What inspired the idea for your book?
I went to London with a friend to celebrate our 65th birthdays. After visiting the Churchill War Rooms, I bought a book in the gift shop. As I was paging through, a photograph of someone stopped me cold. That face spoke to me−I couldn’t look away. In a flash, I knew the person’s background, personality, and motive for murder. I built Death Rang the Bell around that picture.
What was the most surprising thing you learned in writing this book?
I tend to develop my characters thoroughly, but plot only the first half of the book before I start writing. Then I let the characters lead the way. Often they take me to interesting places that I hadn’t thought of. In Death Rang the Bell, the person I had originally planned to be the killer wasn’t.
If you were friends with a character in this book, what kinds of things would you do together?
I’d be friends with my heroine Olivia. I gave her my love of travel, so we’d take some overseas trips together−I’d like to visit Mongolia. I’d also ask her to try and get me through the time portal in her and Steven’s house so I could visit 1934, too! I would absolutely love to be able to time travel.
What does it mean to you to be called an author?
I can share a whole new world through my novels. Books transport readers to a different place, outside of their everyday lives, problems, and challenges. The magic of storytelling provides relaxation and wonder, and ignites the imagination. It’s an incredible honor to be an author.
How do you define success as an author?
Success is when someone tells me they loved my book(s). I’m always thrilled. I hope more and more people will read my series.
Do you have any quirky writing rituals?
When my desk gets overrun with papers and I’ve lost track of what’s in which pile, I spend time dusting and re-organizing both desks. (I have an L-shaped set-up.) Lately I’ve been listening to Michael Bublé when I’m organizing things.
As an author what do you think makes a good story?
As a writer, I follow my reader instincts. It’s the characters that draw me in, keep me engaged in the story, and bring me back to the next book in the series. The characters in my favorite books feel like old friends−Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings, Richard Jury and Melrose Plant, Duncaid Kincaid and Gemma James. I’ve followed these people through their hard times and triumphs. Of course, the plot has to be interesting, the journey to the climax should be full of twists and turns, and the resolution of the crime must be fair, too. But settling in with a good book is like comfort food for the spirit, where the characters are familiar and the reader cares about them.
Who is your audience?
When I began writing my series, I thought my readers would be primarily women, but I’ve been thrilled to discover that a lot of men enjoy the books as well. I have readers as young as college age and those over 90. It’s been a lovely surprise.
What comes first for you — the plot or the characters?
So far, it’s been the characters. In Doorway to Murder, book 1 in my series, Steven and Olivia come face to face when time folds over in the house where they live 80 years apart. I built the mystery around their relationship and established the time-travel plotline which carries through the whole series. Creating the cast of characters is one of my favorite aspects of writing. I start imagining someone and before I know it, they’ve become a complete person with hopes, fears, passions, challenges, and history. Sometimes I name them right away, other times the name comes last. Occasionally, I know their name before I even begin creating their personality and character. I have a dossier on every character, including their address and birthday.
Death Rang The Bell
by Carol Pouliot
October 1-31, 2021 Book Tour
21st-century journalist Olivia Watson thinks traveling back in time to 1934 to attend a Halloween party with her friend Detective Steven Blackwell will be a lot of fun. And it is…until she witnesses the head of the Shipley Five-and-Dime empire murdered, and fears the killer saw her face.
The smart move is to return to the safety of the present, but Olivia possesses a secret and is about to defy the unwritten rules of time-travel. She convinces Steven to let her stay in his time and help unravel the motives behind the murder, even if it means risking her own life to save another.
When Steven delves into the investigation, he discovers how a bitter relationship, a chance encounter, and a fateful decision converged to set the stage for murder. In a maze full of unreliable clues and misdirection, dark secrets refuse to stay buried and forgotten ghosts won’t fade away. Steven is reminded that old sins cast long shadows.
Can Steven catch the killer before time runs out for Olivia?
Praise for Death Rang the Bell:
“This highly inventive series serves up a real treat–a perfect combination of mystery, time travel, and romance.”
~~ Deborah Crombie, New York Times Bestselling author of the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James novels
“Pouliot has the period details mastered, adding realism and depth to this wholly satisfying read.”
~~ Marni Graff, author of The Nora Tierney English Mysteries
“With engaging characters, a murder mystery, and a trip back in time, Carol Pouliot’s Death Rang the Bell will keep you turning the pages all night!”
~~ Nancy Allen, New York Times Bestselling Author
“A Halloween setting, a house where time folds back on itself, and a crime with deep roots in the past make Carol Pouliot’s Death Rang the Bell a joy for fans of crisp writing and twisty, character-driven plots.”
~~ Connie Berry, Agatha-nominated author of the Kate Hamilton Mysteries
“A delightfully immersive story, filled with surprising twists and turns, a touch of romance — plus a heroine you will happily follow as she jumps between decades, Death Rang the Bell is a truly great escape.”
~~ Alison Gaylin, USA Today and international bestselling author
“This intriguing and beautifully written series will draw you in and make you feel right at home in a time period you’ll wish you could visit.”
~~ Grace Topping, USA Today bestselling author of the Laura Bishop Mystery Series.
Genre: Mystery (Traditional Police Procedural with a Time-Travel Twist)
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: September 21, 2021
Number of Pages: 311
Series: The Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mysteries, #3 || Each is a Stand-Alone Mystery
Read an excerpt:
Carol Pouliot holds a BA in French and Spanish and an MA in French. She has taught French, Spanish, German, and English. She owned and operated a translating agency for 20 years. Her work has been published in Victoria magazine.
Carol is the author of The Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mysteries, which includes Doorway to Murder (book 1), Threshold of Deceit (book 2), and Death Rang the Bell (book 3).
Carol is passionate about the world and other cultures. She has visited 5 continents thus far and always has her passport and suitcase at the ready.
Catch Up With Carol Pouliot:
BookBub – @cpouliot13
Instagram – @carolpouliotmysterywriter
Facebook – @WriterCarolPouliot
Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways! https://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=303192
10/01 Guest post @ Novels Alive
10/02 Interview @ A Blue Million Books
10/03 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
10/04 Showcase @ Books, Ramblings, and Tea
10/04 Showcase @ The Reading Frenzy
10/05 Review @ sunny island breezes
10/06 Review @ Avonna Loves Genres
10/07 Review @ Dont Judge, Read
10/07 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews Blog
10/08 Showcase @ Silvers Reviews
10/08 Showcase @ The Book Connection
10/09 Guest post @ The Book Divas Reads
10/10 Review @ curlygrannylovestoread
10/11 showcase @ Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!
10/12 Guest post @ Quiet Fury Booksa
10/13 Review @ Wall-to-wall Books
10/14 Review @ 5 Minutes for Books
10/15 Review @ Pat Fayo Reviews
10/16 Interview @ I Read What You Write
10/17 Showcase @ Brooke Blogs
10/19 Showcase @ Nesies Place
10/20 Review @ nanasbookreviews
10/20 Showcase @ 411 ON BOOKS, AUTHORS, AND PUBLISHING NEWS
10/20 Showcase @ The Authors Harbor
10/21 Interview @ CMash Reads
10/22 Review @ Books to the Ceiling
10/26 Review @ FUONLYKNEW
10/27 Review @ Jane Pettitt
10/30 Review @ A Room Without Books is Empty