Please, help me welcome Julie Anne Lindsey to the blog today. Julie writes the Patience Price Mystery series. The third and final book in the series, Murder in Real Time, was released September 29th.
Kathy: Setting is so important, especially in mystery series. How did you choose Chincoteague Island?
JAL: Oh, there was no other choice. I fell in love with Chincoteague when I visited several years ago. I’ve been dreaming of it ever since. I jokingly say I brought part of it home in my soul (and I’m not sure how much of that is a joke). Have you ever visited a place you instinctively didn’t want to leave? Like a piece of you connected with the location somehow? That was my experience on the island. I’ve set many stories there, trying to relive my visit and reimagine the unbelievable beauty. If you’re looking for a vacation destination, I highly recommend Chincoteague. – but be warned: you might not want to leave and it *might* turn you into a writer.
Kathy: Ghost hunts and other paranormal investigations have become quite popular. How did you decide to add this activity to Murder in Real Time?
JAL: My heroine in this series is Patience Price, who’s never quite lived up to her namesake, so in each story, I try to think up a new way to make her crazy. In book one, I use the high school soul mate who broke her heart (and his mother). In book two, I bring in busloads of birders. In book three, I thought….I bet she hates reality shows. I bet she’d really loathe all their fans and hoopla invading her island. Voila! Irritating Patience is one of my favorite things because she’s amazingly adept at “sucking it up” despite her desire to scream and hose people right off the island. I did it for her.
Kathy: Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever had a ghostly encounter? Or witnessed other paranormal activity?
JAL: I don’t believe in ghosts, though I am afraid of everything, including but not limited to my shadow. I’ve never had a ghostly encounter or witnessed any paranormal activity. I do believe that people are unimaginably dangerous and I carry a gun. Just kidding. Not really. *nods*
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
JAL: I first fell in love with Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books. Not exactly, “cozy,” but the idea of an amateur female sleuth made me happy. I devoured them and went looking for more. That’s when a librarian told me about cozies. From there, I chose authors like Gemma Halliday and her Spying in High Heels books. My style, I think, is similar to these authors because they’re the ones who speak to me. I prefer shenanigans to dry wit and enjoy a side dish of romance with my laughs. These are the kinds of books that drew me in and they’re the kinds of cozies I look for when I read.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
JAL: Yes. I’ve written small town romance and YA (fictions for teens). Becoming an author, for me, has been like any other position in life. It’s a process. There’s growing pains and self-exploration involved. I’m taking time to find my place here, hoping to figure out where my voice is best suited and who I am as an author.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
JAL: The one liner Carina Press devised to encapsulate the series reads like this Mayhem, murder and a sexy secret agent follow downsized FBI worker Patience Price when she returns to her sleepy seaside hometown of Chincoteague, Virginia.
One sentence leave out a lot, but it also says so much. I smile a little whenever I read it. Mayhem, murder and Sebastian all follow her home to Chincoteague, then the mayhem and murder never seem to stop. Patience is a bit of a modern day Lucille Ball at times, getting herself into things in the name of curiosity. Her adventures start out reasonable and take a turn she never sees coming. That part’s my doing. *insert proud author smile*
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
JAL: I don’t have a favorite character from my own stories, but my favorite character of all time is Alice from Alice in Wonderland. I’ve been in love with her all my life. Her spunk and curiosity captivated me when I was a child and as an adult, I admire her tenacious, brave nature. She was a bit mouthy for a girl in those days and I love her all the more for speaking her mind despite the time and strange circumstances.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
JAL: Yes. A few things started this series. The first is my obsession with Chincoteague, Virginia. Writing stories on the island helps me revisit whenever I want and I sincerely love that.
The second inspiration for the series is a friend of mine who works at the FBI in HR. I always thought the way people responded to her job was hilarious. They wanted inside secrets about investigations or other dirty details. They never heard the HR part. They heard FBI and went on tangents about their favorite crime shows. I modeled Patience after my friend. She’s a genuinely good-natured, upbeat, delight.
The final inspiration was a song by Katy Perry called The One that Got Away. It’s about a girl wondering “what could have been” in regards to a lost love. I wondered, what if he got away, a decade passed, and he came back? Would she still want him? Would she still be angry he broke her heart? Would she run to him or shove an ice cream in his nose?
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
JAL: Six years ago, I saw Twilight and something changed. It was a very random night. I was up nursing a newborn. I was sleep deprived and desperate. Twilight was on Pay Per View. I watched. I was drawn into the world and when I learned it was a book, I read the books. It was the first time I’d read anything like it. In fact, I hadn’t read for pleasure in years. My book shelves had become overcrowded with “How-To” numbers. Be a better wife. A better mother. A better Christian. Reading had become exhausting and defeating. I could never do or be half the things described in those books.
The Twilight stories lurked in my mind, popping up throughout the days as I changed diapers, potty trained my toddler, homeschooled my kindergartener, and I needed to know more about the woman who did this to me. I looked for more information online, and found an interview with the author. As it turned out, she was a stay at home mom, like me. She’d never written a novel before and her degree was in English, not fiction or writing. That was the day I opened a search engine and typed in “how to write a book.” I knew nothing, so I started at the beginning and set a goal to complete an entire novel. I did this in the hopes of getting published one day. I’d never written a novel before and I’ve never written without the goal of publication.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
JAL: Oh, fun! I’d definitely invite Gemma Halliday because I think we could be girlfriends. I’d invite Stephen King because I have so much to learn and he’s the master. If I could talk to him about craft or brainstorm some story plots, I’d be happy forever. I’d love to sit with Emily Dickinson and ask what life was like for her as a writer, in a time when women were thought to have nothing to say and pen names were a must. Was it lonely? Writing can be lonely, even today, with the Internet to connect us. Who did she talk to about things? Writers are already an odd and often misunderstood bunch, I can’t imagine how difficult it was for women writers in that time to find companionship and not sound in need of an asylum.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
JAL: I’ve got a Kindle load of books I can’t wait to dig into, but I’m starting with the books coming to (or in) the theatre. I like to read the book before seeing the movie, so I have many to read! For example: Gone Girl, Maze Runner, The Fault in Our Stars, If I Stay, and The Giver are waiting for me right now.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
JAL: Aside from writing and reading (which I do with every free moment throughout my day/week/life), I’m into my shows. I get very involved with the characters I watch on television and I have a list of shows ten miles long that have been on hiatus all summer and I’m dying to get back to ASAP.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
JAL: Milk, cereal, peanut butter & jelly. I have three kids under 12, can you tell?
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
JAL: The Patience Price Mysteries were designed to be a three book miniseries, but I miss the island and may need to see about finding my way back. The characters are real to me and I think about them every day.
I’ve just finished writing the first in a new series similar to this one. These books are under contract as A Geek Girl’s Guide to Murder, but the title will be changed once the publisher begins to prep it. The heroine in my Geek Girl stories is a modern day geek, tech savvy, enjoys comic books and renaissance fairs. She’s a ton of fun and I can’t wait to see her meet readers next year. She’ll put her wit to work and solve some murders. Maybe find love along the way.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
JAL: The best thing about being an author is that I have the privilege to interrupt someone’s crappy day and insert a smile. I try my best to add humor in every chapter of my books. I want to make people smile, give them a small reprieve from the challenges of their life. Unfortunately, my life is small, and I can only cheer up those in my reach. As a writer, my reach becomes unlimited and I love that.
Murder in Real Time
With the chaos of summer tourists and fall birders out of town, counselor Patience Price is looking forward to the quiet life she remembers. She longs for some peace. And an apple fritter. But the calm is cut short when a reality show sets up camp to film a special about ghosts on her little island. Now fans, reporters and crew have flocked to sleepy Chincoteague. Who knew ghost hunters had an entourage?
When two cast members are killed in a room at the local B&B—a room usually occupied by Patience's FBI agent boyfriend, Sebastian—she finds herself on the case. Sebastian doesn't want Patience ruffling any feathers but, as always, she can't help herself.
Patience promises to let Sebastian handle the investigation—he is FBI, after all—but after a drive-by shooting, her wicked curiosity gets the best of her. And with the TV show forging ahead with filming, the list of suspects (and the line of food trucks) only grows. But has the shooter already flown the coop? And how do you find a killer when you don't know who the target is?
Amazon Barnes&Noble Carina Press
Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She’s a self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun. Julie lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Today, she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world.
Murder in Real Time is the conclusion to The Patience Price Mysteries series, from Carina Press.
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