Giveaway Ends 9/2
What does it mean to you to be called an author?
It’s a dream come true, in so many ways! I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was about six years old. Having the chance to do this professionally, and to have other people read my books, is something that will never stop being exciting.
That said, I don’t think you have to be published to be an author. I know brilliant writers whose books aren’t published yet, or who prefer to write just for themselves and aren’t interested in publication. I think “being an author” means something different for every writer.
Which book are we talking about today?
Death at the Manor is the third book in my Lily Adler Mysteries, which are set in Regency England. It’s a traditional whodunit with an amateur sleuth—and this time, with a locked room mystery!
Can you tell us a bit about the story and its main characters?
Death at the Manor continues the story of Lily Adler, a young widow living in Regency England. After the unexpected death of her husband, Lily had to rebuild her life through a great deal of determination and with the help of a few excellent friends. But in the process of doing so, she developed an unfortunate habit of stumbling over mysteries in need of solving.
This time around, she’s visiting her aunt in Hampshire when she hears of a ghost who is said to haunt a local family’s manor. When Lily and her friends pay a visit to learn more, they discover the family’s matriarch has died in the night under suspicious circumstances. The family believes the ghost is responsible, but skeptical Lily is sure there is more to the story. She’s determined to find out the truth before the murderer—spectral or human—strikes again.
What inspired the idea for your book?
The first two Lily Adler Mysteries were traditional whodunits. This time around, I was influenced by the creepy, campy gothic literature of the nineteenth century. I started with the ghost, continued with some romance, and added in a decaying manor full of unsettling residents—plus a locked room puzzle for my sleuth (and you!) to solve.
Tell us about a favorite character from the book.
It’s so hard to pick a favorite! Ofelia Carroway, who was part of my main detective trio in the first two books, gets several chapters from her perspective in this one, and I had so much fun writing her sneaking through the old manor and arguing with her husband.
If you were friends with a character in this book, what kinds of things would you do together?
Given how often I make my characters encounter dead bodies, I think I’d be afraid of spending time with them in real life!
What made you say to yourself, “Today, I will publish.”?
I wish it happened that way! Most writers I know, myself included, write several books that will never see the light of day on the way to writing the one that will someday be published. Eventually, all that practice pays off, and you end up with a book that you’re excited to share with the world.
How do you avoid or defeat writer’s block?
Does it sound awful to say I don’t really believe in it? I find that when I feel like I have “writer’s block,” it usually means I’m being too much of a perfectionist. It isn’t that there’s a “block,” it’s just that I’m worrying too much about whether the first draft is good. A first draft is never good! That’s what editing is for. If you worry too much about getting the words exactly right, you’ll never get them down on the paper.
What are you working on in the near future?
More mysteries! I’m currently writing the fourth Lily Adler Mystery, which will be out next year.
What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?
It takes about 300 typed words to fill a page. It takes about 300 typed pages to fill a book. So if you write 300 words a day, this time next year, you’ll have a book.
It might not be a good book! But that’s okay. No one’s first book is good. Either you’ll make that one better, or you’ll write another one. Either way, you can do it.
How do you interact with your readers?
I love hearing from readers! I’m always happy to answer emails or messages on social media. And I’m thrilled that in-person book events are happening again so I can interact with readers in person! Connecting with readers is honestly the best part of being a writer.
Which books would you recommend to readers who haven’t read your work before?
I try to write books that can be read as standalone stories, even if they’re part of a larger series. But if you like to start at the beginning, I hope you’ll pick up The Body in the Garden, the first Lily Adler Mystery.
And if you love the Jazz Age, I have a series set in that era too. Last Call at the Nightingale came out earlier this summer and follows Vivian Kelly, a working-class seamstress in New York City who likes dancing at a little speakeasy called the Nightingale. But in the underground world of the Jazz Age, there’s always a risk that you’ll see something you weren’t supposed to…
What do you look for in a story as a reader?
Characters above all! Plot twists are fun, but I’ll keep reading even if I guess the plot if the characters make me care about them.
What are you reading now?
The Siren of Sussex, by Mimi Matthews. It’s a very fun Victorian romance with wonderful characters and a lot of historical depth.
Aside from writing or reading, what are your hobbies or interests?
I love getting out on hikes and nature walks with my family, traveling, and gardening when I have the time. And I have a monthly Dungeons & Dragons game that I play with friends who live all around the country. It’s a fun (and often ridiculous) way to keep in touch!
What is the first book that you remember reading?
The Lorax. I was one of those kids who memorized books before I could read, so I’d pick them up and recite them. But one day my parents realized I was reading The Lorax, which they knew I hadn’t memorized. So that was how they discovered I knew how to read.
Name three fun facts about you or your work.
- I finished writing my first book when I was 15, and it was absolutely terrible.
- I’ve never had the courage to dye my hair.
- My parents never restricted what I could read growing up, so I didn’t realize until much later that it was a little odd to read things like The Golden Compass or The Rapture of Canaan in elementary school.
What is something you can do better than anyone else you know?
Make Rice Krispie treats. They’re my specialty, and I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t love them.
Death at the Manor
by Katharine Schellman
August 8 – September 2nd, 2022
Virtual Book Tour
The tortured spirits of the dead haunt a Regency-era English manor—but the true danger lies in the land of the living in the third installment in the Lily Adler mysteries, perfect for fans of Deanna Raybourn.
Regency widow Lily Adler is looking forward to spending the autumn away from the social whirl of London. When she arrives in Hampshire with her friends, the Carroways, she doesn’t expect much more than a quiet country visit and the chance to spend time with her charming new acquaintance, Matthew Spencer.
But something odd is afoot in the small country village. A ghost has taken up residence in the Belleford manor, a lady in grey who wanders the halls at night, weeping and wailing. Half the servants have left in terror, but the family seems delighted with the notoriety that their ghost provides. Intrigued by this spectral guest, Lily and her party immediately make plans to visit Belleford.
They arrive at the manor the next morning ready to be entertained—only to find that tragedy has struck. The matriarch of the family has just been found killed in her bed.
The dead woman’s family is convinced that the ghost is responsible. Lily is determined to learn the truth before another victim turns up—but could she be next in line for the Great Beyond?
Genre: Historical Mystery
Published by: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: August 9th 2022
Number of Pages: 352
ISBN: 1639100784 (ISBN13: 9781639100781)
Series: Lily Adler Mystery #3
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Bookshop.org
Read an excerpt:
Katharine Schellman is a former actor, one-time political consultant, and now the author of the Lily Adler Mysteries and the Nightingale Mysteries. Her debut novel, The Body in the Garden, was one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Books of 2020 and led to her being named one of BookPage’s 16 Women to Watch in 2020. Her second novel, Silence in the Library, was praised as “worthy of Agatha Christie or Rex Stout.” (Library Journal, starred review) Katharine lives and writes in the mountains of Virginia in the company of her husband, children, and the many houseplants she keeps accidentally murdering.
Catch Up With Katharine Schellman:
BookBub – @katharineschellman
Instagram – @katharinewrites
Twitter – @katharinewrites
Facebook – @katharineschellman
Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!
08/08 Showcase @ Nesies Place
08/09 Showcase @ BOOK REVIEWS by LINDA MOORE
08/10 Interview @ I Read What You Write
08/10 Review @ Review Thick And Thin
08/13 Review @ Bookish Indulgences
08/15 Guest post @ The Book Divas Reads
08/17 Review @ nanasbookreviews
08/18 Showcase @ Silvers Reviews
08/19 Review @ It’s All About the Book
08/20 Showcase @ Brooke Blogs
08/22 Review @ Books, Ramblings, and Tea
08/23 Interview @ Cozy Up With Kathy
08/24 Showcase @ The Authors Harbor
08/25 Showcase @ The Mystery Section
08/26 Review @ Cozy Up With Kathy
08/29 Review @ Novels Alive
08/30 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews
08/31 Review @ Avonna Loves Genres
09/01 Guest post @ The Mystery of Writing
09/01 Review @ 5 Minutes for Books
09/02 Podcast Review @ Books to the Ceiling