Tuesday, August 31, 2010

C.S. Lakin's "Someone to Blame"

We're happy to have C.S. Lakin with us today talking about her book, Someone to Blame. To learn more about C.S. and her book, read on!

1) How did this story come to you?
I wanted to write another psychological mystery based on another of Agatha Christie’s famous murder mysteries. I had written one earlier called “Innocent Little Crimes” based on her book “And Then There Were None.” My next idea was to do a variation of “Murder on the Orient Express” but set it in a small town rather than on a train. I had been kicking around the idea for a couple of years and when I knew I’d be taking Jim Bell’s mentor track at Mount Hermon in the spring, I thought to write this book for the Christian market and use it in the workshop, which I did. I liked the idea of exploring the way a small town distrusts a newcomer, one especially abrasive. So by having Billy Thurber’s arrival in Breakers coincide with an outbreak of crimes, I explored how easy it is for people to blame someone they don’t know. I also wanted to explore a wider theme of blame, and so my story features a family new to Brekaers that is suffering form their own brand of blame regarding a horrible tragedy in their family. The two stories collide in upheaval and grace.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I did the usual pitching at conferences but couldn’t get anyone interested. So I submitted it in the Zondervan 2009 First Novel Contest at Mount Hermon and it won the contest. I feel extremely honored to have Zondervan enthusiastically supporting this book.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
Well, who knows? I was a pathological liar when a child and used to steal bottles out of neighbors’ garages to get the 5 cent refunds to buy candy. But I was also a kleptomaniac and stole candy more often than bought it. I was a bit neglected and ignored by my mom, who was a single parent working full-time. I got into a lot of trouble as a kid. Now, I try to behave myself. I was raised Jewish, which usually means atheist celebrating a few random holidays. Thankfully, God chose to reveal himself to me, and I’m very grateful and am glad he forgives sin!

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’m finishing book four in my fantasy series The Gates of Heaven, for AMG, a collection of full-length fairy tales in the style of C. S. Lewis. I’m very excited about that series and the first book, The Wolf of Tebron, is getting some great buzz and reviews. I’m also plotting out my eleventh novel, my fifth commercial contemporary book, which is not so much a mystery as the modern-day story of Jacob and Joseph, detailing a dysfunctional family in need of grace. It’s another huge challenging, crazy, different project. I’m alsway pushing the envelope and writing harder and harder things. Don’t know why I torture myself like this!

5) Parting comments?
I write all kinds of things, but although I’ve been chastised and told to stick to one genre, my Boss seems to have other ideas for me. I always look to Him to tell me what to write and the ideas bubble up and spill over. I know what to work on by how excited a project gets me and how it grips me to where I can’t really focus on anything else. I usually am working on one project while writing another, and the last six or so novels have alternated between fantasy and contemporary drama, so I guess that seems to be the pattern I’m sticking with for now. Unless a publisher gives me some three-book deal and I have to do that for a while. I feel blessed to spend my time doing what I really love—writing and editing for other writers. If you need mentoring or help on a project, hire me!

6) Here are the websites for the new releases:
http://www.gatesofheavenseries.com/ and http://www.someonetoblame.com/


  1. I am an email subscriber and would love enter to win this book! Thanks for the chance!

    Mollydedwards AT yahoo DOT com

  2. Very interesting...I'm a big Agatha Christie fan so this sounds like it may be a hit with me. I love that you moved the setting. Grew up in a small town and that is how it is! I'm looking for new books for my book club right now so this is definately going on my TBR list.


  3. Sounds like you are writing and doing just what you are meant to. I'll add you to my purchase list.

  4. Nice interview i am already a subscriber. Please enter me in your book giveaway.

  5. I really enjoy a good mystery, please count me in for this exciting giveaway.

    cenya2 at hotmail dot com

  6. Your book sounds great and I would love to read it!


  7. I adore the writings of Agatha Christie! This thriller sounds fabulous to me...
    Many thanks, Cindi

  8. What a great interview. You were a little stinker when you were young. Love that you like to write in all different area.
    Please enter me!

    I am a follower on Google/FaceBook/ and email!


  9. Your book sounds great.. What a wonderful way to write your books... I love mystery books and yours sound just like what I read. I surprised i haven't found you before now. I will be adding your books to my "to read list".
    You also give me lots of hope for my niece.. she's a good kid but her parents ignore her.. She is doing everything you mention just to get their attention. But they still haven't seen her. I've talked to her and we are working on building her self worth and she's not been in as much trouble.
    Thanks so nuch,



  10. I read all of Agatha Christie books that I could find when I was younger and that was quite a few!I know that I would love this book.


  11. Sounds intriguing. Please add me to your giveaway list.


  12. thanks for the chance to read this fabulous novel :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  13. I am a subscriber and would like to win your book.

  14. A great interview and I appreciate CS's truthful revelations of younger years. It fits the story line she described so well. Blame can be so unethical and rude, but so easily made. I enjoy the mystery of finding the real culprit and the surprise when that person is revealed. Sounds like some fun to add some humor to a sad story. Thanks for the giveaway, CS. KD, I appreciate the chance to win. I hope I do!!

    Grace & Peace in Christ,
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

  15. I like Agatha Christie books. This one sounds good.

  16. Someone to Blame went on my wish list when I first saw it publicized several weeks ago - and I didn't even know about the Agatha Christie tie-in until now! I am a long-time fan of murder mysteries and look forward to reading this book.

    I looked up "Innocent Little Crimes" on Amazon, but couldn't find a listing, which surprised me. I also look forward to the modern-day story of Jacob and Joseph.

    I am a subscriber and appreciate the chance to win a copy of Someone to Blame.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouthy [dot] net

  17. I love the sound of this one - please add my name to the drawing. Thanks for a very interesting interview.


  18. I enjoyed the interview. Please add me to the drawing list.

  19. I would like to read this book because it is different in story line that I usually read. Need some variety. I am a subscriber and appreciate the chance to win.

    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

  20. I just finished my first book of C.S. Lakin's - The Wolf of Tebron. I thought it was wonderful & thought provoking. I'm hooked on her writing now and would like to read another one of her books written along a different genre. I appreciate the chance to win "Someone To Blame."
    I'm a follower/subscriber.

    Blessings to you both!

  21. Whoa, what threw me was a psychological mystery novel...and C.S. Lewis as an influence in your writing style, another book I read a few months ago, with his fantasy-apocalyptic story-series, and makes me want to read this on these basis. Congrats to publishing with Zondervan!

    Keep me posted and will have to look out for this book!