Groundwater, Beth

views updated

Groundwater, Beth

PERSONAL:

Married; children: two. Education: College of William and Mary, B.S., 1978; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, M.A.

ADDRESSES:

E-mail—[email protected]; [email protected]

CAREER:

Author. Former software engineer and project manager.

MEMBER:

Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime (secretary of Rocky Mountain chapter), Short Mystery Fiction Society, Pikes Peak Writers (vice president), Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.

AWARDS, HONORS:

First-place short story, PPW Paul Gillette Memorial Writing Contest, 2003, for "New Zealand"; first place, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Short Story Anthology Contest, 2004, for "New Zealand"; first place, Great Manhattan Mysteries Conclave Short Story Anthology Contest, 2005, for "Flamingo Fatality"; first place, Storyteller Magazine Flash Fiction Contest, 2005, for "Lucky Bear"; first place, Mom Writer's Literary Magazine Short Story Contest, 2006.

WRITINGS:

A Real Basket Case (novel), Five Star (Waterville, ME), 2007.

Contributor to anthologies, including Manhattan Mysteries and Dry Spell: Tales of Thirst and Longing. Author of the blog Beth Groundwater. Short stories have been published in anthologies and magazines, including Wild Blue Yonder, Mom Writer's Literary Magazine, and The Map of Murder.

SIDELIGHTS:

A former software engineer with a knack for puzzles, Beth Groundwater turned to fiction writing as a second career and has become an award-winning short-story writer and mystery novelist. Her first story, "New Zealand," was published in 2004, and she has since seen her work published in numerous magazines and anthologies. A Real Basket Case, Groundwater's debut novel, introduces the character Claire Hanover, owner of a Colorado gift basket company, mother to grown children, and wife of a workaholic husband. A friend convinces a lonely Claire to get a massage from a handsome athletics instructor. The results are devastating: the masseur is killed mid-treatment and Claire's husband is found with the murder weapon. In an interview with Lonnie Cruse in Poe's Deadly Daughters, Groundwater shared how she decided on the novel's plot: "I had a ‘What If?’ inspiration: What if a man is killed in a married woman's bedroom and her husband is found holding the gun that shot him, BUT he didn't do it and the woman wasn't having an affair with the victim? That led to all kinds of questions that had to be answered."

Reviewing the novel for Spinetingler Magazine, J.B. Thompson remarked: "Groundwater's well-crafted characters comprise a nicely balanced cast, and she does a good job incorporating a blend of humor and relationship drama into a deftly twisted plot." Kevin Tipple commented on his blog, Kevin's Corner: "Full of twists and turns along with plenty of suspects, the book … is sure to keep readers entertained all the way to the end. Clearly the start of a series and a good one at that, this is a book that is sure to please a lot of readers." Booklist reviewer Barbara Bibel predicted that A Real Basket Case would "appeal to Desperate Housewives fans and those who like cozies with a bit of spice."

Groundwater told CA: "My first forays into fiction writing were my Freddie stories written when I was in fifth and sixth grade. Freddie had all sorts of wild adventures, including visiting an underground mole city after burrowing down in a giant screw-mobile. Once I retired from my career as a rare commodity, a software engineer who could write, I began writing fiction again for fun. On my long road to publication, I collected over one hundred rejections on my short stories to get seven published. I also was rejected by eighty-nine literary agents before the ninetieth decided I might have some talent and took me on. My first book contract was signed within a few months. Persistence is indeed important for writers! I am an avid and eclectic reader, devouring about a book a week. I love mysteries, of course, but also read literary, women's fiction, romance, and even some science fiction."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, February 1, 2007, Barbara Bibel, review of A Real Basket Case, p. 34.

Crime Spree, March-April, 2007, Judy Clemens, review of A Real Basket Case.

Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2007, review of A Real Basket Case.

ONLINE

Beth Groundwater Home Page,http://www.bethgroundwater.com (August 22, 2007).

Kevin's Corner, http://www.hollywoodcomics.com/kevin/ (January 15, 2007), Kevin Tipple, review of A Real Basket Case.

Poe's Deadly Daughters,http://poesdeadlydaughters.blogspot.com/ (March 9, 2007), Lonnie Cruse, review of A Real Basket Case.

Romance Reviews Today,http://romrevtoday.com/ (October 12, 2007), Courtney Michelle, review of A Real Basket Case.

Spinetingler Magazine,http://www.spinetinglermag.com/ (August 22, 2007), J.B. Thompson, review of A Real Basket Case.