Monday, April 4, 2016

The Semester of our Discontent by Cynthia Kuhn Interview

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The Semester of our Discontent
by Cynthia Kuhn

The Semester of Our Discontent was an enjoyable well-written mystery with entertaining characters that will delight readers.
~Moonlight Rendezvous
Lila did not always have every hair in place, but that makes her a very approachable character. She works hard and forges her own way in the academic jungle. I hope she has a long career!
~Back Porchervations
Okay so this was a great novel…The setting was fantastic and the insight into the life of the average college professor was profound.
~I Read What You Write
The suspense builds slowly as Kuhn lays the foundation with a few twists and turns. As the murders continue, the pace of the story increases nicely.
~Christa Reads and Writes
An interesting twist on murder in academia.
~Storeybook Reviews
Really good debut for this new series, promises intrigue, suspense and amazing characters.
The book had its share of plot twists and surprises. It was well-written and even paced…
~Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes
I really enjoyed this story. Aside from the fact that it’s set in an English department at a university (kid, meet candy store), the characters were intriguing, as was the mystery of the rose and thorn symbols that kept turning up on every corner.
~The Girl with Book Lungs
This is one of the best debut novels I have read in a long time. I highly recommend that you add this new series to your reading list.
~Booklady’s Booknotes
There are plenty of suspects to choose from, and I kept jumping from one to another as the story progressed. I’m already anxious for the next book in the series to be released.
~Book Babble


Where are you from?
I was born and raised in upstate New York, on the edge of Lake Ontario, but now I’m in Colorado. It’s lovely out west, but I miss the water!

Tell us your latest news?
The Semester of Our Discontent is coming out in April. :)

When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve written stories and poems as far back as I can remember. My grandmother was a writer—she never submitted her work for publication, but she was always writing poems and stories, and she inspired me to do likewise...we’d mail them to each other when I was growing up.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I always had an unquenchable need to write things down. I never tried to submit anything for publication until I was in grad school, but in fifth or sixth grade, my teacher let me write, illustrate, and distribute a school newsletter—maybe to keep me from driving him crazy with questions about when we were going to Do More Writing. That was pretty exciting.

What inspired you to write your first book?
In order to finish the PhD, I had to write a dissertation, and a revised version of that eventually became my first book (on Margaret Atwood). But I had the idea for The Semester of Our Discontent before that—it came to me when I was in the middle of writing a term paper. I jotted it down in my journal and, fifteen years later, I finally wrote it.

Do you have a specific writing style?
It varies from project to project, genre to genre. But the fiction projects I write do tend to have a similar style...not sure how to describe it, though. Maybe: it’s more light than dark, more satirical than not, and pairs well with Twizzlers?

How did you come up with the title?
When I submitted the book, it was called Lectured to Death. However, there’s another author with my publisher who already has a series with titles ending in “to death,” so they asked me to change it. I wrestled with the list of potential titles I’d (luckily) scribbled down over the years of writing the book until adapting “Now is the winter of our discontent...” from Shakespeare’s Richard III. Lila has a confrontation with a Shakespearean right away, and the semester goes downhill from there, so it seemed appropriate.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I hope some of the issues raised are thought-provoking—for example, how the “value” of authors/books is determined and what implications arise from that.

What would you like my readers to know?
I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to connect here—thanks so much for hosting me/stopping by! 
The Semester of our Discontent6x9
The Semester of Our Discontent
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Henery Press (April 5, 2016)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635110098
E-Book ASIN: B01A7BH83S


English professor Lila Maclean is thrilled about her new job at prestigious Stonedale University, until she finds one of her colleagues dead. She soon learns that everyone, from the chancellor to the detective working the case, believes Lila—or someone she is protecting—may be responsible for the horrific event, so she assigns herself the task of identifying the killer.
More attacks on professors follow, the only connection a curious symbol at each of the crime scenes. Putting her scholarly skills to the test, Lila gathers evidence, but her search is complicated by an unexpected nemesis, a suspicious investigator, and an ominous secret society. Rather than earning an “A” for effort, she receives a threat featuring the mysterious emblem and must act quickly to avoid failing her assignment…and becoming the next victim.


Cynthia Kuhn teaches and writes in Colorado. Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Literary Mama, Copper Nickel, Prick of the Spindle, Mama PhD and other publications. She is the current president of Sisters in Crime-Colorado and blogs withMysteristas. Visit her at or @cynthiakuhn.
Author Links
Twitter: @cynthiakuhn
 Purchase Links
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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for having me! I enjoyed your questions. :)