Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Author Interview and Giveaway: A Pain in the Tuchis by Mark Reutlinger

A Pain in the Tuchis:
A Mrs. Kaplan Mystery

2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Alibi (November 17, 2015)
An Imprint of Random House LLC
Publication Date: November 17, 2015

Combining the classic charms of Agatha Christie with the delightful humor of M. C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin novels, Mark Reutlinger’s Mrs. Kaplan mystery series returns as a notorious crank meets an untimely fate. 

Yom Kippur is a day of reflection and soul searching. But at the Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors, Vera Gold misses this opportunity to atone for her many sins when she up and dies. Indeed, Vera was such a pain in the tuchis to all those around her that when her sister claims Vera was deliberately poisoned, the tough question isn’t who would want to kill her—but who wouldn’t?

Having already solved one murder with her dear friend Ida, Rose Kaplan has a sleuthing reputation that precedes her. It’s only natural that Vera’s sister turns to Mrs. K for help. So do the police, but when her conclusions conflict with theirs, they tell her to butt out! This case has more twists than a loaf of challah. And with a homicidal scoundrel on the loose, Mrs. K has to act fast—or she might be the guest of honor at the Home’s next memorial service. 

Praise for Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death
“Is there kosher food in jail? These two heroines have gotten themselves in quite a pickle! Well, it’s a matzoh ball mess, really. Too deliciously funny!”—Rita Mae Brown, bestselling author of Nine Lives to Die

Birdhouse Books Interviews Mark Reutlinger
Birdhouse Books: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Mark Reutlinger: I’ve always enjoyed writing, and as an attorney and law professor it was required of me. Legal writing is necessarily factual and (generally) not very creative, however, and early on I realized I wanted to try more creative writing, to exercise my imagination. I occasionally tried writing fiction, but I didn’t have the time to devote to it until I retired from teaching. I then found that, as I had suspected, writing novels was much more interesting and satisfying than writing law treatises, and I decided to make it a second career.
Birdhouse Books: What was your favorite book as a child?
Mark Reutlinger:  I no longer recall the names or author, but I loved a series of books which featured different forest animals as the main characters.
Birdhouse Books: What is your writing day like?  Do you have any interesting writing quirks?
Mark Reutlinger: Unlike many writers, I don’t set aside a specific time each day to write, and I have several other business responsibilities that may keep me from writing at all on any given day. I wait for a block of time to become available and do my writing then. Of course, if I’m in the midst of a writing project with a deadline, I make sure to spend as much time as necessary and put other things aside. I don’t know if it’s a “quirk,” but I get some of my best writing ideas at night, before going to sleep, probably because it’s usually the only time when I have nothing else on my mind and I can relax and work out plot details or dialogue. If I’m already in bed, and I’m afraid that in the morning I won’t remember what I’ve thought of, I’ll get up and go to my desk and make detailed notes or even fire up the computer and insert the new material then and there.
Birdhouse Books: What was the most surprising thing you learned while creating this book?
Mark Reutlinger: Perhaps the most surprising thing was who committed the murder; when I began, it was a different person. Apart from that, though, in my research into the Yiddish language, I learned some surprising (to me) things about the origins and real meanings of expressions I’d heard or used all my life. Oh, and I was surprised to learn that Harley Davidsons no longer have a kick starter!
Birdhouse Books:  Who are your favorite authors?
Mark Reutlinger:  In no particular order: P.G. Wodehouse, Donald Westlake, Terry Pratchett, Christopher Buckley, Douglas Adams, Jasper Fforde, Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. (Yes, I think there’s a pattern there.)
Birdhouse Books:  What is your next writing project?
Mark Reutlinger:  My most immediate project is updating a legal treatise that’s going into its third edition. After that, I’ll probably begin a thriller I’ve been thinking about. And I may begin writing another Mrs. Kaplan story as well—I often have more than one project going at a time.
About This Author
Mark Reutlinger is the author of the novels Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death and Made in China. A professor of law emeritus at Seattle University, Reutlinger was born in San Francisco, graduated from UC Berkeley, and now lives with his wife, Analee, in University Place, Washington. 

Author Links
Twitter: https://twitter.com/markreutlinger
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1192934.Mark_Reutlinger?from_search=true&search_version=service_impr
Website: http://www.markreutlinger.com/

Purchase Links:
All buy links under the “PRE-ORDER” button: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/246840/a-pain-in-the-tuchis-by-mark-reutlinger/
Penguin Random House: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/246840/a-pain-in-the-tuchis-by-mark-reutlinger/
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Peggy Hyndman said...

Question for Mark Reutlinger: When you start a new book, do you have all the characters in place and an ending planned, or does it come to you as you write?

Mark Reutlinger said...

In answer to Peggy's question: I usually know who the main characters will be, especially, of course, if it's already a series. And I have a general idea of the plot and where it's going. But mostly I let the story write itself as I go along, including the minor characters. I'm as interested to see how my characters and the plot develop as I hope my readers will be. Sometimes I even surprise myself. For example, in my novel "Made in China," the female protagonist was supposed to be a woman whom I introduced early in the story. I then wrote in another woman who was supposed to be a relatively minor character. As the story developed, I decided I liked the latter better than the former, so I wrote the first woman out early, and the second woman became the main character. Who knew?

Birdhouse Books said...

Mark, thanks for stopping by! That is really interesting. I always love to hear about the writing process.