The Twinning Murders: Interview with murder mystery author Shelly Frome

Shelly Frome is a Professor Emeritus of dramatic arts at the University of Connecticut. A former professional actor and theater director, his writing credits include a number of national and international articles on acting and theater, profiles of artists and notable figures in the arts, books on theater and film and mystery novels.

His books include The Art and Craft of Screenwriting, Tinseltown Riff, Lilac Moon, The Actors Studio, Sun Dance for Andy Horn, Playwriting: A Complete Guide to Creating Theater and his most recent, The Twinning Murders.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Shelly. Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing and how your journey led to writing your latest book, The Twinning Murders?

I’ve been writing plays and articles on theater and film for about twenty years, non-fiction books on theater and film for about twenty years and crime novels for about ten years. My latest mystery came about when I became involved with the invasive tactics of a major developer who wanted to come into my home town and clear away a beautiful stretch of meadow and woodland to erect a set of 170 townhouses purely as a speculative venture.

Q: I love your title…can you tell us why you chose it?

Because the action of the mystery takes the reader from my own village of Litchfield, Connecticut to a sister village in the moors of Devon, a contact just outside of Dartmoor advised me I was writing a “twinning.”

Q: Why did you believe your book should be published?

Because everyone can relate to the preservation of the wild, ties that bind, and the need to right a great wrong even though they’ve never found themselves engaged in any sort of detection.

Q: We all know that publishers can’t do all of the publicity and that some lies on the author. What has your publisher done so far to publicize the book and what have you done?

I’ve joined Facebook, set up a book signing at a prestigious book store in Washington, CT and arranged for a number of interviews in regional newspapers and periodicals.

Q: What book on the market can it compare to? How is it different? What makes your book special?

There is really no book on the market I can compare it to. Though it lies within the parameters of the traditional “cozy,” the characters are real, there are characters readers can care about (even a golden retriever) and the action transports the reader to different locales.

Q: Open to a random page in your book. Can you tell us what is happening?

On page 69, Emily, a tour guide and the central character, is waiting to board her flight to the U.K. when she receives a call on her cell phone informing her that her mentor’s fatal fall was, in all probability, no accident.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

Yes. I’m working on another mystery set in the Deep South, generated by dark past secrets, laced with a strong sense of Southern gothic.

Q: Thank you for your interview, shelly. Do you have any final words?

I appreciate the opportunity to share my creative efforts. Without this interplay, there’s no reason to work through whatever is, in a sense, haunting me at the time, prompting me to hone my craft, and then reach out.
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