Friday, September 10, 2010

Finding the Clues: An Author Interview with S. Dionne Moore

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!*


Anonymous said...

To anyone who can guess what the "S." stands for, a book of your choice. Or, if you want to take a stab at what other genre I write in, that would give you the opp to win an autographed book as well. Don't that sound good, pardner?

Anonymous said...

Ack! Not to overrun the post with comments from ME (ugh!), but I did want to share that my third mystery has finally been renamed. Originally called Your Goose Is Cooked, my editor informed me last week that the new name, under the Hometown Mysteries imprint, would be Recipe for Deceit. It's the third and last book in the LaTisha Barnhart Mystery series and will be out October 2011! (They sure are working WAY ahead of time, huh?)

Amber Holcomb said...

Mysterious Mrs. S.,

Wow! Thank you so much for your generosity to my readers! :D Can't wait to see who stops by!

And that's so exciting that another LaTisha Barnhart Mystery will be coming out within the next year or so!!! Congratulations! I've only read a chapter of Polly Dent Loses Grip so far, but I can already tell it's going to be good. ;) LaTisha is such a great heroine!

Talk to you soon, and thanks again for stopping by!


Julia M. Reffner said...

Oh, how fun. OK, I have no idea here so I'm going to take a stab in the dark and say "Sylvia." I love your titles. As a fan of cozies, I have to agree that the characters make the "cozy".


Amber Holcomb said...


I know, right? ;) How awesome is "The Mysterious Mrs. S."?! I think her emphasis of characters in cozy mysteries is spot on, as well.

So glad you could stop by, and I'm sure we'll be seeing more of "The Mysterious Mrs. S." sometime soon! ;)


P.S. Thank you so much for posting about "Mystery Week" and all this fun mystery stuff on your blog! I really appreciate it!

Ariel Wilson said...

How about Savannah?

Amber Holcomb said...


Thanks for stopping by and taking a guess! :) I guess we'll have to wait to see what "The Mysterious Mrs. S." has to say when she stops by again... ;)


Bluerose said...

I'm going to guess Sally. :)

And to the mysterious Mrs. S, I still can't find that picture! I was joking with my momma about it a few days ago. :)

Amber Holcomb said...


Thanks for taking a guess, and I'm sure the answer will be revealed sometime soon... ;)

Hope you're having a good day!


Anonymous said...

Bluerose! You need to email me with your snail mail addie. You won the contest at Borrowed Book, so you get your choice of one of my books. Visit my Website for the three released titles, or you can wait for the second or third historical romances that release in November 2010 and March 2011, respectively. My email is at the bottom of my "contest" page at my Website. Thanks so much for entering that contest!

Julia, I had SO much fun coming up with the titles for the cozies. I was a little bummed that I couldn't keep "Your Goose is Cooked" for the third one. *pout*

Ariel, Savannah would be such a neat-o name, but alas, I was not born during the time when that name was popular. *sigh*

None of you have guessed my name yet. Hurry, hurry! Hint: You could Google my penname. :)Aw, come one, it ain't that hard.

Amber Holcomb said...

Mysterious Mrs. S.,

That's so exciting that you have so many new books coming out in the next year! I'm bummed that you couldn't have kept the title "Your Goose is Cooked," as well. :( But the other title is clever, too, and I'm sure the book will be great! :)

Thank you for taking the time to respond to everyone! Hopefully someone will think about Googling your name soon... ;)

I might also give the hint to check out the "Heartsong Presents" blog--a while ago they featured S. Dionne Moore, and they might have let a first name slip...


Donna said...

The cover art on Murder of the Ol' Bunions looks like someone peeped through my window. How I love to "put my feet up"! I definitely have to read this one. And as for Ms. Moore's first name it's Sandra. Now I'm off to see what "Mystery Week" is all about.

Amber Holcomb said...


Congratulations! :D Way to solve the mystery! I'll get in contact with Mysterious Mrs. S. (AKA Sandra) to let her know that we have a winner!

Isn't the cover art great for Murder on the Ol' Bunions? You will now have a chance to read it, or your choice of any of her other books!

As far as "Mystery Week" goes, I'll be posting the first part soon, so stay tuned! :) Great to see a new face around here!