I'm happy to welcome Julie Anne Lindsey back to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Julie Anne writes the Bonnie & Clyde Mystery series. BURDEN OF POOF is the first book in the series and was released last week.
JAL: Hi Kathy! Thank you so much for inviting me over to hang out a bit today! It’s so much fun that you’re sharing your blog with me! I’m excited to get started and chat about my new series! What a great opportunity!
Kathy: It's great to have you with us today. You start a new series with BURDEN OF PROOF. What led you to the world of used clothing?
JAL: In BURDEN OF POOF, my heroine, Bonnie, and her kitty companion, Clyde, team up to open a second-chance shop in Bonnie’s hometown of Bliss, Georgia. I chose a second-chance shop for a few fun reasons.
First, I love the idea of turning castoff items into new creations. There’s something magical about giving renewed purpose to perfectly good things that have gotten a little battered, old, or out of style. Secondly, I think the shop is a great metaphor for Bonnie, who left home young and full of hope, but returned home facing 40 and newly divorced. She gets a new life, new purpose and a fresh jolt of joy in this series. Finally, I thought the shop was relevant to the small, rural farming community where Bonnie lives. There’s not a lot of money in Bliss, and shopping is somewhat limited. Having a store where folks can come in on a budget and leave feeling like royalty seemed just about right. Bonnie grew up on a flower farm, and is very aware of how much stretching the average paycheck gets. Now, she’s doing
something she loves and helping her community in the process.
Kathy: Do you tend to shop at second hand stores, giving clothes a second chance yourself?
JAL: I love estate sales and auctions. I’m not much of a clothing person, so I gravitate to places where I can find solid, well-made furniture and household items with style, beauty and craftsmanship. Most things are mass produced today to keep costs down, and I forget that, until I’m awestruck by the detail
and craftsmanship I discover in old homes and antique shops. I want it all!
Kathy: I love that Bonnie has a cat named Clyde. How did you decide to pick this criminal duo as the namesakes for your characters?
JAL: As a cozy author, I never stop looking for fun or funny book and series titles. This idea came to mind while reading the Truly Devious young adult mystery series by Maureen Johnson. She references Bonnie and Clyde in a portion of the books, flashing back to that era, and I realized those names would
work perfectly for an adorable cozy duo.
Kathy: Was there a specific inspiration for this story?
JAL: This story was inspired by my love of rural, southern small towns, and the theme of finding a place to belong and thrive, regardless of circumstance. I wanted to see my newly divorced heroine come home to lick her wounds and discover it was a blessing. She is beautiful, wonderful and worthy. She has a brilliant future ahead of her and a furry best friend by her side. I hoped the story would give readers a sense of joy and hope.
Kathy: When it comes to writing I understand there are 2 general camps-plotters, who diligently plot their stories, and pansters, who fly by the seat of their pants. Are you a plotter, a panster, or do you fall somewhere in between?
JAL: I write about 6-8 novels a year, for four publishers, as three people, so time is everything. As a result, I’m a dedicated outliner. I know how many words I need, and how many chapters that requires. I outline thoroughly and aim to write a chapter a day. By keeping this schedule, I can accurately predict when I will be available to take on a new contract, even if it’s two years away. My agent and I often fill my writing calendar 16-18 months at a time.
Occasionally, the stories deviate from the outline, but overall, I’m pretty good at setting things up and staying on track for time management’s sake. Even if the characters take a detour from time to time.
Kathy: Authors are required to do a lot of their own marketing, especially for a new release. What's your favorite part of marketing your work? What do you dislike about marketing?
JAL: I love the interaction portion of marketing, and I chat with my readers as often as possible, every day if I can! I have a special reader group on Facebook called COZY QUEENS where I post updates, take polls and share early news with fans and friends. I even dedicated this book to that group! We’re always looking for new members, so come on over 😉
Kathy: Will you share any other upcoming books?
JAL: Absolutely! 2021 has been my busiest year yet! Hold onto your hats! As many of you know, I write the Cider Shop Mysteries, and book 3, THE CIDER SHOP RULES, just released July 27th.
I’m also Bree Baker, and PARTNERS IN LIME, book 6 in the Seaside Café Mysteries released August 31st.
I write the Christmas Tree Farm Mysteries as Jacqueline Frost, and book 3, SLASHING THROUGH THE SNOW, releases October 12th!
I write romantic suspense for Harlequin’s Intrigue line, and I have two new releases coming this fall. KENTUCKY CRIME RING in late September and STAY HIDDEN in late October.
As for Bonnie & Clyde, you can expect three more new adventures from them this year including SEVEN DEADLY SEQUINS next month, BEATING THE WRAP in November, and EYELET WITNESS in December. If I stay on track, there will also be a secret project releasing before Christmas!
As a bonus, I’ve written a fun, FREE, downloadable prequel to the series, and you can see where it all began in WHEN BONNIE MET CLYDE, available here: https://outbound.julieannelindsey.com/g9UWwY7815kgbDCo
The First Bonnie & Clyde Mystery
Bonnie gives new life to dresses, will she be able to create a new one for herself?
Still reeling from the bitter end of her marriage Bonnie Balfour is
back in her hometown of Bliss, Georgia trying to make a go of her second
chance dress shop. But all the flowers from her parents organic flower
farm and love from her cat Clyde can't help when she finds Viola
Abbott-Harrington dead under a pile of clothing donations. The new
detective from Cleveland is certain that Bonnie is guilty of murder and
Bonnie is determined to prove him wrong. Will she be able to find the
real killer while making her shop shine? Or will a killer put her out of
Burden of Poof (Bonnie & Clyde Mysteries) by Julie Anne Lindsey
About Burden of Poof
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series
Publisher: Cozy Queen Publishing LLC (September 15, 2021)
Paperback: 254 pages
An amateur sleuth named Bonnie and her kitty companion Clyde, with names like those, what could possibly go wrong?
Life hasn't sparkled too brightly for Bonnie Balfour over the past few years, but a heart-breaking divorce has brought her back to her small rural hometown of Bliss, Georgia, and things are starting to shape up.
The proud new owner of Bless Her Heart—a second chance dress shop and boutique on the town square—Bonnie thinks thirty-eight might not be too late for a fresh start in life after all.
Until a grouchy old widow turns up dead in a pile of donations meant for Bonnie’s shop, and the town’s new detective pins her to the top of his suspect list!
To save her shop, dream and reputation, Bonnie must coordinate clues and stitch together the truth about her innocence, but the unreasonably handsome detective and prying eyes of the local gossip mill are fast fraying her nerves.
When a series of anonymous attacks begin to hem her in, Bonnie fears the real killer is fixing to make her his next victim. Can this amateur sleuth measure up?
About Julie Anne Lindsey
Julie Anne Lindsey is an award-winning and bestselling author of mystery and romantic suspense. She’s published more than forty novels since her debut in 2013 and currently writes series as herself, as well as under multiple pen names, for Harlequin, Kensington, Sourcebooks and Crooked Lane Books.
When Julie's not creating new worlds or fostering the epic love of fictional characters, she can be found in Kent, Ohio, enjoying her blessed Midwestern life. And probably plotting murder with her shamelessly enabling friends. Today she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world. Learn more about Julie at julieannelindsey.com
Cozy Queens Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/cozyqueensjulieannelindsey