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Readers and Authors Talk...

Sally Goldenbaum | Characters Welcome

Nell, Birdie, Izzy, and Cass.

My cast of characters. My friends. My alter egos.

I know how the women of Sea Harbor walk, what they eat, how much they weigh, where they went to school, and the first time they had sex. I even know what number they are on the Enneagram chart. They are my mainstays in the Seaside Knitters mystery series. My stars and my glue.

But often, way too often, I haven't a clue what they are going to do next.

And that's good....and difficult. It's one of the challenges of writing a mystery series, in which certain characters come back with each new adventure and need to feed the readers' imaginations, to make them feel they know the seaside women  just a little bit better with each book they read.

When I began writing the recently released Seaside Knitting Mystery, A FATAL FLEECE, I was struck by the fact that I've known these fine women for nearly seven years now. But they still surprise me. And that's good. If they didn't, they might not appear fresh and enticing to the reader. So therein lies the challenge. Fresh, but comfortable. New, but old friends. Predictable, but surprising. I hope friendships among these women and among the readers deepen with each book, change, grow, and never ever stagnate.

Kind of like a good marriage or partnership.

One way to make that happen is to delve into the seaside women's pasts and discover things even I didn't know about until they let me in to take a peek. In A FATAL FLEECE, it's Birdie Favazza, the nearly 80-year-old matriarch of the small seaside town, who opens the closet door and finds a surprising secret that her third husband kept from her. One that will change her life.

Also in A FATAL FLEECE, the gutsy and sometimes rough Cass Halloran, a lobsterwoman, shows a softer side. It's what happens when one becomes vulnerable and frightened—and finds a dear friend murdered.

Sometimes it's  difficult to do, keeping the women of Sea Harbor vital. It requires a ton of faith in my characters, faith that they'll lead me along and reveal their secrets, that they'll take me by the hand as together we bravely face the blank computer page.  

So far they haven't let me down. They show up when I need them, settle down with me on my porch or in the office or coffee shop, and they whisper things in my ear. Secrets. Knitting projects. New loves and suspenseful lives, adventures and even murders, which will come to life on my laptop screen. These wonderful women come into my life and then take me into their own as together we spin a new tale.

Nell, Izzy, Cass, and Birdie. My seaside knitters. My faithful friends. Characters. And they are always welcome.

Sally Goldenbaum

DEATH BY CASHMERE
Death By Cashmere
Seaside Knitters
#1.0
August 2008

PATTERNS IN THE SAND
Patterns In The Sand
Seaside Knitters
#2.0
May 2009

MOON
SPINNERS
Moon Spinners
Seaside Knitters
#3.0
May 2010

A HOLIDAY
YARN
A Holiday Yarn
Seaside Knitters
#4.0
November 2010

THE WEDDING SHAWL
The Wedding Shawl
Seaside Knitters
#5.0
May 2012

A FATAL
FLEECE
A Fatal Fleece
Seaside Knitters
#6.0
May 2012

One commenter will win the hardcover of Fatal Fleece (#6) plus the trade paperback of The Wedding Shawl (#5, recently released in paperback).

 

 

Comments

43 comments posted.

Re: Sally Goldenbaum | Characters Welcome

Congrats on your new release. You're a new to me author, so I went to the library's website and requested Death by Cashmere to give your series a try.
(Anne Muller 9:28am June 11, 2012)

That is why I like series because you get to know the characters more in each book.
(Maureen Emmons 10:24am June 11, 2012)

Hi Anne--hope you enjoy Death by Cashmere. Let me know.
(Sally Goldenbaum 11:24am June 11, 2012)

Maureen--Do series characters ever seem warn out to you? That's what I want
to avoid! so that they are like good friends...you like them better as you age
together!
(Sally Goldenbaum 11:26am June 11, 2012)

Hi Sally,

Congratus on your new release. I enjoy mysteries and I look forward to reading yours.
(Lori Yost 11:33am June 11, 2012)

Thanks,
lori. Hope you enjoy it.
(Sally Goldenbaum 11:52am June 11, 2012)

I haven't yet had a chance to read any of your books - but I've been meaning to get them. I would LOVE to win - but even if I don't, I plan to get your books. Best of look with all you do.
(Nancy Reynolds 11:56am June 11, 2012)

Thanks so much, Nancy! I hope you enjoy them....
(Sally Goldenbaum 12:27pm June 11, 2012)

sounds great
(Debbi Shaw 1:35pm June 11, 2012)

Haven't yet read any of your books-but I love continuing characters-they become almost like family, even to the readers.
(Patricia Hill 1:55pm June 11, 2012)

Looks really good! Great blog post as well :)
(Rachael Whitzman 1:58pm June 11, 2012)

Sounds like great reading. I'd love to win it.
(Wilma Frana 2:35pm June 11, 2012)

Hi Debbi, Patricia, Rachael, and Wilma--thanks for stopping by. I appreciate
your comments and hope you enjoy the Seaside Knitters!
(Sally Goldenbaum 3:00pm June 11, 2012)

Congratulations. I look forward to checking out this series.
(Shannon Scott 3:06pm June 11, 2012)

This sounds like my kind of book. Thank you for giving us a chance to win it.
(Anna Speed 3:18pm June 11, 2012)

I really like series because when you fall in love with a character ou kind of follow their life...thanks so much for a chance to win it!!!
(Bonnie Capuano 3:48pm June 11, 2012)

I love series and A FATAL FLEECE sounds good! Thanks for the contest.
(Marcy Shuler 4:09pm June 11, 2012)

I love your book covers and am anxious to read this series. Thanks for introducing me to your books and would love to win #6. Do I need to read them in order?
(Linda Luinstra 4:17pm June 11, 2012)

I haven't read any of your books, so I am going to do what Anne Mueller suggested. Get book #1 out of the library and read it. I stil would like to win this book, though!
(Kathleen Bianchi 4:29pm June 11, 2012)

I haven't read this series but as a knitter, it caught my eye. I can't wait to start with #1. I do want to know, do your characters reveal themselves around your plot or one of their own?
(Renee Brown 5:20pm June 11, 2012)

Just the kind of book I like!
(Shirley Nienkark 5:21pm June 11, 2012)

Since my girlfriend love to knit and crochet and is an avid reader, this is just the book for her!
(Rich Cook 5:32pm June 11, 2012)

I love to knit, too, as well as reading avidly. thanks for a
chance at winning.
(Mary Hay 5:39pm June 11, 2012)

Sounds really good!! Thanks for the giveaway!
(Natasha Donohoo 8:05pm June 11, 2012)

Sounds like a great series and my type of read.
(Sheila True 8:56pm June 11, 2012)

Sounds like a great book. Thanks for giving me a chance to win and read your book.
(Linda Hall 10:08pm June 11, 2012)

Thank you all for the nice comments'. I hope you enjoy the seaside series .
You don't even need to be a knitter to join in. Renee--I am thinking about
your question and it intrigues me. I think it ends up being a mix of both. The
main idea starts out from me, but once I am into the book, the four mAin
women enter into the mystery in ways I don't always anticipate. Thanks
again!
(Sally Goldenbaum 10:11pm June 11, 2012)

Enjoyed your thoughts on how your characters surprised you as you develop the stories.......the series sounds like fun. Looking forward to dive in and get to meet your great ladies!
(Ruth Michel 10:18pm June 11, 2012)

Whenever I see a book having to do with a group of knitters, I am automatically hooked!! Being a knitter and crocheter myself, along with other crafts, I can relate to these women. When you have a mystery thrown in on top of it, that's icing on the cake!! Since you came in here to let us know about your latest book, I wrote your other books down so they can be on my TBR list. I don't want to miss any of your prior books, and want to get to know these ladies. I was also in a knitting club for 4 years until we broke up, and it broke my heart when it happened!! The girls were like my extended family. The covers to your books are not only colorful but very clever. Best of luck with your latest book!! You now have a new reader, and I'm sure I'll be passing your name on to a few of my friends.
(Peggy Roberson 10:43pm June 11, 2012)

sounds like a great read.
(Jennifer Beck 11:50pm June 11, 2012)

sounds like a great series .can't wait to get one and start reading them. Congrats.
(Richard Randazzo 10:02am June 12, 2012)

Peggy --loved your comments and thanks for telling your friends. And you
need to start another knitting group--it's such good therapy. Richard,
thanks. Hope you enjoy the mysteries.jennifer and Ruth, thanks so much
for stopping by. I hope you enjoy the books!
(Sally Goldenbaum 11:08am June 12, 2012)

i am a knitter, and a knitting teacher here in michigan city
indiana! and to find out theres an awesome book out having to
do with knitting, and an entwined story of lies, oooo sounds
juicy! i cant wait! congrats on your publishing and cant wait
to read!
(Joanne Hale 11:15am June 12, 2012)

Great series. Really interesting release.
(Roxana Perez 12:40pm June 12, 2012)

I enjoy series mysteries because each book lets me know more about the characters and I feel like they become my friends. I haven't tried the knitters series because knitting and sewing are so foreign to me, but now the way you have described your ladies, I simply must go buy the first of the series and start reading.
(Sue Farrell 12:55pm June 12, 2012)

How wonderful to have characters with whom you bond and feel like they are
friends. I used to knit some years ago, however, I think my carpel tunnel
problems would not go with that. Knitting by the seaside with friends sounds
like Heaven. All the best!
(Connie Fischer 6:35pm June 12, 2012)

Your characters do seem like old friends and getting to know them even better is great fun. When they "surprise you" they certainly surprise us readers. Great work!
(Gladys Paradowski 8:37pm June 12, 2012)

I look forward to checking out your series of books. This is the first time that I've read about your series. I am always looking for new authors to follow.
(Pam Scott 8:55pm June 12, 2012)

The entire series looks amazing. I'm looking forward to reading them all.
(Mary Preston 9:36pm June 12, 2012)

I feel like I've made new friends! Thank you all. Joanne, thanks for the good
wishes. You, too Roxana. Sue, your feedback about series characters is helpful.
It's always comforting to know readers bond with them like I do. Connie--I've
had carpal tunnel, too. Sometimes it does slow me down. But I hope you don't
need to be a knitter to enjoy the series. I think Friendship and a close-knit town
carry the characters. Gladys, thanks! I like (naturally!) that YOU like Nell, Birdie,
Izzy and Cass. Pam and Mary, hope you enjoy them. Let me know!
(Sally Goldenbaum 10:53pm June 13, 2012)

A knitting mystery series I haven't seen before! I have read several of the Maggie Sefton ones 'Fleece Navidad' and 'Knit One, Kill Two' etc. on the pretext of buying them for my mother's Christmas presents. Now I get to do it all over again! In the above series some of the characters are alpaca ranchers and the wool is used for their crafts. Do your characters use unusual fine fibres too?
(Clare O'Beara 5:39am June 14, 2012)

I am new to these books but they sound great! Thank you for the opportunity to enter this contest, I sure hope I win!
(Ann Thaxton 3:48pm June 14, 2012)

Looks like fun. I just picked up a few knitting stories this week.
(Alyson Widen 4:54pm June 17, 2012)

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