Many thanks to the writers at Killer Hobbies for allowing the Twisted Sisters of Malice to toot their own horns here.
I never planned to be two people, but I was born a Gemini, so I guess I should have been prepared. Still, Sarah Atwell was a surprise. Three years ago my agent said, "Berkley Prime Crime is looking for someone to write a glassblowing series. Are you interested?" Of course I was. I have always loved glassblowing–I've even visited the glassblowers' island of Murano, outside of Venice–and I was a medieval art historian for a time, so I knew something about glass. I made a beeline to Sandwich Glass on Cape Cod and interviewed their sole woman glassblower, and then I took a hot glass class myself, so I'd be able to describe the process–and Tucson glassblower Em Dowell was born, making her debut appearance in Through a Glass, Deadly.
I love Em. She's fiercely independent but she really cares about people–her long-time employee Nessa, her brother Cam, and even needy strangers like Allison McBride (whose husband turns up dead in Em's studio). She hides a soft heart with a sharp tongue. She doesn't let her on-again-off-again relationship with the Tucson police chief get in the way of doing what she thinks is right. She's a lot of fun to write, and I want to be her when I grow up.
That's why it was such a happy surprise when Sarah Atwell got the call that Through a Glass, Deadly had been nominated for an Agatha Award. It's a wonderful tribute when people like what you write, and you are rewarded for doing something you love to do. I am truly grateful to be on the list with such talented people.
Join us next week when our guest will be Rosemary Harris, author of Pushing Up Daisies.
** Clue word: frit
Remember--Submit all five "clue words" and I'll draw a name from the group on Monday, May 11. The winner will receive an autographed set of all five of the Agatha-nominated Best First Novels. That would be G.M. Malliet's Death of a Cozy Writer, "Sarah Atwell's" Through a Glass, Deadly, Rosemary Harris' Pushing Up Daisies, Krista Davis' The Diva Runs Out of Thyme, and Joanna Campbell Slan's Paper, Scissors, Death.