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6Ws, Author Interview

6Ws with Author Megan Mayfair

Megan Mayfair is the next Crooked Cat Books author to be featured in this 6Ws series. An Australian author, her genre is women’s fiction. Her debut novel, The Things We Leave 29063929_1882822228424243_7643968187891644825_oUnsaid, is set for an Aug. 22 release.

I love her answer on why she writes: “For relaxation, escape and pure enjoyment.”

Here are Megan’s responses to my 6Ws — who, what, when, where, how, and why. (How does end with a W.)

Who is author Megan Mayfair?

Megan is an Australian writer, based in Melbourne. She has a background in public relations and working in the higher education sector. She’s married with three young children and loves a good cup of coffee, collects scarves and follows Aussie Rules football.

What does she write?

Megan writes women’s fiction with a strong dash of romance and a spoonful of family intrigue. Her books are set around Melbourne and regional Victoria, including local wine regions.

When does she write? 

With three young children and other work commitments, it’s about fitting in writing wherever she can. Sometimes during the day if the kids are at school or preschool, other times in the evenings.

How does she write?

Megan starts with a general plot idea – usually, a what if? She then starts to write a couple of chapters without a clear plan to see if the idea is coming to life. Once it is, she stops and starts a general plan to help guide the chapters but apart from that, the rest is very loosely planned and more of a ‘see where this leads’ process. She writes out of order at times and edits as she goes so first draft is really a draft of sections that have been edited and rearranged hundreds of times! Effectively, she breaks most of the ‘rules’ on how to write a book.

Where does she write?

Megan has a favourite café walking distance to her home where the baristas make fantastic coffee and play the best music. She’s never asked for the WiFi to ensure she focuses on writing! It’s a fantastic place to write but when they’re not open or she’s drunk three cups of coffee, it’s time to bunker down in her study or on the couch with her laptop.

Why does she write?

For relaxation, escape and pure enjoyment.

More: Give readers a brief description of your new book plus when it is available to buy and where, plus the publisher.

The Things We Leave Unsaid is Megan’s debut novel and focuses on the impact of what we don’t say to those we love. It will be released by Crooked Cat Books on Aug. 22 in paperback and ebook via Amazon. Here’s the link: https://mybook.to/leaveunsaid

Megan Mayfair on social media:

https://twitter.com/MayfairMegan

https://www.instagram.com/meganmayfairwrites/

https://www.facebook.com/meganmayfairauthor/

www.meganmayfair.com

 

 

 

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Real Book Virtual Party
Launch party, Redneck's Revenge

Real Book, Virtual Party

Redneck’s Revenge, the next book in my Isabel Long mystery series, gets its official launch Sept. 26. That calls for a celebration. Yes, once again, I will have a launch party on Facebook.

Those who participated in the one May 18 for the first, Chasing the Case, had a lot of fun — honest, that’s what they told me — being a part of the discussion and contests. I know I did, going back and forth with people who dropped in. Here’s a post about that: https://www.joanlivingston.net/isabel-long-series/virtual-party-real-fun/

The party starts 2 p.m. in the eastern time zone in the U.S. But I will leave everything up for 24 hours for friends living in other parts of the world and those who have a boss looking over their shoulder. I will pop in as well.

This is a public event. The more the merrier. Here is the link to say you are interested or plan to go: Redneck’s Revenge Facebook launch party

But back to those contests: I will be giving away signed editions of Chasing the Case, plus a couple of lucky winners will have their names used in the fourth Isabel Long book I will start after I finish the third — Checking the Traps. (The names of few winners from May’s party appear in Checking the Traps.)

Don’t worry if you haven’t done this before. It’s easy to catch on. It’s not really different than commenting on regular Facebook posts. And I will be giving info and reminders as we get closer.

To put you in the mood, here is the synopsis of Redneck’s Revenge:

Her next case. She’s in it for good.

Isabel Long is in a funk months after solving her first case. Her relationship with the Rooster Bar’s owner is over. Then cops say she must work for a licensed P.I. before working solo.

 Encouraged by her Watson — her 92-year-old mother  — Isabel snaps out of it by hooking up with a P.I. and finding a new case.

 The official ruling is Chet Waters, an ornery so-and-so, was passed out when his house caught fire. His daughter, who inherited the junkyard, believes he was murdered. Topping the list of suspects are dangerous drug-dealing brothers, a rival junkyard owner, and an ex-husband.

Could the man’s death simply be a case of redneck’s revenge? Isabel is about to find out.

NOW A LITTLE BUSINESS: The Kindle version of Redneck’s Revenge is available to pre-order for $2.99 on Amazon. It will pop into your device Sept. 26. Paperback fans and those who can’t wait can order the book for $10.99. Here is the link: http://mybook.to/rednecksrevenge

Haven’t read the first? Here’s the link to Chasing the Case on Amazon: http://mybook.to/chasingthecase

ANOTHER THING: There is absolutely plenty of room for everyone. Don’t be shy.

 

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Isabel Long Series, Redneck's Revenge

Who I Decide to Keep

It’s a bit of a puzzle when writing a series to decide which characters to keep and which ones to let go. That’s true for Chasing the Case and its sequel Redneck’s Revenge.

What made it easier is that Isabel Long’s next case takes her to another hilltown — Rednecks Revenge smallthe fictional Caulfield — where another set of characters lives. But I did hold onto some from the first.

Of course, Isabel Long and her mother — her Watson — are keepers. This is the Isabel Long mystery series after all. And most sleuths need a sidekick. Isabel’s is a bit unusual  — her savvy 92-year-old mother, Maria, who lives with her.

What about Jack Smith, the owner of the Rooster Bar, who was Isabel’s love interest from the first? I like Jack. So does Isabel. Let’s just say things have gotten a bit complicated. So has life for his sister, Eleanor. Those who have read the first book will understand. No spoiler alerts here.

Of course, the Old Farts, those nosy old men who gossip about everybody in the backroom of the Conwell General Store, including Isabel, stay. She’s given them endearing nicknames: the Fattest Old Fart, Serious Old Fart, Skinniest Old Fart, Bald Old Fart and Silent Old Fart. They continue to be her source of information and entertainment. The one thing they don’t know is that Isabel calls them by those names.

Fred “El Creepo” Lewis, Jack’s cousin was a figure in Isabel’s first case. Guess what? He’s in her second one.

Then there’s Marsha aka the Floozy. She’s one tough gal whose connection to Isabel’s first case was that she gave one of the suspects an alibi. Now for the second, she hooks Isabel up with her cousin Annette Waters, who hires her to look into the death of her father. The official story is her pop was drunk and passed out when his house caught fire. She doesn’t believe it for a second. Neither does Marsha.

I do keep some of the bands who play at the Rooster Bar, like the Cowlicks and the Lone Sums, which play that danceable and drinkable blend of country, blues, and rock ‘n’ roll.

Of course, Isabel’s second case has a new victim and a new list of suspects. Most are a bit rough around the edges. I had such fun creating them. I’ll be sure to tell you about them in a future post.

A LITTLE BUSINESS: The Kindle version of Redneck’s Revenge is available for pre-order on Amazon. Click on the box and on Sept. 26 it will pop into your device. The cost is $2.99.

Paperback fans can order now — for $10.99. Here’s the link to both: http://mybook.to/rednecksrevenge

And for those who haven’t read the first, both versions of Chasing the Case can be found here: http://mybook.to/chasingthecase

ABOUT THE IMAGE ABOVE: A hibiscus plant on display at the Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls, where I live.

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Author Interview

Alice Castle’s New Mystery

Great news for fans of mystery series. Alice Castle’s Calamity in Camberwell, the third book in her London Murder Mystery series, officially launches Aug. 13. And the next is not far behind. She and I have a few things in common including a career in journalism, an interest in mystery, and our publisher — Crooked Cat Books.

Before turning to crime, Alice Castle was a UK national newspaper journalist for The Daily Express, The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Her first book, Hot Calamity in CamberwellChocolate, set in Brussels and London, was a European hit and sold out in two weeks.

Death in Dulwich was published in September 2017 and has been a number one best-seller in the UK, US, Canada, France, Spain and Germany. A sequel, The Girl in the Gallery was published in December 2017 to critical acclaim. Calamity in Camberwell, the third book in the London Murder Mystery series, is available to pre-order now and will be published Aug. 13, with Homicide in Herne Hill following on Oct. 3. Alice is currently working on the fifth London Murder Mystery adventure, Revenge on the Rye. It will feature Beth Haldane, DI Harry York, a mysterious artist, an ageing Labrador, and an out-of-control cavapoo puppy.

Alice lives in south London and is married with two children, two step-children and two cats.

More about Calamity in Camberwell:

Beth Haldane, SE21’s answer to Miss Marple, worries she is losing a kindred spirit when her friend Jen, the only other single mum in the playground, suddenly gets remarried and moves to nearby Camberwell.

Soon Beth has to face much more pressing fears. Has something gone horribly wrong with Jen’s marriage? What is her new husband really up to? Why is her daughter leading Beth’s son astray? And where on earth IS Jen anyway?

As Beth’s friends push her to start dating again, Beth turns to Met Police DI Harry York for help. But will they solve the mystery in time, or will it turn out that in south east London, not everyone gets to live happily ever after?

About the opening of Calamity in Camberwell:

Calamity in Camberwell opens with Beth Haldane, single mum and amateur sleuth, stuck in traffic – an all-too-familiar experience for anyone who lives in the London suburbs. But this brief hiatus in Beth’s busy day, between rushing around looking after her son, Ben, and working as the archivist at prestigious local school, Wyatt’s, gives Beth the time to reflect on recent changes in her life. Her good friend, Jen, has remarried and moved away. Meanwhile Ben is about to take school entrance exams which will map out his future. Beth is poised to make some difficult, potentially life-changing decisions – and, as usual, she is worrying about every single one.

What she hoped to accomplish with the opening:

In the opening pages of Calamity in Camberwell, my aim is briefly to reacquaint the reader with Beth, the heroine of the books, and then throw them right into her latest dilemmas. She starts off worrying about her son, but ends the chapter thinking seriously about her friend, who has just got married for the second time and should be glowing – but is she? This nagging doubt sows a seed. Beth is a worrier by nature, but is this more evidence of her own inability to relax and trust others, or is she right to be concerned? She is also intrigued, yet terrified, by the idea of dating herself, when friends suggest it’s about time she got out there herself, eight years after the death of her husband.

Was it spontaneous?

“I love writing these London Murder Mystery stories and, once I had the initial idea for Calamity in Camberwell, Beth very kindly wrote it for me herself. I had to make a few changes here and there but at this stage, we know each other pretty well. She’s a lot more reckless than I am, as you’ll see. Sometimes I just have to cover my eyes while she gets on with it.”

Outlook-4icouloz

Excerpt from Calamity in Camberwell:

Beth Haldane leaned forward in the driver’s seat to twiddle the car radio dial. We found love in a hopeless place was blasting out of the tinny speakers of her Fiat 500. She knew some Dulwich wags would say the lyrics were hilariously appropriate for a visit to her newlywed friend, Jen Patterson, in Camberwell, but Beth wasn’t like that. The area, with its wide Georgian streets, herds of red buses sweeping towards central London and the optimistically-named Butterfly Walk shopping centre, was fine, absolutely fine – though of course it wasn’t quite SE21. But she still loathed the song.

Just as she’d found the comfortingly stuffy tones of Gardener’s Question Time instead, the car in front of her shuffled forward a couple of feet and she had to follow suit, slamming the car into gear, lurching on a little, then yanking the handbrake on again. Oh, the joys of the rush hour. Though why it was called that, when no one was able to rush at all, was one of life’s mysteries, she thought, with a flick of her heavy pony tail. Maybe it was the whoosh of drivers’ blood pressure ascending, as the centipede of traffic wound its way down East Dulwich Grove, past the no-nonsense gates of the College School and the red brick behemoth that was the old Dulwich Hospital.

Calamity in Camberwell buy links:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07DP3KG84?tag=geolinker-21
https://www.MyBook.to/CiC

Launch date:

The book is available to pre-order NOW but is published Aug. 13.

PicMonkey ImageSocial media links

Alice is also a parent blogger and book reviewer via her website: https://www.alicecastleauthor.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alicecastleauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DDsDiary?lang=en

Links to buy first two books in the London Murder Mystery series:

http://www.MyBook.to/GirlintheGallery

http://www.myBook.to/1DeathinDulwich.

Previous novel: http://www.myBook.to/HotChocolate

 

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Redneck's Revenge

Getting It Down on Paper

Today I received a copy of the paperback for Redneck’s Revenge, the second in my Isabel Long series. As my friends in the UK would say, I am chuffed. Yes, I am pro-eBook. It’s a great way to find a new read or a new author without investing a lot of money. But there’s something special about seeing something you thought up finally on paper.

For Kindle fans, Redneck’s Revenge is ready for pre-order. Click now and it will pop into your device Sept. 26.

But those who prefer paperback can go to the head of the line and order today. Plunk down $10.99 via a credit card. Voila! It will arrive in the mail in days. Here is the link: http://mybook.to/rednecksrevenge

Books start with an idea. In my case, it was: I’m going to write a mystery with a woman protagonist that’s set in a rural area.

The other day I found a notebook with a page of notes about the book. The protagonist’s name is Isabel from the start. She loses her job managing a newspaper. Her husband walks out on her and takes half their money out of the bank on an icy day. Her mother moves in with her. Isabel gets a job at a local bar, where an old coot approaches her about his daughter who disappeared a long time ago.

That was in September 2016. I worked on Chasing the Case (not the original title) during the winter of 2017, when I lived in New Mexico, and finished it in the spring. The story changed. Isabel’s husband isn’t a cad. I bumped him off instead. Isabel does work part-time in a bar, but her first case turns out to be her first big story as a rookie reporter — the disappearance of a woman 28 years earlier. Her 92-year-old mother becomes her Watson.

I enjoyed writing Chasing the Case so much, I wrote a sequel — Redneck’s Revenge — while moving to rural Western Massachusetts, where this mystery is set.

Redneck’s Revenge is my latest book published by Crooked Cat Books, which took a chance on the series late last year.

I knew my copy of Redneck’s Revenge was arriving via the U.S. Post Office today, so I dashed out of the house when I heard the mail truck stop at our box. I tore open the envelope.

Those who have read the first — and thank you — will find many of the same characters make it into the second. Of course, there’s Isabel and her mother. Look for Jack, the Old Farts in the back room, and a woman that Isabel nicknamed the Floozy, who is one of the links to her next case. Then there’s a whole bunch of new characters since this murder mystery takes place in another fictional hilltown in Western Mass.

If you haven’t, you might want to check out Chasing the Case: http://mybook.to/chasingthecase

Here’s a brief synopsis of Redneck’s Revenge:

Isabel Long is in a funk months after solving her first case. Her relationship with the Rooster Bar’s owner is over. Then the cops say she must work for a licensed P.I. before working solo.

Encouraged by her Watson — her 92-year-old mother — Isabel snaps out of it by hooking up with a P.I. and finding a new case.

The official ruling is Chet Waters, an ornery so-and-so, was passed out when his house caught fire. His daughter, who inherited the junkyard, believes he was murdered. Topping the list of suspects are dangerous drug-dealing brothers, a rival junkyard owner, and an ex-husband.

Could the man’s death simply be a case of redneck’s revenge? Isabel is about to find out.

Intrigued? I hope you are enough to want to read it.

EMAIL NOTIFICATION: Hey, if you want an email nod every time I post something on this website, you can sign up here: https://www.joanlivingston.net/email-updates/

ABOUT THE PHOTO ABOVE: Yup, that’s me holding my new book.

 

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