Guest Blogger Susan Santangelo: A Blog Interview

I’m frequently asked at book talks, why do you write a Baby Boomer mystery series? My answer is, why not? There are 78.2 million Baby Boomers in the United States, according to the latest census figures. And the most “senior” Boomers, myself included, are starting to hit the magic age of 65. There’s been so much written about the financial piece of growing older – taking care of your IRAs, 401Ks, etc. – but nobody seemed to be taking a look at the emotional piece. By that I mean, how do couples who have been married for years, raised a family, and been leading fairly independent lives, now cope with the fact that the husband, and the wife may no longer be going out to a 9 – 5 job every day? Instead, they often get into each other’s way as they struggle to re-define their roles. Of course, nothing like that ever happens in my house! (smile.)

I’ve always loved the mystery genre. I was hooked on Nancy Drew books when I was a child, then I graduated to Agatha Christie, and I’ve just keep on going. I love what is traditionally called the cozy – no blood and gore for me. I like to be entertained. And, especially, I like to laugh!

I was diagnosed with breast cancer years ago, and that was a real wakeup call for me. I’ve been a freelance writer, editor and drama critic for years. I’ve also had my own p.r. company and done special events for a variety of clients, including Carnegie Hall. Writing press releases, articles, brochures – I did it all. But I’d always wanted to write a mystery. After the cancer diagnosis (I’m fine now!) I thought, why wait? Who knows what other curve balls life might have in store for me.

The original idea of the series was that my husband and I would do it together. He’s a non-fiction writer, too. But it didn’t exactly work out that way.

The series deals with typical Boomers Carol and Jim Andrews as they navigate the rocky way toward their golden years. In the first book, Retirement Can Be Murder, Carol dreads Jim’s upcoming retirement more than a root canal without Novocain. She can’t imagine anything worse than an at-home husband with time on his hands and nothing to fill it, except interfering in the day-to-day activities and driving her crazy. Until Jim is suspected of murdering his retirement coach. The second one in the series, Moving Can Be Murder, was just released May 1. This one deals with selling the family home and downsizing, with one dead body thrown in to keep things interesting. I’ve already started on Book 3 in the series, Marriage Can Be Murder, which will include a destination wedding on Nantucket. There a total of 7 planned for the series.

My books are written in the first person, so lots of people think I’m Carol. I’ve even been introduced at book talks as Carol! We’re both sarcastic and like to be in charge. We value our family and our close women friends. Oh, one more thing – we both love English cocker spaniels. There are two English cockers in the books, Lucy and Ethel.

My characters have become my best friends. The more I write about them, the more I want to write about them. And I have a sneaky suspicion that when I’m not keeping an eye on them, they get into trouble. Or, maybe it’s the other way around?

The subhead for each book title is, “Every wife has a story.” The more women I connect with, either at book talks or via the Internet, the more I realize how true that is!

The books are available on Amazon and selected independent book stores in the New England area. The first one is also available on Kindle and Nook, and second one will be soon. And through the website: www.babyboomermysteries.com.

Thanks for the opportunity to make some new cyber friends.

Susan Santangelo

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