Please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com for information on guest blogs and interviews. Interviews for November: 11/2 Lois Winston 11/9 Christin Brecher 11/16 Laurie Lowenstein 11/23 M.V. Byrne

Sunday, November 20, 2022

A Character Collective by Sarah E. Burr

I’m often asked how I can write three different mystery series, as there’s an underlying assumption that it must be hard for me to keep everything straight. I’ll be honest. I have more trouble coming up with who to kill in each book than keeping track of what world I’m writing in, and for a mystery writer, that’s saying something. Spending time with each of my fabulous and fiery heroines never gets old or confusing. So, for my post today, I’ve invited Duchess Jacqueline from the Court of Mystery series, Coco Cline from the Trending Topic Mysteries, and Hazel Wickbury from the Glenmyre Whim Mysteries to do a little Q&A with one another. This might be the first time these powerful, kick-butt women have all been together in the same room. What a treat!

Hello, my lovelies. Let’s get your origin stories by way of introduction. In your own words, how did we meet?

 

Duchess Jacqueline – You need to ask, Miss Sarah? We found our way to each other when you were at a significant crossroads in life. Unlike me, who had my destiny set even before I was born, you had the luxury of weighing your options. Should you return to the life you knew, an unfulfilling career with a steady income, or should you venture out and pursue your passion for story crafting? I am delighted you chose the latter.

Coco Cline – Hey, that’s kinda funny because I met Sarah when she was at a crossroads, too. Remember, Sarah? You’d been working with the Duchess for a while, writing your historical fantasy mysteries. You were also reading a ton of cozy mysteries at the time. That’s when you noticed a trend: cozy main characters were deathly afraid of tech. Obvi, neither you nor I could identify with that mindset, but you wouldn’t stop going on about how people our age would totally flip for the cozy mystery genre if it were marketed more to them. So, I casually mentioned how cool it would be to have a social media influencer solve crimes using their social media skills, and you totes took a liking to it. And me, of course.

Hazel Wickbury – Hmm, I’m sensing a bit of a trend here, ladies, because I met Sarah at a major turning point in her life, too. I was Sarah’s COVID lockdown buddy. I like to think I offered an escape from the uncertainty of the world by providing something exciting and new. And who doesn’t need a little magic in their lives, right?

 

The three of you have been such remarkable catalysts for exciting changes in my life. Now, you’re all amateur sleuths. What is your day job when you’re not figuring out how to track down a suspect?

 

Coco Cline – I wear a few different hats. I manage a popular lifestyle blog called Trending Topic. I post weekly, and because of my blog’s success, I also have several interactive features on the site for my readers. Trending Topic has really grown into its own online community. My favorite is my #FlawlessFails page, where my followers share their baking fails, their fashion disasters, you name it. I know I’ve contributed to a bunch of cooking mishaps that have gone viral. But beyond my blog, I’m also working on a new startup called Center of Attention Consulting. I work with small businesses remotely or in-person to help boost their online presence and brand awareness. It’s fun teaching peeps what I’ve learned as a social media influencer, and I love helping their businesses thrive. CoA has taken off in the past few months, and I’m struggling just a bit to juggle my workload. I hope to hire an assistant in the not-too-distant future.

Hazel Wickbury – I got tired just listening to you describe all that, Coco. I would not be able to keep up with everything you have going on. I’m much more content with life moving at a slower pace. I think that’s why I was drawn to candle making in the first place. It’s so calming and therapeutic. Branching out to launch my candle shop, A Wick in Time, was a momentous step for me, and I couldn’t have done it without the help of my assistant store manager, Iggy Alewell. He’s a lifesaver, and I trust him to watch the shop while I’m replenishing our candle inventory or out trailing a suspect. Hey, umm, Your Grace? Why do you look so sad all of a sudden?

Duchess Jacqueline – I suppose I am a bit envious of you both. You nurtured your passions and chose to turn them into successful enterprises. I was not so fortunate to have a choice.

Coco Cline – Um, sorry, not sorry. Or have you forgotten you live in a palace with a dreamy prince?

Duchess Jacqueline – *Chuckles* Believe me, it is not something one forgets. While my peers across the Realm of Virtues may shirk their governing responsibilities and live out their days in luxury, I work hard to better the lives of my people. To keep them safe. To help them thrive. It’s a weighty burden to carry.

Coco Cline – Oh, yikes. Now, I really am sorry.

 

You all have your struggles to deal with, which is why it’s strange to think that you actually get joy and entertainment out of solving crimes. So, what’s your favorite type of mystery to investigate?

 

Coco Cline – One without guns.

Duchess Jacqueline – Guns? What are guns?

Hazel Wickbury – Be glad the Realm of Virtues never invented them, Duchess. I’ve had one pointed at me more times than I care to count.

Duchess Jacqueline – Interesting. Well, I enjoy a good poisoning. The origin of the poison is always so thrilling to trace.

Hazel Wickbury – I would agree with Her Royal Highness, but more because I have an expert to help me. My bestie, Poppy Glenmyre, is a gardener extraordinaire, and she knows a ton about poisons and toxic plants. Her knowledge comes in handy, big time.

 

I was going to ask about your crime-fighting teams. Are you a solo sleuth, a dynamic duo, a trusty trio, or a fab foursome?

 

Hazel Wickbury – Ha! Poppy would never let me investigate a mystery without her. She’s my ride-or-die.

Coco Cline – Samesies. My besties, Jasper and Charlotte, and my boyfriend, Hudson, always have my back. Our sleuthing squad is unstoppable.

Duchess Jacqueline – When I first began investigating mysterious deaths, I did so alone because I did not know whom at court I could trust. But now, I have been blessed with a group of wonderful companions who would go to the ends of the realm to aid me.

 

I love learning how amateur sleuths decided to take the law into their own hands. So, why did you get into solving crimes in the first place?

 

Coco Cline – To save my rep and that of my clients. A dead body in the back of your new consignment shop is not good PR, and the Chens needed someone with media experience to go to bat for them. Although, as my investigation continued, I found myself fighting more for the victim. She deserved justice just as much as my clients did.

Hazel Wickbury – I’d always been a big fan of mysteries, especially those written by my favorite author, Constance Crane. So, when a murder occurred in my hometown while Constance was visiting, Poppy and I thought it was a sign from our supernatural ancestors to get involved. My determination grew once I found out the police considered our friend, Cora Donahue, their top suspect.

Duchess Jacqueline – For me, it was initially out of self-preservation. When I discovered my parents had been murdered, I thought someone was out to seize my nation’s throne for themselves. However, once I got a taste for bringing evildoers to justice, I could not help myself from getting involved in other investigations. My companions always tease me that it’s not a royal affair until there is a murder to solve. 


If you’ve enjoyed getting to know Duchess Jacqueline, Coco, and Hazel, you can check out their books below:

Court of Mystery

Trending Topic Mysteries

Glenmyre Whim Mysteries

What three literary characters would you like to interview?

7 comments:

Kait said...

What great sleuths you have. I’m looking forward to getting to know them. Each as so distinctive, I can easily understand how you keep them separate. Thank you for my new besties!

KM Rockwood said...

What a fun blog!

I admire your ability to juggle all these people without getting confused.

E. B. Davis said...

Nice to meet your characters, Sarah. They seem a lively bunch. Congratulations on the success of all your series. I'm looking forward to getting to know them.

J.C. Kenney said...

Fabulous interview, Sarah! I would have been too nervous to talk with the Duchess in my presence.

Jim Jackson said...

What a fun idea with a great cast of characters.

Author Sarah E. Burr said...

Thank you, everyone! It was really fun to get these ladies together in one spot :)

Molly MacRae said...

Thanks for the introduction to your trio of friends, Sarah!