Some car dealers race. Some dealers own professional sports teams. And some play rock 'n' roll on the weekends.
Gillian Hamer, a Mitsubishi dealer in England, aspires to be the next Agatha Christie.
Across the Atlantic, in Birmingham, England, Hamer has just published her third crime novel, Complicit, available as an e-book on Amazon.com. It's a cross between detective sleuthing and mystical fiction -- Complicit's modern-day plot revolves around a mystery from an ancient battle between invading Roman soldiers and local Druids. But Hamer recently signed a publishing deal that calls for six books of straight crime drama.
So who has time to run a car dealership?
"I have no interest in selling the dealership," Hamer tells Automotive News. "We've only been open for 12 months. It's no secret this was probably the worst 12 months in Mitsubishi's history in England. But we're confident that things are going to get better this year.
"And working in the car business is all I've known."
Hamer, her father and uncle have been in dealerships since she was a teenager. Along the way she gave in to her lifelong desire to write, taking college courses in creative writing as well as forensics so her mystery-solving characters knew what they were talking about.
Hamer, 43, is hoping to triple the store's disappointing first-year sales of 10 new and 15 to 20 used vehicles a month. The trick is juggling the needs of the dealership with the literary life.
"I have to be good with my time management," Hamer says. "I don't have time to write while I'm at work, and I don't try. I have from 10 till midnight to do my writing."
Still, the two lives mix. A killer in one of her books shows up driving a Mitsubishi Shogun SUV. The police drive a Mitsubishi Evolution sports sedan.
She couldn't resist, she says. "It was just a little nod to Mitsubishi."