Hop! Hop! Hop!
March 23, 2014
My friend Bart Gilbertson, author of DEATHBED AND BREAKFAST, a Pookotz Sisters Bed and Breakfast Mystery, asked me to participate in a Blog Hop. You can read his Blog Hop entry HERE. The rules of the Blog Hop are that I need to answer four questions and then bounce the blog and the questions on to 3 or more of my author friends. In a week’s time, they post their own blog answering the same 4 questions and then bounce the blog on to 3 or more of their author friends…and so on. Sounded like fun to me! And it's all right with Josephine and Solow.
I am currently struggling—I mean working on my sixth novel in the Josephine Stuart Mystery Series. I am seventy percent finished. It’s that pesky thirty percent I still have to invent. I finally know who the killer is and the book title will most likely be “Roller Rubout.”Yes, the story takes place at the roller rink where Josephine is painting a mural. Painting giant letters spelling words to the Hokey Pokey song is the most boring work she has ever been hired to do. Her hired painters end up doing most of the work while Josephine snoops around for the killer of the former owner of the roller rink.
Question 2: How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My protagonist is a fifty-year-old widow who paints murals for a living. Like Jessica Fletcher, every new mural environment has a dead body. Unlike Jessica, Josephine drives a red Mazda pickup and wears colorful, paint-smeared clothing. She is a down-to-earth gal, quick to judge and even quicker to seek justice for her friends. Her side-kick is a basset named Solow who can sniff out the bad guys in a crunch. Unlike “Cabot Cove” type small town cozies, Josephine is all over central California—-sometimes by choice, but not always.
Question 3: Why do I write what I do?
I spent my life painting, murals mostly, until arthritis forced me to quit. But the urge to create was still strong. I took creative writing courses and nine years ago I started my first novel, “Secure the Ranch.” When the book was finished I immediately started another. Writing can be frustrating, but like painting, it is an outlet for my creative juices such as they are. I am working on my sixth book in the Josephine Stuart Mystery Series and I’ll keep writing until I run out of juice. I have more fun writing than old ladies should be allowed to have, and I try to write some of that “fun” into my books. Beetles in the Boxcar is a lot of fun and it's free from Kindle March 27 to March 31.
Question 4: How does my writing process work?
My teachers recommended outlines, but that never happened for me. I start with one sentence and elaborate on it until I have a full story. I set up an unusual murder situation and then I figure out who did it and why. From start to finish, I imagine my readers trying to figure out which of the many suspects is the real killer. Sometimes I can’t decide who done it until the book is nearly ended. I picture in my mind the characters as if I were watching a movie or TV show. I try to write everyday, even if it’s only a paragraph. I like to work hard in my garden, and when I am physically exhausted, I settle into my chair and write. Sometimes it flows, other times I just correct parts already written. So far I have five books on the market, Secure the Ranch, Read My Lipstick, Shaking in Her Flip Flops, Cuckoo Clock Caper, and Beetles in the Boxcar. Now let me introduce some of my wonderful writer friends.
Lyla Fox is the author of MURDER ON CINNAMON STREET, a Shaky Detective Mystery, and SNOOP, a Small Town Gossip Mystery—both published by Cozy Cat Press.
When Lyla was very young she read the Nancy Drew series. She fell in love with Nancy and her “boon companions” and actually wrote to Carolyn Keene. She got a letter back and treasured it, carrying it around and showing it off for six months. In the letter the author said something to the extent that Lyla was a good writer and should keep it up. Over a decade later, when she learned that there was no actual Carolyn Keene, the damage was already done. She’d been convinced that a writer was within her.
Cozy Cat Press Author, Christian Belz has been a practicing architect in Metro Detroit for 28 years, with experience in retail, educational, and industrial projects. He is Vice President of Detroit Working Writers. He won the Grand Prize in Aquarius Press's 2011 Bright Harvest Prize for his short story "Chambers". Christian's fiction has appeared in Writers' Journal, The Story Teller Magazine, and Wicked East Press's anthology: Short Sips, Coffee House Flash Fiction Collection 2. His poetry has been published in WestWard Quarterly and Yes, Poetry. His latest accomplishment is a cozy mystery, THE ACCUSED ARCHITECT, a Ken Knoll Architectural Mystery.
Author Elissa Grodin has written a mystery published by Cozy Cat Press CCP, called PHYSICS CAN BE FATAL. Her second book in this series is nearly finished, in which the movie director, Alfred Hitchcock, figures into the plot. Elissa has a strong background in film studies, and has published on the subject. In her second Edwina Goodman mystery, the plot revolves around the Film Studies Department at the college where Edwina teaches. Ms. Grodin lived in England in her 20s, and wrote for the Times Literary Supplement as a freelance journalist. She later moved on to children's books, and has had six children's books published, the most recent being C Is For Ciao, a picture book about the history and culture of Italy.
Author Jacob Appel has written many books, but his latest is a cozy mystery called WEDDING WIPEOUT, a Rabbi Kappelmacher Mystery. Jacob remembers being a young child in a commuter suburb watching the men and women – but mostly men – disembarking from the evening train after long days at their offices in New York City. They looked so miserable, so Cheeveresque in their suffering. He determined at that moment that he would never live in a bedroom community and spend his days pushing papers in circles. The only occupations he knew of as a child that didn’t involve the rat race were medicine and writing. Jacob is relieved to say that he is both a physician and a novelist—and he hasn’t travelled by commuter train in over fifteen years.
Well, there you have it, my first attempt at a Blog Hop. I hope you enjoyed getting to know me a little bit more, and I hope you’ll follow along on the blog hop with my friends as well. It’s time to bounce out for now…
Thank you, Bart for a hoppy hoppy good time!