Interview with Bestselling Mystery Author Becca St. John
What inspired you to write mystery books?
Reading started the journey, from Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie to Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody series. It wasn’t until I married a Brit and moved across the water that I discovered British TV mysteries like Inspector Morse and Prime Suspect. Of course, writing isn’t the outcome for all readers, or TV fans. In my case, a terrible case of ‘what if’ in real life encouraged me to turn imagined scenarios of, “oh, dear, this might happen or that might …” into a healthier release by writing who-done-its. In other words, a large exposure to other people’s talents, combined with my own neurosis and, voila! A book.
What style of mystery novel is your favorite (police procedural, cozy, etc.)?
Cozy mystery, some Gothic. I love crime dramas, but not if they are gory. Don’t need the blood and guts of murder. Innuendo works quite well, thank you very much.
When you start a new mystery, do you plot it all out from the start (all the clues and red herrings) or does the story evolve as you write it?
When watching, or reading, I can usually pick the thread that reveals the villain. I wish I could plot that out in my own books. When I do try to plot, the moment I start writing, the outline gets thrown out, so all the time and effort to create it is wasted. The best and worst part is that I’m as surprised by the outcome as the readers are.
What are you working on now?
Just released The Gatehouse, Book 2 of the Lady Eleanor Mysteries. The main character is deaf, which means he can’t hear danger approach. As soon as The Gatehouse is launched, I will be in Asia, plotting book 3, as Lady Eleanor is due to travel to the Far East to find an Earl’s lost sister.
Do you prefer to write mystery series books or stand-alones?
Each of my books is a stand-alone, so you can read them as a series or a one-off. If a reader enjoys one of my books, they can often meet those characters in other books, even if only briefly.
What is your typical day like?
My favorite day … I barely wake, open the computer, and start writing while still feeling a bit dreamy. On those days, my husband brings me coffee in bed and refills that cup until I’m ready for a break. Sometimes, it’s mid-afternoon before I even get dressed, which is horrifyingly wonderful because I have to dive pretty deep to be that absorbed. Unfortunately, too often, I open up email and Facebook, to take care of business, and get caught in a mad cycle, interrupting what could have been good writing time.
What’s the most interesting or unusual research you’ve done for a book you’re writing?
The three-month trip to Asia will be very interesting! But, about two years ago, I took another long jaunt and went from Iceland to Eastern Europe and Romania, including a jaunt to Israel and Jordan. Researched medieval villages and customs. Absolutely wonderful. My favorite place was Sighisoara, in Transylvania. Until a year earlier, our hotel had been a single-family home for 600 years! It was like stepping back in time, into Dracula’s neighborhood. Definitely inspiration for mystery.
Curious about Sighisoara? Here’s a link to the medieval walled village: http://romaniatourism.com/sighisoara.html
ABOUT THE BOOK
The Gatehouse, Lady Eleanor Mysteries book 2
Regency romantic mystery with a touch of Gothic
All he loves is in danger but he can’t hear the murderer’s step
Moments before his marriage, Christopher Sterry’s twin brother is murdered. One would expect Christopher to become the next Earl of Longford. No one would be surprised if he married his twin’s almost-bride, Helen Grove. She is, after all, his closest friend and confidante.
Except Christopher is deaf in a world with inflexible beliefs, where a deaf mute is considered no better than a barbaric half-wit, unfit to be earl and quite capable of murdering his brother.
Helen waits at the altar while her groom lies murdered in the folly. But there is no time to mourn. Christopher is in danger and so, it appears, is she. Ignoring her own risks, Helen crosses into the line of fire to protect the new earl. In championing his cause, he wins her heart even as they face obstacles powerful enough to destroy their love.
Lady Eleanor solves crimes more thoroughly than any male magistrate. So when Christopher, her godson, is condemned without evidence, she sets out to prove both his innocence and his competence as earl. If she fails, Christopher will die… or be returned to an asylum worse than hell
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Writing had always been about something else. Writing a journal, to sort myself out. Articles for a magazine, to earn a bit extra over my income. Creating play to produce and direct and perform for an audience. It was never about the stories themselves until I discovered the romance genre and realized dreams can be shared.
Becca St. John lives and writes in Southwest Florida, when she’s not out exploring the world. Yoga and meditation keep her sane, kayaking or hiking keep her fit, and family (both by blood and choice) keep her laughing.
Visit Becca at www.beccastjohn.com
...or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/beckastjohn
...and be sure to follow her Amazon page http://amzn.to/2aLMWN4 to receive an email notice a new release is available.