Blanche and Barbara Take 5 with Barbara Jean

Hi there guys and dolls!  Today I’m so excited to share with you a new feature!  Once a month, I’m taking 5 with my fellow Cozy Cat Press authors.  For this debut post, co-authors Blanche Day Manos & Barbara Burgess, were selected out of the martini pitcher draw to share a little about their stories and themselves with us.  Blanche has graciously shared their shared responses, so why not sit down, settle in and get to know your author neighbors!

1. So tell me a little about your series and main characters.

What do you do when you get a letter from a woman you’ve never met asking you to find her daughter who has been missing for two years? If you are Darcy Campbell or her mother, Flora Tucker, you start searching. At least, that’s what Darcy and Flora did in their second cozy mystery, GRAVE SHIFT.  Darcy is an investigative reporter taking time off from her job at The Dallas Morning News, to recover from the death of her husband. She comes home to small town Levi, Oklahoma, back to the 100-year old farmhouse she shares with her mother. And, as her heartthrob sheriff Grant Hendley says, she’s a magnet for mystery.

2. Being that there are two of you, how do you write?  Do you compose separately, or talk it out as you go along together, share or divide up characters, scenes or research?

My co-author Barbara Burgess and I write and communicate ideas about our book largely through email. We also talk on the phone and get together at times to discuss the direction of the cozy we are writing. We don’t divide characters or research but we sort of pass the literary ball back and forth when one of us has a good idea for the direction our heroines should be taking.

3. What exciting moment or moments that made you realize that you were really an “author?”

It was thrilling to see our first cozy, THE CEMETERY CLUB in print and equally so to see GRAVE SHIFT, published by Cozy Cat Press. When I hear other people refer to me as a writer or an author, then I realize that’s what I am. Other times, I don’t think about it, I just write!

4. What do you do to spark up your creativity when you feel the well of inspiration is running dry?

When my spark of creativity begins to dim, writing fans the flames. I go to my computer, and Darcy and Flora take over. Sometimes it seems I’m just the recorder, putting down what they say, think, or do.

5.  Who are some of your favorite authors and how do you feel they have influenced your desire to write?

Lots and lots of authors are my favorites and the writers at Cozy Cat Press are the most helpful and encouraging of any of them. Other writers I admire are Carolyn Hart, Mignon Ballard, Laura Childs, the list goes on and on. They influenced me to write the sort of story I most like to read—a cozy mystery.

Thanks for taking 5 with me, ladies.  By the way, here are some online sites where you all can learn a little more about their tales, and say your own hello to Blanche and Barbara.  I also highly recommend that you pick up a copy or two of their books!

Product Details

On Amazon:


Facebook, Google+:  Blanche Manos


Author’s Den:



Barbara Jean

About Barbara Jean Coast

Barbara Jean Coast is the pen name of authors Andrea Taylor and Heather Shkuratoff. She is currently hard at work telling the cozy tales of the fictional town of Santa Lucia, loosely based on Santa Barbara in the late 50's, early 60's, known as The Poppy Cove Mysteries.
This entry was posted in Authors, Characters, Commitment, Cozy Mysteries, Cozy Mystery Series, Creativity, e-publishing, Fiction, Fictional Characters, First Novel, Love, Mysteries, New Authors, Newly Published, Patience, Perspective, Publishing, Readers, Uncategorized, Writers, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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