Why do you write cozy mysteries?
I’ve always loved puzzles and the fun of solving mysteries. I love whodunits and find I tend to write in the genres I enjoy reading. I wanted to craft a mystery, but not a gory and violent story. The unraveling of clues, creating red herrings with many suspects, and tagging along with a lovable main character are fun and appeal to me as a writer.
Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
This book is the first mystery in my Cooper Harrington Detective Series. It is set in Nashville and I was inspired to create it when I took a trip to Nashville a few years ago. I visited several historic sites and while on a tour I spotted the perfect location for a murder. I drove through the wealthy Belle Meade neighborhood and the idea for a private detective who lived with his affluent aunt began to blossom.
In this first book, Coop is hired to solve the murder of a record label mogul. Coop has a sidekick in the form of his college friend, Annabelle. She works with him and runs his office. Coop also has a loyal golden retriever, Gus, who accompanies him on his cases. Along with his office staff, Coop is supported by Aunt Camille, who is a bit nosy, but well-meaning.
As Coop delves into the case he discovers several suspects and reasons the victim could have been murdered. With the help of his best friend and Chief of Detectives, he unravels the clues and solves the case. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep readers turning the pages.
Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
My ideal reader is someone who likes plot twists without gore, violence, and sex. My reader also appreciates a skilled main character, as opposed to an amateur who happens upon crimes. Most of my readers tell me they didn’t have the mystery solved until the end, which means my ideal reader enjoys a bit of suspense and a difficult case.
Please describe your writing routine.
I tend to be an early riser and get most of my writing done in the early morning. I try to write each day for at least a few hours. For my mystery series I have a very detailed outline with clues and various plot points defined before I start writing the book. That is the hardest part for me. Once I have a solid outline, the actual writing of the story is relatively quick. The draft then goes through an editing process, including beta readers before the final proofreading.
What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
When I first started writing, I attended a conference and found it to be very worthwhile. I still attend writing workshops and conferences and highly recommend doing so before choosing a publishing path. I learned so much information and connected with other authors. I also encourage writers to choose a conference that is not too large, so they are not overwhelmed or lost in the crowd.
More about Killer Music:
When private detective Cooper “Coop” Harrington meets record label mogul Grayson Taylor at a swank gathering of country music artists and politicians, he never imagines he’ll be investigating his brutal murder less than twenty-four hours later.
The suspects are plentiful. More than a handful of people could have wanted him dead. Retained by Taylor’s widow, Coop works alongside his best friend and Chief of Detectives, Ben Mason. The investigation leads Coop and Ben to visit the luxurious mansions of recording industry magnates, navigate the murky undercurrents of the political world, and probe complicated family matters. Scandalous indiscretions, secrets, and hints of corruption swirl in the midst of their pursuit of the killer.
Coop’s faithful friend and assistant, Annabelle and his loyal golden retriever, Gus, both lend a hand during the investigation. Even his Aunt Camille mines the local gossip mill to unearth potential killers with motive. Yet the case seems hopeless until a crucial piece of evidence emerges that sends Coop and Ben on a race to catch the killer before someone else dies.
How to connect with Tammy: