What is your most recent book?
The title of my most recent book is “Final Stop Albuquerque.” It is the sixth in my R. A. Huber Series.
Give us a short summary of your R. A. Huber Series.
The protagonist, R. A. Huber, was born in Switzerland and emigrated to the United States as a young woman. Longing for excitement after she retires, Huber decides to start a second career and opens her own business as a private investigator. Soon the gutsy private eye’s cases take her on journeys fom Pasadena to Catalina Island, up to Lake Tahoe, the Central Mexico region, all the way to Davos, Switzerland, then back to the Big Bear Lake area, and finally in the latest book to the balloon festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The lady certainly cannot complain of boredom any longer – – the thrill of the job, particularly when her own life is at risk, can be almost too much at times.
In my latest two “Whodunnits,” The Fall of Optimum House and Final Stop Albuquerque, I introduced Andi as Huber’s dynamic young assistant. The earlier books are written in the first person from R. A. Huber’s point of view, whereas these last two are written in the third person.
Now tell us a bit about “Final Stop Albuquerque.”
Elena Campione seemed to have vanished into thin air. She had apparently left her South Pasadena residence without telling a soul. The police traced her to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she was last seen boarding the shuttle bus to the Balloon Fiesta Park on the last day of the annual balloon festival. Bruno Campione hires R. A. Huber to find his missing wife. The investigation takes Huber to several towns in Arizona and New Mexico, while Andi pries into matters closer to home. When Elena’s body washes up at Lake Havasu, it is no longer a missing person case but a homicide. The women’s probing into the murder puts them both in harm’s way. Huber ends up in the hospital in critical condition, and Andi barely escapes with her own life.
Tell us something about yourself.
Like my protagonist Huber, I was also born and raised in Switzerland and then came to the States as a young woman to “see the world.” I met my husband, a fellow Swiss, in New York City, and we decided to make our home in the United States. Our family relocated to Southern California in 1967, and we have resided there since. I worked as a secretary in New York City and then in Southern California until retirement. Now, retired for many years, I have found my second calling in writing mysteries.
What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to experience the annual Balloon Festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and found a perfect reason to convince my husband that we should go on a trip to that city in October, namely to do research for my book.
How did you publish this book? Why did you decide to self-publish?
I self-publish all my books. I was contemplating trying to get published the convential way, and then did some soul-searching and came to the conclusion that there was no reason why I should put myself under the stress this would involve. I found this creative outlet called writing late in life. It gives me joy and fulfillment, but I am a retired grandma and want to avoid that kind of pressure.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
As a young woman I dreamed of becoming a crime-solving sleuth. Now, many decades later, I fulfill this dream by writing mysteries.
What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?
Writing seems easy; promoting the books is the hard part.
How do you do research for your books?
I do some research on the web, but mostly I try to find “flesh-and-blood experts” to answer specific research questions. Since my books are all over the place geographically, I always do the location legwork on my own two feet.
Did you learn anything from writing this book? What?
Of course, I learned first hand about the balloon festival. Besides that, I also got an education about Go Kart racing, riding a Harley-Davidson, and the Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial in Gallup, New Mexico.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite read is a good mystery novel. My old-time favorite authors are Agatha Christie, P.D. James, and Dick Francis, and the more contemporary ones are Elizabeth George, Parnell Hall, John Grisham, and Sara Paretsky.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
Yes, I am. R. A. Huber sends Andi under cover to a rehabilitation camp for juvenile delinquents in the Solvang, California, area. And that is all I am going to divulge right now.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Keep writing and don’t ever give up.
What are you doing to promote your latest book?
I sent out press releases to local newspapers. A couple of them paid off and got me a review. I was also asked to guest blog on two different sites. I was on an author panel at a local library sponsored by the Sisters in Crime organization. I had bookmarks made, which I hand out where appropriate. Members of a local book club read and discussed Final Stop Albuquerque. I am planning to sign my books at the Sisters in Crime booth of the annual L.A. Times festival of books at the UCLA campus in April.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
At my website, www.alicezogg.com