I met Sunny Frazier October 30, 2004 at a book signing event in Hanford, California. She was signing and selling books along with a number of other Central Valley of California authors. I think that is when I bought her book, Valley Fever – Stories of the San Joaquin Valley, by Sunny, JoAnne Lucas, and Cora Ramos. I still have the signed copy of Valley Fever. Marilyn Meredith was there too with one or more of her books. I talked to Sunny about my interest in writing and she introduced me to the Sisters in Crime organization in Fresno and the Kings County Writers Support Group in Hanford. That day changed the direction of my life. I can not believe it has been a full decade.
I am so proud to introduce Sunny Frazier to any of you who may not already know her and let her tell you about her third novel, one that sounds super exciting. Linda
From the Stars to the Page
by Sunny Frazier
Christy Bristol and the astrology mysteries I write emerged from a single incident while working for the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department undercover narcotics team. I’ve been doing astrology for 40 years now, quietly, not really advertising the fact that I cast horoscopes. People tend to look at the practice of astrology with skepticism and I have always wanted to be taken seriously, not some sort of kook. When one of my detectives (Wolfe in the book) asked me to do a chart on a notorious drug dealer who was hooked on astrology and calling the 1-800 astrology hotline on a regular basis, I refused. I could just see getting up on the witness stand and saying, “Yes, judge, I did a horoscope on the criminal to scare him into showing us where the bodies were buried.”
But, what a great book, right? I actually did charts on not only the drug kingpin but also all the members of his meth crew. I used the case as the storyline for “Fools Rush In.” In the book, Christy is an office assistant, much like my position. Captured by the drug dealers, she uses her knowledge of astrology against them to stay alive. Much of what is in the book is true, as strange as it all seems. The publisher would not put my photo on the back cover for fear he might put a hit out on me from prison. The man conveniently died in incarceration.
I forced Christy to go undercover to a sex club to find a missing person in the second novel, “Where Angels Fear.” Christy’s shyness makes this an excruciating endeavor but her wild friend Lennie (based on a friend from my wild days in the Navy) won’t let her off the hook. By doing the horoscopes of three dead men, Christy finds the connection and the motive for their deaths. And yes, this is also based on a true incident, and yes much of the strange stuff I wrote about is true.
In every book, Christy grows and, hopefully, grows on the reader. She is Every Woman, not Wonder Woman. I didn’t make her pretty or rich, but I gave her warts, insecurities and many of the same daily problems women experience. I also gave her the strength to overcome whatever I throw at her.
1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or historic?
Christy Bristol. She’s fictional but is very similar to me in a lot of ways. Awkward!
2) When and where is the story set?
All of my stories and novels are set in the San Joaquin Valley. They are contemporary and set in the now.
3) What should we know about him/her?
Christy is a 32 year old office assistant for the Central County Sheriff’s Department. She’s unmarried but has a hot boyfriend who she can’t believe loves her. She’s plain, but improving both in looks and confidence with every book.
Christy does astrology, receives unwanted glimpses into the future and relays messages to her sister, a nun, via ESP. She is not comfortable with her “gifts” and resists being pulled into doing horoscopes. Unfortunately, fate doesn’t let her off the hook.
4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?
In the latest book the main conflict is that Christy is at the wrong place at the wrong time. She just wanted a long weekend with her friend Lennie up in the Sierra Nevada foothills. But, when a murder occurs and the homicide detectives need an office assistant to man the phones at the substation and type up reports, she conscripted to work with them. Unhappy at the arrangement and anxious to go home, she decides to try and profile the killer using reverse astrology.
Her relationship with girlfriend Lennie is also strained because Christy takes an instant dislike to Lennie’s latest man. She’s jealous because her former co-worker now owns a newspaper and has left the drudgery of office work behind.
While up there, she is given a forest ranger’s cabin to live in. He shows up and they have to share the small space. They bond over literature and his poetic nature. Never having had much attention from men, Christy is flattered that two men are now interested in her.
5) What is the personal goal of the character?
In each book, I force Christy to go outside of her comfort zone and grow. In this book her impatience with the homicide team’s inner politics and personality clashes finally makes her throw up her hands and do her own investigation with the only tool she’s got: astrology.
The conflict with her BFF comes to a head and Christy is forced to recognize that she has, in the past, belittled Lennie for her lack of education and sexual escapades. It’s hard for her to admit that Lennie has been the better and less judgmental friend in the relationship.
Christy also has to decide between her love for the man who has stood by her but is frequently away and a new man who seems to “get” her on an intellectual level. She’s never had choices like this before. It’s all very flattering.
6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?
The title is “A Snitch In Time.” No, nobody gets to read anything until the book is out.
7) When can we expect the book to be published?