I would like to introduce you to a friend of mine, author Margaret Reule. Here she is to talk about her newest book:
MM: Margaret, will you tell my Brainstorms readers what motivated you to write The Big Birthday Mystery: An Exciting Chancy Clew Adventure?
MR: My love of Nancy Drew and my perverse sense of humor were both big factors. It began as a short story many years ago, finally culminating with the publication of this parody in 2012.
MM: What is its genre and who is your target audience? To whom might it especially appeal?
MR: My target audience is any woman who loves/loved Nancy Drew…who also loves to laugh. I have a large collection of those beloved mysteries (including a first edition of the very first book, The Secret of the Old Clock, with its dustcover). In order to replicate the writing style of these books I reread them all before (and while) I was working on my book.
MM: Without giving anything away, what can readers expect?
MR: Of course there is a mystery where Chancy and her chums must save helpless widows and spinsters from being swindled by a group of garish gypsies. And yes, the lovely sleuth encounters many perilous situations, including the encounter with the particularly odious villain, Moe Lester. Readers, however, can expect the unexpected. It is the usage of innuendo, double entendre, and a character named Dick that take this mystery to a place where Nancy Drew has never been. Although this book does not contain a single dirty word, readers might find themselves blushing…and will certainly find themselves laughing out loud. One reviewer wrote that it had her “giggling like an idiot every couple of pages.” Although this book is only naughty if you have a naughty mind, it is not intended for young children.
MM: How did you name your main character?
MR: Chancy Clew was for me an obvious play on the name Nancy Drew. It also denotes her obvious passion for being a detective. Other characters in the book are either based on real characters…boyish gal pal George Fayne became butch buddy Dick Fey, chubby charmer Bess Marvin became tubby teen Bitsy Starvin…or are based on the obvious characteristics they display. For example, one of the victims needing Chancy’s aid is Mrs. Wellthee.
MM: I understand you also illustrated your book. Would you describe your art and tell us where it is available?
MR: Yes, I am an artist as well. Thank you, Maggie, for mentioning this. The cover of my book is one example of my work, which has been in many collections and has been shown in various venues including The Boston International Fine Art Show. I am particularly proud that Joan Rivers has one of my original paintings in her private collection. I do offer many affordable pieces at yessy.com/maggieruth. These are all one-of-a-kind pieces. Many include painting with collage. Posters and reproductions of my work are available at zazzle.com/LaughAtLife.
MM: Could you speak to your writing process? How do you work? What part does writing play in your day?
MR: I have always written, and will always write. I have no choice. I do not have a specific work schedule but do find myself most creative during the late afternoon and evening hours. I often write late into the night. Sometimes I write longhand into a notebook. That way the work gets edited/rewritten before it is entered into the computer. After I’ve gone to bed I frequently have to turn on the light to write down phrases, sentences and/or general plotting ideas. I also have to keep a notebook in my car.
The more involved I am in the work the louder the characters in my mind talk, and they can be very insistent and persistent when telling me what they plan to do and say. Once they take over I do my best work. This is the part of the process which I enjoy the most.
MM: Are you working on any other projects?
MR: I have recently finished another humorous novel. It is entitled STARVE CURSE HATE (Cynthia St. Clair’s Search for What-ever). In this book the main character, recent divorceé Cynthia (who is looking for inner peace, love and happiness) decides to follow in Elizabeth Gilbert’s footsteps and travel to Italy, India and Indonesia. While her journey continues and one after another things go wrong, she can’t help but wonder one thing: Why doesn’t God answer HER prayers the way He did for Elizabeth? Then she realizes maybe He has! The advance reviews have been very good. One person actually stated she hopes I plan to write a sequel! This book will be available by April of 2013. The e-book will be offered at most of the usual places, and the paperback version will be available at amazon.com.
MM: What would you like readers to know about you as an author?
MR: I love writing, and I feel I was born to be a storyteller.
MM: What is the price of your book and where is it available?
MR: The Big Birthday Mystery is available in e-book form at both Barnes and Noble and amazon.com for $2.99. The paperback is sold at amazon.com for $14.95. STARVE CURSE HATE will be available at those sites as well.
MM: What advice would you give a beginning writer?
MR: Read good writing.
Do not think that just because you have written THE END you are finished. Good writing is edited writing. Find a person/persons not related to you and/or who has no vested interest in your feelings and ask them to read your work and critique it. Trust me: Their criticism will help make you a better writer.
MM: Is there anything else you would like to add?
MR: If you have no passion for writing don’t waste your time pursuing it.