I'm pleased to welcome Debra E. Marvin to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Debra's mystery, The Case of the Clobbered Cad, was released this past August.
Kathy: The Nosy Parkers spent their formative years studying criminology, codes, and capers. Did you engage in such pursuits in your youth as well?
DEM: Not really, but I was quite intrigued by my mother's decoder ring from the 30s! I was more into make-believe, horses and making things (like books).
Kathy: In The Case of the Clobbered Cad Heather Munro is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Celtic Studies. Prior to this book did you have an interest in the Celts?
DEM: Always. With Welsh, Scots and Scots-Irish ancestry, (and crazy Celt hair) I knew it would be just right for Heather!
Kathy: What first drew you to mysteries?
DEM: I've always loved mysteries. Above all. Of course it started with Nancy Drew before I moved on to romantic suspense and gothics in my teen years (as in Mary Stewart, Daphne DuMaurier, Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt) Now I'm generally listening to mysteries on audiobook or, when I need some down time, watching one on TV. I just love the challenge...not that I solve many! The little puzzle inside each mystery keeps me wanting to try again.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
DEM: I'm also published in historical romance because I love research and find historicals take me farther away from real life! And Romance is, after all, the ultimate source of conflict (ha ha!).
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
DEM: The Case of the Clobbered Cad is part of a multi-author series, the Nosy Parker Mysteries. All of our protagonists are/will be friends who sleuthed together as young teens in a 1940s neighborhood club. They each find themselves faced with a mystery a decade later. The Counterfeit Clue by Lisa Karon Richardson is book #1 in the series and I'll have a new 'Heather' book out next year. We hope to add a few more mystery authors along the way!
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
DEM: In this story, I'd have to say it was a toss up between Mrs. K and Mrs. Baker-Pye. They became humorous foils for my 'trying-to-be-practical' protagonist, and were true daughters of the era and products of their backgrounds. Definitely a lot of fun to 'work with'!
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
DEM: Once I decided to set my story in Edinburgh, I researched the University's history department. But the retired professors who answered my generic questions were both part of the Archeology Department. Once I learned about their incredible collection, things started to fall into place. I actually had the chance to tour the current archives room and saw the 'murder weapon' on the counter top!
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
DEM: I've always wanted to go that extra step with my writing. I've had multiple years (ahem, decades) of writing and multiple manuscripts in the proverbial 'box under the bed'. Writing is hard work. Without a goal I think most of us would give up, so publishing is a huge accomplishment.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
DEM: Oh my gosh, that's a tough one! As an introvert, I'd be overwhelmed and if there was any rivalry, I'd be very uncomfortable. (I think I'm overthinking this...) If things get out of hand, or we have to cut off the liquor supply, you will back me up, right? Marion Chesney (M.C. Beaton), Anne Perry, Agatha Christie and Barbara Michaels (Elizabeth Peters). Then I'd just sit back, watch, and listen!
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
DEM: The Inner Circle by Brad Meltzer, and Lady Maybe by Julie Klassen.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
DEM: I could easily fill my days with quilting, knitting, and general 'making stuff'. Of course I would love to just travel whenever the mood strikes!
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
DEM: Eggs, butter, red onions, peanut butter
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
DEM: I'll soon be working on my next Nosy Parker mystery (probably set in Cobh and Cork, Ireland), and next year I'm hoping to revisit my 'gothicy' historical series and see where I can take it.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
DEM: I love when the words come together--it's usually drivel and ugly, but when I can squeeze the better word choice out and be satisfied, there's no better feeling. Also, I love when characters come alive and run with the story. All I have to do is try to keep up.
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