by Karen Rigley
Denise, thank you for helping MMC celebrate. It’s a pleasure to interview you.
Mystery Most Cozy is celebrating their tenth anniversary. What is your favorite thing about the group: reader interaction, fan support, being able to connect with fellow authors or what and why?
The interaction with the readers is priceless. I love it when someone asks for a recommendation and everyone chimes in.
When and how did you discover the Mystery Most Cozy group?
I’m fairly new to the group, probably less than a year. I can’t remember how I heard about it, but I probably saw it on someone’s FB wall.
How did you know you were meant to write?
I’ve been writing since kindergarten. I always have had stories in my head and have wanted to share them.
What fascinates you about mysteries?
I like that by the end; the bad guy will be discovered and punished.
What inspired you to write your mysteries?
I was a school psychologist for 22 years, and after that long working in public education, there were a lot of people that needed to die. 😉
What intrigues you about writing a series?
The thing I love about writing a series is that I get to grow my characters. They can mature and learn from their mistakes.
What is the most challenging facet of writing for you?
t’d hard to have the discipline to produce two books a year and not allow the quality of either to slide. If I don’t write nearly every day, I can’t make my deadlines.
What do you enjoy reading?
I like most genres. Of course, I read mysteries—mostly cozies, but I also love romance, some horror, and urban fantasy. I’m not too interested in literary books. Too often the characters are unlikable and the pace too slow for my tastes.
Which authors have influenced you?
Louisa May Alcott, Phyllis Whitney, Carolyn Hart, Charlaine Harris, and many more.
How much of a story do you have in mind when you begin a new book?
I usually have an overall idea of the plot, and I know who the victim and the killer are.
Part of the magic of writing is creating memorable characters. Who are your favorite characters, why, and which of your mysteries feature them?
Wow. That’s like asking a mother to choose her favorite child. I love all my characters for different reasons. Skye from the Scumble River books and Devereaux from the Dime Store books are the stars, but some of the secondary characters are also endearing. Even the Dooziers from the Scumble River books have a place in my heart.
What would you like to say to your readers & fans?
Thank you! Their positive reaction to my books is what keeps me writing.
What advice would you offer a beginning writer?
Finish the book. Find a critique group. Never give up. I have a poster in my office that says—It’s not how good you are, it’s how hard you try.
Do you like a touch of romance woven into your mysteries? Do you add it into your own stories?
Love it! I have quite a bit of romance in the Scumble River series, but the Dime Store books have turned it up a notch.
What are your favorite “writing” clothes?
As author you create magic offering readers an escape into your story. As you write how deeply do you submerge into your own characters, setting and plot?
Do you dream any of your scenes? I often dream about whatever plot I’m working on and sometimes those dreams help me figure out what should happen next.
What are you writing now?
I’m currently editing Scumble River #16—Murder of a Stacked Librarian due out September 2013 and writing Dime Store #3 due out March 2013.
Tell us about your newest mystery:
Murder of the Cat’s Meow takes place during a cat show/speed dating weekend. An obnoxious judge is murdered and my sleuth school psychologist Skye Denison must find out who killed her before the wrong man goes to jail for the crime.
Where can we find out more about you and your books?
Visit Mystery Most Cozy to find out how to enter the drawing for one of her mysteries.
MYSTERY MOST COZY links: