Today I welcome Maggie King back to Reade and Write. You may remember she was here back in June talking about her book Murder at the Book Group (you can read that interview here). She’s here again to talk about her new book, Murder at the Moonshine Inn. I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of the book, and I can highly recommend it! Maggie has a gift for being able to direct a reader’s attention everywhere but the real culprit, and I thoroughly enjoyed the read.
Welcome back, Maggie!
Tell us about your new book.
Hazel Rose is back, giving an Oscar-worthy performance when she goes undercover at a redneck bar.
When high-powered executive Roxanne Howard dies in a pool of blood outside the Moonshine Inn, Richmond, Virginia’s premiere redneck bar, the victim’s sister enlists Hazel Rose to ferret out the killer. At first Hazel balks—she’s a romance writer, not a detective. But Brad Jones, Rox’s husband, is the prime suspect. He’s also Hazel’s cousin, and Hazel believes in doing anything to help family. Never mind that Brad won’t give her the time of day—he’s still family.
Hazel recruits her book group members to help with the investigation. It’s not long before they discover any number of people who feel that a world without Rox Howard is just fine with them: Brad’s son believes that Rox and Brad were behind his mother’s death; Rox’s former young lover holds Rox responsible for a tragedy in his family; and one of Rox’s employees filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against her. The killer could be an angry regular from the Moonshine Inn—or just about anyone who ever crossed paths with the willful and manipulative Rox.
When a second murder ups the ante, Hazel must find out who is behind the killings. And fast. Or she may be victim #3.
How long did it take you to write the new book?
Two years, approximately.
Do you write linearly, or do you write each scene separately and then piece them together like a puzzle? Or is there some other path you take to writing a novel?
I create a linear outline, but I write the scenes separately and not always in order—much the way scenes are filmed in movies and TV. I may have a great idea for a scene and want to get it down while I have the inspiration.
Tell us a secret about one of your characters- something that’s not in the book.
Back in her hippie days, book group member Sarah Rubottom had a fling with a hot rock star!
Do you have any writing rituals?
My daily walks let me charge up my creativity and allow for a free flowing of ideas.
What time of day do you do your best writing?
Afternoon. While most people of any profession say they’re morning or night people, I’ve always been at my most productive and creative in the afternoon.
Have you ever been on a writing retreat? And if so, where did you go?
I haven’t to date, but I’d love to attend one. I have friends who return again and again to The Porches and Nimrod Hall, both right here in Virginia.
Can you tell us what you’re working on now?
I’m working on #3 in the Hazel Rose Book Group series, as yet untitled (I typically come up with a title after I type THE END). The book group goes on hiatus to take a mystery writing class, taught by bestselling author Annabel Mitchell. Readers of Murder at the Book Group, #1 in the series, will remember Annabel.
When a very obnoxious student is murdered, there are no dearth of suspects, including the writing class members and their teacher.
Tell us about the dedication in your new book, if you wish.
I’ve dedicated it to my husband, Glen King, for his love, support, and undying faith in me.
Do you prefer to read a physical book (with paper pages that really turn), or do you prefer an ereader, or perhaps audio books?
I read both ebooks and print, audio only occasionally. I prefer an e-reader, because it’s easier on my eyes and I can read for longer periods of time. And I’m an environmentalist, so that aspect of e-readers appeals to me. If I’m reading a lengthy book, it’s easier to tote the ereader around. But I don’t want print books to become extinct and I do like the feel of the paper. So I read both.
As for audiobooks, I only read them occasionally. I lived in Los Angeles at the time of the 1994 Northridge quake. The infamous LA traffic became much worse as the city worked to repair damaged freeways. That’s when I (and many others) indulged in audio.
If you had an unlimited budget, is there something special you would do for your readers?
Take a group on a worldwide cruise devoted to mystery writers and readers.
Remind us where we can connect with you.
Where is the new book available?
At your favorite online or brick-and-mortar store or at Amazon: http://amzn.to/2dtozWa
Maggie King is the author of the Hazel Rose Book Group mysteries, including the recently-released Murder at the Moonshine Inn. She contributed the stories “A Not So Genteel Murder” and “Reunion at Shockoe Slip” to the Virginia is for Mysteries anthologies.
Maggie is a member of Sisters in Crime, James River Writers, and the American Association of University Women. She has worked as a software developer, retail sales manager, and customer service supervisor. Maggie graduated from Elizabeth Seton College and earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Rochester Institute of Technology. She has called New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California home. These days she lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, Glen, and cats, Morris and Olive. She enjoys reading, walking, movies, traveling, theatre, and museums.
Thanks for stopping by Reade and Write, Maggie, and good luck with your new book!
Until next time,