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In The Stars (Amber Reed Mystery)
by Zanna Mackenzie
Danger and romance heat up the pages of this intriguing mystery.
In The Stars: A Humorous Romantic Mystery (Amber Reed Mystery)
1st in Series
Publication Date: December 11, 2014
Print Length: 364 pages
One desperate phone call is all it takes to turn Amber’s previously dull day into one speeding scarily out of control!
Amber Reed’s at work making up the horoscopes for the local newspaper and wishing for some excitement in her life, when she gets a phone call offering her just that.
Plunged into the middle of a celebrity murder investigation she’s desperately trying to convince the scarily handsome special agent assigned to solve the case that she can help him catch the killer.
Amber’s soon battling something far more dangerous than she could ever have imagined – and it has nothing to do with the equally scary chemistry fizzing between her and special agent Charlie.
Is it Amber’s wish for more excitement in her life which has landed her in big trouble – or is her fate written in the stars?
In The Stars is part of the fun, romantic Amber Reed Mystery series:
Interview with the Author
What initially got you interested in writing?
I’ve always wanted to write and create books. As a child I used to cut up magazines and paste pictures and articles into my own DIY magazine made up of folded and stapled sheets of paper – this was way before computers! I wanted to write travel articles and ended up working on tourism brochures after college. Many years later, when I switched jobs connected with a relocation for my husband’s work, I worked for a charity as an admin assistant and it had a membership magazine and I started submitting articles and getting them published. That reignited my love of writing non-fiction. A further relocation later on saw me secure a job with a chamber of commerce writing and editing their business publications. It was on a holiday in North wales that I first began to contemplate writing fiction. The cottage we rented had a tiny study with amazing views of the mountains. It made me want to sit at the desk and create something. I dabbled in short stories to begin with and was stunned when a couple of magazines published them. Then I decided to tackle a much bigger project – my first novel!
What genres do you write in?
When I first started with fiction I wrote romantic comedies with a small element of mystery to them. Those first three books were published by two different publishers, one in the UK and one in the USA. After that I was drawn to developing the mystery side of things more, but still keeping the romance and the comedy too. I created the Amber Reed Mystery series, then the Recipe For Disaster series and the most recent series is Glen Falls which takes the mystery, romance and fun of all of my series and combines them with magic, paranormal and myths and folklore.
What drew you to writing these specific genres?
I read across several genres but the common denominator for me when it comes to reading choice is that I need an element of romance in a book, whether that book is suspense, mystery, paranormal or comedy. Then I always like a book to have something more in the shape of intrigue, mystery or suspense. It made sense to me to bring together my favorite aspects as a reader and combine mystery, fun and romance into one genre.
How did you break into the field?
I wrote several books but never did anything with them as I thought it was a waste of time sending them off to publishers and trying to get contracts for them. I was complaining to my husband one day about my job and he said ‘well, do something else then, take the writing seriously!’ He encouraged me to send the books off to a couple of publishers and I told myself not to get my hopes up and keep checking my emails for a response. Two weeks later, I had an offer on one of the books from an American publisher and couldn’t believe it. I was shocked. I cried with happiness and danced around the room, feeling so fortunate and lucky. One week later, I had an offer of a contract on one of the other books from a different publisher based in the UK. Wow, that was an amazing month! I feel so privileged to have my work published.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
I hope they had an enjoyable, escapist read that drew them into the mystery and enabled them to love the characters – fingers crossed!
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
I feel as though it is what I am meant to do and I feel so lucky that I get to create settings, characters and stories that people want to read. When readers get in touch and say they loved one (or all!) of my books and ask when the next one will be out – that’s tremendously rewarding.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Tackling the big picture on a project and being patient! I can be a bit of an impatient person and I want to get a book written right away but that’s not possible. There’s plotting and planning and character creation and all sorts of things that need to happen before I even get to type the first word –and then it’s months of writing, editing and more writing and editing before it is ready for publication.
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
Be persistent, be optimistic and go for it. Also, get your author platform (website, blog, social media presence) in place even before you try and get a book deal or venture into self-publishing. I knew nothing about social media or marketing when I started out and that severely affected sales at the start. I’m still trying to get to grips with marketing and can struggle with maintaining an active presence on Twitter and Facebook because I’m a very shy person.
What type of books do you enjoy reading?
I read romantic mystery, romantic suspense, chick lit, cozy mysteries, all sorts really. I’m not keen on books which scare me. I like my reading to be fun, intriguing and have a romantic element to it.
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?
I think I’m quiet and boring, so I’m not sure if people will think I’m interesting or not! I like my home life. Love walking the dogs in the countryside. I like growing fruit and veg. I enjoy painting and drawing landscapes. I adore reading and have shelves full of books as well as loads on my Kindle. I used to be a practising clinical aromatherapist. I have a fixation with the weather and have a rain gauge, wind speed recorder and a mini digital weather station at home which records humidity and temperature!
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
My website at www.zannamackenzie.co.uk.
If people head to my website they can download a free novella today!
About the Author
I live in the UK (Derbyshire/ Leicestershire border) with my husband, 5 dogs, a vegetable patch that’s home to far too many weeds and an ever expanding library of books waiting to be read
Being a freelance writer and editor of business publications is my ‘day job’ but, at every opportunity, I can be found scribbling down notes on scenes for whatever novel I’m working on. I love it when the characters in my novels take on minds of their own and start deviating from the original plot.
I enjoy walking the dogs, gardening and reading.
Links to webpage: www.zannamackenzie.co.uk
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