Claudia, describe yourself for our visitors.
I’m a neomystic Jesus freak ragamuffin. Loved by God. Amazed by grace. I like all kinds of music, from U2 to Stevie Wonder to Byzantine chant. When I have time I enjoy knitting, but nothing beats a book in the hand. I like all kinds of ministries, but ancient church speaks to me the most. I’m Eastern Orthodox.
How do you find time to connect with God?
Connection with God doesn’t go away. God is constantly in my thoughts and in my heart. I do find sweet communion with him during the Divine Liturgy, the Eucharist, and reading. When I find myself (and my relationship with God) too much in my head, I practice the classic spritual disciplines to find my feet. I never met a prayer book I didn’t like.
Murder, Mayhem, and a Fine Man is a mystery with heart. It’s in turn deep, funny, romantic, and horrifying.
How did you come up with ideas for this book?
I thought about what I knew–and some of what I knew was quite painful–and what would be fun to write. I’ve always loved mysteries, and forensic science. And I can’t resist a fine romance. I put it all together and out came my genre hybrid, Murder, Mayhem, and a Fine Man.
Describe your journey to publication.
I started off blogging, and going deep and honest in the work. That earned me a number of readers. A friend who is a published writer told her publisher about me. He went to my blog, then emailed me and asked if I would write a novel for their company! In the end he quit his job two days after I turned in the manuscript. He became a literary agent and took me on immediately as a client. So, I landed an agent in the same “mysterious way” I’d gotten a potential publisher. He sold the book a few months later. My story is a testimony to how God really will bring what’s yours right to your door. He did it all. I showed up with my work, being honest and offering it to Him. He did His God thing.
What’s next for you?
Death, Deceit, and Some Smooth Jazz is the second Bell Brown Mystery. You can expect higher stakes and the romance to heat up! And in August the final book in the series, Saints, Suspicions, and a Ticking Clock. After that, The Exorsistah, which I’m really excited about.
Where can visitors find you online?