BBB: What are your favorite hobbies? (besides reading or writing) BC: I curl in the winter and enjoy gardening, biking and travel.
BBB: List five adjectives to describe yourself.
BC: Competitive, straightforward, optimistic, sociable and creative.
BBB: Name one piece of clothing that describes your writing style.
BC: A hat because I have to take it off and on so many times during the week while I juggle working full-time, writing, working on publicity, running a house, and keeping up with my family and friends.
BBB: What’s your favorite thing to do in the summer? Fall? Winter? Spring?
BC: Winter: curl – I am on two teams at my local club. I watch it on television and my husband and two daughters also curl. In fact, my oldest daughter is on the team that won nationals the last two years and achieved a silver medal at Worlds last year.
Spring: Watch the snow melt and the flowers push up out of the ground. Winters are long and cold in Ottawa so sunny days and warmth are welcome.
Summer: Swim in the backyard pool and entertain on the back deck.
Fall: Travel around the Ottawa Valley with my husband and spend time in a B and B in one of the small towns.
BBB: Please tell us more about Butterfly Kills and the storyline that drives it.
BC: Staff Sergeant Jacques Rouleau moves from Ottawa to Kingston to be near his aging father and to take over the Major Crimes Unit. The murder of a fourth year psychology student rocks the university campus, where she also worked on a call help line. A seemingly separate major crime occurs within hours – a woman claims to have been raped by her husband and she has the injuries to prove it. Rouleau has an opening on his team and is relieved when Kala Stonechild drops in. She was an officer on his team in Ottawa and he’s developed a mentor-type relationship with her. Stonechild grew up in foster homes and is a loner, prickly but highly intelligent and dogged in working a case. Her new partner Paul Gundersund is a good detective, but distracted by a messy marriage. A third storyline winds through the novel from the point of view of Dalal, a thirteen year old girl from India whose older sister has gone missing.
The storyline is driven by destructive family secrets that fester into violence. I wanted to show that people are not always what they seem – they can present themselves as good when they are not, or victims when they are the perpetrators.
BBB: How many more books will there be in the Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery series?
BC: The third manuscript has been accepted and I am currently working on book four. I’m not certain how many more will be in the series but expect another one or two after these.
BBB: What sets the Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery series apart from other books in the same genre?
BC: Kala Stonechild has been described as the first female First Nations lead cop in fiction and she makes for an intriguing protagonist. I develop the storyline of each of the cops so that they become as interesting and suspenseful as the crimes they are solving. The setting is Canada with all its beauty and harshness, both in its wilderness and cities.
BBB: What types of characters can readers expect in your world?
BC: The characters are often damaged and vulnerable. Some are greedy and self-serving, others are flawed but heroic. Readers will find a cross section of real people, put in a suspenseful, tense situation with a murderer in their midst.
BBB: Tell us something you hate doing and why?
BC: Cleaning out the fridge and cupboards – it takes so much time better spent elsewhere.
BBB: What takes you out of your comfort zone?
BC: Public speaking is stressful beforehand although I usually enjoy it once I settle in with an audience. I do not like driving long distances but will if necessary – I have no sense of direction, which has gotten me lost on more than one occasion.
BBB: If you could switch bodies with a certain celebrity, who would it be and why?
BC: Tough question I always wanted to be taller. Maybe Julia Roberts. She seems to have a good happy life with her priorities in place.
BBB: What’s coming up for you for in 2015?
BC: I’ll be at Malice Domestic in May and travelling most of September for pleasure. I’ll be working with the editor on book three in the Stonechild series and finishing up book four, hopefully by the summer.
BBB: Did growing up in a small northern town have an impact on your writing?
BC: I’d have to say yes. I grew up in Terrace Bay, a pulp and paper town of 2000 people on the North Shore of Lake Superior. While I’ve lived in a city on nearly a million since my twenties, the small town and northern landscape always work their way into my stories.
BBB: Can you physically describe your main cops?
BC: Kala Stonechild is twenty-nine years old and Aboriginal. She has long, straight black hair, black eyes, high cheekbones and stands at five foot seven. She’s fit and strong, attractive but not beautiful.
Jacques Rouleau had a French mother and has her maiden name as his parents never married. He is in his early fifties, lean body, shaved head and startlingly green eyes rimmed in laugh lines.
Paul Gundersund, Stonechild’s partner is over six foot and a large man, longish blond hair, scar on right cheek and often compared to a Viking.
BBB: How do you handle the murders?
BC: I’m not interested in wallowing in the blood and gore of a murder and they generally happen off scene. I prefer to give some details but to leave a lot of the details to the reader’s imagination.The murder is the starting off point for the plot and always sends ripples through the community and upsets the natural order. I try not to minimize the impact of a murder on those left behind.
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Books in the Stonechild and Rouleau mystery series in the order they should b read: Cold Mourning Butterfly Kills
About Brenda Chapman
Brenda Chapman has had an eclectic writing career, writing for young adults, teens and adults, mainly in the mystery genre.
Her first published series was the Jennifer Bannon mysteries for young adults, four in total. the Canadian Library Association shortlisted Hiding in Hawk’s Creek, the second in the series, for the 2006 Book of the Year for Children award.
Her first mystery for adults called In Winter’s Grip was released in 2010. The Globe and Mail called it “a fine debut for a talented writer.”
Brenda has degrees in English literature and education and was a special education teacher for nearly fifteen years. She currently works as a senior communications advisor for the federal government.in Ottawa. She lives with her husband Ted and they have two daughters Lisa and Julia who have also made their homes in Ottawa.
11 Quick Things About Brenda
Favorite Food? shrimp
Favorite Color? blue, leaning toward azure
Favorite Movie or TV Show of all Time? I’ve watched Hope Floats (Bullock and Connick Junior) about ten times so my husband would say that one. The Good Wife is my go-to television series.
Favorite Drink? wine, red and white
Favorite Current Book? Liza Marklund’s Borderline – very gritty but I like the main character and have read every book in the series.
Favorite Season? late spring
Favorite Online Hangout? Facebook
Favorite Animal? My daughter’s dog George.
Favorite Band or Musician? Always changes – Adele most recently
Mode of Travel? (Trains, Planes or Automobiles) train
Favorite Vacation Destination? Europe – we’re going to Spain, Portugal and the South of France this year.
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Open to readers worldwide except where noted. Prize 1: A $25.00 Amazon Gift Card
Prize 2: 5 copies of book one Cold Mourning (US and Canada only)