Thank you for having me over today to talk about my new novel Bone to Pick by TA Moore, which will be available from Dreamspinner Press on August 14.
This blog tour is a bit of a departure for me. Usually I do a short story split between the blogs. However, that didn’t really work with Bone to Pick (the characters had met, briefly, before the start of this story but it didn’t go well. Someone might have got punched; someone might have deserved it!). So instead I thought I would give you a spoiler-free introduction to the cast of characters you’ll be meeting in Bone to Pick and tell you a little bit about how I came up with them — and maybe a bit about what I have planned for the future. I hope you enjoy meeting them! I love them all, even the terrible ones.
First of all, though, you’ll want to know what Bone to Pick is about.
Bone to Pick
Cloister Witte is a man with a dark past and a cute dog. He’s happy to talk about the dog all day, but after growing up in the shadow of a missing brother, a deadbeat dad, and a criminal stepfather, he’d rather leave the past back in Montana. These days he’s a K-9 officer in the San Diego County’s Sheriff’s Department and pays a tithe to his ghosts by doing what no one was able to do for his brother—find the missing and bring them home
He’s good at solving difficult mysteries. The dog is even better.
This time the missing person is a ten-year-old boy who walked into the woods in the middle of the night and didn’t come back. With the antagonistic help of distractingly handsome FBI agent Javi Merlo, it quickly becomes clear that Drew Hartley didn’t run away. He was taken, and the evidence implies he’s not the kidnapper’s first victim. As the search intensifies, old grudges and tragedies are pulled into the light of the day. But with each clue they uncover, it looks more and more unlikely that Drew will be found alive.
August 14, 2017. Cover Artist: Anne Cain
This is one character who wasn’t part of the initial short story. The Hartley family were created for Bone to Pick and then promptly traumatised when their youngest son, Billy’s brother, goes missing. Up until this point, Billy has been a pretty average kid, with a girlfriend, friends, and over-protective parents. Then his brother disappears in the middle of the night, and suddenly he’s exceptional…but not in a good way.
It is a terrible experience when anyone goes missing, whether they are an adult, a teen, or a child. I’d never prioritise anyone’s pain over someone else’s, but when it is a child… You know they haven’t gone off to escape debts or start a new life in Australia. You know the odds are that it is going to be bad.
Years ago a man in a car tried to kidnap my cousin. He told her that he was looking for a puppy, and she got in the car so she could help him look. I know. The car got about six foot down the road when her three older brothers, who were squaddies rolled home from a night out with their mates, who were also squaddies.
They basically tackled the car and dragged my cousin out.
For us kids it was a story about daft my cousin was. Even today though, the memory of that day, the what might have happened of it, is enough to make my aunt blanch. She’s never forgotten coming out the house and seeing the car pull away with her daughter in it. Even though she saw her get out of right after.
Unfortunately for the Hartleys, Billy wasn’t in the right place at the right time. He’s also a 13 year old boy, not a 20 year old soldier so maybe that was for the best. So you get to meet the Hartleys on the worst day of their lives, and we just have to hope it doesn’t get worse for them.
TA Moore genuinely believed that she was a Cabbage Patch Kid when she was a small child. This was the start of a lifelong attachment to the weird and fantastic. These days she lives in a market town on the Northern Irish coast and her friends have a rule that she can only send them three weird and disturbing links a month (although she still holds that a DIY penis bifurcation guide is interesting, not disturbing). She believes that adding ‘in space!’ to anything makes it at least 40% cooler, will try to pet pretty much any animal she meets (this includes snakes, excludes bugs), and once lied to her friend that she had climbed all the way up to Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, when actually she’d only gotten to the beach, realized it was really high, and chickened out.
She aspires to being a cynical misanthrope, but is unfortunately held back by a sunny disposition and an inability to be mean to strangers. If TA Moore is mean to you, that means you’re friends now.