I'd like to welcome Alice Loweecey to the blog today. Alice writes the Giulia Driscoll Mystery series. Nun Too Soon was just released January 13th.
Kathy: Giulia Falcone-Driscoll was once a nun. I've spent a good amount of time with sisters, having attended Catholic schools from Kindergarten through graduate school, and I always enjoy reading mysteries with nuns. Why did you decide to make Giulia a former nun?
AL: Back when I was writing horror, an agent passed on my horror but said he’s really like to see a crime-fighting ex-nun. 8 months later, I had Force of Habit, the first Giulia book. I sent him the first three chapters… and he passed! I got a good laugh out of that.
Kathy: How do years of convent life aid in investigations? How is it a hindrance? (Or is it?)
AL: One thing I learned in the convent was multi-tasking. Well, that and internal politics and spying on people and functioning on very little sleep and disguising who you really are. Turns out all those things are useful attributes of a private investigator.
Kathy: Driscoll Investigations' client is known as the Silk Tie Killer. How did you choose a silk tie as the murder weapon?
AL: I wanted an anti-client. The kind Giulia with her innate sense of justice and fairness would take on even though he creeped her out. So I came up with a client who uses ties for kinky and nefarious purposes—the polar opposite of Giulia and her husband Frank.
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
AL: I’m actually surprised to be writing cozies. I do bad things on-screen to my characters. So perhaps I’m the surprise cozy.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
AL: I also write horror and urban fantasy novels and short stories.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
AL: Giulia Driscoll, ex-nun and private investigator, working for justice and to keep herself and her employees in food, rent, and health insurance. She’s practical, still idealistic, and addicted to flavored coffee.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
AL: Sidney Martin, Giulia’s assistant, has always been my favorite. She’s all-natural, perky, overflowing with enthusiasm, and a great foil for Giulia. Sidney is so much fun to write. She’s always coming out with fun dialogue I don’t expect.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
AL: I’ve been writing since age nine. Fortunately the Internet wasn’t around when I was writing reams of angsty teenage poetry! I shredded all of it post-college. (You’re welcome.) When I finished my first-ever novel, I knew I could let it sit in a drawer like all that poetry did for years or try to get it on a bookshelf. “Bookshelf” was the only answer for me.
Kathy: f you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
AL: Suetonius (The Twelve Caesars). He’s like the TMZ of the ancient world. Dickens. Jane Yolen. Kazuya Minekura (author of the multiple Saiyuki manga series). Her action, humor, and characterization are awesome.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
AL: The translated original documents of the Dyatlov Pass Incident. Fascinating.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
AL: I have a huge veggie garden. We eat its produce from the end of summer through part of the winter. I love growing my own food. I also watch a lot of bad horror—the kind where you can see the zipper in the monster’s costume. It relaxes me.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
AL: Sauce, like all good Italian moms! Multiple kinds of tea, homemade jam, and wasabi peas
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
AL: Yes indeed! The next Giulia book, Second to Nun, comes out in the fall, and I’m currently writing the third in the series. My horror novel, And You Shall Find, comes out this May from Dark Recesses Press.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
AL: Creating worlds for all these characters crowding my head. I have a huge folder on my desktop of new story ideas and new characters.
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