Today I welcome prolific USA Today bestselling author Summer Prescott to Reade and Write. Summer has written The Key West Culinary Cozies, the INNcredibly Sweet Cozies, and the Cupcakes in Paradise Cozies, to name just a few of her many series. Today she’s here to talk about Criminals and Coral, the first book in her Cozy Tales of a Professional Mermaid series.
Tell me about your new book.
Criminals and Coral is actually a traditional cozy mystery, with a bit of a non-traditional main character. Shelby is a professional mermaid. There’s no fantasy or mythology involved, she merely shimmies into a silicone-based mermaid tail to entertain visitors to aquariums, theme parks, beaches, etc…and somehow manages to find herself caught up in more than her share of amateur sleuthing.
Who is the audience for the book?
This book would be a great fit for anyone who loves a good mystery and is looking for a refreshingly new perspective. Animal lovers, foodies, crafters and more will love it – all of those main cozy elements are represented, and are set in a backdrop of friendship, family and fun.
Tell me about the setting of your book—how did you choose it, what kind of research did you have to do, why did you choose it?
The setting is in a fictitious beach town in Florida, that is loosely based around the tourist attraction of Weeki Wachee Springs, where mermaid shows are a feature. I reached out to the Public Relations Manager of WWS for some of the research that went into the book.
What was the hardest thing about writing the book?
The writing of the book was actually the easy part. Co-writer Gretchen Allen and I loved the creative process. What we’ve found challenging is overcoming public perception that the book is about mythical mermaids, rather than a spunky gal from the Midwest.
If your book were made into a movie, who would you like to see playing the main characters?
I think Reese Witherspoon would be a great mermaid, and maybe Channing Tatum for her love interest and fellow sleuth.
How many other books have you written?
More than 100. I’ve lost count at this point, lol.
Are you in one or more critique groups or partnerships?
I belong to several author groups and find them inspiring and informative.
Do you write every day?
I try to write every day…but unfortunately, sometimes life gets in the way. I’ve found that it’s best to strike a balance. We only go around on this planet once, I want to make the most of my time here.
Who are your favorite authors? Favorite genres?
I love mysteries and thrillers. Right now my mostly harmless addiction is Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware series, but I sometimes rock it old school with a healthy dose of Mary Higgins Clark, Janet Evanovich, or, if we’re going waaaaay back, Stephen King.
Where would you like to go more than anywhere else on earth?
I’d love to visit Europe again, as an adult. I lived there when I was a child. Africa, Australia, Asia and various tropical islands are also high on the list.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write. Then write again, then write some more. I’ve seen so many hopeful writers who become so overly involved with the trappings of writing and the dream of being a writer, that they actually neglect to write. I’d also say that it’s helpful to analyze one’s goals from the outset. Your approach to writing could be different, depending upon whether you want to do it as an expression of your soul vs. as a full-time career (the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive). Goal-setting is huge, and frankly, so is having a thick skin. Not everyone will love your work and that’s okay. Sometimes we have to take a gut punch from a review, pick ourselves up and just keep on trucking.
What is your favorite movie and why?
I couldn’t possible narrow that down, lol. My movie tastes range from drama to chick flicks, action/adventure and Indie art films. I do love the cheesy ‘brat pack’ John Hughes movies from the 80’s – “Pretty in Pink,” “Breakfast Club,” “Ferris Bueller” – those are all great escapes that I indulge in every so often.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
You’ve got the dreams, now put action to them.
Describe yourself in three words.
Introverted, compassionate, hopeful.
Is there anything I haven’t asked that you wanted me to?
No – great questions!
Where can readers connect with you?
Where can readers find your books?
Thanks for visiting, Summer!
Until next time,