Five Facts About A Question of Fire
1. The heroine of A Question of Fire is probably my favorite of all the heroines I’ve ever written. She has an off-beat sense of humor that manifests at odd times. A number of readers have commented how much they enjoyed her unusual brand of wit. At one point in the book she’s having lunch with the hero, who is a bit of a health-food nut. See the excerpt below for their dialogue.
2. The climactic confrontation involves our heroes in a chase through the woods of the Blue Ridge Mountains and then a car chase on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s an area I’ve traveled many times and writing that scene was about as much fun as it’s possible for a writer to have.
3. This was the second novel I ever wrote, but it wasn’t my first published novel. I wrote four more complete novels before I sold my first one, The Night Prowlers, to Avalon Books.
4. It did eventually sell to a publisher, but only after I’d rewritten it completely three times.
5. It’s been through several different publishers. After it went out of print, I got back the rights to it. It then went to an e-publisher, who went out of business a few months later. The rights to it were transferred to another small press publisher, who put out both print and ebook versions before themselves going out of business. I released it myself as an ebook a few years ago, my first venture into e-publishing.
When Cathy Bennett agrees to attend an important party as a favor for her boss, she knows she won't enjoy it. But she doesn't expect to end up holding a dying man in her arms and becoming the recipient of his last message. Bobby Stark has evidence that will prove his younger brother has been framed for arson and murder. He wants that evidence to get to his brother's lawyer, and he tries to tell Cathy where he's hidden it. But he dies before he can give her more than a cryptic piece of the location.
The man who killed Bobby saw him talking to her and assumes she knows where the evidence is hidden. He wants it back and he'll do whatever it takes to get it, including following her and trying to kidnap her.
Cathy enlists the aid of attorney Peter Lowell and Danny Stark, Bobby's prickly, difficult younger brother, as well as a handsome private detective to help her find the evidence before the killers do.
Lowell was quiet while the waitress delivered their plates. "I suppose I owe you the assistance," he said when the girl had left. "Since it's my client we're trying to get off the hook." He picked up his sandwich, which seemed to consist mostly of lettuce and tomato, and took a bite. He noticed her staring at him. "What's the matter?"
"What have you got on your sandwich?" she asked.
"Lettuce, tomato, Provolone cheese, mayonnaise, and cucumber. Why?"
"Cucumber?" Cathy had to repress a shiver. "Why aren't you having a real sandwich? You're not on a diet, are you?" Lowell was built pretty lean, but he might have to work to stay that way.
"This is a real sandwich," he said.
"There's no meat on it. This is a real sandwich." Cathy held up her roast beef.
He looked at it with distaste. "That's a pile of cholesterol between two pieces of limp styrofoam."
"At least it's edible. Human food." She pointed at his lunch. "That's a salad on two pieces of burnt toast."
"This is good for you."
"But this tastes good."
"This argument is ridiculous," Lowell said, setting his sandwich down. "Truce. Eat your lunch and enjoy it, and I'll eat mine. And enjoy it, too. Cucumber and all. Fair enough?"
Karen McCullough’s wide-ranging imagination makes her incapable of sticking to one genre for her storytelling. As a result, she’s the author of more than a dozen published novels and novellas, which span the mystery, fantasy, paranormal, and romantic suspense genres. A former computer programmer who made a career change into being an editor with an international trade publishing company for many years, she now runs her own web design business to support her writing habit. Awards she’s won include an Eppie Award for fantasy; three other Eppie finals; Prism, Dream Realm, Rising Star, Lories, Scarlett Letter, and Vixen Awards, and an Honorable Mention in the Writers of the Future contest. Her short fiction has appeared in several anthologies and numerous small press publications in the fantasy, science fiction, and romance genres. She lives in Greensboro, NC, with her husband of many years.