Today we're welcoming author Stacy Verdick Case on her tour with Partners In Crime Tours for her mystery, "A Grand Murder". Stacy was kind enough to answer my questions.
Have you always wanted to write in the cozy mystery genre?
No, I started out writing romance. I thought I was a lover, turns out I’m a killer. I would still like to turn out a romance or two.
How much research goes into making sure you have your crime fighting details right?
There’s a lot of research. I’ve taken citizens academy training classes, and fire arm classes. My research bookshelf probably has me on a watch list or two because I buy extremely detailed books on murder.
I will confess to fudging some details though. I write fiction so I don’t have any qualms about changing some details to suit my story. My books isn’t a procedural text book by any means.
What are the pros and cons of writing a series?
The pros are that you have a stable of reoccurring characters that you can lean on. You’re not constantly creating a new cast. These characters are like old friends to me now I don’t have to stop and debate what they might do in a situation, I already know.
A huge con is that series can get stale fast for both the writer and the reader. I think the biggest complaint series writers hear is that it’s the same book over and over. On the one hand the characters feeling like old friends is great, but on the other hand, the big challenge for the writer is to make them fresh each time.
Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?
I still write every first draft long hand. I’m a huge technology geek so that surprises a lot of people. There’s something about writing long hand that’s organic to me. Then when I type the manuscript in it’s the first editing process.
Also, writing long hand means I can literally write anywhere. I don’t have to boot up a laptop or try to juggle my iPad in the grocery store line. I just take out my paper and pen and write wherever I am.
What's a normal writing day for you?
It’s rare that I have full days to write. I suspect it’s like that for most writers, so I write where I can. I have a full thirty minutes before I leave for work every day that is all mine to write. I write on lunch breaks and then before bed.
When I do have the luxury of a whole day of writing it’s usually a marathon where I try to get as many pages in as I can.
What's coming up for you? Any new releases?
I am very excited about the audio book release of A Grand Murder. My mother has macular degeneration, so I lobbied hard to have A Grand Murder made into Audio. The second book in the series Murder is A Family Affair is coming out soon.
Do you have anything you'd like to ask our readers?
Yes, and that you for the opportunity! I would love to hear from series readers to find out what their ideas might be to keep a series fresh. I’ve had the discussion with writers, but I would love a readers perspective to find out what they want to see.
When a prominent local businessman and friend of the chief of police is murdered on the front steps of his posh Grand Avenue Hill home, Catherine O'Brien a pithy, vertically challenged, St. Paul, Minnesota, homicide detective with a monstrous coffee habit and her partner Louise are given two days to find his killer.
They soon discover their victim had a list of people with motives to murder him, including his fashion designer ex-wife, his mistress’s husband, and the chief of police. The only evidence they have to go on is a missing cell phone, a stolen book, the victim’s letter opener, and an ugly pair of Alpaca wool mittens.
Stacy Verdick Case was born in Willmar, Minnesota. After a brief stint as a military brat, where she lived in Fort Sill Oklahoma and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, her family moved back to Minnesota.
Stacy currently lives in a suburb of St. Paul with her husband and her daughter. Her Catherine O’Brien mystery, A Grand Murder, is available from Before the Fall Books. Her second Catherine O’Brien mystery Murder is a Family Affair, will be released shortly.
Stacy is hard at work on her third book in the series.