Kathy: The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way is set in a Florida retirement community. Would you like to live in such a community?
FM: I don't think so. They have many advantages such as socialization, community, help if needed, entertainment brought to the community in the way of lectures, book clubs, stage shows, concerts and education of health issues. I prefer independence and working in my own way. I'm in a lot most of the day working and go out later. I'd be an outsider, I think.
Kathy: I enjoy reading mysteries with protagonists of a certain age. Why do you think Senior Sleuths are popular? Or do you think that they’re not popular?
FM: There is an audience for senior sleuths, I believe, and it's growing. Maybe younger protagonists are still more popular though. But the Baby Boomer population is quite large and many are going into retirement communities and can relate to Cha-Cha Babes.
Kathy: I must ask the question, would you move a dead body for the sake of your best friend?
HA. I have thought about it and I lean on the side of no. I'd follow the law and take Marcy into my home first. My life seems overly complicated and don't think I could take on another huge responsibility as Celia did. In the real world I'd have to face the fear of arrest and my kids might freak out like Allison did, but they'd be there for me. See, that's what I mean about being an author and having some control over the world. I can give Celia the responsibility of obstructing justice and work with her to get out of it.
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
FM: I've always been a kind of a sleuth with many mystery ideas for books. I'm fascinated by white collar crime and reasons why people who don't have to be fraudulent do it anyway. Those I've known who have gotten into trouble for fraud were people who earned quite nice incomes before their criminality. I have studied this for a long time. So, I thought why can't an older person pursue a criminal case as well as professionals. I am a Social Gerontologist and studied the psychology of aging which is not necessarily unlike younger people.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
FM: I write short stories, but they are mostly about human behavior and what makes people behave the way they do. I do write some mysteries but underneath is always what is the motivation for their behavior.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
FM: I haven't written series yet, but there is a similarity in all of my work -- relationships, human behavior, influences of early childhood and emotional needs. Some of my short stories are off-beat in what my protagonist does, but, as they say, life is stranger than fiction. I believe that.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
FM: Hmmm. Maybe, Celia, because I have a similar background growing up as she did, but not as intense. My mother was well meaning but a brutal critic. So, I came from a dysfunctional background with a need to prove myself as an adult. I was a sculptor, a counselor, and a writer. Writing is great for me because I can control the outcome. Some of my stories are about striving to get a mother's love. Usually, there is a resolution which is ever elusive for me.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
FM: I am at work on a series that grew out of The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way. Celia is my inspiration combined with an incident that happened to me. It all tied in with my research on the sex slave trade.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
FM: All of my publications came from small presses. I love small presses as the do an important job for writers. Firstly, there is an openess and faster turn-around in publishing. You can work closely with the publishers.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
FM: Margaret Atwood, Ian McEwan, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Alice Munro -- 2 males, 2 females, different generations to see point-of-view - how similar or dissimilar.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
FM: Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, Dear Life by Alice Munro, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Anne Dillard, Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
FM: Tennis, theater, cooking.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
FM: lots of spices in pantry, meals I cooked that I freeze like veal shank (my beau loves), veggie chili, and bread pudding.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
FM: current series have plots more or less worked out of 2 new ones.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author
FM: I can control my world to some extent - although sometimes the worlds control me. But when I'm creating I can make amends, forgive, say what's really on my mind, and have a good kind of closure in relationships, something not always easy in real life.
The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way by Frances Metzman
About the Book
Wild River Consulting & Publishing, LLC (June 21, 2018)
Paperback: 506 pages
Would you move a dead body for the sake of your best friend?
Ask cha-cha babe Celia Ewing, a sixty-five-year-old widow who has just settled into Boca Pelicano Palms, the Florida retirement community of her dreams. When Celia’s best friend Marcy calls her and their friend Deb for help in the middle of the night, they find a naked Marcy trapped under the body of her beau, the community’s board president, Melvin. And he’s dead. The three friends secretly move Melvin back to his apartment setting off a chain of events that will threaten to tear their community apart and send them to jail. Melvin is one of a number of residents who are dying under suspicious circumstances; and soon Celia becomes an amateur sleuth in an attempt to identify what she suspects is a serial murderer.
Filled with humorous, witty observations about retirement communities, the realities of getting older, and the promise of new love, the Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way celebrates the deep bonds of female friendships, the desire for companionship at any age, and shows us that it’s never too late to learn how to cha-cha through life.
About the Author
Frances Metzman, a graduate of Moore College of Art and a Masters degree from the University of Pennsylvania, co-authored a novel, Ugly Cookies, by Pella Press. Her short story collection, The Hungry Heart: Stories, was published by Wilderness House Press, February 1, 2012. In 2009 she won a nomination for a Dzanc Books award, “Best of the Web.” In addition to publishing numerous (25) short stories in various literary journals, she has a novel published by Wild River Books, 2018, The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way. Her teaching credits include Adjunct professor at Rosemont College to graduate school, Temple University at OLLI (creative writing and memoir). Other writing workshops, memoir/creative writing, have been given at universities and colleges such as Bryn Mawr, Penn State, Delaware, University of Pennsylvania, Widener, etc. As fiction editor for a literary journal, Schuylkill Valley Journal, she selects and edits the submissions. Many articles, essays, and stories she writes deal with aspects of society that influences relationships for all ages, including the mature set (sometimes tongue in cheek). Many articles are dedicated to improving attitudes toward the mature folks and address myths about “age appropriate” thinking.
Twitter - https://twitter.com/FranWrites
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