If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book next year, please contact E. B. Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our March author interviews: Karen Pullen (3/1), Lowcountry Crime authors: Tina Whittle, Polly Iyer, Jonathan M. Bryant, and James M. Jackson (3/8), Annette Dashofy (3/15), Edith Maxwell (3/22) and Barb Ross (3/29).
Saturday Guest Bloggers in March: Maris Soule (3/4), and Virginia Mackey (3/11). WWK Saturday bloggers write on 3/18--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 3/25--Kait Carson.
Julie Tollefson won the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter's Holton Award for best unpublished manuscript (member category) for her work in progress, In The Shadows. Big news for a new year. Congratulations, Julie.
Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:
Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.
Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published.
Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.
Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on June, 13, 2017. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Linda here in June!
Cross Genre Publications anthology, Hidden Youth, will contain Warren Bull's "The Girl, The Devil, and The Coal Mine." The anthology will be released in late November 2016. The We've Been Trumped anthology released by Dark House Press on September 28th contains Warren Bull's "The Wall" short story and KM Rockwood's "A Phone Call to the White House." KM writes under the name Pat Anne Sirs for this volume.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
An Interview with Author Avery Aames
Avery likes to read, cook, garden, and do amateur photography. You may visit Avery at http://averyaames.com/. She also blogs at Mystery Lovers Kitchen, a blog for foodies who love mysteries, as well as at Killer Characters, a blog overtaken by cozy authors’ characters.
You can purchase The Long Quiche Goodbye at Avery’s bookseller page: http://www.averyaames.com/book1_sellers.html. And look for a sneak preview of Lost and Fondue, book two in the series, which may be found at the end of The Long Quiche Goodbye.
EBD: Your book, The Long Quiche Goodbye, is a cozy mystery. Are there elements of the cozy genre that are fixed, “must haves,” in the publishing industry?
AA: Cozies come in a lot of shapes and colors lately. Some are slow-paced, others are fast-paced. Some are located in small towns while others are in major cities. I think the one constant is that usually the killer knows the victim, and justice is always served. In my cozies, I want my protagonist to have a personal reason to get involved.
EBD: The “white space” of dialogue seems to be favored on the best seller lists. You balance descriptive narrative so well against dialogue. Is there a secret to that balance, and are the requirements of narrative and dialogue different in cozies, as opposed to other genres?
AA: In thrillers, pace is very important. They have shorter sentences, less description. In a cozy, an author is defining an entire setting, a town, a community of people. But the cozy can’t be all about description. As in a thriller, it still must be driven by character and story. The difference between a thriller and cozy (according to Lee Child, so my friend Jamie Freveletti says) is that in a thriller, you have Humpty Dumpty sitting on a wall ready to fall off. The protagonist has to keep HD from falling. In a cozy, Humpty has already hit the ground and gone splat. The protagonist has to figure out who would want HD dead and why.
EBD: The Cheese Shop and Providence, Ohio are described so vividly I “saw” it in my mind’s eye. Were the shop and the town based on real models?
AA: No. The shop is a compilation of a lot of shops I visited. And Providence…it, too, is a compilation, of the little town I grew up in, in California, as well as towns I saw while I roamed Ohio doing research. The rolling hills of Holmes County are real. The farms in the area are widespread. I drank in the scenery and tried to put that on the page.
EBD: The name Providence is so similar to Provence I wondered if it was deliberate because it surely induced associations in my mind, and the redecorated archways and colors of the shop were indicative of that area of the world. Was that the reason you chose the name of the town?
AA: Actually, the publisher wanted the town of Providence. I don’t believe Providence was chosen because of Provence. However, isn’t it lovely? It suggests hope and kindness and fate. When I checked the name online, I discovered that there was a Providence, Ohio. It turned into a ghost town. --No, there are no paranormal plans for this series. :}
EBD: The main character, Charlotte Bessette, is a mixture of American and old world sensibilities since she was raised by her French born grandparents. Do you think our way of life here in the States has lost a connection to nature, to our senses, and to each other?
AA: I think people are working very hard to bring back their ties to the past, to nature. Community is something I strive for in the series, because I do feel that ties to our family and towns are important. “Family first” is one of my favorite sayings. [It ranks right up there with “Say Cheese!”] I have a very extended family including my natural son, my stepchildren and my nephew. All of their families are growing as well. We can all help and love and support. I try to reflect that in Charlotte’s world. She care about her grandparents, her cousin, his nieces, her friends (who are like sisters), and her friends’ families.
EBD: Do you have French heritage and speak the language? Are your own grandparents role models for Charlotte’s grandparents?
AA: I am not French. I don’t speak the language, though I’m trying to learn. I did play a Frenchwoman on stage and sang in French. Writing about a cheese shop demanded the French heritage. So much of cheese history is based in France, though there are cheeses now from around the world, across America. Because this is a work-for-hire series (meaning the publisher came up with the initial idea and hired me to write it), I was give not only the character of Charlotte, but the basic characters of Charlotte’s grandparents. However, they took a life of their own when I started to write. They are full-fledged “real” characters in my mind. I adore them.
EBD: I always enjoy animals and pets in books, like Charlotte’s cat Rags. Do you have a cat of your own?
AA: I had cats growing up. Inky was my first. I now have a dog, a beautiful mutt I found at the shelter. Max. My hairdresser and I talked about our pets and she had a Ragdoll cat. I was enthralled and learned all I could about her cat, then added Rags to the story. A pet humanizes a protagonist. A cat demands attention in the most unique ways.
EBD: Unlike other cozies, the main character’s history doesn’t affect the plot of the book. In fact, only a few references reveal her personal backstory. Will her history come into play in future books?
AA: I like to weave a little backstory into each book. Her history will come into play in future books. Wait and see.
EBD: You write Charlotte’s twin nieces with great authenticity. Will they play a greater role in future books?
AA: Thank you. I adore the nieces. They play a constant role in the books. They are like her children without being hers. She takes care of them, cooks for them, worries about them like a mother. They play a unique role in every book.
EBD: Although many cheeses in the shop are imported, you’ve emphasized buying locally made cheeses. Is this part of the movement back to locally grown and eaten foods, or are some cheeses actually better without transport time and handling?
EBD: Before asking Ms. Aames questions, I read The Long Quiche Goodbye and can recommend it for those last few vacation reading days. Curl up with this cozy, drink a glass of wine and try a new cheese, but use a plastic flute if you read it on the beach.
Catch the second half of this interview next week, August 18th.