Interview with Linda Lovely

Interview with Linda Lovely @LovelyAuthor

What genre do you write and why?
Bones To Pick is the first book in my new humorous cozy mystery series. I’m having lots of fun writing a series that takes a light-hearted look at friendships, family, and romantic relationships—plus the heroine Brie Hooker’s interactions with assorted animals. Brie’s new home, Udderly Kidding Dairy, is populated by 400 goats, almost a dozen guardian and herding dogs, a mule, a horse, a pot-bellied pig, and chickens. I love how the cozy mystery framework lets me put people and animals in amusing situations while still fulfilling a mystery’s main mission—keeping readers guessing and rooting for good to overcome evil. I want to make sure my cozies still deliver an adrenalin rush. Profanity and gore aren’t needed to get hearts hammering.

Interview with Linda Lovely @LovelyAuthor
Tell us about your latest book.
Brie Hooker, an aspiring vegan chef, leaves her Asheville, NC, job to come stay with her Aunt Eva after Lilly, Eva’s twin sister, dies. Eva and Lilly managed Udderly Kidding Dairy together and Eva needs help with the dairy farm. At Aunt Lilly’s wake, Tammy, the farm’s pot-bellied pig, unearths a skull. When the rest of the skeleton’s dug up, the grave yields a ring that belonged to Eva’s husband, who disappeared years back. The sheriff, kin to the deceased, sets out to pin the murder on Eva. He doesn’t reckon on Brie’s resolve to prove her aunt’s innocence. Death threats, ruinous pedicures, psychic shenanigans, and biker bar fisticuffs won’t stop Brie from unmasking the killer, even when romantic befuddlement throws her a curve.

What's the best thing about being a writer?
Where to start? There’s great satisfaction in killing off (on paper) all the personality types that have most annoyed you over the years. I love writing villains and conjuring up heinous plans for my smart heroine to unravel. I like not having to get dressed for work. Okay, I’m usually out of PJs, but sometimes my PJs are better looking than my ratty shorts and t-shirts. Low clothing budget.

Who is you favorite character in your book and why?
Definitely Aunt Eva, the cantankerous carnivore, who clearly loves her niece Brie but likes to rib her about her vegan diet and nonexistent love life. Eva’s my favorite because she shares a lot of my mother’s and my Aunt Mary’s personality traits. She’s stubborn, smart, has a wicked sense of humor, says what she thinks, and doesn’t care about what other people think about her.

Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?
I have my fingers crossed there are other readers like me who like strong, smart women heroines. I think the family and friendship aspects will also appeal. In addition to her aunt, Brie is very close to her mother, an attorney, and her father, a horticultural professor. Mollye, Brie’s best friend since childhood, also has an entertaining personality. And then there are the two men vying for Brie’s affections. I’d have a hard time choosing between them.

Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected?
I learned a lot I didn’t know about animals and legal moonshine. I had no idea there were so many breeds of goats. Didn’t realize they were sometimes rented out to clear areas of kudzu. I was ignorant about how differently horses and mules respond to danger. (Instead of fleeing, mules may attack!) I had no idea what a big business legal moonshine has become.

Where can a reader purchase your book?
Henery Press has published the book in all e-book formats, trade paperback, and hard cover. It’s available direct from Henery Press as well as from all major online booksellers. If you encounter a bookstore or library that doesn’t have a paperback or hard cover copy of Bones To Pick on its shelves, ask them to order one through Ingram ipage, Baker & Taylor, or Henery Press.     

Interview with Linda Lovely @LovelyAuthor
How do you research your books?
Like everyone else, I use Google and YouTube. But I never stop there. I love to do in-person interviews with experts. I made several visits to a local goat dairy and even took a goat yoga class. I visited a legal moonshine establishment, too. Of course, I had to sample the goat cheese, goat fudge and the various moonshine flavors. I picked the brain of my critique partner who owns a mule and a horse. A lot of my criminal investigation information was gained during five years of attendance at the annual Writers’ Police Academy and from programs presented by law enforcement and legal system professionals at my Sisters in Crime chapter. Over the years, I’ve met sheriffs, detectives, Secret Service, FBI and ATF agents, prosecutors, CSI investigators, and the list goes on. Most have proven quite willing to answer my questions if I contact them with follow-up questions.  

What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
I just turned in the manuscript for the second book in the Brie Hooker Mystery series to my editor at Henery Press. The main Bones To Pick “family” remains—Brie, her Aunt Eva, her mom and dad, her best friend Mollye, and her would-be love interests, Paint and Andy. But there are also new cast members. Eva’s friend Carol is running for governor of South Carolina, and her son, Zack, a pro-football quarterback, has come home to attend a fund-raising event at Udderly Kidding Dairy. But, while Zack may be a hero to most of his hometown, some people wish he was dead. Ditto for his mother whose politics are anathema to some and threaten another group’s profits. Brie will have to figure out which of these enemies are willing to commit murder.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I live on a lake in Upstate South Carolina and I love to swim and kayak. Three times a week my husband and I have a date to go walking together, usually about five miles. That gives us lots of time to talk. I like to garden. I also love to READ. While I devour mysteries, thrillers, and romantic suspense, my book club pushes me to read outside these genres. I can’t imagine turning out the lights at night before reading for at least half an hour and hopefully more. Fortunately, my husband shares my reading passion.



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