Friday, October 30, 2015

Murder, With Amanda Flower

I'm so happy to welcome Amanda Flower back to Cozy Up With Kathy. Writing as Isabella Alan, she had her fourth Amish Quilt Shop mystery, Murder, Plainly Read, published October 6th.

The Editors

Kathy: You have two demanding editors in Cheeps and Tummy. How do they help keep you on track? Are they really such harsh taskmasters?

AF: Cheeps and Tummy are the best. They are my chief encouragers and always keep me on task. They might act tough when it comes to edits, but they are both marshmallows at heart. It's hard to imagine writing a novel without them at my side.

Kathy: If you were able to add a new family member, would you be more likely to add Oliver or Petunia?

AF: Oh wow, this is a tough question. I have always wanted and French bulldog and a goat. It's true! When I was in college, I thought I would grow up to have a hobby farm with a bunch of animals. I love all animals, but the farm never happened since live in the city. Because of where I live, I would chose Oliver, partly motivated by wanting to dress him in sweaters in the winter like Angie does.

Kathy: In Murder, Plainly Read Angie works with librarian Austina Shaker. As a librarian yourself, did you incorporate some of your own experiences into Austina's life?

AF: I definitely did. It was a lot of fun to include a library as the backdrop for this book. I think my library staff characters act is true to what I see on the job, and I have some fun scenes in there that past and present coworkers might recognize.

Kathy: Was there a specific inspiration for this story?

AF: Two years ago, the director the Holmes County District Public Library heard me speak at a library conference about trends in Amish fiction, and he invited me to visit their library to see how they serve the Amish community. During the visit, I got to do a ride along in the library's bookmobile that visit Amish districts as an undercover librarian. It was awesome. I knew it would be a future plot for a book.

Kathy: I always enjoy the covers. Do you have any input in their design?

AF: I get the best covers. My editor (the human one), my agent, and I have discussed this many times how I luck out in the cover department every single time. I don't have much input though. Sometimes my editor will ask for an idea, but it's not every time. For the next book in the series, Murder, Handcrafted, I asked for Dodger, Angie's cat, be added to the cover, and I'm very happy to say they did it. What's even better he's the spitting image of my Cheeps.

Kathy: Are you able to share any future plans for Angie Braddock?

AF: I do have many plans for Angie, Mitchell, and the entire gang living in Rolling Brook. In my head, I know where Angie will be at the end of the series, but I can't share that! Instead, I will say in Murder, Handcrafted (book 5) Angie is feeling increasing pressure from her mother to produce grandchildren.

Kathy: Will you share any other upcoming books?

AF: In October, in addition to Murder, Plainly Read, Andi Unstoppable, my third children's mystery, will be released. Later in the month, Amish Christmas at North Star comes out. It is a five author novella collection. I wrote a standalone novella for it called "Mourning Star."

In 2016, I have three mysteries coming in Spring: Crime and Poetry (Magical Bookshop #1), The Final Tap ( Living History Mystery #2), and Murder, Handcrafted (Amish Quilt Shop #5).


USA Today Bestselling Author Isabella Alan is the pseudonym for Amanda Flower. Amanda Flower, a three time Agatha-nominated mystery author, started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. Amanda is an academic librarian for a small college near Cleveland.
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  1. Great interview! She's a favorite author and I'm looking forward to all the 2016 releases!

  2. Love love love this series from Isabella Alan! Thanks so much for having the interview with her Kathy.

  3. great interview, amazing book, fantastic author and editors!!