Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Blog Tour: Murder for Choir by Joelle Charbonneau

Murder for Choir
Joelle Charbonneau

Release Date: July 3rd, 2012
Publisher: Berkley 

Even as a struggling opera singer, Paige Marshall has never seen anything like the uber- egos of Prospect Glen High School show choir. As their new coach, she’s getting an icy reception from championship hungry students who doubt she can take them to a first-place trophy. Toughing this gig out may prove harder than scoring her big break…

Especially now that her best young male singer is suspected of killing the arrogant coach of Prospect Glen’s fiercest rival choir. For Paige to clear his name, she’ll have to sort through a chorus of suspects—and go note-for-note with a killer who’ll do anything to knock her out of the spotlight for good…

If you could describe Paige in five words what would they be?

Resilient, determined, realistic, hopeful, kind

What did you absolutely love about writing this book? What did you absolutely hate about it?

I loved being able to use the experience I’ve gained over the years as both a stage performer to fill out the story and hopefully bring the characters to life.  Funny enough, while I enjoyed used that information, writing Paige and her quest for her big break required me to walk through my own rejection memories.  Those rejections are definitely the downside of performing and while picking through those experiences made for a better book, it was certainly not my favorite part of this writing adventure.

How did you come up with the
 Murder for Choir? 

Because I’m a professional performer (or at least, I was until my son was born and made doing 8 shows a week a lot more challenging!), I was intrigued with the idea of creating a mystery series that involved the performing world.  Between the rejections, the reviews and the egos involved, the environment was a wonderful source of conflict and drama.  Since I also teach private voice lessons to high school students, I decided to combine that aspect into the series as well.  Add a dead body and MURDER FOR CHOIR was born.

Will there be more books on the
 Glee Club Mystery? What can you tell us about them?

There will be at least two more books in the Glee Club Mystery series.  Hopefully, readers will connect with Paige and her co-stars and the series will continue beyond those books. 

The second in the series is END ME A TENOR (April 2, 2013), in which Paige has to juggle prepping her choir for the Winter Wonderland Concert and the big break she has been waiting for.  That big break is threatened when the famous tenor in the show is murdered and Paige once again turns sleuth in order to save not only the show, but her own life.

How do you go about the writing process? Do you have the story structured beforehand and follow the outline or is it just going with the flow?

For some reason, outlining never works for me.  I’ve tried it on a number of occasions and every time I try to write the story the characters seem to go in a different direction than I intended.  I think because of my stage experience, I’m very aware of every character action requiring a reaction.  Each line of dialogue or choice a character makes pushes the story along sometimes in directions I did not anticipate.  So while as an actor I love having a script to follow, my writing follows the improvisation rules where I have to see what happens next and then react to it. 

You are about to throw a big dinner party, which one of your characters would you invite and why?

Ha!  That’s easy.  I’m inviting Aldo Mangialardi.  Not only is he a fabulous cook–so he can help in the kitchen if I need an extra hand—he’s a world class piano player.  What’s a dinner party without a sing-a-long?

What is currently on your TBR list this summer?

Eek!  My TBR pile is scary.  Writing under deadline means less time for reading.  However, on the top of the pile is BOUND by Erica O’Rourke, an ARC of SON by Lois Lowry and STAY CLOSE by Harlan Coben.

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- Murder for Choir (A Glee Club Mystery #1)
- End Me A Tenor (A Glee Club Mystery #2)

One of the hardest working authors of today, Joelle Charbonneau will have had seven books published by established publishing houses within just three years.

She’s the author of two adult mystery series: The Rebecca Robbins mysteries (her latest, Skating on the Edge, releasing Oct. 2 from Minotaur Books) and the new Glee Club mystery series (Murder for Choir, July 3, Berkley Books).

Charbonneau launches the first of her Graduation Day young adult trilogy in May 2013 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s. Early readers are calling The Testing a mix between the high school ACT and The Hunger Games.

A storyteller at heart, Charbonneau has performed in a variety of opera and musical theatre productions across Chicagoland. In addition to her stage work, she has also performed with several bands and worked as a solo performer. She now teaches private voice lessons and uses her stage experience to create compelling characters in her books. She also gives lectures about surviving rejection in the entertainment industry.

Charbonneau earned her bachelor’s in vocal performance at Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, and went on to DePaul University for her master’s in opera performance. The mother of a toddler, she hardly ever sleeps. And when she’s not writing, she’s either signing, cooking or watching sports.

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