1. What were you in your life before you became a writer? Did this influence your writing?
I worked for 10 years as an insurance claims examiner, handling automobile and liability claims. When I was developing the idea for my sleuth, Paula, I chose insurance adjuster for her career because it’s a profession I know and adjuster felt more active and dynamic than examiner. I intended Paula to be an amateur sleuth and it was only toward the end of writing the first book that I realized insurance adjuster is a great job for a mystery series heroine. A key ingredient of the job is investigative skills; insurance claims, such as burglaries and fires, could be cover-ups for murder.
2 Are you genre specific or general? Why? I don't mean genres like romance, mystery, fantasy etc. There are many subgenres of the above.
I’m general. My two published novels are whodunit mysteries. I’ve written a third novel that is mainstream and doesn’t fall into a genre category, although it uses aspects of suspense. I have the germ of an idea for a historical novel I hope to write one day. In addition, I’ve published a number of short stories. Most are mainstream, a couple ventured into fantasy, and the few mysteries I’ve written are suspense or psychological rather than whodunits. Why I’m so general is probably due to your next question.
3. Did your reading choices have anything to do with your choice of a genre or genres?
I’ve loved reading whodunit mysteries since I was a child, starting with The Bobbsey Twins and continuing through Nancy Drew, The Happy Hollisters, Trixie Belden and other series. Later, I got into Agatha Christie. Daphne du Maurier added dark suspense to my reading mix. These days, I read about an equal amount of mystery, suspense and mainstream literature, which explains my continuous writing shifts between mainstream and mystery.
4. What's your latest release?
Ten Days in Summer, the second book in the Paula Savard Mystery Series, was published by BWL in January. In this novel, Paula investigates a suspicious building fire that caused the death of hoarder. The story is set against a backdrop of The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth—The Calgary Stampede.
5. What are you working on now?
Book 3 of the Paula Savard series. No title, yet. Paula investigates a hit and run collision that killed a woman and seriously injured her husband. The novel is set in winter, with typical Calgary weather of deep freezes and warm Chinooks.
6. Where can we find you?
Facebook:. https://www.facebook.com/susan.calder and Ten Days in Summer’s page: