While working as an engineer, Michelle Knowlden published 14 stories with Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine that featured hypochondriac detective Micky Cardex and two stories that did not. “No, Thank You, John” was nominated for a Shamus award. Many of these stories have been included in anthologies and translated in multiple languages. She also published a science fiction story for “More Amazing Stories,” an Amazing Stories anthology published by Tor.
In December 2013, Amazon Kindle published the first of four short novels in the Abishag Mystery series: “Sinking Ships.” The second Abishag mystery, “Indelible Beats,” was published January 2014. “”Riddle in Bones,” the third, was published April 2014 and the last of the quartet, “Eggshell Present,” was released September 2014. She has also published Young Adult SF with Neal Shusterman: “X Files YA No. 10 Dark Matter,” for HarperCollins under the name Easton Royce and an e-novella “Unstrung,” in Shusterman’s Unwind world published by Simon & Schuster.
For more about Michelle, visit her website at http://mlknowlden.wordpress.com.
What’s your favorite scene in “Sinking Ships” and why?
When Leslie Greene bursts into tears with Mrs. Timmons. The college student has been holding it together for half the book—finding a murdered hospice aide on her wedding night, caring for her octogenarian, nearly-dead husband, and dealing with threats to her and her friends—when she finally loses it with the sympathetic housekeeper. She lets down her guard and as a result, she learns something key about Thomas’s past.
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
It made me laugh thinking that most of my favorite holiday traditions are food related. One of my non-food related traditions is getting together with friends and shopping for children’s gifts for Operation Christmas Child. It’s fun to spark ideas from each other and put together a perfect collection of practical and fun gifts that will fit into a shoebox. Uh oh, we also have lunch afterwards.
If a reader curls up with your book on a cold, winter night, what’s the perfect seasonal beverage you’d recommend?
Leslie and her friends are fiends for coffee, which I can’t drink at night. Steamed coconut milk with a dribble of almond extract and a dash of cinnamon will be this year’s winter beverage of choice. I drink chamomile tea if my brain is on fire after writing all day.
What are you working on next?
I have two manuscripts that are mired in revisions. I’m also writing discovery drafts of a series set on 1920s California orange ranches. I recently completed the 1922 prequel, a mystery novella, set in prohibition Long Beach. For the actual series set in north Orange County, I’m finishing the first romance novel about an on-the-run Americanization teacher who is trapped in a fake engagement when her past catches up to her. Then there is a YA dystopia novel that wakes me up at night and follows me to the tea kettle mid-afternoons. Not to mention that while walking, I jot down ideas for the sequel to “Jack Fell Down” …
Sinking Ships: An Abishag’s First Mystery
By Michelle Knowlden
Nineteen-year-old Leslie Greene finds a way to solve her money woes. Having had four contract marriages, her friend Jen assures Leslie that nothing will go wrong.
After signing with the Abishag agency (a firm that supplies temporary wives to comfort dying men), Leslie marries a comatose 83-year-old executive. Always the analyst, she calculates she’ll be a widow before Fall semester. Three weeks of training and armed with the Handbook for Abishag Wives, Leslie arrives at Thomas Crowder’s Palos Verdes home … and finds a murdered hospice aide.
An old Portuguese shipwreck, an antique stack of hidden ledgers, her university housemates and a red-haired agency lawyer are all that stand between Leslie and a vengeful killer.
Sinking Ships is the first of four short novels in the Abishag murder series.