I'd like to welcome J.M. Edwards to the blog today. JM writes the Ruby Wisdom Mystery series. Handcuffs and High Heels is the first in the series.
Kathy: Ruby Wisdom is Private Investigator in a small town in New York. How did you decide upon this career and setting?
JME: First of all, thank you so much for the opportunity to share a bit about Ruby with your readers. She and I really appreciate the opportunity, Kathy!
As far as the career and setting, that’s all Ruby. The day that we met, I was editing another manuscript that had nothing to do with duplicitous husbands, crafty detectives or small, quirky towns populated by a cast of intriguing characters. I was in my home office, concentrating on the project, when Ruby suddenly popped into my head, flashed a wide grin, and said: “The moon was high, the lights were low and I was right in the middle of giving my favorite UPS guy a hot oil massage when the phone rang.”
I was intrigued, so we talked for a while. She explained that being a detective was a childhood dream that she decided to pursue after her first career on Wall Street came to a screeching halt. The setting of Wormwood, New York, is also Ruby’s choice. It’s her fictional hometown. After losing her job in New York City, Ruby decided she’d had enough of the big city and headed back to Wormwood to open her detective agency.
Kathy: Handcuffs & High Heels is a humorous mystery. How does adding humor change a mystery and why is it important to have it in your series?
JME: I’m a lifelong fan of both humor and mysteries. Blending the two is a tradition for many writers, including one of my favorites, Robert B. Parker. I always loved the way he twined a lighthearted sensibility through the main plot of the Spenser books. As a reader, I feel that adding humor makes the mystery more engaging and compelling. Whenever I pick up a book, I’m looking for both entertainment and escape. The world is such a harsh and violent place these days that I like the mixture of suspense, mystery and laughter!
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
JME: I like to read cozy mysteries along with suspense thrillers, hard-boiled novels and police procedurals, but when I sit down to write the results always fit snugly in the cozy category. It’s the combination of a small community, some type of crime or mischief and a likable sleuth who cracks the case. Cozy mysteries also feel warm and welcoming to me, like visiting a new destination that somehow feels like a place you’ve been to before.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
JME: I’m completely focused on cozy mysteries at the moment! The Ruby Wisdom series is my first, and I have another planned for 2015.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
JME: The series features Ruby Wisdom, a smart, sassy PI who is also tough and tender. As the only private investigator in Wormwood, New York, Ruby handles a wide range of cases—everything from jewel heists and cheating husbands to stolen wedding gowns, kidnapped artwork and fraudulent heirs. The books in the series are loaded with humor, romance, memorable characters and a sleuth who knows her way around baked goods and sweet treats as well as crime scenes and tricky investigations.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
JME: I love Ruby, because she’s responsible for the series. I like the way she works and the way she lives. She’s kind and compassionate, thoughtful and genuine, witty and a little mischievous now and then.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
JME: The inspiration was Ruby! As I just mentioned, she literally came out of the blue one afternoon. Since then, we’ve been spending countless hours together, and I remain inspired by her confidence, compassion, wit and dedication to unraveling the mysteries and helping her clients.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
JME: It was Ruby’s idea. She stopped by one Saturday morning when I was in the middle of the third chapter. “This is starting to look like something fun,” she said. “I think you should publish it for readers who like lighthearted cozy mysteries.”
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
JME: Robert B. Parker, Agatha Christie, Nora Ephron and Shel Silverstein
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
JME: The Monogram Murders: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery by Sophie Hannah and Agatha Christie
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
JME: In addition to writing the new Ruby Wisdom cozy mystery series, I like to spend time gardening, traveling, spoiling a small herd of cats and dogs, and taking the occasional nap.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
JME: Blueberry-pomegranate juice, coffee beans, seltzer and Little Debbie Cloud Cakes.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
JME: Yes, I’m working on the third Ruby Wisdom mystery and have a second series planned for next year.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
JME: Spending time with engaging, entertaining characters while I write the books, and hearing from readers who take the time to share their thoughts about Ruby. Their comments and thoughts are essential because the equation is incomplete without amazing readers!
Would you like to win an e-book copy of Handcuffs and High Heels? To enter simply comment on this post telling us what type of case Ruby should take next-stolen property, missing person...? Be sure to leave your e-mail address and what format of e-reader you have. You must comment no later than 11:59pm EST Tuesday, November 28th, 2014. Good Luck!