Why do you write cozy mysteries?
None of us can honestly say we do not have issues in our lives that cause us worry and stress, whether it is personal, financial or involves someone we love. When a reader picks up my books, I want to transport them to a place where they can laugh, experience a completely different life than their own, and accompany my protagonist on a journey. Perhaps they will forget their troubles, if only for a little while. Though reading any genre of book can help distract readers from their worries, I feel that cozy mysteries, without extreme violence, explicit sex or profanity are best suited to this goal. Traveling with Mrs. Odboddy on her cross-country train journey will certainly do the trick.
Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
I started by writing a short story about an elderly, eccentric, outspoken woman fighting the war from the home front during WWII. As the story begins, funny Mrs. Odboddy is determined to bring Nazi spies and miscreants to justice. While researching WWII incidents, I discovered several little known events that were generally kept top secret from the public. It became imperative that Mrs. Odboddy should disclose and become involved in these wartime events.
In the second Mrs. O novel, Agnes carries a package to President Roosevelt. She is sure it contains secret war documents and equally sure that Nazi agents will attempt to steal her package while traveling from California to Washington by train. Whenever Mrs. Odboddy is concerned, miscalculations and hysteria will follow as she witnesses the suspected spy ‘commit murder’ and is just as sure that her own life is now in danger. Add a couple of Tuskegee airmen, an inadequate caregiver to a precious child, and a shell-shocked veteran who renders unexpected assistance and you have the framework of Mrs. Odboddy’s cross country journey by train.
Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
I believe that everyone from teens to the elderly would enjoy this book. Teens because they will learn how folks lived during WWII and understand some of the deprivations they endured, some of the outdated social injustice and disturbing political issues, e.g. Jim Crow laws, or how FBI leader, J. Edgar Hoover, suspected and harassed Mrs. Roosevelt. Elderly folks will enjoy reading and remembering experiencing these events in their younger years. In the first Mrs. Odboddy Hometown Patriot, much of the home life during WWII is described as experienced by Agnes.
Please describe your writing routine.
I’m at my computer every day, whether answering emails, arranging for blog interviews or book reviews, writing guest posts or copy for my own blog, editing or writing WIP. I’m currently working on another cozy cat mystery. I often contribute short stories to anthologies. As an editor on an annual anthology for Inspire Christian Writers, some days I’m editing other writer’s manuscripts. It’s all part of growing, helping others and promoting my own books.
What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
Take time to learn. Attend critique groups, share your work with others, and seek advice from more experienced writers. Enter contests, submit to anthologies. Don’t be in a hurry to publish your first book. It hurts your chance of eventual success if you put out work before you’ve honed your craft to the best it can be. This comes with practice.
More about Mrs. Odboddy: Undercover Courier:
Asked to accompany Mrs. Roosevelt on her Pacific Island tour, Agnes and Katherine travel by train to Washington, D.C. Agnes carries a package for Colonel Farthingworth to President Roosevelt.
Convinced the package contains secret war documents, Agnes expects Nazi spies to try and derail her mission.
She meets Irving, whose wife mysteriously disappears from the train; Nanny, the unfeeling caregiver to little Madeline; two soldiers bound for training as Tuskegee airmen; and Charles, the shell-shocked veteran, who lends an unexpected helping hand. Who will Agnes trust? Who is the Nazi spy?
When enemy forces make a final attempt to steal the package in Washington, D.C., Agnes must accept her own vulnerability as a warrior on the home front.
Can Agnes overcome multiple obstacles, deliver the package to the President, and still meet Mrs. Roosevelt’s plane before she leaves for the Pacific Islands?
Grab your copy here!
How to connect with Elaine:
Email address: Elaine.Faber@mindcandymysteries.com