Last year around this time, I was getting ready to start promoting my debut, Fatal Fixer-Upper, first in the Do-It-Yourself Home Renovation mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime, featuring New York designer turned Maine renovator Avery Baker, and her boyfriend, hunky handyman Derek Ellis. The book came out in November 2008, and since then, my life has pretty much gone by at warp speed. Launching a first book was insane, and then came Thanksgiving and Christmas, before we sold one house and moved into another in January. Since then, we’ve been renovating what is our ninth house in nine years. All while we’re going about the dual businesses of real estate and writing, and while raising two boys under eleven and caring for the menagerie of pets they’ve accumulated between them.
The latest house is a brick mid-century ranch, long and low-slung, with a big picture window in the front, situated on a large lot surrounded by tall trees. Chapter 1 of Spackled and Spooked has a description that matches that one in pretty much every particular. In Spackled and Spooked, Derek and Avery are renovating just such a house. It’s a local haunted house; I thought the idea of a haunted ranch would be fun.