On Skein of Death
On Skein of Death (A Riverbank Knitting Mystery)
by Allie Pleiter
About On Skein of Death
On Skein of Death (A Riverbank Knitting Mystery)
1st in Series
Publisher: Berkley (June 1, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Digital ASIN: B08H15VG1T
For Libby Beckett, opening her charming yarn shop, and introducing customers to the joys of knitting and crochet, is the work she was meant to do. Until the yarn she loves is used for murder….
Libby has come home to Collinstown, Maryland to live her dream and open her own yarn shop, aptly named Y.A.R.N., along the Chester River. To Libby, Y.A.R.N. stands for “You’re Absolutely Ready Now.” But the acronym changes whenever inspiration strikes, and customers add to the list of suggestions that fill the blackboard wall in a shop stuffed with color, fiber, and comfort.
Libby is thrilled when she lands famous Norwegian knitting celebrity Perle Langager for a series of events at Y.A.R.N. Libby’s English bulldog, Hank, has been modeling one of Perle’s doggie sweaters, and customers just can’t wait to see Perle in action. The mayor of Collinstown even decrees a Collinstown Yarn Day to celebrate. But once Perle arrives in town, she seems distracted and on edge. And when she’s found strangled with a skein of red yarn, Libby knows she has to solve a knotty mystery before her new life unravels.
About Allie Pleiter
An avid knitter, coffee junkie and firm believer that “pie makes everything better,” Allie Pleiter writes both fiction and non-fiction working on as many as four novels at a time. The bestselling author of over fifty books, Allie has enjoyed a twenty-year career with over 1.5 million books sold. In addition to writing, Allie maintains an active writing productivity coaching practice and speaks regularly on the creative process, publishing, and her very favorite topic—The Chunky Method of time management for writers. Visit her website at www.alliepleiter.com to learn more.
Q&A With The Author
Are you a Plotter (one who plans or plots out every detail of the writing process) or Pantser (one who writes by the seat of his/her pants)?
I’m a combination of both. Plotting does not come naturally to me—but characters do. When writing mysteries, of course, I must have the basics of the plot worked out in advance in order for the story to make sense. But things often veer into new directions as the characters develop. I’ll know the murder, the weapon, and the collection of possible suspects, but motives shift and grow as I get to know the characters. I try to power my way through the first draft all the way to the end (I call it “the discovery draft”) so that I’ve given my brain a chance to work out the knots. Then I’ll go back and rework details and timelines and conversations so that they do a stronger job of supporting the logic and motive of the crime. If I do it right, I make the surprise stronger, the red herrings more believable, and the reveal as satisfying as possible.
What advice do you have for a new writer?
My advice is very simple: write. There’s no substitute for it. Nothing begets writing like writing. Nothing improves your writing like writing. Talking and learning about writing are useful, but they’re not writing. Only writing is writing. The single best thing you can do to forward your career is to put your backside in the chair and your hands on the keyboard and write.
What is the easiest part of the writing process for you?
Wait…there’s an easy part?? Why was I not informed?? Seriously, the easiest part is allowing the characters to unfurl in front of me, to enjoy the magical process of them coming into being bit by bit. It might be inaccurate to say it’s easiest—but it’s certainly the most enjoyable. I rank plotting and synopsis writing, on the other hand, right up there with a root canal.
What is your favorite part of this story?
I’m especially fond of the relationship between Margo and Libby. I think everybody wants a friend like Margo—pie notwithstanding. I love their true-blue-tell-it-like-it-is friendship. Those are rare. So many readers have written me about how much they love the scene where Margo tells Libby “You’re the store, but the store’s not you.”
Which Character was the most fun to write about? Why?
Rhonda has some of the best lines, and gets away with the most antics. I know several seniors whose filters have come totally off—and they are equal parts great fun and enormous hassle. Rhonda’s heart is always in the right place, she just doesn’t have any boundaries left. That makes life a challenge for Libby. Rhonda says what we’re all thinking but know better not to say.
Which Character was the hardest to write about? Why?
Derek Martingale, Perle’s publisher, was a challenge. He had to be both realistic and not very nice, and that can be a tough balance to achieve. George Barker the grumpy Chamber of Commerce President is more one-dimensional and as such is rather fun to hate, but Derek required more subtlety. Derek’s complexity kept me re-writing much of his dialogue to get it just right. Readers don’t have to agree with how Derek handles things, but they do need to feel as if there’s a believable reason why he does them.
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