Interview with Amy Metz
I mainly write cozy mysteries, which actually came about as kind of an accident. Five years ago, I started writing a memoir about my mother and dealing with dementia, but that got to be pretty depressing, and I needed an escape. I’d always wanted to write about some murders in my family’s history, because I found them fascinating and because one of them was never solved. But since I was in need of laughter, I decided to make the murder mystery humorous. At the time, I was reading a lot of chick lit, so I threw in a little bit of romance too. And what came out was a cozy mystery. I liked the town and characters so much that I decided to make it a series.
Tell us about your latest book.
Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction is based on two murders from the 1930s. As I said, one of them is unsolved, so Tess, my main character in the present day, goes about trying to solve it. Most chapters in the book start in the 1930s time frame, and segue to the present day, where Tess has moved into the former house of the murder victim (who, coincidentally, was her boss’s father), and she finds a mysterious key. Murder & mayhem ensue as she investigates the unsolved murder.
What marketing methods are you using to promote your book?
Anything and everything I can find! Blogs like Writers and Authors are wonderful ways to promote a book. Social media, indie websites, Amazon tools, and Virtual bookshelves are all great opportunities to spread the word. I actually have a page on my blog, A Blue Million Books, called “Marketing for Dummies (and Authors)” that details these sites. You can find it at: http://abluemillionbooks.blogspot.com/p/marketing.html.
Who are your favourite authors?
My absolute favorite is Robert B. Parker. Love, love, love him and his Spencer, Jesse Stone, and Sunny Randall series. I also like Michael Connelly, Nelson DeMille, and David Rosenfelt. For Southern literature, I love Rick Bragg and Michael Lee West.
Oh my, I have to pick a favorite? I actually love quotes and collect ones about writing. But just one? Seriously? Well, I’m just going to have to pick one at random ... “You can never feel comfortable with a novelist, never be sure that he will not put you into bed one day, quite naked, between the pages of a book.” —Guy de Maupassant
What advice do you have for other writers?
Okay, here’s where I’m going to use more than one quote! My advice for other writers is given in some of my favorite quotes:
· If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they're happy. –Dorothy Parker
· Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.
· Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. –Winston Churchill
· The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented. A consolation prize. –Robert Hughes
· "Writing is a confidence trick you play on yourself… and one which you must perpetuate on a daily basis.” I’m not sure who said that, but I love it.
What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
I’m currently wrapping up work on the second book in the series, Heroes & Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction. The mc in this book is Martha Maye, one of the secondary characters in Murder & Mayhem. Her divorce is about to become final when her philandering husband comes to town, claiming to be a changed man (we all know how that usually works out) and attempting to woo her back — until he’s murdered. Also in town are a serial thief, a stalker, and a murderer, who are all making the townsfolk anxious and keeping the handsome new police chief as busy as a moth in a mitten.
What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing?
I think it’s great that authors have the option of self-publishing. If done professionally, authors can accomplish the same thing as many small imprints, yet they can reap all the profit. You definitely have to do your homework, and you shouldn’t do everything on your own (e.g. editing, proofreading), but self-publishing can be empowering and exciting. Now, having said that, if a traditional publisher wants to publish my book, I’m available for a conversation!
What are you currently reading?
I “read” a lot of audio books when I’m driving or puttering around the house. Right now I’m listening to Hounded, by David Rosenfelt. It’s number
his Andy Carpenter series, and I’ve
read and loved them all.
On Kindle, I’m reading book number
3 in the Jazz Age Mystery series, Gold Diggers, Gamblers and Guns, by Ellen
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
Photography is a hobby, as is putting together photography coffee table-type books. I’m learning to use InDesign, and I plan to self-publish some of my work. I also love to bake, and spending time with my two sons, daughter-in-law, and two granddogs is a priority — whenever they’ll have me. And at the moment, I’m busy looking for a house to buy and packing boxes. By the time this interview posts, hopefully I will have moved and will be unpacking said boxes.