I’m so pleased to start a new Tuesday blog. It’s called “Behind the Author” and will feature authors whose books I’ve enjoyed.
I’ve found many wonderful new books and series simply because I saw an author interview and liked the author. I want you to have this same opportunity, but these authors are vetted. I’ve read and enjoyed their books. My questions won’t be typical, such as Where do you get your ideas? No, no. My questions include What’s your favorite joke? and Which of your character’s traits would annoy you in real life?
So, today I’ll answer the questions to give future authors a guideline. Pretend you don’t know me.
Jacqueline Vick is the author of the Frankie Chandler Pet Psychic mysteries, the Harlow Brothers mysteries, and several standalone novels and short stories. Her mysteries combine satire, romance and mystery for a laugh-out-loud experience.
We writers love all our characters. Sometimes the most troublesome child can be a secret favorite. Is there one character you find especially troublesome, and are they your favorite? What makes you love them? Or do you wish they had never wriggled into your book?
I have a love-hate relationship with Claudia Inglenook in my Harlow Brothers mysteries. She’s Edward Harlow’s long-distance girlfriend, and she can be a bit of a snot. In fact, many readers can’t stand her. Poor Claudia. However, if you peek behind the dismissive comment and snooty tone, you’ll find she cares for Edward and always wants what’s best for him. I also love that she provides Nicholas with a foil. They have a mutual dislike for each other that presents opportunities for hilarious sparring.
Can you give us an example of a piece of research for a book that you especially enjoyed doing? Why was it so much fun?
The Frankie Chandler mysteries are the most fun to research because I’m usually looking up animals. Windy, a character based on my neighbor’s dog, Oscar, got many of her scenes from real-life encounters with Oscar. He’s a hoot, and spending time with him to capture his expressions and see what he’ll do next is a riot. Other animal research is done on the internet due to COVID restrictions, but when we’re out and about again, I plan to visit The Gentle Barn, an animal rescue with a large variety of farm animals to choose from.
What is one trait or habit your character has that would drive you crazy in real life?
Nicholas is a sarcastic smart-aleck. It’s funny to read, but I think he would be a pain in person. At least if he didn’t like me.
Everyone loves to laugh. Can you share your favorite joke?
A blind man entered a bookstore with his seeing eye dog. He lifted the pup and began to swing the leash around like a lasso, sending his dog circling above his head.
The frantic owner ran up and asked, “Can I help you?”
The guy said, “Nah. I’m just looking around.”
Many books, especially cozies, have recipes. I, myself, have bought mysteries for the recipes! Do you have a favorite recipe that you can share with readers? Especially one that character would love to make or eat. Extra points if it’s under five ingredients.
Do not be fooled. This recipe is the one I get asked for most often. I serve it every Christmas and New Year’s eve at the hubby’s request.
1 package of cocktail weanies. (They have lower fat turkey available.)
1 jar of boysenberry jam. (Use whatever flavor you like.)
1 container of mustard. (I use yellow.)
In a saucepan, stir equal amounts of mustard and jam together until they melt and blend. Add weanies, including juice. Heat thoroughly and serve.
What piece of advice would you give your character when everything seems hopeless? Advice you would give your best friend.
You’re only seeing half the picture. The bright side is there. Look for it.
If you could hang out with one of your characters, which would you choose, and what would you do?
I would love to go sledding with Evan Miller. He’s a nice guy, once he loosens up, and I’d love to make him laugh.
What is your favorite word or phrase that serves as a substitute for swearing?
My neighbor, who is Southern, says, “Golly Day!” I love that, but I don’t think I could pull it off. Personally, I use, “Nuts.”
Out of the books you have written, which is your favorite, and why?
I love them all, but I think my favorite is The Body Guy with Evan Miller. I love it when someone sane is surrounded by nuts, and Evan’s neighbors, much as they annoy him, are delightful.
Here is where I would thank the author, but thanking myself is too much. Then on to the book blurb, and an opportunity to purchase the book.
Jacqueline’s latest novel is What the Cluck? It’s Murder. Deadly Deception, a Harlow Brothers mystery is coming out May 19, 2021.
Pet psychic Frankie Chandler finally (and reluctantly) agrees to meet Detective Martin Bower’s family. All she has to do is impress the pack of sisters who raised him. Not difficult, right? The only thing at stake is her relationship with the man she loves.
The weekend at his eldest sibling’s farm surpasses her worst nightmares. His former guardians excel at finding her faults. Even the chickens have it in for her. Then her first moment alone with Bowers on a romantic stroll ends with the discovery of a murdered farmhand.
Now the marshal is fixed on Bowers’ sister Dymphna as the chief suspect. On a homestead overrun with animals, there must be a witness. The broody hen? The carrot-obsessed horses? The suspect’s self-involved dog? As the pet psychic wrangles information from animals both furry and feathered, the case against Dymphna worsens. Should Frankie’s loyalty be to the truth? Or to Bowers’ family?
Join Frankie and Bowers on their most personal case yet.
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