Saturday, November 2, 2013

Jean builds cosy mysteries laced with humour

Hi, Jean, and welcome. Please get comfortable and tell us a little about your adventure.

What inspired you to write your first book?

A woman I knew who had ten children in eleven years and was then deserted by her husband.  For sheer drama—and tragedy—hers was a tale worth telling.  I did complete the book but never attempted to have it published.  The story would hurt too many people to be made public.  But writing it served as a form of catharsis for me and a learning experience as well.

What book are you reading now?

I’m currently reading Alice Munroe’s short story collection, Real Life.  They’re deceptively simple by a master of the embedded symbol.  I highly recommend the book by our most recent Nobel laureate. Each story really makes you think, so after you read one, you sit back and say, “Now what was that all about.”  And with a little thought, you discover the gem hidden inside that fluid prose.  Munroe is a gifted storyteller.

How many books have you written?  Which is your favourite?

I have to count.  Let’s see.  Including that early domestic tragedy, twelve.  Seven, counting my current WIP, have been accepted for publication, and that makes me happy.

Can you give us some details about your upcoming release?

On January 4, 2014, Rooms To Die For, the fourth book in my Murders by Design Mystery Series, will be released by Carina Press and available through  Rooms to Die For is a cozy mystery laced with humor.  As an interior designer with a struggling business and a great love life, Deva Dunne keeps getting into scrapes that put her in grave danger. (No pun intended!)  This drives Lt. Rossi, her detective lover crazy, but as every designer knows, the devil’s in the details, and these pesky details have a habit of bringing Deva face-to-face with killers.

Do you have any advice for new writers beginning their adventure?

Ah, yes.  This question is asked of every writer:  Bad news first:  Sorry, but there is no muse who will wave a magic wand over you as you write.  Now for the good news:  If you keep on writing, every day, every day, you will polish your craft and with that have an excellent chance of becoming a published writer.  It’s a long and difficult road, I know, but it can be done.  Look at me, Ma!

Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.

  1. I weigh the same now as I did when I was married.  It just looks different.
  2. Today is my wedding anniversary.  Many happy years spent with Big John.
  3. Our son was born on our fifth wedding anniversary.  Happy birthday, Chris!

When a restaurant gas oven explodes in Killer Kitchens, killing two men, destroying the chef’s livelihood and tossing heroine Deva Dunne out onto the sidewalk, you know something’s gone terribly wrong with Deva’s first commercial project.  Actually it’s been blown all to, well—smithereens.  The reason?  An accidental propane leak?  Or was arson the cause?  Either way, just because Dynamite Shrimp was on the menu, did the place have to explode?  For an excerpt, take a peek at:

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