Author Marty Wingate visits my pages today to talk about her new cozy mystery, The Bluebonnet Betrayal. Welcome, Marty.
Why do you write cozy mysteries?
Someone has said that authors write what they want to read, and for the most part that’s true for me. I love the traditional and cozy mysteries because they are always so much more than a puzzle to solve. There’s the setting, which is important to me (and so I’ve made it important in my books) and the characters’ stories. I have been known to begin reading a series, like it, and then pick up subsequent books and scan them, looking for mention of my favorite character from the previous book! I like the overall series arc the main character has (or should have).
Please tell us about your book. What ideas or images inspired this novel?
The Bluebonnet Betrayal takes place at one of my favorite yearly events, the Chelsea Flower Show in London. This is the fifth book in the Potting Shed series and Pru Parke (American gardener who has moved to England) gets an out-of-the-blue email from a long-ago co-worker at the Dallas Arboretum asking Pru if she would help the Austin Rock Garden Society build a display at Chelsea. How can she say no? Once committed, however, she discovers back-biting, resentments, and jealousies among the contractor, designer, and the Austin women who show up to work. The murder is particularly difficult for Pru and so it’s a sort of campaign for her to help solve it.
Do you have an ideal reader in mind when you write? If so, please describe that reader.
My reader is someone who likes to travel – I think that’s part of the allure of a series set abroad) and enjoys the outdoors. It isn’t necessary to be a fantastic gardener, but gardens do figure prominently. So does food – Pru loves a good meal, but she is not a cook. Also, my reader likes a mystery, but doesn’t necessarily need a detailed description of someone’s brains being blown to bits. Know what I mean?
Please describe your writing routine.
I write new material mostly in the morning, and I rewrite and edit some in the afternoons. I write or attend to the story in some way every day. It becomes a part of me, so that I am never at a loss for something to do while waiting in a line or sitting on a bus or train. I have a story in my head, and I’m my own entertainment.
What advice do you give new writers just starting out?
Write. Don’t know where to begin? Don’t think of it as a beginning – the first words you put down could end up in chapter three. Read. Read books that you enjoy (I steer clear of books I’m “supposed” to read). Absorb all those wonderful words. Talk about writing. Talk about story arcs and character development. Do this with friends, or at writing workshops. Join a writing group or just go out regularly for coffee with one writing friend.
More about The Bluebonnet Betrayal:
Pru’s life in England is coming full circle. A Texas transplant, she’s married to the love of her life, thriving in the plum gardening position she shares with her long-lost brother, and prepping a Chelsea Flower Show exhibit featuring the beloved bluebonnets of the Texas hill country. Technically, Twyla Woodford, the president of a gardening club in the Lone Star State, is in charge of the London event, but Pru seems to be the one getting her hands dirty. When they finally do meet, Pru senses a kindred spirit—until Twyla turns up dead.
Although Twyla’s body was half buried under a wall in their display, Pru remains determined to mount a spectacular show. Twyla would have insisted. So Pru recruits her husband, former Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse, to go undercover and do a bit of unofficial digging into Twyla’s final hours. If Pru has anything to say about it, this killer is going to learn the hard way not to mess with Texas.
Grab your copy here: [amazon text=Amazon&asin=B017QLSIU4]
How to connect with Marty:
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Marty-Wingate/e/B001JS1AIS