Meet Sarah Shaber

By Joan Leotta
(June, 2012)

Sarah Shaber is an award-winning mystery writer. Her first Professor Simon Shaw murder mystery won the Malice Domestic Award for Best First Traditional Mystery. All of the Simon Shaw mysteries are available as ebooks and trade paperbacks. Shaber is also the editor of TAR HEEL DEAD, a collection of short stories by North Carolina mystery writers. Shaber lives, writes, cooks, reads, and "chills" with her husband, Steve, in Raleigh, NC. At present the Louise Pearlie mysteries are available in hardback for $26-29 and LOISE'S WAR is available for Kindle.

Sarah was happy to expand on her basic biography for OMDB readers:

1. Sarah, your second series is historical fiction. What made you leave contemporary detective fiction for the world of the amateur sleuth in Wartime Washington, DC?

A. I gave up on writing the Simon Shaw mysteries purely for business reasons. I loved writing them, and am so pleased they've found a new audience as ebooks! I had a notebook full of book ideas, and ran across one that outlined a suspense novel about a government girl living in Washington DC during WWII. I loved it, and decided to see if I could turn it into a series.

2. Is Louise, the heroine of the series, modeled on someone you knew?

A. Louise is not modeled on anyone I know, that I am aware of! She has some similarities to me, but I like to think she is her own self, a product of her time and education, as we all are.

3. What interested you in the WWII period enough to so immerse yourself in it?

A. I am so interested in the WWII era! It's long enough ago to be "history'" but near enough to our time that there are still survivors to talk to about it. And it was a time that revolutionized the lives of women and African-Americans, that led directly to the feminist and civil rights movements of the 60s.

4. What grabbed your attention about the Mafia-US Government connection?

A. I discovered the Mafia connection to US intelligence services during my research, and was fascinated by the contributions made by the Mafia to intelligence-gathering on the north-eastern coast of the country. The Mafia considered themselves to be patriotic Americans, and behaved accordingly!

5. Can readers still look forward to more books in your other series?

A. I don't know. It's all I can do to write a book a year in this series.

6. You are also a wonderful short story writer (and editor of TAR HEEL DEAD). Do you use short stories to debut new characters for novels or do you primarily use this as a creative outlet for stand-alone tales?

A. I enjoy writing short stories, but I only write them if directly requested. There are so few markets for them that selling them is difficult, and it takes time from novel writing. But when I do write them there's creative pleasure in crafting a perfect little gem!

7. What else would you like to tell the OMDB! readers about the mystery genre in short story and or novel form?

A. Mysteries are the number one genre in books, and films for that matter, today, and there must be a reason! I think it's because readers want to see order brought into a disordered world. There's a sense of relief when the bad guy is brought to justice! Most real world problems are not as quickly and easily solved as a good mystery!

Thank-you, Sarah!

To read a review of LOUISE'S GAMBLE, click here.

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