‘Missing Pieces’ Book Launch Q&A

By Kathryn Schleich

I recently celebrated the launch of my third crime novel, “Missing Pieces.” A special drink for the occasion, the Bloody Murder (sangria), got things off to a great start, along with plenty of food and friends. The puzzle piece theme that was used on the book cover and symbolized the gaps in main character Madelyn Cummins’ memory due to Transient Global Amnesia (TGA) was carried throughout the event. Guests received custom order puzzle piece cookies, which were a huge hit, and a puzzle piece with a number on it for a chance to win one of four book-themed prizes. Of course, I read a chapter and signed books too. The crowd’s enthusiasm for “Missing Pieces” made for a memorable day.

A major highlight was a Q&A with Chris Olsen, founder of Publish Her Press:

CO: How did you choose the setting for “Missing Pieces”? It takes place in Minnesota. Tell us more about the setting and how you chose it.

KS: I love Minnesota. I have been back here since 2002. My second book “Darkness and Grace” was also set here. I really just love Minnesota—mosquitoes and all—and I like writing about a local setting.

CO: I think readers in Minnesota are in for a treat, because if you’re from here, it’s fun to read those details.

KS: Another book that I’m working on, and have been working on forever, called “Cheshire Grin,” is set in Illinois. My ex-husband and I were at the Newman Catholic Student Center at Northern Illinois University, so I use the college setting in that fictional story.

CO: This is your third crime mystery novel. Why do you like this genre in particular?

KS: There appears to be an awful lot of crime that happens in my family. “Darkness and Grace” is based on real-life events that happened to my family in the 90s. “Salvation Station” came about because my then husband watched televangelists after mass, and the televangelists made me furious, because they were preying on people that couldn’t afford to give them money. I also had personal experience working with law enforcement. With “Missing Pieces” and the TGA, police officers were trying to find me in real life, so I wrote about it.

CO: Do you think you have a natural ability to solve crimes? Do you think that’s how your brain works—you hear about a crime and automatically start to piece details together to solve it?

KS: Absolutely. And maybe I’m just nosy, but it’s interesting to me to figure something out. Why did someone do what they did? For “Darkness and Grace” I thought about how anybody, no matter who we are, especially if our loved ones are threatened, may do something that no one would ever expect.

CO: Are there any future projects you’d like to talk about? You mentioned “Cheshire Grin”—what else are you working on?

KS: Depending on how well “Missing Pieces” is received, I may write a follow-up with the same characters and another crime. And I’d like to get “Cheshire Grin” put to bed.

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