Pam to Sunny: Sunny, can you describe the catalyst that led you down the primrose path to a life of crime writing?
Sunny to Pam: At about the age of 7, when I discovered the library and all the books, I knew I wanted to write one myself. It just seemed like a no-brainer. I loved weaving stories and I guess I thought all children thought the way I did. It wasn't until much later that I found out so many of my peers detested writing.
Pam to Sunny: It happened in the library! I should have known. Seriously, your protagonist is a detective who uses astrology. In your experience, where do most people go astray when they think of astrology?
Sunny to Pam: People confuse astrologers with psychics. Yes, there can be some overlapping, but I don't look at a person and come up with predictions out of the blue. I don't even like it when people try to make me guess their sign. I try to explain that each person has a universe inside them and many influences on their personalities. Astrology is a tool to help people get a handle on life. Sometimes the stars just aren't in your favor. I do try to offer ways to deal with trying times or make the most of good planetary line-ups. I hate it when people act like it's some sort of game. To tell you the truth, a really bad horoscope can land me in bed sick.
I'm often stunned by the accuracy of my predictions . Some people think it's pagan and against God. I, personally, feel my “gift” comes from a higher power. I'm not comfortable taking money for doing a chart, but I try to only cast horoscopes for people who are in a crisis.
There is so much to say about learning astrology and so many levels. I'm pretty basic, but further along than the average person. I went into a metaphysical bookstore in Los Angeles and saw 12 volumes of Arabic astrology. That's when you know you don't know anything!
Having said that, you have to wonder why the study of astrology has lasted through centuries. Today we don't use it to predict when kings will die and people don't have their own astrologers on the payroll, but there is still something very compelling about the practice. I'm respectful and don't overplay my charting or my skills.
Pam to Sunny: What can you tell us about the work of a real-life detective?
Sunny to Pam: Most of the work is boring. Much of it is tracking leads that go nowhere. And sometimes catching criminals is just a matter of luck. The paperwork involved is crushing and dealing with the people above you is frustrating. Workplace politics sometimes take precedence over actual work. But, cop humor is funny, weird stuff happens that the public never hears about and loyalty is key.
Pam to Sunny: How has your miliatry experience contributed to your writing career?
Sunny to Pam: My time in the Navy has affected much of my life. Law enforcement for me was simply an extension of military service. I understood rank and chain of command. I took responsibility and showed leadership. All of that goes in my books when I show my character, Christy Bristol, as a civilian dealing with the sworn officers. She may not always like the system, but she knows better than to buck it outright. Instead, she goes around the obstacles the people she works with put in front of her in order to get the cases solved.
Pam to Sunny: Your alter ego Christy no doubt shares many of your personal memories. How do you bring her to life in your stories?
Sunny to Pam: I believe keeping some of my personal history in my stories makes the stories sound authentic. However, I don't indulge my ego by making it all about me or only showing my good qualities. I give my protagonist lots of flaws, weaknesses and she's often wrong about her opinions. I keep my politics out of it and, although there is a nun in the novels, it's only a counterpoint to the astrology. I'm not preaching astrology or trying to convert anyone. In fact, the horoscope often trips Christy up and messes with her head.
Sunny to Pam: We've only had one serial killer in Fresno and I was “fortunate” enough to be working at the Sheriff's Dept. when his killings occurred. I wrote about the case years later in a short story. Very chilling.
I think what fascinates the writer is not the crime itself and the details, but the inner workings of the psychology of these killers. Many of us mystery writers have moved away from “Whodunits” to “Whydunits.” My serial killer in my second book, “Where Angels Fear” acts in revenge mode against something that happened to her mother back in Vietnam during the war. The one I'm currently working on, “A Snitch In Time,” is more of a vigilante killer, and there are many suspects as the victims are considered “Undesirables” in this small town.
Sunny Frazier welcomes you to her website.