Friday, April 5, 2013

Slightly Cracked

Today's special guest is Susan Whitfield, a North Carolina native. She was one of our featured authors at Book 'Em North Carolina in both 2012 and 2013, and I am excited to announce that she will be returning in 2014 for our next event! She is a truly talented author.


Thank you for joining us today, Susan! Tell me, what got you interested in writing and in your particular genre?

I’ve been reading books since I was four years old and always dreamed of writing a book, but as Life happened it took me many years to get serious about it. As a high school principal I had no time to write for pleasure, so my first book, Genesis Beach, did not publish until 2007. When I had time to read anything other than academic articles, I picked up James Patterson’s Alex Cross series and was instantly hooked on mystery.

Do you develop the plot or the characters first? Are you a plotter or pantser?

I usually have the plot rolling around in my head for months before I start putting pen to paper. Of course with the Logan Hunter series my main character is my female protagonist. I’m basically a pantster first and once I’ve got the “bones” of the novel down, I plot to add the flesh.

Who is your favorite character and why?

In the mystery series I’d have to say I really like Logan Hunter. In my women’s fiction, Slightly Cracked, I had a ball with both Daisy Marie Hazelhurst and Sugar Babe Beanblossom.

What is your most favorite plot of all your books? 

Boy, that’s difficult to answer. I guess I favor Hell Swamp’s plot most since I went back to my childhood home and set that novel at The Black River Plantation in deer country where hunters quickly became the suspects.

The inspiration for Hell Swamp came from an ugly letter an animal rights activist wrote to a young hunter in our area. He'd had his picture in the paper with his deer and she found out his home address. It was a horrible letter, calling him a killer. I decided to write a novel around that true story.

What are you working on next?

I am currently writing the fifth Logan Hunter mystery, set in Beaufort.

What do you want readers to know about you?

I’m a North Carolina native and set all my books somewhere in the state. After all, we have the ocean, the mountains, and many beautiful lakes, rivers, ponds in between. North Carolina also has plenty of diversity in customs and dialects. You can learn more at  I also blog at

Thanks for inviting me to the blog. I’ve enjoyed it very much!


In Slightly Cracked, Sugar Babe Beanblossom and best pal, Daisy Marie Hazelhurst, have been buddies since they were born two weeks to the day apart. Living near each other, they share happy and sad memories, outrageous antics and giggles, and marital and health glitches. The only thing that threatens their lifelong friendship is the Old Dickeywood subdivision goose controversy.

When Daisy takes a nasty spill on her bike, Sugar Babe races to her side. After two trips to the ER, Daisy is diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome and tests reveal an even more sinister affliction. As Daisy weakens, Sugar Babe embraces the realization that friends must encourage and protect one another through difficult circumstances, and …

 “Driving Miss Daisy” takes on a whole new meaning.


Sadie walked into the office with a trash can liner, slammed on brakes and pointed toward the ceiling. “Sn … s … ”

“For Heaven’s sake, Sadie, quit stuttering. What on earth’s wrong? What is it?”

The maid’s eyes filled with tears and she began to gurgle, still pointing behind Mackie Sue. The principal stood and followed her maid’s shaking finger to the corn snake dangling from a ceiling tile in the office corner behind her executive chair.

“Holy Mother!” Mackie Sue snatched her long umbrella from its ceramic stand and yanked the snake out of the ceiling crack with its hooked wooden handle. Once she had the reptile on the floor, she pulverized it into filet mignon. Breathless, she turned back to where the maid had stood seconds ago, but found only empty space and a leftover hint of fear. “I’ve never seen that in all my natural born days,” she said aloud as Mrs. Palmer ran into the office.

“Where’s my snake?”

Mackie Sue looked down at the mess she’d made in the office carpet, trying not to display sinister pleasure.


You can learn more about Susan Whitfield at  

She also blogs at


p.m.terrell said...

Thank you so much for visiting us today, Susan! Your books sound wonderful. I'm so glad you have joined us at our Book 'Em events in Lumberton - and I look forward to having you again in 2014.

Susan Whitfield said...

Wow! Thanks for inviting me to be on the Book 'Em blog, Trish. Let me add that I was delighted to get an invitation to be a part of Book 'Em right from the beginning. You are such a great organizer and this cause is dear to me since I taught high school English for 13 years and had more than one student who was illiterate and had somehow made it all the way to me. I spent many an afternoon after school helping juniors learn to read. I'm looking forward to being back in Lumberton next year and encourage folks to register or at least come and see what a fabulous event this is.

Mary Deal said...

I've read Susan's book. They are edgy and exciting. Except for slightly cracked. I kept shaking my head while reading about these two women - shaking my head and smirking! Am definitely waiting for her next book.

Mary Deal said...

Can't believe the typos above. I'm so exhausted tonight but saw the post and had to come over. I've read her books - plural. And that's capital letters on Slightly Cracked. Still, no matter how you say it, she's a great writer!

Susan Whitfield said...

Mary, thanks for all the wonderful remarks. Yes, I smirked quite a few times while writing about the Slightly Cracked gals, Daisy Marie and Sugar Babe. I've read your books too and folks should pick them up for great summer reading.