It is my great pleasure to welcome author S. Dionne Moore to "Seasons of Humility!" She's here to help us get ready for "Mystery Week"--a task she is well-qualified for as the author of two already published cozy mysteries for the Heartsong Presents Mysteries line. One of these books, Polly Dent Loses Grip (published in 2009), was a "Carol Award Finalist for excellence in CBA literature," according to her website.
As this author goes by "S. Dionne Moore" for her pen name, I'll refer to her in this interview as "The Mysterious Mrs. S."--a title the author might regret ever using in reference to herself in an e-mail to me. It's just such a great title, even if I do happen to know what that "S" stands for! ;)
Amber: What do you enjoy most about writing mysteries? Do you ever find it difficult to bring all the clues together without giving anything away too early in the storyline?
The Mysterious Mrs. S.: Always, always, always, I enjoy the characters first. Intermingling their conflicts so that they bounce off the personality of the other. . .Oh, what fun! In a cozy, the mystery is secondary, with the town and the characters bringing more to the story than the actual murder or mystery. It is important though to weave in the clues. And difficult. Imagine having twenty-five loose threads to tie-up, and the larger the word count of the manuscript, the more difficult it is. Pacing the clues is paramount, but tying them up at the right time requires
some finagling and finesse. Wears me out just thinking about it. :)
Amber: Where did you get the ideas for your two cozy mysteries? Who or what inspired you?
The Mysterious Mrs. S.: I was inspired by my friend. She is the epitome of LaTisha. Saucey, bossy, fun-loving and big-hearted. To top it off, she is taller than her husband by a good four or five inches. That was the springboard from which I formed LaTisha and Hardy.
Amber: I've had a glimpse of LaTisha and Hardy in the first chapter of Polly Dent Loses Grip, and I just know I'm going to love these two! ;) Tell us, what is your favorite mystery show (ie: Murder She Wrote, one of the PBS series, etc.)?
The Mysterious Mrs. S.: Actually, I don't have one. I love to listen to dramatizations of the old classics though. Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. They are wonderful.
Amber: Have you ever solved any mysteries yourself? After all, you ARE "The Mysterious Mrs. S."! ;)
The Mysterious Mrs. S.: Many mysteries, actually. Anyone with a teenage daughter can relate to that!
Amber: Were you able to incorporate any mystery elements into your new historical romances?
The Mysterious Mrs. S.: Romance is a completely different genre than mystery, yet they are very much alike. Ha! Romance explores the mystery of emotion. Why does a woman think like she thinks, and vice versa. And when that question is answered. . .well, then you have a resolution. Mysteries tend to relate to the question of who did what, when, where, and how.
Amber: Do you have any mysteries you need us to help you solve?
The Mysterious Mrs. S.: Sure! Why in the world does the new Safari run SO slow! It's driving me crazy. Please, someone solve this mystery. Mac is too good a product to have such a lumbering Web browser. Oh, and please, what does a dog's paws smell like? I can't quite pinpoint the scent and what it reminds me of.
Amber: Well, there you have it readers! If you want to gain some practice solving mysteries to prepare for next week, go ahead and help "The Mysterious Mrs. S." out!
Thank you so much for joining us today, S. Dionne Moore, whose first name I will not mention in order to retain some sense of mystery . . .
Readers, be on the lookout for my review of Polly Dent Loses Grip sometime in the near-ish future (hopefully)!
*Would you like to really solve a mystery and maybe win something in the process? Be sure and check out the comments section!*