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Deadly Southern Charm (Cozy Mystery Anthology)
by Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia

Frances Aylor, Mollie Cox Bryan, Lynn Cahoon, J.A. Chalkley, Stacie Giles, Barb Goffman, Libby Hall, Bradley Harper, Sherry Harris, Maggie King, Kristin Kisska, Samantha McGraw, K.L. Murphy, Genilee Swope Parente, Deb Rolfe, Rod Sterling, S.E. Warwick, Heather Weidner
Editors: Mary Burton and Mary Miley

About the Book


Deadly Southern Charm (Cozy Mystery Anthology)
Cozy Mystery
Wildside Press (March 27, 2019)
Paperback: 173 pages
ISBN-10: 1479448397
ISBN-13: 978-1479448395

About the Authors

Interview Responses from Authors

What initially got you interested in writing?

Frances: As a child I loved to read. My sister and I would set up a little table in the backyard and try to write stories.

Heather: I have always loved to read, and ever since I was little, I wanted to write books too.

Lynn: I wanted to go to college to learn to write, but there wasn’t an author track. So I got a Public Administration degree instead and worked for the state.

Genilee: I can’t remember since I’ve been doing it so long. I have wanted to be an author since I was a pre-teen.

Maggie: As a devotee of Nancy Drew, I wrote mysteries in grade school. In high school I poured my considerable adolescent angst into bad poetry. After that, the only writing I did for many years was on the pages of my journal. During the last year I lived in Los Angeles, three of my co-workers took creative writing and screenwriting courses at UCLA Extension. I read their work and was impressed by their talent. I also thought, “Hmm. If they can do this …” At the time I belonged to a mystery book group (it was the model for the Murder on Tour group in my Hazel Rose Book Group series) and felt confident that I could turn out a mystery. When I moved to Virginia in 1996 I took a writing course at the University of Virginia and reawakened my love of writing. I took more classes and started writing on a regular basis.

Kristin: Good question!  I’m a later-in-life career switcher, as my formal education was in finance and business.  I even worked on Wall Street. I never aspired to being a writer until an idea for a novel popped in my head one day. A couple years later, I had a completed 350 page suspense novel. Initially, my husband hoped my writing was a phase, but seven short stories and three novels later, he’s had to manage those expectations.

J.A.: I’ve always been interested in storytelling. During my career in public safety, I began to write, while working midnight shift. I enjoyed it and it was a stress relief.

Libby:  I’ve always written poetry, short stories and now novels.  It was initially a great way to rid myself of painful middle school angst.  Now it helps me escape adulthood angst.

 

What genres do you write in?

Frances: mystery, thriller and suspense

Heather: I write traditional and cozy mysteries.

Lynn:  Cozy Mystery

Genilee: Mystery-romance, young adult, women’s fiction

Maggie: I write edgy cozies and short stories.

Kristin: Most of my stories and novels are variations of suspense, either psychological or domestic. I sometimes include elements of quest.

J.A.: Mystery

Libby:  Fantasy, mystery and Souther fiction.

 

What drew you to writing these specific genres?

Frances: I love to read fast-paced thrillers, so that’s the type of book I want to write.

Heather: It’s what I love to read, so it seemed like a good fit.

Genilee: It’s what I read. Even though I’m now 65, I find some of the best writing gets done for what is known as “young adult” fiction.

Lynn: I was reading a lot of mysteries during my breast cancer treatment. Some books I’d love and read everything by that author. Others, not so much. But yet they all had ‘mystery’ on the spine when I got them from the library. I figured out what I was loving was the ‘cozy mystery.’ So I started writing my own.

Maggie: I love reading mysteries, as the puzzles intrigue me. Also, I worked as a computer programmer for many years, and programming is a problem-solving skill. Essentially, I married my occupation to my reading interest.

Kristin: I’ve always enjoyed solving mind puzzles, reading thrillers, and watching detective shows on T.V., so when it came to writing fiction, the mystery genre—especially, suspense–was a natural fit.

J.A.: I’ve always enjoyed reading mysteries, so I thought it would be fun to write mysteries.

Libby:  Fantasy – I wanted to be like Marion Zimmer Bradley.  Mystery – it was a challenge I’d never tried before. Souther Fiction – those are my people – hear our songs.

 

How did you break into the field?

Frances: I attended writing conferences and joined a number of writing groups, including James River Writers and Sisters in Crime, which taught me both the craft and the business of writing.

Heather: My first published short story was in a Sisters in Crime anthology, Virginia is for Mysteries. I appreciate the opportunity. I learned a lot about writing and editing and the publishing industry.

Lynn: I sent my first cozy to every agent on my A/B&C list. When I was about to put it under the bed, I sent directly to an editor at a publisher who took unsolicited manuscripts. In a couple of months, I had a three-book deal. Never give up – Never surrender.

Genilee: My co-author is my mother, who was inspired by another sister (children’s book author Allyn M. Stotz) to write her first book at about age 84. My mom and I got a contract for our first three books in The Fate Series.

Maggie: My first publishing credit was “A Not So Genteel Murder,” a story I contributed to the Virginia is for Mysteries anthology (2014, Koehler Books).

Kristin: My first published work was a short story of historical suspense about UVA’s legendary secret society, “The Sevens” which I submitted to a contest.  Mine was one of about twenty stories selected from hundreds to be included in the Anthony Award nominated anthology, MURDER UNDER THE OAKS.

J.A.: My first published short story was in a Sisters in Crime anthology, Virginia is for Mysteries Vol II. It was a great experience. I learned a great deal not just about writing, but also the business behind it.

 

Libby:  Having my short story “Stewing” in this anthology is my first published work, but I have other novels waiting in the wings for my youngest to graduate so I’ll have the time I need to market them.

 

What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?

Frances: My goal is to entertain readers as well as give them a few investment tips they can use when they manage their own money.

Heather: I hope they have fun with the mystery and learn a little bit about Delanie’s adventures with all kinds of things in pop culture. My books are set in and around Central Virginia, so I hope they also get a flavor of area from the books.

Genilee: I want them to come away feeling like they got out of their own heads for an hour or so because the story is so good.

Lynn: Cozy’s are fun reads. I want my readers to feel like they’ve had a visit with their favorite relative or crazy aunts.

Maggie: I want them to say, “Wow! I never saw the end coming.” I want them to be entertained, but I also want them to think about some of the questions I pose: “What would you do for your family? Is there anything you would not do for them? How important is money? Would you go to any lengths to acquire it?”

Kristin: My goal is once the reader finishes the story, they want to re-read it to catch the little crumbs I planted leading up to the twist at the end.  I also love it when readers ask if I’ll continue writing the story, because they want more.

J.A.: I hope they enjoy the journey.

Libby:  I want them to be entertained, but also reflect on what it emans to have family, and what “home” means.

 

What do you find most rewarding about writing?

Frances: Talking to book clubs about my work. It’s exciting that readers think of my characters as real people.

Heather: I love seeing the final work in print. It is so rewarding to hold the book that you’ve worked on for so long. I also love it when someone says that they’ve enjoyed the story.

Genilee: It’s the only thing I do that makes me lose all sense of time and responsibility.

Lynn:  I love that someone else loves my imaginary friends as much as I do. Having others question and ask about the characters that live in a part of my head as much as on the page is priceless.

Maggie: The readers: I love meeting them, either in person or on social media. I love to learn what they like to read and what they think of my work, and the work of other authors.

Kristin: Like Maggie, my absolute favorite part of writing is finding out from the readers what they connected with most in my stories.

 

J.A.: Research is fun. I’ve learned about so many things while researching things and people for stories. I enjoy when readers recognize places in my stories.

Libby: The stories MUST get out – so it’s cathartic to let that happen.  Plus, I crack myself up sometimes when I have a fun character to use.

 

What do you find most challenging about writing?

Frances: I need to learn to write faster. I’m envious of writers who can churn out two or more books a year.

Heather: I love the researching, plotting and writing parts. The editing and revising parts often feel like work, but they’re necessary to polish the work for publication. Also, when I started, I didn’t realize how much marketing authors have to do.

Genilee: Finding a way to market the book once it’s out.

Lynn: Dealing with the business side of the author life.  Did I do everything I could to push this book out into the world.

Maggie: Keeping focused on my actual writing. Besides personal distractions, I’m challenged by the myriad of writing-related tasks facing writers these days (promotion, marketing, social media, to name a few).

Kristin: When I craft, I am transcribing a movie that’s rolling in my mind. I’m always worried that I don’t write enough details for my readers to envision the same scenes.

J.A.: Getting started. Once I’m in the chair, I enjoy writing. But sometimes it’s hard to make myself sit down and focus.

 

Libby:   Time.  Working full-time in marketing leaves very little creativity at the end of the day.  Finding the time and the energy is the biggest obstacle.

 

 

What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?

Frances: Writing is hard work. Do it because you love it, not because you think you’ll make a lot of money at it.

Heather: If you want to be a published author, stick with it. Writing is a business.

Genilee: Follow Heather’s advice from above. If you’re in it for money, get out.

Lynn:  It is a business and with any business, you’re supposed to get paid. Write a book, write another, learn more about your craft, but don’t forget, it’s a business.

Maggie: Write every day, even if you can only squeeze in fifteen minutes. Pick two or three authors whose style you like and study how they structure their stories and create characters. A good book about mystery writing is You Can Write a Mystery by Gillian Roberts (I studied her Amanda Pepper series).

Kristin: Write. Even when you don’t feel like you have anything of significance to say. All the magic happens when you revise your story, but you can’t revise what’s not on the page.

J.A.: Rewrites are your friends. No one writes a perfect first draft. Allow yourself to write bad on the first draft, just get it on the paper. Once it’s on the paper, then you can shape it into a good draft.

Libby:   I echo Maggie – write whenever you can, no matter what it’s about.  Copy other author’s styles until you figure out what works for you.

 

What type of books do you enjoy reading?

Frances: Mysteries and thrillers. I’m also a member of two book clubs, which expose me to good books that I probably wouldn’t have chosen otherwise.

Heather: I read a lot of history and biography, but my favorites are always mysteries and thrillers.

Genilee: Mystery, science fiction/fantasy, biographies, women’s fiction

Lynn: I’m really on a paranormal bent right now. I just finished reading all of JD Robb’s futuristic mysteries. Now I’m reading through the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. In between, I’m reading what I find interesting. Like Robyn Carr. And I just finished a non-fiction on Twain and his times – Twain’s Feast. So good.

Maggie: Mysteries, literary fiction, biographies.

Kristin: I adore suspense novels. My go to authors are Mary Kubica, Ruth Ware, and Liane Moriarty.

J.A.: Mysteries, Sci fi, horror, fantasy.

Libby: Southern Fiction, Historical Fiction, Fantasy.

 

Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?

Frances: I am a Chartered Financial Analyst, worked in investing for many years, and am passionate about spreading financial literacy. I’ve traveled to over 30 countries and still have lots more on my bucket list.

Heather: I’m a cop’s kid. My dad retired after forty-six years on the force, but he’s my best resource for answering questions that I don’t want to Google.

Genilee: Although I just started publishing books about 7 years ago, I have always supported myself from my skill as a wordsmith. I love words with a passion—don’t try beating me at Words with Friend!

Lynn: My husband and I have just adopted two baby Keeshonds. My life has taken a turn but I laugh a lot more.

 

Maggie: I enjoy walking, reading, travel, cats, theatre, film, British and European TV.

Kristin: I’m a Fabergé imperial egg enthusiast, a topic which I indulged extensively in my (not yet published) novel, Chasing Fabergé.  Hopefully I’ll be able to share it with the world someday!

J.A.: I’m a retired 911 operator.

Libby:  I’m a sucker for a guy with an English or Scottish accent.

 

What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?

 

AUTHORS

 

Frances Aylor, CFA combines her investing experience and love of travel in her financial thrillers. MONEY GRAB is the first in the series.  www.francesaylor.com

 

Mollie Cox Bryan is the author of cookbooks, articles, essays, poetry, and fiction.  An Agatha Award nominee, she lives in Central Virginia.  www.molliecoxbryan.com

 

Lynn Cahoon is the NYT and USA Today author of the best-selling Tourist Trap, Cat Latimer and Farm-to-Fork mystery series. www.lynncahoon.com

A. Chalkley is a native Virginian. She is a writer, retired public safety communications officer, and a member of Sisters in Crime. www.jachalkley.com

Stacie Giles, after a career as a political scientist, linguist, and CIA analyst, is now writing historical cozies with a twist.  Her first short story is in honor of her grandfather who was a policeman in Memphis in the 1920s.

 

Barb Goffman has won the Agatha, Macavity, and Silver Falchion awards for her short stories, and is a twenty-three-time finalist for US crime-writing awards. She lives in Winchester, Virginia, with her dog, and works as a freelance crime-fiction editor. www.Barbgoffman.com

 

Libby Hall is a communication analyst with a consulting firm in Richmond, Virginia.  She is also a blogger, freelance writer, wife, and mother of two.  www.subourbonmom.wordpress.com

 

Bradley Harper is a retired Army pathologist.  Library Journal named his debut novel, A KNIFE IN THE FOG, Debut of the Month for October 2018.  www.bharperauthor.com

 

Sherry Harris is the Agatha Award-nominated author of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale mystery series and is the president of Sisters in Crime.www.sherryharrisauthor.com

 

Maggie King penned the Hazel Rose Book Group mysteries. Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries and 50 Shades of Cabernet anthologies. www.maggieking.com

 

Kristin Kisska is a member of International Thriller Writers and James River Writers, and programs chair of the Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia chapter. www.kristinkisska.com

 

Samantha McGraw has a love of mysteries and afternoon tea. She lives in Richmond with her husband and blogs at Tea Cottage Mysteries.www.samanthamcgraw.com

 

K.L. Murphy is a freelance writer and the author of the Detective Cancini Mysteries.  She lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, four children, and two dogs.www.Kellielarsenmurphy.com

 

Genilee Swope Parente has written the romantic mystery The Fate Series with her mother F. Sharon Swope. The two also have several collections of short stories. www.swopeparente.com

 

Deb Rolfe primarily writes mystery novels. This is her first published short story. She and her husband enjoy life in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

 

Ronald Sterling is the author of six books and draws upon his colorful and varied life experience as a U.S. Airman, saloonkeeper, private detective, realtor, and New Jersey mayor.

 

S.A. Warwick, in the last century earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies. Ever since, she has been trying to decipher the American enigma.

 

Heather Weidner is the author of the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries.  She has short stories in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 SHADES OF CABERNET and TO FETCH A THIEF.  She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and Jack Russell terriers.  www.heatherweidner.com

 

 

EDITORS

 

Mary Burton is a New York Times, USA Today and Kindle best-selling author.  She is currently working on her latest suspense. www.maryburton.com

 

Mary Miley is a historian and writer with 14 nonfiction books and 5 mystery novels to her credit. www.marymileytheobald.com

 

 

 

 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LethalLadiesWrite/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LethalLadiesCVA?lang=en

Website: https://www.sistersincrimecentralvirginia.com/anthologies

BOOK LINKS

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Southern-Charm-Mystery-Anthology/dp/1479448397

 

All Author Bios

Frances Aylor, CFA combines her investing experience and love of travel in her financial thrillers. MONEY GRAB is the first in the series. www.francesaylor.com

Mollie Cox Bryan is the author of cookbooks, articles, essays, poetry, and fiction. An Agatha Award nominee, she lives in Central Virginia. www.molliecoxbryan.com

Lynn Cahoon is the NYT and USA Today author of the best-selling Tourist Trap, Cat Latimer and Farm-to-Fork mystery series. www.lynncahoon.com

A. Chalkley is a native Virginian. She is a writer, retired public safety communications officer, and a member of Sisters in Crime.

 

Stacie Giles lived many places before settling in Virginia where she is returning to ancestral Southern roots, including a grandfather who was a Memphis policeman.

Barb Goffman has won the Agatha, Macavity, and Silver Falchion awards for her short stories, and is a two-time finalist for US crime-writing awards.www.Barbgoffman.com

Libby Hall is a communication analyst with a consulting firm in Richmond, Virginia. She is also a blogger, freelance writer, wife, and mother of two.

Bradley Harper is a retired Army pathologist. Library Journal named his debut novel, A KNIFE IN THE FOG, Debut of the Month for October 2018. www.bharperauthor.com

Sherry Harris is the Agatha Award-nominated author of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale mystery series and is the president of Sisters in Crime.www.sherryharrisauthor.com

Maggie King penned the Hazel Rose Book Group mysteries. Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries and 50 Shades of Cabernet anthologies. www.maggieking.com

Kristin Kisska is a member of International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime, and programs chair of the Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia chapter. www.kristinkisska.com

Samantha McGraw has a love of mysteries and afternoon tea. She lives in Richmond with her husband and blogs at Tea Cottage Mysteries.www.samanthamcgraw.com

K.L. Murphy is a freelance writer and the author of the Detective Cancini Mysteries. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, four children, and two dogs.www.Kellielarsenmurphy.com

Genilee Swope Parente has written the romantic mystery The Fate Series with her mother F. Sharon Swope. The two also have several collections of short stories. www.swopeparente.com

Deb Rolfe primarily writes mystery novels. This is her first published short story. She and her husband enjoy life in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

 

Ronald Sterling is the author of six books and draws upon his colorful and varied life experience as a U.S. Airman, saloonkeeper, private detective, realtor, and New Jersey mayor.

S.A. Warwick, in the last century earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies. Ever since, she has been trying to decipher the American enigma.

Heather Weidner is the author of the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries. She has short stories in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 SHADES OF CABERNET and TO FETCH A THIEF. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and Jack Russell terriers. www.heatherweidner.com

EDITORS

Mary Burton is a New York Times, USA Today and Kindle best-selling author. She is currently working on her latest suspense. www.maryburton.com

Mary Miley is a historian and writer with 14 nonfiction books and 5 mystery novels to her credit. www.marymileytheobald.com

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LethalLadiesWrite/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LethalLadiesCVA?lang=en

Website: https://www.sistersincrimecentralvirginia.com/anthologies

Purchase Links – Amazon

Wildside Wildside eBook

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

April 21 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – SPOTLIGHT

April 22 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, GUEST POST

April 23 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

April 24 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 25 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

April 26 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

April 27 – I’m All About Books – GUEST POST

April 28 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW, RECIPE

April 29 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

April 30 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

May 1 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 1 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

May 2 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

May 2 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

May 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE

May 4 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

May 5 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

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