- What type of crime fiction do you write and why?I write cozy mysteries. That came about kind of by accident. I thought I was writing a mystery novel when I started my first book. I’d heard the term “cozy mysteries,” and had even read a lot of them, but I hadn’t given it much thought. I didn’t realize I was writing in that genre until I submitted my manuscript to a small press and the lady said my book was a cozy mystery. I’d say I write them because they’re fun to read and write; I also want my sons and father to read my books; and because I went to Goose Pimple Junction and can’t seem to leave.
- Did anyone encourage you to become a writer?I didn’t tell anyone about my writing until I was consumed with it and my family wanted to know just what it was I was doing on my computer all the time. My sons and daughter-in-law have always encouraged me to write. And one beta reader in particular encouraged me and believed in me when I started writing. That was invaluable.
- Tell us about the concept behind your books. How did you get the idea?In 1985, I was visiting a relative in Abingdon, Virginia. She took me to a nearby town called Goose Pimple Junction, and I fell in love with the name. Cut to 2009, which wasn’t one of my best years. Among other things, my mother was diagnosed with dementia, and she was a pill. I began writing a book about her and what we were going through at the time. That book was therapeutic to write, but I needed to laugh. So I began writing a humorous mystery based on a family tragedy. I wanted to create a town that was the kind of town I’d like to live in, full of people I’d like to hang out with. I always loved the funny sayings I’d heard my father and grandfather say. So I knew I wanted to incorporate them into my book. And I never forgot the name Goose Pimple Junction. It matched the town in my head: a little quirky, full of funny but warm, genuine people.
- Who is your favourite Detective?Hands down, my favorite detective is Robert B. Parker’s Spenser.
- Do you plot the entire novel and know who did it before you start, or can that change?Except for book 2, the killer has been the one I had planned in all the books. When I start a book, I have a rough idea of the beginning and the end. I let the characters write the stuff in between. At the end of book 1, Pickle wears a T-shirt that says, “I MAKE STUFF UP.” That’s pretty much what I do.
- Is there such a thing as cozy in murder mystery?That’s a valid question. When people ask me, “What is a cozy mystery?” I often see their interest wane when I answer, “In cozy mysteries, there is no sex, violence, or bad language.” But that’s what defines a cozy. It’s a mystery where usually there’s a murder involved, but there’s more mystery than anything hard core. It’s the kind where you make a cup of tea and sit in a comfy chair wrapped in your favorite blanket instead of drinking alcohol and pulling the blanket up to your eyes because you’re scared out of your wits. People also ask me how a murder mystery can be humorous. Murder itself is no laughing matter. It’s the characters and what goes on around them that can be funny. Same thing with cozy mysteries. It’s all in what you do with the murder.
- What do you do when you don’t write?My favourite thing to do, besides hang out with my sons and daughter-in-law, is bake. I love to bake cookies, cakes, pies, muffins, cupcakes . . . I love it. Lately, I spend a lot of time watching Netflix with my cute boyfriend, while we eat something I baked.
- Who would you like to invite for dinner?I would invite you, Christoph. Seriously. I want to find out the secrets to your success. I am in awe of your publishing abilities. And I’d ask you to bring your dogs too!
- What would your friends say are your best and your oddest quality?I went straight to the source and asked my best friend this question. He said my sense of humor is my best quality and my collections and inability to throw away sentimental items is my oddest. Wherever I live, I have to have a basement because I have so many boxes full of grandparent, mother, baby, and kid memorabilia (AKA junk). I also collect pumpkins for Halloween, Santas and Snowmen for Christmas, and bunnies for Easter. You don’t want to know how many boxes I have of that stuff.
- What would you chose as those qualities?I’d like to think my best quality is kindness. Oddest? My introvert personality.
About the book:
Like any good Southern belle, Caledonia Culpepper was raised by her mama to be gracious, charming, witty, and above all, a devoted mother and loving wife, so she’s baffled when her marriage falls apart.
Wynona Baxter is a master of disguise but is often a ditzy airhead. A hit woman wannabe, when she’s hired for her first job in Goose Pimple Junction and things don’t go as planned, she’s forced to resort to Plan B. She’ll also need Plan C and D.
Crooked lawyers, restless husbands, a teenaged hoodlum – it seems there are rogues and rascals everywhere you look in Goose Pimple Junction.
When Caledonia and Wynona’s paths cross, they prove there isn’t a rogue or a rascal who can keep a good woman down. Mama always said there would be days like this . . .
About the author:
Amy Metz is the author of the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. She is a former first grade teacher and the mother of two sons. When not actively engaged in writing, enjoying her family, or surfing Facebook or Pinterest, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in one hand and a glass of sweet tea in the other. Amy lives in Louisville, Kentucky.