of your husband’s death didn’t add up. What’s kept you sleuthing since then?

“I guess my life and my crazy friends have not exactly been what you call normal. But I kind of liked that. It made everything so unpredictable. They kept dragging me into capers that I found I was good at solving. Now my author, Peggy? I could bend your ear with a few of her escapades over the years, but since I don’t wish to end up like some of her antagonists in the series, my lips are sealed.”

Were you surprised to learn you were good at cracking tough cases?

“Yeah, I was. It was empowering, taking charge and shaking things up. It became addicting, figuring out all those angles and details, and then watching them fall into place, sometimes neatly, and at other times, sort of on the messy side. Between Peggy and I, we always managed to come up with a great whodunnit ending!” (Sam looks both ways, whispering,) “Those endings are mine, but I let Peggy take all the credit.”

You solve your mysteries with the help (and sometimes hindrance) of some wonderful friends. They don’t mind the dangerous situations you sometimes get into?

“I hate to spread rumors, but I think if I left them to their own resources, they would be worse than I am. But maybe that’s why we bond so well, accepting each other’s idiosyncrasies and are willing to overlook our imperfections, although, sometimes we can’t help pointing them out. The way I look at it, age has nothing to do with how well we get along. In my books, if we’re all crazy-minded to begin with, accept each other for who we are, and look out for each other, then that’s the glue that binds us. Oh, they complain, including me, but I think they love it just as much as I do.”

One of your ‘senior consultants,’ Martha, is rowdy and fashion challenged to say the least. If you could give her a makeover, what would she look like?

“I wouldn’t. I figure Peggy’s made her an older, pushier version of me, but with short, spiky white hair for contrast. Otherwise dialogue and storylines would be so boring. Where would the clash be? The arguments? I just love it when street-wise Martha gets right up in my face and goes at it. It keeps me on my toes. Besides, I like being shocked and blinded by all that color, flair, and exuberance of hers. I must say sunglasses do help.”

Mona’s reappearance in your life in Book 2, Without Any Warning caused all kinds of chaos. So when you got her cryptic message in Book 5, The Mouth of the Rat, were you tempted to just hit delete?

“Tell me about it. She was the last person I expected to hear from. But that dead part of her message said, gotcha and I was hooked. And as usual, she was trouble from the get go, lying, sneaking around, deflecting and bending the truth. It just about drove me crazy until I realized I loved every minute of it. I just had to outwit her so I could stay on top of things. You know, I still have that raincoat and hat I wore for my surveillance of her in Without Any Warning. I do have a sentimental side.”

Your adventures mean a lot of packing and unpacking. What are some items that you never leave home without?

“My Spanx. For you guys that are reading this, it’s kind of like a body shaper. They make them for men too. It holds in all that uneven stuff we ladies prefer not showing off (like bulges where they shouldn’t be) I buy it one size too small, hence my size 2/4. Of course, sometimes it’s hard to breath, but I time myself for the evening, you know, it’s like how long I can wear certain shoes, 1, 2, 3 hours or, if I’m lucky, the whole evening. Oh, I mustn’t forget my iPhone for Facebook, Twitter, email, texting my girl friends…”

Your author, Peggy A. Edelheit, has, in addition to three sons and a husband, a Miniature Schnauzer. My author grew up with Miniature Schnauzers. Think that makes them kindred spirits?

“Isn’t that the oddest thing? Maybe we are! I do have to admit I’m still rankled about one thing. Peggy’s dog’s name is Samantha, Sam for short. Can you believe it? I mean, come on! She gave me her dog’s name? (Samantha pauses, leaning back) …Well, I do have to concede one point in Peggy’s favor. She did buy the dog before I came along. But I’m still touchy and feel kind of foolish when she calls her dog and I come running.” (Sam winks at me) “Trust me, one day I will get even….”

Peggy’s life as a novelist seems to mirror your own in a lot of ways. How are you alike and how are you different?

“Oh my! Come to think of it we are very similar in that we think out of the box and see humor where other’s might not. That spills onto the pages a lot, especially when we are both trying to be serious, but hey, you can’t take everything seriously, right? (Samantha looks both ways, once more) To tell you the truth, I think I am Peggy’s alter ego. That sure would explain a lot, don’t you think? It’s spooky sometimes.”

What does Peggy have planned for you next? Or should I say, what do you have planned for you next? Or what does Peggy have planned for you to have planned for you next? My head’s spinning a little.

The Riviera Is Burning was a pause for Peggy for a quickie. And no, it’s not what your thinking. I meant a brief personal memoir from France. In Book 6, Death Knell In The Alps, (Sam sighs loudly and rolls her eyes) once again, involved a plane plus skis. Then in the subsequent books in the series they included some of the, and I use this term lightly, girls. So, what Peggy has planned for us, I can never predict ahead of time, but we always have a meeting of the minds to discuss the plots over a glass of wine. Who knows what’ll happen after the second glass? I know one thing. They always have surprise endings. That’s guaranteed!”

I do hope you’ve enjoyed this interview. And remember, everyday is a blessing. Never take any of them for granted.

Happy reading, Peggy.

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Marcia Carrington Interviews Author Peggy A. Edelheit

peggyAuthor Peggy A. Edelheit is interviewed by Marcia Carrington in a new post on Marcia’s website.

As Marcia says “I have the great pleasure of welcoming Peggy Edelheit, author of the Samantha Jamison mystery series, and non-fiction memoir THE RIVIERA IS BURNING, to Marcia’s Book Talk.”

Q: Have any life experiences inspired you to write your books?

A: All of my mysteries have some true life experiences weaved throughout them. I’m not admitting to which experiences or how many of them are…chuckle. I leave that to the imagination/enjoyment of the reader deciphering those mysteries….

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Uvi Poznansky Interviews Author Peggy A. Edelheit

peggyAuthor Peggy A. Edelheit is interviewed by Uvi Poznansky in a new post on her website.

How much truth comes into play when writing your continuing mystery series?

Samantha made her debut as my protagonist in Book 1, The Puzzle, which takes place in Highlands, North Carolina. As a widow, Samantha Jamison, an author, revisits her husband’s past to solve the mystery surrounding his questionable death. The reader is shown how Samantha grows and changes both as a woman and author. By the end of the book, as a novelist, Sam decides she enjoys, and is good at, solving unusual mysteries.

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Cheryl Holloway Interview With Author Peggy A. Edelheit

peggyCheryl Holloway is a contemporary romance author, journalist,  award-winning editor, writing instructor, accountability writing coach for debut authors and experienced blogger. She has written several ebooks, The Cougar Tales Series, Book 1: Father and Son; Book 2: The Italian Basketball Player; Book 3: Jamaican LoverThe Bane Bath Salts, (Teen Drug Prevention), and her latest release, A Sisterhood of Women Living Life: A Short Story Collection Here is an excerpt of her interview with me, about Saving Sindia, #10 in my Samantha Jamison Mystery Series:

CH: Can you sum up your book in 20 words or less?

PAE: Sam’s good intentions weren’t turning out as planned and she finds herself entangled in a true historical mystery in Ocean City, NJ.

saving-sindiaCH: How did you come up with the premise for this series?

PAE: I’ve been writing since I was a child. I kept a journal and was always writing down something. When I was older, the character, Samantha, began looking over my shoulder, advising me to seriously put down on paper some ideas I had taking shape for a few storylines that would make great mysteries. She began demanding, either I did that, or it could get ugly. After postponing the idea while raising three sons, I finally agreed and began to write it in earnest…

Read the rest of this interview on Cheryl’s website.

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Suzanne Jenkins Interviews Author Peggy Edelheit

The Savant of Chelsea author Suzanne Jenkins interviews author Peggy Edelheit about her sleuth Samantha Jamison mystery novels.

Suzanne is a terrific Author of several books: The Greeks of Beaubien Street,  Pam of Babylon Trilogy, The Greeks of Beaubien Street, Someone Like You, The Tao Pam. Her website is: http://suzannejenkins.net Please check her out.

 

peggyInterview

Author: Peggy A. Edelheit

I have always loved the written word and have been making up and writing stories since I first learned to write, which my parents wholeheartedly encouraged while I was growing up. Although I read and appreciated every genre, mysteries were my preference of choice. I always read late into the night. I had to know how that mystery turned out! Constructing and deconstructing the mystery always intrigued me. Later as an adult, after ignoring certain voices in my head that began intruding on my daily life, I finally let those voices have their say. Sam sort of jumped out to the forefront. (I’m afraid there might be a lot of me in there too…chuckle)

I’ve been extremely lucky to travel abroad with my family over the years and have drawn from those travels and experiences for my writing. We had a home in the south of France, which was the perfect backdrop for 86 Avenue du Goulet, Book 3 in my Samantha Jamison Mystery Series. That home was also the location for my French Memoir, The Riviera Is Burning. It’s my true story about how we fled the French Riviera wildfires one summer when they raged out of control. I can still see those flames. It was a frightening experience I wanted to share with my readers.

I have been blessed with three wonderful sons and live with my husband and Miniature Schnauzer, Sam. I spend time in both Bucks County, PA and South Florida.

The Samantha Jamison Mystery Series, Volumes 1-10, is a Mystery/Thriller series about an author, Samantha Jamison, aka Sam, who writes about how she gets caught up in unexpected mysteries, a kind of story within a story with a touch of humor. They are all written in the first person, so the reader has the same disadvantage as Sam, who occasionally turns around and talks to them and will sometimes ask the reader what they think is going on so they get involved in solving it with her. She confides in them. Maintaining my reader’s interest is important. If you lose your reader they will move onto another book and may not come back. With that in mind I try to keep my mysteries fast-paced page-turners with unusual twists and turns, and of course, my signature surprise endings.

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Peggy-A.-Edelheit/e/B004RB75NS/

Samantha made her debut as my protagonist in Book 1, The Puzzle, which takes place in Highlands, North Carolina. As a widow, Samantha Jamison, an author, revisits her husband’s past to solve the mystery surrounding his questionable death. She is a reluctant sleuth having always lived in the shadow of her husband. The reader is shown how Samantha grows and changes both as a woman and author while doggedly pursuing the truth no matter the consequences. Originally, The Puzzle was meant to be a standalone book, but by the end of the book, I realized I wasn’t finished telling Sam’s story. It would continue in a series. Sam decides she enjoys and is fairly good at solving mysteries. Because I once owned a log home in Highlands, it was a great location to write that first mystery with those beautiful but mysterious mountains as a backdrop. I used to sit out on our back porch daydreaming what a great isolated place for a writer to get caught up in her own mystery. Events in that book did happen to me, including that frightening ice storm.

I try to write everyday. There may be times when nothing is developing the way I like it, but I keep typing anyway, trying not to lose momentum. I’ve even deleted whole sections of a chapter if it doesn’t feel right to me. I don’t outline. Like I’ve said many times before, I like to compare it to throwing food against the wall to see what sticks. Some days nothing sticks, but I keep typing. I swap dialogue between characters too. The important thing is don’t stop. When a character suddenly dominates the conversation or the crew does, and they often do, I can’t type fast enough, wishing sometimes they would slow down so I can get exactly what they are saying, yelling stop!

My personal workspace is everything. In other words, I surround myself with what I love: family photos and events, memorabilia that elicits a smile or laugh whenever it catches my eye. I’m a firm believer in surrounding yourself with a comfort zone environment. I find it’s a great atmosphere for writing. It is my space and no one else’s. I have a mug sitting on the shelf behind me. It says: Careful, you may end up in my novel. (They do!)

I can honestly say that no particular author has influenced me more than another. I love a well-written story that grabs me the minute I start to read it regardless of the genre. But somehow, I always seem to drift back to mysteries and how complex they are. I love trying to figure them out. Samantha is always repeating to her “crew” in the series to always expect the unexpected.

With The Puzzle I tried to convey how Samantha felt: her scattered, rambling thought process connected to her fear, anxieties and hopelessness in the loss of her husband, her marriage, and her life, which she discovers was all a façade from what she thought she actually had, hence her rambling on the pages and her anxious, incoherent thoughts, constant questions and second-guessing herself. As the mystery progresses Sam evolves, gaining confidence and becomes a stronger personality. Much to her surprise, she becomes obsessed just like her husband was as she searches for the truth to The Puzzle.

Digital books seem to be outpacing physical books in sales everywhere. 99.9% of my sales are digital. All I see when I travel are digital readers. I find it much easier to travel with one device rather than several books, which are cumbersome. I love my large Kindle fire HD. As a lover of words, I quickly became a convert once I got my hands on one. As an author, forgive the pun: I saw the writing on the wall. After Book 4 in my Samantha Jamison mystery series, I used digital format only. So far I am pleased with my decision.

New authors constantly ask me about any advice. First and foremost, don’t give up. It you have your heart set on writing then do it, even if you have to write early in the morning, late in the evening or during your lunch hour. Follow your dreams. Anything is possible. Sacrifice is a part of success. Don’t let other’s discourage you. Keep trying. Keep writing until you get it right. Read other authors to see what they are doing right. Proofread like crazy until it reads smoothly then use a professional EDITOR! A good editor will tell you what you should hear not what you want to hear. Once you get the book back from them make corrections, reread several times to make it flow. A beta reader helps or several. You might not like some of their feedback, but they are worth it. Then send it off to be published. Have your covers express exactly what you want to convey to the reader. You might have a great cover, but you better have a great story too.

Remember: Chase your dreams, not someone else’s!

My Samantha Jamison Mystery Series 1-10

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Who is Samantha Jamison and why are terrible things always happening in her life?

peggyAuthor C. D. Kearby has just posted “10 Big Questions With Peggy A. Edelheit ” on Kearby’s writer’s blog.

1. Who is Samantha Jamison and why are terrible things always happening in her life?

Samantha Jamison, my protagonist, is an Author whose husband, Stephen, was suddenly killed in a questionable death. After receiving unsatisfactory answers from the authorities, Sam goes back to the town of Highlands, North Carolina, where her husband had some history to find out what happened. Once there, Sam befriends several characters that not only end up in the follow-up books, but also are a major influence in future scenarios of trouble for Sam in the Samantha Jamison Mystery Series.”

Read the rest of this great interview here!

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Author Peggy Edelheit Guests on Ellis Vidler’s Unpredictable Muse Blog

the puzzleUnpredictable Muse blog.

“I’d say there’s a lot of Samantha in me, and visa versa. We seek advice, give others credit more so than ourselves, and are reluctant to take center stage. Although we get carried away on occasion, we have a great sense of humor. Just looking at the quirky characters we both have to deal with proves we’re unpredictable, too.”

To read the rest of this post, go to Ellis Vidler’s “How Samantha Found her Settings

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Author Peggy Edelheit Interviewed by Jill Edmondson

peggyJill Edmondson has conducted an interview with Peggy Edelheit, author of the Samantha Jamison Mystery novels, on her blog site Sasha Jackson Mysteries.

Here is an excerpt:

“Jill:  WOW! You’ve released five Samantha Jamison Mysteries between 2009 and now (busy gal!)  Do you ever feel like taking a break, or is the momentum what keeps you going?

Peggy:  To me writing is like breathing. I can’t live without it. My only small break is to mentally contemplate my next mystery, having already let the reader know at the end of the one before where it was going next. The characters are my driving force. I love their unpredictability. I might do a Volume 5 ½ though as a brief pause, so to speak. The subject? Ah, another mystery!”

To read the rest of this interview, please visit Sasha Jackson Mysteries

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Author Peggy Edelheit Interviewed by Indie Author Land

peggyDavid Njoku has published an interview with Peggy Edelheit, author of the Samantha Jamison Mystery novels, on his excellent interview blog site Indie Author Land.

Here is an excerpt:

“What is the best thing about being a writer?

I get to make something out of nothing by writing whatever flows from my fingertips. I thoroughly enjoy my characters constantly vying for my attention, telling me what they should say and do. Sometimes it gets ugly and I have put my foot down. After all, I’m the author, right?”

To read the rest of this interview, please visit David’s site.

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