Interview with Charlene Bell Dietz, author of historical mystery The Flapper, the Impostor, and the Stalker
A privileged teenager from Minneapolis in 1923, scraps her college scholarship and runs away to become a flapper in dangerous, chaotic Chicago. In her search for illusive happiness, she confronts the mob and then must contrive a way to not be murdered.
Excerpt from The Flapper, the Impostor, and the Stalker
Kathleen continued, “You said you wished you could go to college with me. What if we could go somewhere together, not to college, but someplace where we could dance and act and you could sing? I bet with our talents, we could turn this horrid world into something much more joyful—help make it one big party.”
“How?” Sophie’s eyes opened wide.
“We’ll go where you won’t have to teach kids piano, or act or dance, unless you want. You’ll be able to sing your heart out and, who knows, maybe even write your own songs.”
“My mother would never let me.” Sophie looked off into the near distance.
“Sophie, we’ll get to wear sparkly dresses. And wouldn’t you love to wear those modern, classy clothes? We’d bob our hair even shorter, wear lipstick, and be around people who know how to have fun and not have a care in the world.” Sophie should see the photos in Kathleen’s collection of theater magazines again. Then she’d be excited too.
“I’m sick of funerals and consoling others,” Kathleen continued.
“Look at how miserable Dolly is. Aren’t you tired of that too? We’d be around progressive people, thinking people, people who know how to make the most out of life. They’re searching for talent, Sophie. We’ll fit right in.”
“Where, Kathleen? No one much appreciates our abilities here.”
“Chicago. There are all sorts of openings for attractive young ladies with well-turned ankles and voices like canaries. That’s what theadvertisements say.”
Interview with Charlene Bell Dietz
-What inspired you to become a writer?
Writing never interested me, until the year I discovered a story too good not to be told. What if a young high school honor student decided to ignore her scholarship and run away to become an entertainer and kick up her heels? What if someone wanted her dead? What if her parents disowned her? Much of this story is based on a true person, my strange aunt, who my grandparents would never talk about.
-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?
To survive, I would need to pick my friends carefully. 1923, Roaring Twenties, in Chicago, happened to be a most dangerous place to party.
-It’s two in the morning. What does your protagonist reveal in confidence? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.)
She shouldn’t have done that outrageous thing she did with Ed, because Martin happened to be her one-true love.
-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?
Brandy, Martin, Ed, and any of Kathleen’s close friends would create a hoot of a night.
-You’re in a tavern, and a dwarf challenges you to a duel. What do you do?
I’d buy him/her a drink and discuss what the real problem might be.
-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?
Erotica seems boring to me. Guess I haven’t cared to read any, so my judgement might be off base, but I have more worldly things to think about.
About Charlene Bell Dietz
Charlene Bell Dietz’s award-winning mystery novels The Flapper, the Scientist, and the Saboteur combines family saga with corporate espionage, and The Flapper, the Impostor, and the Stalker propels readers back into 1923 in frenetic Chicago. The Scientist, the Psychic, and the nut gives readers a frightening Caribbean vacation. Her latest novel The Spinster, the Rebel, and the Governor is a historical biography about Lady Margaret Brent, the first American woman to be called an attorney, whose integrity and intelligence saves pre-colonial Maryland from devastation. This book won the New Mexico Press Women’s first place award and an award by the National Press Women. The Spinster, the Rebel, and the Governor will be released as a second edition by Artemesia Press in February 2024. Two of her Flapper books have won the coveted Kirkus stars, and two were named best book of 2018. Charlene, a retired educator, lives in the foothills of the mountains in central New Mexico where abundant wildlife, solitude, and natures’ beauty inspires her creativity.
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Charlene Bell Dietz will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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