Interview with Sunny Frazier
Navy Vet Sunny Frazier trained as a journalist and wrote for a city newspaper as well as military and law enforcement publications. After working 17 years with the Fresno Sheriff's Department, 11 spent as Girl Friday with an undercover narcotics team, it dawned on her that mystery writing was her real calling. Both “Fools Rush In” and “Where Angels Fear” are based on actual cases with a bit of astrology, a habit Frazier has developed over the past 42 years. The most recent novel, “A Snitch In Time” is based on one of the small towns in the Sierra Nevada foothills under the Sheriff's Department's jurisdiction.
The International Guy of Mystery owes Sunny a debt of gratitude for her encouragement and for never revealing the bizarre anomalies in his horoscope. He was able to interview her by Morse Code from a mountain hideout in the Sierra Nevada.
IGM: If you had to give a quick, one-sentence description of your novel to a Hollywood mogul, what would you say?
SF: Sheriff's Department office assistant/astrologer Christy Bristol visits the Nevada foothills and is conscripted into working a multi-homicide case where everyone (even a detective) is a suspect.
IGM: What inspired you to write it (personal experience, books you love, real people and events, etc.)?
SF: When I worked as a confidential secretary with an undercover narcotics team, the area I describe in the book was under our jurisdiction. The town is so unique, as were the crimes. I just felt I had to use the setting in a book. I also wanted to explore using astrology as a profiling tool. And, I wanted to explore the dynamics of female friendships using Christy and Lennie in this book.
IGM: What gives you the most joy as a writer?
SF: I sometimes forget the joy of spilling words on the page and just losing yourself in the story. It always seems insurmountable when I sit down yet somehow the words find me.
IGM: What is the hardest thing about writing?
SF: Self-doubt. It never goes away.
IGM: How did you come up with the title for this novel?
SF: I'm attracted to titles that are a play on words and still have meaning for the story. People remember the titles so much easier. If a title makes me smile, I'm probably going to buy the book.
IGM: Tell a little about your process. Did you know how it should end before you started?
SF: I wasn't clear on the ending of this book. I knew the direction I wanted it to go, but I was nearly finished before I realized how the climatic confrontation with the murderer would take place. I like it when my own plot surprises me!
IGM: Pretend you are fielding a baseball team with your favorite writers. List them by position. (If you dislike baseball, I just don’t know).
SF: Okay, this was a curve ball you've thrown me. Let's see: Robert Crais, pitcher; Michael Connelly, catcher; J.A. Jance, first base; Sue Grafton 2nd base; Daniel Silva 3rd base. Left field, Chuck Palahniuk; Right field, Christopher Moore; Centerfield, Dean Koontz; Short stop, Edward Rutherfurd. That's the dream team.
IGM: (Good idea to have Connelly behind the plate to keep Crais's head in the game.) OK, pretend your book is being made into a movie. What actors would play the lead characters? (Note: if your book is being optioned for a movie, you may wish to send several thousand dollars to the International Guy of Mystery Foundation as a tax write-off).
SF: Jennifer Lawrence would be Christy. Lennie might be played by the really tall actress from Game of Thrones. Trace Malin would be James Franco. Rodrigo would be the hottest Lantino actor around. The killer can be Bradley Cooper. The snitch would be played by Emma Stone. The forest ranger role would go to Channing Tatum.