I'd like to welcome Jacqi Lane to the blog today. Jacqi Lane is actually the writing team of Jacqueline Corcoran and Lane Stone. Together they write the Doggy Day Spa Romantic Suspense Mystery series. The first of which, Maltipoos are Murder, was just published May 27th.
Kathy: You write as a team. How does that work? Does one person work more on the plot while the other writes the actual words?
JL: We plot the books together but have primary responsibility to do the rough draft for certain books each. Then the other one will come up behind and fill in spots, make things logical, straighten out plot points, read for consistency, that kind of thing. That’s what we’re trying to do anyway. We went through a lot of drafts with Maltipoos are Murder. Lane must have done three and I did a couple with our editor reading it in between.
Kathy: I was pleased to read that both Cara and Cole have rescue animals and I understand you are involved in local rescues. How did you begin?
Lane: Maltipoos are Murder is dedicated to A Forever Home. I started volunteering for them after reading about them in a newspaper article. This weekend I’ll be working on a fundraising project. They operate on a shoestring and save a lot of dogs.
Jacqui: I was looking to adopt a dog, and Lane told me about A Forever Home. I signed up to foster with them to look for a potential adoptable dog in the meantime. Our first dog, Tina the Chihuahua, we adopted within a matter of days. This past summer we fostered a Corgi/Lab mix mom and her four puppies. My daughter is still talking about those puppies nearly a year later!
Kathy: Cara Rogers has Percy, a deerhound mix while Cole has a lab mix named Delilah. Do you have dogs?
Lane: Abby is a standard schnauzer. She tweets as Abby, the Menopause Dog, (https://twitter.com/TheMenopauseDog) She’s not a rescue. We’re not anti-breeder by any means. I do hate puppy mills and I don’t think backyard breeding is a good idea.
Jacqui: We have Tina and two rescue cats.
Kathy: Is La Maison de Chien based on a real dog spa? Have your dogs ever been to a similar facility?
JL: Abby has such a luxurious life! Two of my friends decided that when they die they want to return as “Lane Stone’s dog.” She goes to Olde Towne Pet Resort in Alexandria, VA for swimming lessons, agility classes and sometimes to board. And, yes, I leave her spending money. Much of our spa is patterned on them. For regular day care, she goes to Your Dogs Best Friend, also in Alexandria. She boards there because they have cageless boarding. Both facilities are staffed 24-hours a day, which is important to me. In Atlanta she goes to “day camp” at Camp Bow Wow in Duluth. Camp Bow Wow has “camper cams” and Olde Towne Pet Resort has pet cams.
Kathy: The Doggie Day Care series is called a romance mystery series. Why did you choose to combine the genres?
JL: We both come from a mystery background, so it was becoming involved with Entangled that caused us to do the cozy mystery romance, where the romance was about 60% of the book. So the credit goes to Entangled with the creation of this new genre.
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
Lane: I like reading mysteries because the reader is so involved. You’re uncovering clues and solving the crime right along with the sleuth, usually an amateur sleuth. The setting is a small community – say, Middleburg, VA.
Jacqui: I like reading books with a plot and books by women authors, so cozy mysteries are a natural here.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
Lane: I’m working on a nonfiction book about Polish nuns who saved the lives of several Jewish girls in the Holocaust.
Jacqui: I have written over a dozen textbooks in my field, three self-help books, and I branched out from mysteries by writing a steampunk novella that’s coming out with MuseItUp soon. Currently, I have almost finished a middle grade historical paranormal inspired by Agatha Christie.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
JL: Doggie Day Spa Mysteries: When Veterinarian Cara Rogers moves to Middleburg, Virginia, it’s not puppy love she finds. She wants her old life back, but police detective, Cole Sampson, wants a future with her. Can a murder investigation keep these opposites from attracting?
After Maltipoos are Murder, we will have Death and Dachshunds and Assassins and Alaskan Malamutes and an as of yet untitled fourth book in the series.
Tiara Investigations Mysteries: Three former Georgia beauty queens run a successful detective agency. They haven’t told their husbands so they have to meet their clients at the local Cracker Barrel.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
JL: Some of the supporting characters are, if we do say so ourselves, very funny. There’s royal watcher Emma; the self-promoting and paranoid Reverend McInerney; and Cara’s attorney, conspiracy theorist, Michael Pritchett.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
JL: We’ve already talked here about the cozy mystery/romance genre, dogs and the doggie day spa, and these were some of our inspirations. For our setting, we chose Middleburg, Virginia. First, a cozy mystery, by some of the conventions of the genre, has to be placed into a small setting, like a small town or village. Second, Lane and I both live in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., so we wanted a setting close by that we were somewhat familiar with and that we could visit. Finally, Middleburg is not just another small town. It’s well-known for being a hunt and horse area, and is attractive and upscale (see http://www.middleburgonline.com/).
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
JL: From the time we started writing, we always wanted to be published, and, in fact, for this particular work, we sold the series to Entangled on the basis of the first three chapters and a proposal outlining the first three books.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
Lane: Agatha Christie, Jane Austen, P.G. Wodehouse, E.F. Benson
Jacqui: Agatha Christie, Enid Blyton, L.M. Boston, C.S. Lewis
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
Lane: I read the Man Booker short listed books every year. Just finished The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri. I’m in three books clubs – two of them specialize in mysteries – and they take up a lot of my reading time.
Jacqui: I am reading the latest Joan Hess Claire Malloy mystery, and Eckhart Tolle’s The New Earth.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
Lane: I love to play golf. And I’m a “Jane-ite,” which is an über-fan of Jane Austen. In July, I’m going on a JASNA (Jane Austen Society of North America) bus tour in England.
Jacqui: I do spin and yoga classes, and like to hike. We’re taking a summer vacation to Yellowstone this summer (I’ve never been), so there should be plenty of hiking there.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
Lane: 1% milk, grapes, lettuce and carrots – because they are Abby’s favorite treat. She looks like she’s smoking a cigar when she trots off with it in her mouth.
Jacqui: coffee, cream for the coffee, fixings so I can make my own bread (I don’t like store-bought).
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
Lane: I’m working on the third book in the Tiara Investigations mystery series, Foreign Affairs. and we are writing Dachshunds and Death.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
Lane: Making people laugh. That’s the highest compliment a reader can pay me!
Jacqui: Translating real life into stories and some kind of structure, meaning, and order.
For more information check out these links:
Author Website: http://jacquilanebooks.com/
Author Twitter: http://twitter.com/JacquiCLaneS
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JacquCorcoraniLaneStone
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