Good Morning, Jim and Joyce. Thank you so much for agreeing to do this Q&A. You’re my very first blog guests! I understand you have several murder mystery series. Could you tell me a little about each?
J&J – Here is a brief explanation of each of our series.
Peggy Lee Garden Mysteries – Peggy Lee owns a garden shop in
Renaissance Faire Mysteries – This series is set in a Renaissance Faire in
Pet Psychic Mystery – Our pet psychic is Mary Catherine, a
Stockcar Mysteries – Glad and Ruby have been called the Nora and Nick of the racing circuit. Glad is a retired
Sharyn Howard Mysteries – This is our first mystery series. It is set in the
We have a new series beginning May 2010. It’s called the Missing Pieces Mysteries. It’s set in Duck, NC on the Outer Banks. It’s about Dae O’Donnell, mayor of Duck, and a finder of lost things. In the first book, Death Watch, Dae finds a wristwatch on the arm of a dead woman and helps solve the crime.
Donna - You are a husband and wife team who work very closely in a multitude of ways. How do you split up the writing work?
J&J - We don’t split up writing the books. We sit down and take an idea that we think will work, collected through the year. Then we write a long synopsis that details what we think the story will be like. Our final stage is sitting down together at our large desk with back to back computer monitors. We talk out the story as we type it in. Then when the story is all in the computer, we begin revisions. That is our process.
Donna - How do you resolve disputes about the books you write?
J&J - We have one rule in working together; we have to agree or it doesn’t make it into the book. If we don’t agree about something, we get up and go out for a drive or a walk and talk it out until we come up with something else. Or until Joyce convinces Jim that she’s right!
Donna (laughing) - I like that Joyce convinces Jim she's right! How did you decide on the central idea of each series; for example, how did the idea for a pet psychic murder mystery series come about?
J&J - We came up with the idea for Sharyn Howard because we loved the
Our next mystery was the Peggy Lee series. We are both Master Gardeners and
We did the NASCAR books for our racing crazy relatives who wanted to see mysteries written about the real life of stock car fans who camp out and go wild during races.
The Pet Psychic was an offshoot of a Peggy Lee book. Mary Catherine was actually in Fruit of the Poisoned Tree, the second Peggy Lee book. She helped Peggy with her Great Dane. We wanted to write a whole book about the character. We met a pet psychic that the book is based on.
We love Renaissance Faires and Festivals! We thought it would be a great place to kill people (in a book, of course) and wanted everyone to be able to experience the fun. We put it in
We visited the Outer Banks last year and loved the spooky, foggy area. We thought it would be fun to write something there with all the folklore, pirates and ghosts that haunt the area. Our protagonist is able to find things by touching the people who own them. Missing Pieces is the name of her thrift store in Duck where she sells some of the things she finds.
Donna - Thank you so much, Jim and Joyce, for the fascinating answers... but you've answered a whole lot more, and Part 2 and Part 3 of this wonderful interview is coming up on Wednesday and Friday!
*Note to my readers... I am sooo not a technical person, so I'm having a little trouble with the funky things blogger is trying to do with the font. I can't get it to stay all in one font! Until I get it sorted out... have fun reading everything from Courier to Arial with a little stop at Verdana somewhere in the middle!