Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Guest Cozy Mystery Author Post: Terri Farley Moran

How I got From Here to There

Hi All, my name is Terrie Farley Moran and I am the author of Well Read, Then Dead, the first book in the Read Em and Eat mystery series. I am delighted to visit A Cozy Girl Reads today because—I am a cozy girl like our good friend Tina and, dare I say, like you. I may have, on occasion, read my share of thrillers, romantic suspense, historicals, etc. but I am happiest with a heartfelt cozy mystery and a glass of sweet tea.
There is much to be said for enjoying a book that doesn’t drown the reader in blood or violence or bad language or gratuitous sex and yet has an entertaining cast of characters, a remarkable setting and a mystery that must be solved. And that describes cozy mysteries to a tea, er, I mean a T. Some time ago I wrote an extensive blog post on the kind of book I think falls into the cozy category. If you like, you can read it here.

When I decided to write mysteries, it came as no surprise that I would want to write a cozy mystery that met all of the above standards and was fun to read. Where to start? Well, personally, I love settings. I think that every setting has a story of its own to tell. Is the area unspoiled and natural? How was it able to remain that way? Is an area a high density hustle-bustle big city? How did it get that way? Why has it stayed that way? I wanted my cozy mystery to be set in a warm, inviting locale. Maybe a beach community. My daughter lives in south Florida and helped me discover Fort Myers Beach, a warm, friendly town of full time residents and lots of vacationers. Twelve months a year the weather is mostly summer and the atmosphere is laid-back and appealing.

 Once I found the setting, I went trolling in my imagination for characters.  I wanted the protagonist and her side-kick to come from a very different  place and to be fairly new to the community because I wanted the  reader to see Fort Myers Beach through their eyes. So a few years before the story starts, Sassy Cabot and Bridgy Mayfield have moved from Brooklyn, New York to Fort Myers beach to open a bookstore and cafe named Read 'Em and Eat. Sassy and Bridgy still feel the difference in  lifestyle in little ways every day.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Then I thought about book club members. Well, take a group of people, any group of people, and you may find a Happy, a Grumpy, even a Bashful. Stir gently. And then assorted characters wander in to the Read ’Em and Eat. And over time they led me to a plot. Someone gets killed. Handsome sheriff’s deputies and a sweet, endearing newspaper reporter are on the case, but Sassy has a special request from the cousin of the victim to find out what really happened and she tries to honor the request. So that’s a little bit of the why and the how Well Read, Then Dead came into being. I hope that you’ll get a chance to read it and I hope that you enjoy hanging with the folks at the Read ’Em and Eat.

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  1. What an interesting interview! I love the insight Terrie gives into the plotting of this cozy series!! Aspiring authors are always told to 'write what you know.'

  2. Hi Linda, "write what you know" is a common adage but, as the late Ed Hoch, one of the most prolific and talented short story writers of our time said, "you can know anything." Imagination plus research helps writers pursue a great story.

  3. I'm looking forward to reading this book. Sounds like a fun read.



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