Interviews by Catherine Chant

What They Say

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is … the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”
—Mark Twain

 

 

Catherine Chant

Catherine Chant is the author of a young time travel series available at Amazon.com and other online retailers, and two installments in the Vampire Diaries franchise via Amazon’s Kindle Worlds. She teaches several online classes for writers throughout the year, and her popular workshop GROW A BOOK: TURNING YOUR STORY IDEA INTO A WORKABLE PLOT is now available as an eBook, exclusively at Amazon.com.

Grow a Book by Catherine Chant

For more information about Catherine, her books and her workshops, please visit her website at http://www.CatherineChant.com or find her on social media at http://www.Facebook.com/CatherineChantNovels and http://www.Twitter.com/@Catherine_Chant

 

Spotlight

 

 

July 2016

Interview with Mystery Author Emma Jameson

 

Emma Jameson

 

What inspired you to write mystery books?

From an early age, I adored suspense—Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier is one of my favorite novels. It wasn’t until I was older that I finally sampled traditional whodunits and fell in love with the genre. In those days, I worked at a hospital and faced an excruciating hour and a half commute, five days a week, in bumper to bumper traffic. Unabridged audios were my salvation, and the library stocked mostly mysteries.

I started with Anne Perry’s Victorian era books featuring Thomas Pitt and William Monk, because I’ve had a long obsession with Victorian England. After I’d burned through those, I branched out in all directions—cozy, procedural, hardboiled, and traditional British detective.

As for what specifically inspired me to write my first mystery, Ice Blue, the answer is, a dream. In my mid-thirties, I was still laboring in utter obscurity, trying to get an urban fantasy trilogy off the ground. I also had a couple of supernatural suspense projects that wouldn’t come together. I thought of myself as a fantasy author, and though I loved mysteries for my own entertainment, it never occurred to me to switch genres and write one.

But one morning the alarm clock shocked me out of a very vivid dream. It concerned a Scotland Yard detective, a member of the peerage and lifelong bachelor, who falls in love with his younger blonde subordinate. Afraid I would forget the details, I sat down and typed out everything I remembered about that detective’s life. And to a large degree, those pages I typed in a white heat became the first five or so pages of Ice Blue, the book that changed my life.

From an early age, I adored suspense—Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier is one of my favorite novels. It wasn’t until I was older that I finally sampled traditional whodunits and fell in love with the genre. In those days, I worked at a hospital and faced an excruciating hour and a half commute, five days a week, in bumper to bumper traffic. Unabridged audios were my salvation, and the library stocked mostly mysteries.

I started with Anne Perry’s Victorian era books featuring Thomas Pitt and William Monk, because I’ve had a long obsession with Victorian England. After I’d burned through those, I branched out in all directions—cozy, procedural, hardboiled, and traditional British detective.

As for what specifically inspired me to write my first mystery, Ice Blue, the answer is, a dream. In my mid-thirties, I was still laboring in utter obscurity, trying to get an urban fantasy trilogy off the ground. I also had a couple of supernatural suspense projects that wouldn’t come together. I thought of myself as a fantasy author, and though I loved mysteries for my own entertainment, it never occurred to me to switch genres and write one.

But one morning the alarm clock shocked me out of a very vivid dream. It concerned a Scotland Yard detective, a member of the peerage and lifelong bachelor, who falls in love with his younger blonde subordinate. Afraid I would forget the details, I sat down and typed out everything I remembered about that detective’s life. And to a large degree, those pages I typed in a white heat became the first five or so pages of Ice Blue, the book that changed my life.

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?

I plot the emotional journeys for each protagonists, which I call the character arcs. For example, if I’m doing a Hetheridge book, I’ll think, this is where Tony stands on the issue of X. So how will my story test, confirm, or transform his view? How will it change him? I have a plan for each of the leads, a very firm notion of where they start, emotionally and experientially, and where they’ll land at the book’s conclusion. These character arcs are set in stone.

As for the murder, I write a one-page summary of what happened (the objective truth) and what the killer or killer did to cover it up or create an alibi. I also make a list of potential scenes, selecting from the cauldron of ideas ever-brewing in my head. For example, when writing the last book, my potential scene list included notes like, “Sharada Bhar must try her hand at playing Sherlock Holmes” and “Kate and Vic Jackson should have a tense meeting in the pub.”

All else evolves as I write it. So my books have both a rigid skeleton of what matters most, and a mass of soft tissue that develops on its own.

What are you working on now?

This question makes me smile as only an author who is far, far behind schedule can smile—the sort of rictus grin better suited to skeletons than human beings. Starting in the summer of 2015, I had a series of medical setbacks that temporarily turned my life upside down. I’m happy to report I’m in far better health now. But as a result, any fan of my Facebook page can tell you I’m working on Dr. Benjamin Bones #2, Divorce Can Be Deadly, and I have been for awhile now.

Here’s a little surprise, though: I’m also doing a Bones novella, Dr. Bones and the Christmas Wish, that will be published in an anthology this holiday season. So all I can do is thank my readers for their forbearance and assure them I’m working as fast as I can. Which, admittedly, isn’t very fast. I can’t promise that my readers will love, or even like, every word I ever publish. But I can promise I’ll never slap something together and pop it on sale simply to meet a deadline. I care about my characters, just as I care about my readers, and I can’t offer them any less than my best effort.

What’s the most interesting or unusual research you’ve done for a book you’re writing?

It’s all interesting. I’m that stereotypical writer whose internet browser search would raise eyebrows, to say the least. Here are some of my actual searches:

Is ricin an effective assassination tool?
Which human organs were stored in Egyptian canopic jars?
Which mental illness makes people think they are dead?
What was the incidence of syphilis in the UK, 1930-1950?
What’s the origin of the expression “knackered?”

Of course, the very best research involves a trip across the pond to London or Cornwall. It’s staggering how much you can learn for free online these days, but there’s no substitute for experiencing something in person. After this latest trip, I understand about traversing England by car, boat, and train better than ever before!

Where do you get your ideas for the mysteries in your books?

All the usual suspects: true crime documentaries, newspaper stories, and experiences from my own life. As I mentioned before, I used to work in a hospital, where I met all sorts of people, including the occasional convicted murderer. All that raw data enters my consciousness and eventually gets boiled down to something substantial I can work into a novel.

 

About the Author
Emma Jameson is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Lord & Lady Hetheridge cozy mystery series. Book #1, ICE BLUE, Book #2, BLUE MURDER, Book #3, SOMETHING BLUE, and Book #4, BLACK & BLUE, are available now. She is currently at work on DIVORCE CAN BE DEADLY, the second of her English wartime series starring amateur sleuth Dr. Benjamin Bones.

Blog Link: http://emmajamesonbooks.com/
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/emmajamesonbooks

 

 

Marriage can be Murder by Emma Jameson

Book Title: Marriage Can Be Murder (Dr. Benjamin Bones Mysteries #1)
Author: Emma Jameson
Length: 65K
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Historical Mystery, Traditional British Mystery

Blurb:
Murder in Haunted Cornwall
On the eve of World War II, Dr. Benjamin Bones is at war with himself. While most young men are being sent away to fight the Germans, Ben is chosen to serve on English soil. Ordered to move to wild, beautiful Cornwall, he must trade his posh London office and stylish city life for the tiny village of Birdswing, population 1,221 souls. But leaving his home and shelving his career ambitions aren’t the only sacrifices facing Ben. His unfaithful wife, Penny, is accompanying him to Cornwall in a last-ditch effort to save their marriage. But moments after their arrival, Penny is run down in the street, and Ben is almost fatally injured. And while the villagers assume Penny’s death to be an accident, Ben quickly deduces it was murder.
As he convalesces in Fenton House, which the locals call haunted, Ben meets Birdswing’s eccentric inhabitants. Mr. Gaston, the volunteer air warden, obsessed with defending his remote village against Nazi spies; Mrs. Cobblepot, a thoroughly practical housekeeper who believes in fairies; and Lady Juliet Linton, a prickly, headstrong aristocrat who won’t take no for an answer. While adapting to life during Britain’s “War at Home,” a time of ration books, victory gardens, bomb shelters, and the Blackout, Ben sets about solving the mystery of Penny’s murder—with a little help from Lady Juliet and the Fenton House ghost.

MARRIAGE CAN BE MURDER (Dr. Benjamin Bones Mysteries #1) is the new cozy mystery series from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Emma Jameson.

Buy Links:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/10SMu6m
BN: http://bit.ly/1xa1kiS
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/marriage-can-be-murder/id936762241?mt=11&uo=4Kobo Books: http://bit.ly/1ureZoB

 

 

Coming soon... Divorce Can Be Murder (Dr. Benjamin Bones Mysteries #2)

Divorce Can Be Deadly by emma Jameson