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Mystery writer Sunny Frazier uses many of her own memories and experiences to bring  her protagonist and alter ego, Christy Bristol, to life.  Her fictional crime series is about a detective who makes use of astrology to crack cases.  Talk about creative--!  But Sunny has an interesting life, and here she shares how her own experiences contribute to her writing.  Her most recent title is Where Angels Fear       
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. 

Pam to Sunny:  What can you tell us about your working experience with serial killers?  What do you think is the reason we like to write and read about them? 

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.
10/18/2012 10:53:28 am

You're correct. As a reader, I'm interested not in the gore of fiction murders, but the details, the story behind the killer. The scheming, the psychology. The police procedure and analyzing of clues.

10/18/2012 08:53:54 pm

What an insightful interview! I will now look at astrology in a completely different light and look forward to reading your books.

10/18/2012 11:01:10 pm

I think you are absolutely right about the reason people write, and read, about serial killers. Trying to understand and figure out the workings of the mind of a cold, cunning killer is riveting.

The way you use astrology to solve crimes is clever and unique.

10/18/2012 11:19:47 pm

I loved astrology and therefore this post. You Rock Sunny!

<3's and fangs,
Liz ^_^

10/19/2012 12:05:49 am

An interesting look into the mind and working methods of Sunny Frazier. I also think 'why' is more interesting than 'who.'

10/19/2012 12:58:07 am

Hi Sunny,

Interesting post! I have always been intrigued by astrology and also believe it can help people improve the quality of their lives.


John Brantingham
10/19/2012 11:41:00 am

I love when an author brings in actually experience and teaches me something new! Thank you for the astrology.

10/20/2012 08:17:52 am

Fascinating. Cops, the stars, and whack jobs. What haven't you done? Nice interview!!

11/4/2012 01:20:02 am

I can well imagine that a chart showing frightening things ahead in someone's life would be very disturbing to you, Sunny. What an awe-inspiring gift you have, the ability to see everything ahead -- good and bad. How many of us could handle absolute clarity of sight? So interesting to learn about. Thank you.

11/25/2012 05:23:46 am

Sunny, astrology has always intrigued me. A few years ago, I took an astrology course at the local community college. That's when I discovered how much time it takes to create a chart for someone. I've never incorporated any of that into my writing. However, I do often get a "feeling" about someone's sun sign. Interesting interview. Thanks!

<a href="">Mary Montague Sikes</a>


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