Author Spotlight: Amy Metz, Part 2

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Today on Reade and Write I welcome Amy Metz back to the hot seat. She’s been here before, back in June of 2015, to discuss her book Heroes & Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction. She’s back now to discuss her newest release, Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction. For those of you who haven’t read any of Amy’s books, I highly recommend them. They’re chock-full of humor, mystery, and Southern wisdom. Good to have you back, Amy!

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Tell us about your new book.

Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction was released in May and is the fourth book in my humorous mystery series. The main characters are Wynona and Caledonia, two very different women, but two women who also have more in common than one might think.

How long did it take you to write the new book?

Forever. A least it seemed like it. Realistically, more like a year.

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 pretty much write linearly. Sometimes I write the first and last chapters and then fill in the middle, but I haven’t done that with the book I’m currently writing. Maybe I should try that.

Tell us a secret about one of your characters- something that’s not in the book.

Wynona has a mother who is a little crazy. Okay, a lot crazy.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Yes, the temperature has to be 74 degrees exactly. I need sweet tea with lemon, M&Ms—green only—and someone to rub my shoulders while I work. Just kidding. I don’t have any rituals that I can think of.

What time of day do you do your best writing?

Probably late at night.

Have you ever been on a writing retreat? And if so, where did you go?

I don’t know that you’d call it a retreat, but I went to the Mad Anthony Writers Conference (http://www.writelikemad.com/) in Hamilton, Ohio, a few years ago. I learned a ton and wish I could go to more of them.

Can you tell us what you’re working on now?

I’m working on book 5 in the Goose Pimple Junction series, Liars & Lunatics in Goose Pimple Junction. I’m also working on a thriller titled Wax Man.

Tell us about the dedication in your new book, if you wish.

Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction was dedicated to a man named Robert, who I never actually met in person—we only knew each other online. I met him when I first started writing. He was the best beta reader I ever had and was instrumental in books one and two. He always had great suggestions, was brutally honest, and he kept me writing at times when I didn’t want to. I sent him chapters as I wrote them, and I think that immediate feedback helped me write faster than I do now. He passed away in January 2015 and never read Rogues & Rascals.

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 actually read more audiobooks than any other form, because I listen to them in the car or when I’m puttering around the house. They also help me get to sleep. I like ebooks when I go somewhere and need to fill down-time while waiting for something or someone. But if you’re talking prefer, I prefer hardback books. I think each form plays an important role!

If you had an unlimited budget, is there something special you would do for your readers?

I’d love to be able to give away gift certificates to bookstores or even paperback copies of GPJ books. Right now it’s just not in the budget.

Remind us where we can connect with you.
Website: http://authoramymetz.com
Blog: http://abluemillionbooks.blogspot.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmyMetz
Twitter: https://twitter.com/authoramymetz
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AmyMetz

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Amy-Metz/e/B008NA07X4/ref=series_rw_dp_un

Where is the new book available?

All four books in the series are available on Amazon.com.

Links:
Murder & Mayhem In Goose Pimple Junction: http://tinyurl.com/zz6vl2l
Heroes & Hooligans In Goose Pimple Junction:
http://tinyurl.com/z45l93p
Short & Tall Tales In Goose Pimple Junction:
http://tinyurl.com/zl8ovc3
Rogues & Rascals In Goose Pimple Junction: http://tinyurl.com/zy9p85r

Goose Pimple Junction Mysteries: http://tinyurl.com/gnclb9y

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Thanks so much for joining me on Reade and Write today!

Until next week,

Amy

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Meet a Reader: Sharon Aguanno

  • Sharon Aguanno Reader interview
  • Here on Reade and Write I’m trying out a new idea- I’ve had such a great response from my interviews of authors that I thought it would be fun to interview readers, too! My first reader interviewee is Sharon Aguanno, a woman I met just after my first book, Secrets of Hallstead House, came out. She sent me a message on Facebook asking a question about the book and we’ve been in online contact almost every day since then. If you read the comments after each post here on my blog, you’ll notice that Sharon has been a faithful commenter every week. I’m so grateful for her friendship. Welcome, Sharon!
  • How often do you read?
    I try to read daily. If I am not reading a book, I am reading blogs, which I love!
    What is the name of the last book you finished?
    If audio counts, I just finished listening to Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction, by Amy Metz. Although I had previously read it, I wanted to hear the southern speak. And I just finished Maggie King’s Murder At The Book Group.
    Audio books definitely count! What are you reading now?
    I just downloaded Memory of Light, by Mollie Cox Bryan (This is outside of my genre, but I love Mollie’s writing style, so I am going to read it.)\
    I’m also looking forward to reading Memory of Light. What is your preferred genre?
    Mysteries, Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction, Crime, Detective stories and Law and Order.
    How often do you venture outside your preferred genre?
    That’s a good question. A year ago I would have said never. However, last year I read 75 books- 40 new (to me) authors and many genres. The only genre I will stay completely away from is horror. I am a big
    scaredy-cat.
    What was the last book you read outside your preferred genre?
    The Retreat, by Chariss K. Walker.
    Are you in a book club?
    No, I don’t have the patience to read a book at a slow pace. However, I do like when an author adds discussion questions at the end of the book.
    Where do you obtain most of the books you read- from a bookstore, online, the library, borrowed from a friend, etc.?
    Online, and occasionally someone will send me a book via mail.
    How do you decide which books to read?
    I follow lots of author and Facebook pages. When I need a book, I go out to the blogs and pick one.
    What is in your To-Be-Read pile?
    I was upset in January and I discarded my TBR. I figured I would never get to them. Now it’s July and I realize I should have kept it… LOL. There are a handful of books that I downloaded when they were free. Mostly cozies! Kathi Daley, Mollie Cox Bryan, Sarah Hobart, just to name a few. Also, my TBR usually contains authors and books. I see an author on a blog or Facebook page and I go out to Amazon and check them out. For example, if it’s a series, I like to start with the first book rather than their Work-in-Progress.
    Do you pay attention to especially bad reviews of books when deciding whether to buy or read them?
    Absolutely NOT. I have found that bad reviews usually come from people who haven’t even finished the book. A little criticism or suggestion of what a reader would like to see is one thing, but rudeness in a review is unacceptable!
    Amen to that! Lots of people don’t have a favorite book for a variety of reasons. Do you have a favorite? What is it?
    Reading is my passion; I don’t have a favorite book, but lots of favorite authors. When I find somebody I like, I will read everything they write!
    Where is your favorite reading spot? 
    My bedroom. I have a cozy chair and I face a big window looking out onto the street. Since I am on the second floor, I look at roof tops and trees, and I love the sunrise as it comes over the homes in the morning.
  • Anything else you want me to know?
    Yes; since reading is my all time favorite thing to do, I follow many authors and blogs. Occasionally I will come across one that I disagree with and I don’t have a problem stating that. Having said that, I want you and all authors to know that I have the utmost respect for your profession. Being able to create characters, dream up a plot and tie it all together is a talent that the avid reader, like me, only dreams about!
    Thank you! That’s such a nice way to end the interview. I loved having you on Reade and Write! Sharon didn’t mention it, but she has her own blog where she talks about all things books. You can check it out by clicking the following link: https://newyorkarmymom.wordpress.com/.
  • I’m looking for more readers who would like to share their love of reading! If you’re interested in being interviewed, let me know in the comments below and I’ll be in touch. Authors, you’re welcome to put on your reader hats and join in!
  • Until next week,
  • Amy
  • P.S. You may have noticed these bullet points throughout my last several posts. I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how to get rid of them. I’ve tried everything.

 

Amy Metz Interview

GPJ2Cover

This week I welcome author Amy Metz, author of the Goose Pimple Junction books. I just recently downloaded the first book in the series, Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction, and I’m very much looking forward to reading it. Nice to have you here, Amy!

Interview Questions for Reade and Write

Tell me about your new book.

Heroes & Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction is the second book in my Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. The main characters in this book are Martha Maye Applewhite and Johnny Butterfield. All of the same characters from the first book are back for this one, plus a few new ones. There are several mysteries to solve – some more sinister than others – and of course, someone has to die!

Who is the audience for the book?

Anyone who likes mysteries and has a sense of humor.

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?

I’ve been told that the town itself is almost a character of its own, and that makes me very happy. Goose Pimple Junction is a combination of a couple of real life small towns and my imagination. I wanted a close-knit community with whacky characters and a beautiful, clean Southern town. I hope it’s a place readers would like to visit or live.

What was the hardest thing about writing the book?

I had a hard time coming up with a plot with this second book. I actually had a different killer in my first draft. And editing . . . don’t get me started!

If your book were made into a movie, who would you like to see playing the main characters?

I think Kathy Bates would be a great Louetta. Or Shirley McClain. But Louetta’s a heavy woman, in my mind, so maybe Shirley wouldn’t work. For the other characters, I just don’t know. I’m coming up blank.

Have you written any other books?

I’ve written the first book in the series, Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction (of course), and I’m writing the third book now. I also have a novelette just about finished up that explains a few things that happened in between the first and second books.

Are you in one or more critique groups or partnerships?

I was when I wrote Murder & Mayhem, but I’m not anymore. I do think they’re a great source of advice and support. I just don’t have time to properly participate right now.

Do you write every day?

In normal times, yes. My life is in total upheaval right now, so it’s been a while since I’ve written. I am itching to get back to it. I have a new character in mind, and he’s giving me all sorts of ideas.

When you read a book, what authors do you like best? What genres do you like best?

I love mysteries, and Robert B. Parker is my favorite author. I also like humor, so when an author combines mystery and humor, I’m hooked. David Rosenfelt and Dennis Hart do a really good job of that in their novels. Harlan Coben, Michael Connelly, John Sandford, Nelson DeMille . . . there are so many to love.

Where would you like to go more than anywhere else on earth?

To The Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport, Maine. I’ll sit on the veranda overlooking the ocean, sip a cold drink, alternating from reading a book to photographing the beauty of the area and the activity on the water. Heaven.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Run, Forrest, Run!

What is your favorite movie and why?

Hmm…not sure I can pinpoint it to one. I love Princess Bride, O Brother, Where Art Thou, My Cousin Vinny. One really weird one that I love is Wild Wild West, with Kevin Klein and Will Smith. There are a lot of movies to love, too.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Follow your heart, but listen to your mind.

Describe yourself in three words.

Crazy old lady.

Is there anything I haven’t asked that you wanted me to?

Nope. I’ve been in the hot seat long enough!

Where can readers connect with you?

Website: http://amymetz.com

Blog: http://abluemillionbooks.blogspot.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmyMetz

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authoramymetz

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6436458.Amy_Metz

Where can readers find your books?

Right now they’re only at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Amy-Metz/e/B008NA07X4/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction: http://www.amazon.com/Murder-Mayhem-Pimple-Junction-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00NE1H8FW/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Heroes & Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction: http://www.amazon.com/Heroes-Hooligans-Goose-Pimple-Junction-ebook/dp/B00R6CWTYU/ref=pd_sim_351_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=050Q2JRSHCS5B157VKZW

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Suffolk, Virginia Mystery Authors Festival

Before I get started, I’d like to let everyone know that Secrets of Hallstead House was featured as the Cool Book of the Week on Amy Metz’s blog, A Blue Million Books. I’d love for you to check out the post: you can find it at http://abluemillionbooks.blogspot.com/. You may have to scroll down just a bit, but I promise it’s there. Many thanks to Amy Metz for the opportunity to appear on her blog!

This past weekend I had the privilege of attending the Suffolk, Virginia Mystery Authors Festival, hosted by the Suffolk Division of Tourism in partnership with the Suffolk Center for the Cultural Arts and the Suffolk Public Library. It was a gathering of twelve very talented and prolific mystery writers, a literary agent (Dawn Dowdle), a freelance editor (Jeni Chappelle), several members of the Virginia chapter of Sisters in Crime, and hundreds of very happy readers.

suffolk poster and Amy

I had the opportunity to meet and chat with the likes of Ellery Adams, Mollie Cox Bryan (who shares my Kensington editor), Mary Burton, Erika Chase, Vicki Delany (who also writes as Eva Gates), Linda O. Johnston, Joyce and Jim Lavene (who write together as Ellie Grant and J.J. Cook), Maggie Sefton, Gayle Trent (who also writes as Amanda Lee), LynDee Walker, and Wendy Lyn Watson (who also writes as Annie Knox).

Many of these authors write cozy mysteries. The cozy is a sub-genre of crime fiction in which the main character, generally a woman, is an amateur sleuth with a day job that allows her to interact with members of the close-knit community in which the crime usually takes place. The cozy is populated with quirky-next-door-neighbor-type characters and the reader gets to know many members of the community as a cozy series progresses. Often the main character has a close relationship with a member of law enforcement (say, a brother, best friend, boyfriend, ex-husband, etc.) and you’d be amazed at how often cats, dogs, and other animals are important cast members. Cozies tend to be on the milder side of crime fiction and generally avoid strong cursing and graphic descriptions of violence and intimacy. It is common to find the main character’s job or hobby (such as knitting, scrapbooking, or animal rescues) as a theme throughout a cozy series.

But not all the authors I met write cozies: some write novels and stories that are a bit darker, such as Mary Burton’s Cover Your Eyes or her Texas Rangers series or Maggie Sefton’s newest political mystery Poisoned Politics. I’m happy to report that both Mary and Maggie are charming in real life and exude none of the danger they write about.

I wish I had time and space to write more about the books I discovered and the authors I talked to, but I will provide their website addresses below for you to check out.

The festival included presentations throughout the day that focused on everything from the History of the Mystery to a talk by Dawn Dowdle, literary agent, about the importance of finding an editor that fits a writer’s needs and genres. While the presentations were being held, many of the authors read from their most recent releases, which was a treat for the readers who attended.

If you ever have a chance to visit Suffolk, Virginia, I have a couple pieces of advice. First, try to avoid I-95 at all costs, even if it means walking the entire distance (you’ll get there faster if you walk, anyway). Second, get there on a day when the Suffolk Division of Tourism is hosting one of its tours, such as the Suffolk Ghost Walk (which I missed because I was sitting on I-95) or the Great Dismal Swamp Guided Nature Walk. Third, don’t leave until you check out the Suffolk Center for the Cultural Arts, which is housed in a restored high school and is a beautiful space that houses, among other things, art galleries, a gorgeous theater, a ballroom, and studios for dance, weaving, pottery, photography, and much more. The Suffolk Division of Tourism couldn’t have picked a more breathtaking and inspiring place to hold its Mystery Authors Festival.

Here’s that list of the authors’ websites:

Ellery Adams: http://www.elleryadamsmysteries.com/
Mollie Cox Bryan: http://molliecoxbryan.com/
Mary Burton: http://www.maryburton.com/
Erika Chase: http://www.erikachase.com/
Vicki Delany: http://vickidelany.com/
Linda O. Johnston: http://www.lindaojohnston.com/
Joyce and Jim Lavene: http://www.joyceandjimlavene.com/
Maggie Sefton: http://www.maggiesefton.com/
Gayle Trent: http://www.gayletrent.com/
LynDee Walker: http://lyndeewalker.com/
Wendy Lyn Watson: http://www.wendylynwatson.com/

Jeni Chappelle: http://www.jenichappelle.com/
Dawn Dowdle: http://www.blueridgeagency.com/

Sisters in Crime: http://www.sistersincrime.org/?7

Suffolk Division of Tourism: http://www.suffolk-fun.com/

I’m already looking forward to next year’s Mystery Authors Festival!

Until next week,

Amy