Monday, August 31, 2015

Author Interview and Giveaway: Code Grey by Clea Simon

Code Grey: A feline-filled academic mystery (A Dulcie Schwartz Mystery)
Series: A Dulcie Schwartz Mystery (Book 9)
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Severn House Publishers; First World Publication edition (August 1, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0727885067

Did a down on his luck former student steal a priceless book? Grad student and cat lover Dulcie Schwartz thinks not and she sets out to prove it.” 

It is spring break, and Dulcie Schwartz has stayed behind in almost-deserted Cambridge, Massachusetts to concentrate on her thesis. But when a former student turned vagrant, Jeremy Mumbles, is found injured, with a valuable missing book clutched in his arms, Dulcie can t seem to let it go. What was he doing with the book? And why has it turned up after all these years?

With Jeremy now the prime suspect for a series of break-ins in the area, Dulcie is determined to clear the unfortunate former scholar s name. But when she finds a connection between the book he was carrying and her own research into an anonymous Gothic author, the search for clues takes on a new intensity and a new menace.
Birdhouse Books Interviews Clea Simon 

Birdhouse:  When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

Clea: It was never a conscious realization. I always made up stories. As soon as I could write, I wrote those stories down. It was more a question of how could I make a living writing? And to do that, I went into journalism and then, finally, writing books.

Birdhouse: What was your favorite book as a child?

Clea: Oh, I had so many! I adored – still adore – C.S. Lewis’s “Chronicles of Narnia.” And when I was a little older I got into JRR Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings.” Those were probably my main loves. You can probably see the influence of Narnia’s Aslan the lion in my ghost cat, Mr Grey.

Birdhouse: What is your writing day like?  Do you have any interesting writing quirks?

Clea: I go for a certain word count each day. That’s what works for me. And when things aren’t going well, I try to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I can throw out whatever I write the next day, but I have to get the words on paper or I can’t quit!  My biggest quirk is that I tend to not really get started till mid- to late afternoon. I waste hours doing everything and anything else first, but I’ve learned that’s just my process!

Birdhouse: What was the most surprising thing you learned while creating this book?

Clea: I got to research book conservation – how conservators work to save ancient texts, and how some old inks actually eat through paper over time. That was fascinating to me!

Birdhouse: Who are your favorite authors?

Clea: Oh, it depends on the day! I love Hilary Mantel and Donna Leon,  Anthony Trolloppe, and JRR Tolkien. Geoff Dyer and Naomi Novik… and that’s just today!

Birdhouse: What is your next writing project?

Clea: I have a new series kicking off next spring with “The Ninth Life,” also for Severn House (which is publishing “Code Grey.”) It’s a darker book than my other mysteries, and it’s basically focused on an orphaned girl looking to find out what happened to her murdered mentor. It’s narrated by a black cat who befriends the girl (she has saved his life). I’m working on the edits for that now, and it’s great fun!
About The Author
Clea Simon is the author of 18 mysteries in the Theda Krakow, DulcieSchwartz, and Pru Marlowe pet noir series. The latter two are ongoing and include her most recent books, Code Grey (Severn House) and Kittens Can Kill (Poisoned Pen Press). A former journalist and nonfiction author, she lives in Somerville, Mass., with her husband, the writer Jon Garelick, and their cat Musetta. She can be reached at

Author Links:
On Facebook:
My blog:
On Twitter: or @Clea_Simon
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Purchase Links: 
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Peggy Hyndman said...

Clea Simon is a new author for me. This book sounds like a good read ... adding it to my TBR list.

Mama Cat said...

So far I haven't read any of your books. It sounds like you are more of an afternoon / evening person, doing the more creative or intellectually stimulating tasks later in the day. Just curious as there don't seem to be as many who are not early morning people. Looking forward to reading this or another of your books!

Audrey Stewart said...

I love anything CAT. I operate a small shelter for elderly cats, and I love them all so much.

Unknown said...

I just purchased the earlier books in this series and would love to have this one to move onto when I'm done with it. Thanks for the opportunity.

Birdhouse Books said...

Thanks for the visits! Misty, it is so wonderful that you run a rescue for senior cats.

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