Hi there, guys and dolls! Spring has sprung, which means Easter’s right around the corner. This week, yours truly has been playing a game of tag with a few writer friends! My dear friend Bart J. Gilbertson, author of DEATHBED AND BREAKFAST, the first in the Pookotz Sisters Mystery series, is currently working on book number two. I’ve been doubly blessed, as another kindred spirit, Julie Seedorf, author of the just released GRANNY SKEWERS A SCOUNDREL, the second in her Fuchsia, Minnesota Granny Mysteries. You can check out their blogs by clicking on their names above. Click on the titles to learn more about their current offerings.
Now, on with my interview!
Question 1: What am I working on?
I’ve just signed the contract (or rather, Andrea Taylor and Heather Shkuratoff, the two behind Barbara Jean) on my second Poppy Cove Mystery DEATH OF A BEAUTY QUEEN off to my publisher, Cozy Cat Press. It’s the follow-up to the series debut, STRANGLED BY SILK. Certainly a very exciting time! Currently, I’m making plans to do some public appearances, blog tours and the like when the book is ready for market. Also, book three is getting roughed out — really happy about the story. It’s all about the intrigue of one of the major characters past life — that’s all I’ll say!
Question 2: How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Well, it’s set in the late fifties, early sixties, which makes it more historical than many, but not all of the cozies out there. Poppy Cove is the name of the dress shop/design atelier run by the two main heroines, Daphne Huntington-Smythe and Margot Williams. Most cozies are written with one amateur sleuth, I have two. Being that it’s set during that time, I love to feature the clothing and attitudes of the era in Technicolor VistaVision, some things that have changed and some things that are still the same. Also, the Barbara Jean pen name is reflective of the time, while the two ladies behind it are very much in the 21st century. It gives a fun romp through the research.
Question 3: Why do I write what I do?
Mainly, because if I didn’t, I might burst like an atom bomb! The stories, images, places run around in the brains of my creators, and they would be thinking, feeling, talking about it whether or not the stories made it to print! Why not give it a whirl and share it with others who may enjoy the Santa Lucia in-crowd?
Question 4: How does my writing process work?
Andrea and Heather talk and talk and talk! They laugh, drink wine, scroll out reams of paper with plot ideas, character details, and type along. Then hit delete, type over, delete and type again. More notes furiously scribbled down, repeating as often as possible, usually two full days a week and generally a little work every day, whenever time allows. Jazz is generally playing, and they’ve set up a room which is dedicated to writing, so that they can leave everything out without disrupting their home lives. That has been a Godsend, to be able to leave things out, but to be able to turn off to emotionally, creatively and mentally refuel.
And here are some folks I’d like to share on our little Hop excursion.
Amy Beth Arkawy is the author of KILLING TIME: AN ELIZA GORDON MYSTERY and several plays including: Psychic Chicken Soup (McLaren Comedy Award nominee); Full Moon, Saturday Night; Listening to Insomnia: Rage Amongst Yourselves; Crazy Vivian Doesn’t Shop at Bloomie’s Anymore, The Lost Mertz and The Postman Always Writes Twice. Her work has been produced in New York City and across the country and featured in several anthologies. She is also a creativity coach/writing teacher, radio talk show host and freelance journalist. At her website http://amybetharkawy.com/ you will find Dead Silent the second in her Eliza Gordon mystery series.
Rita Gard Seedorf is a retired academic who became reacquainted with her high school classmate, Margaret Verhoef, as they worked on planning their high school reunion. Together they soon began writing LETTERS FROM BRACKHAM WOOD. Besides academic publications she has written articles on local history and is the author of One Room out West, the story of a one-room schoolhouse and its students. She and her husband Marty live in Cheney Washington. They have a son and a daughter and two wonderful grandsons.
Thanks, one and all! Until next week, friends.