Why do you write cozy mysteries?
I write cozy mysteries because I love to read cozy mysteries. I enjoy, as both a writer and reader, the puzzle and the story, not the blood and gore. I also relish the challenge of writing about an amateur detective who otherwise shouldn’t be involved in murder.
Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
My book, A March to Remember, is the fifth novel in the Hattie Davish Mystery series, where each book finds Hattie solving crimes in a different historical town in 1890’s America. In this adventure, Hattie, a private secretary, finds herself in Washington D.C. in the employ of her mentor, Sir Arthur Windom-Greene, a British aristocrat and historian. Their visit coincides with the arrival of “Coxey’s Army,” the first ever protest “march” on Washington. When one of the marchers is found murdered, Hattie suspects some of Washington’s most prominent politicians might be involved.
I was definitely inspired by the actual historical “Coxey’s Army” and their May 1, 1894 march on Washington. Unprecedented, it was one of the most sensational newspaper stories of its day and yet I’d never heard of it. What fun it was to bring all the many characters of this historical event to life and throw Hattie right in the middle of it all!
Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
I don’t have an ideal reader in mind when I write. I hope my books appeal to anyone who enjoys a good mystery, who appreciates history, who loves a good puzzle to solve, or who simply likes to spend an afternoon reading an entertaining story.
Please describe your writing routine.
I write when my young daughter is at school. As I’m most productive in the morning, I try to sit down in front of the computer the moment she’s off to school. Then I work until my stomach grumbles reminding me I’ve missed lunch or until the alarm goes off reminding me I have a child to pick up from school. My brain is mush after 4:30pm so it works out for everyone!
What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
The advice I have is the same I received when I was just starting out- persistence, persistence, persistence. In that same vein, I would add edit, edit, rewrite and edit again! Both pieces of advice have served me well. When trying to get an agent, I was once told not to get discouraged until I’d been rejected 100 times. After lots and lots and lots of rejections, I had an agent read my first 50 pages only to tell me my manuscript wasn’t ready. So I spent a year editing and rewriting and then tried again. This time, the very first agent I sent it to asked for the full manuscript and eventually offered to sign me.
More about A March to Remember:
Traveling secretary Hattie Davish is taking her singular talents to Washington, D.C., to help Sir Arthur Windom-Greene research his next book. But in the winding halls of the nation’s capital, searching for the truth can sometimes lead to murder…
Hattie is in her element, digging through dusty basements, attics, and abandoned buildings, not to be denied until she fishes out that elusive fact. But her delightful explorations are dampened when she witnesses a carriage crash into a carp pond beneath the shadow of the Washington Monument. Alarmingly, one of the passengers flees the scene, leaving the other to drown. The incident only heightens tensions brought on by the much publicized arrival of “Coxey’s Army,” thousands of unemployed men converging on the capital for the first ever organized “march” on Washington. When one of the marchers is found murdered in the ensuing chaos, Hattie begins to suspect a sinister conspiracy is at hand. As she expands her investigations into the motives of murder and closes in on the trail of a killer, she is surprised and distraught to learn that her research will lead her straight to the highest levels of government…
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How to connect with Anna:
Public email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/annaloanwilsey @annaloanwilsey