Why do you write cozy mysteries?
I wrote four stand-alone women’s fiction books before I went the cozy route. I managed to land an agent with my first novel — a miracle — and wrote the next three while waiting, waiting, waiting for the first to sell. It didn’t. I took a year off and studied the market: What was selling? Mysteries were selling. I took a hard look at my bookshelves, packed with Nancy Drew, Janet Evanovich, Sue Grafton, and Lawrence Sanders, and realized I should have been writing a mystery series all along. I landed in cozy because I can’t write gore.
Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
Double Up, the sixth full-length in my series, has a central theme of friendship inspired by my own friendships.
Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
My ideal reader loves all things southern, which is not to say from the south, but appreciates southern charms. With my series set in a fictional casino, my ideal reader might be one of the 1.6 billion US casino visitors last year. More than anything else, my ideal reader has a sense of humor.
Please describe your writing routine.
I hit my desk at four in the morning. Four months of the year I’m writing a draft, the next month I’m rewriting the draft, and the next two months are back-and-forth editing. I generally spend the next month plotting and researching the next book. I take a little time off for releases, then I go back to the blank page.
What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
Make friends. Join writer groups, attend conferences, and dive into the industry. It wasn’t until publishing that I really met My People. You’ll meet yours, and they’ll help you along the way.
More about Double Up:
Fasten your seatbelts for non-stop action as stiff competition blows into town and the resulting turbulence threatens to take down the Bellissimo Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. Super Secret Spy Davis Way Cole, who lives on the twenty-ninth floor of the hotel with her CEO husband and newborn twins, takes it hard. If the casino goes belly up, she won’t be a stay-at-home mom because she won’t have a home. Not to mention her husband won’t have a job.
Davis can’t find a way to stop the inevitable end of the Bellissimo life she loves until her ex-ex-mother-in-law shows up, unexpected and definitely uninvited. Davis makes the best of a bad Bea Crawford situation and recruits her for a little corporate espionage work, which would’ve been great, had Bea not turned out to be the world’s worst spy.
Seatbacks and tray tables in their upright positions as we prepare for a bumpy ride with babies, bankruptcies, besties, and shrimp. (Shrimp?)
Enjoy your flight!
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How to connect with Gretchen:
Public email address: firstname.lastname@example.org