By Edith Maxwell, north of Boston
Dru Ann, we are so pleased to welcome you to the Wicked Cozy Authors blog. For those who don’t know, Dru Ann Love is the mystery author’s biggest fan. She not only reads prodigiously, but also reviews and blogs about the books she likes over at Dru’s Book Musings. She regularly hosts authors who present a day in the life of a character in that character’s voice. She announces new releases on Facebook. And she’s a really nice person I’ve had the pleasure of meeting at more than one mystery conference lately.
So I wanted to get to know her better, and let our readers do the same.
E: Tell us how you came to love to read mysteries.
D: I always loved doing puzzles, especially finding the right piece to fit in the right spot. That’s what reading a mystery is, finding the right clues to solve the puzzle. The first mystery book I read was Encyclopedia Brown and I loved them all. Here was this young boy looking for clues, it was fun following along with him, and I loved when I solved the puzzle before he did. From that moment on, I love reading mysteries, growing up with Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and of course Encyclopedia Brown.
E: Have you ever thought about writing a crime novel yourself?
E: I think you live in New York City somewhere. Tell us about your neighborhood. Did you grow up there? Do you ever see stuff happening in real life where you think, “Somebody could write a book about that!”?
D: Yes, I live in Brooklyn near the Atlantic Ocean and I love watching the tankers, cruise ships, and watercrafts pass by. My neighborhood is typical of a city with lots of noise and people on the streets, but yet quiet enough where you can sit on the bench outside and read. I’ve always lived in Brooklyn, but where I live now is not where I was raised.
You can walk down the same block every day and see something different and every time I see something out of place, I wonder where did it come from? Who put it there? Why did they put it there? The other day I walked by a renovated building and watched them bring out part of a wall and my first thought was, “What’s hidden behind the wall and what stories could it tell?” Sometimes when I see a caravan of flashing cars, I wonder who is in there and where are they going?
E: So you could feed us ideas for our books! You must spend a lot of time reading. Do you have a day job, too?
D: Yes, I work at a large corporation in the city that I refer to as the “daytime situation.” I have a one-hour commute each way, which is prime reading time.
E: I know you’re an avid quilter (as was my mother, but that’s a different post). Tell us about how you design a quilt – it might have something in common with designing a story!
D: Just like in a book, I need to have an idea of what the final project will look like before I start working on a quilt. Once I know this, I pick out the fabric color scheme and decide which quilt block(s) to use and once I gather the necessary tools such as the template rulers, stick pins, quarter-inch ruler, the marker and the rotary cutter then I’m ready to begin the quilt process. Step by step, piece by piece, I build up each level and as the quilt begin to take shape, I know once the binding is done, the quilt will be on its way to the new owner. Just like a book.
E: Okay, time for the fun question. What’s something about you, your experiences, your life, that would surprise us and our readers (and that you’ve never revealed in an interview before)?
D: I’m an introvert, but can hold my own in terms of conversations in a small crowd. But if a very extroverted person joins the conversation, I get very insecure and all I want to do is hide and in fact, I do hide by not saying a word, even in the presence of that same crowd.
E: We have a few introverts in this group of bloggers, too! Now, what are the top three books on your To-Be-Read list?
D: As of this interview, The Double Wedding Ring by Clare O’Donohue, Poisoned Prose by Ellery Adams and No Way Out by Alan Jacobson.
E: Thanks SO much for hanging out at the Wicked Cozy water cooler today, Dru Ann. Final question: when are you coming to the New England Crime Bake? We’d love to have you.
D: I would love to attend the New England Crime Bake but I have a funny feeling that it may conflict with Bouchercon 2014. Thanks for letting me hang out with the Wicked Cozy authors.
Readers: Any questions for Dru Ann? Leave her a comment!
I love your description of your neighborhood and the questions sparked by your curiosity. You have a writer’s eye, Dru Ann, but I don’t suppose that is news. This is a great interview, so thanks to the Wicked Cozies for letting us get to know you a little. I love your FB posts, BTW. Always upbeat and positive!
I love Dru’s blog and read it every day. I just don’t know how you fit everything into 24 hours! Dee
Deanna, I don’t know how I do it either. Somehow it works. Thanks for dropping by.
I started my love of mysteries with Encyclopedia Brown as well. I am prepping for moderating a YA panel at Crime Bake and am happy to report that there are wonderful series out there to inspire the next generation of mystery fans.
It was great to meet you at Bouchercon. Thank you for being such a reader and supporter. Love your blog!
I don’t know how you find the time to work, quilt, read, review, and blog. Your positive messages on Facebook each morning always make me smile. Thanks for stopping by!
Thanks Sherry. That’s a question I ask myself everyday when I do what I need to do.
I love Dru’s positive morning messages too. Sometimes I really need them!
Thanks Lisa. Sometimes I need them too.
So glad you could find time in your busy life to visit with us, Dru! And thanks for such an interesting post. I loved the photo of your quilting corner!
Thanks Jessie. I need to start a project that is long overdue.
Hi hon! Lovely interview and after all of these years I actually learned something new.
Hi Bailey. I almost didn’t recognize you 😉
It’s been a bad week ….. that’s my soccer ball make up
Hi Dru Ann! Lovely interview. I’ve been reading your reviews for a long time and I’ll credit you with getting me started on quite a few books and more than one series. Thank you! Like others I feel cheered by your morning words of wisdom.
Thanks Nancy. Doing the blog, especially with the feature is my way of helping authors get the word out on their books. Word of mouth is a tremendous endorsement.
Thanks so much for dropping by! I met Dru Ann at reader “speed dating” this year at Malice. I asked if anyone reviewed mysteries regularly–and everyone at her table pointed at Dru Ann! Such a great service to the mystery community, and particularly to cozies which tend to be under-reviewed.
Thanks Barbara. Do you remember giving me your last ARC of Clammed Up? I didn’t want to take it.
Great interview, Dru! I love the quilting-writing analogy — how you build up the quilt. Building a story is the same — layers of character and description and nuance over the basic base (plot).
Thanks. I never connected the dots with quilting and writing until l got Edith’s questions.
As for my TBR, I finished the first two books and will start the third one soon.
Just wanted to thank Dru for the wonderful daily blog and my first one to sign up for many months ago. Seeing that mysteries are my favorite genre and about 85% of what I read (I am in a book club and mysteries are rarely chosen for some reason) I have a very deep connection to your daily blog. I find out about new authors, new books (to me) and feel that your reviews are so fair and kind and I usually end up with the same feeling about them once I have read them too. Your giveaways are great and I feel so special when you comment on something. I know how busy your schedule is, so hearing from you is really great and so nice of you to do. I would love to see some of your quilts with posted photos if you have any to share with us..
Keep up the great work, Dru Ann. We all love you.
Thanks Cynthia for those kind words.
Dru Ann, thanks for joining us today! It was lovely to read more about the woman behind the blog and all the positive, inspirational daily quotes. You make my days brighter!
Thanks Liz! Hope your weekend is a good one.
I have such fond memories of those Encyclopedia Brown books! So nice to get to know you a little better through Edith’s interview. Now I’m even more excited to see you again at the next Malice 🙂
Thanks Gigi. Looking forward to seeing you at Malice.
Thanks Edith for interviewing me. It was nice dropping by and chatting with everyone.
You are so welcome! And obviously well loved in our community. I look forward to seeing you again, probably at Malice.
This was a wonderful interview, Dru Ann. Well done and it was great to see you on that side.
Thanks for reading, Mare. Looks like you are a weaver!
I so enjoyed this interview, Dru Ann! I love your “Day in the Life” blog, which tells so much about the books in a unique manner – and always with humor. I found the following lines interesting: “Every time I see something out of place, I wonder where did it come from? Who put it there? Why did they put it there?” It makes me think you should be writing some mysteries. 🙂 I love that you are a quilter and see it as a puzzle (as do I for every creative project I undertake, writing or sewing). And as a retired elementary school teacher I LOVE that you devoured Encyclopedia Brown books 🙂 I can’t imagine where you find the time to do all these wonderful things, but those commutes are a reader’s delight, for sure. Thank you for all that you do to highlight the cozy mystery world!
Thanks for stopping by the blog, Heather. I had the same reactions to Dru Ann’s answers as you!
Thanks Heather. It’s a labor of love.
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