By Julie, traveling a lot this week, and spending some time with some of the Wickeds!
I met Misty Simon at the Pennsylvania Tea Festival in Mechanicsburg, PA. We were both there wearing our author hats, and it was so much fun to chat with her. I’m thrilled to welcome her to the blog today!
Misty Simon’s World
Good morning, Wicked Readers! I’m so thrilled to be here with you today to talk writing stuff. I’m the author of several different series, and, while they all have a different location and heroine, they’re all a little bit me and where I live.
Small towns and the people that inhabit them fascinate me. I’ve lived in bigger cities but my heart has always been in small town locales. What’s not to love about being in a place where a lot of people know your name and you can never get away with anything without someone telling your mom? If I eat too many whoopee pies or don’t wave to my great aunt while she’s walking and I’m trying to drive, my mom gets a call. If I am out to dinner, I might run into ten people I know and stop at each table to catch up really quickly and end up eating an hour later than I had planned.
But I also have the circle of women who know me enough to ask me how I’m doing and really listen to an answer that isn’t “fine.” Or an aunt who will drop by with snickerdoodles because she knows how much I love then and she just made a fresh batch with me in mind.
So when I’m writing my cozies, I try to pull all those things in to the world. And then add the quirks, like a night at the fire hall playing Bingo that’s more like a death sport. Or secrets that people keep for years that everyone knows but no one talks about.
The possibilities are endless in a town where you’re surrounded by family and friends of the family and relationships that go back for generations, good and bad.
I love playing with the concept of what it means to be a part of a community like that. The wonderful parts where you never feel totally alone and at any given moment you could put out a hand and someone will take it a give you a huge helping of love and support or a slap upside the head to get you back on the right track.
And bringing that into the books, with all the mess of relationships and secrets and loyalties and families is one of the true joys of writing about a small town in a small town. I never run out of ideas on how to make my main character, Tallie’s life difficult. I love pitting her against a chief of police that’s known her since she was younger. One who’s not quite able to give her the credit of adulthood (since he still thinks of her as that young girl) much less believe she can solve a case of murder before him. And I love introducing you to my little slice of heaven, where the coffee is always hot, the snickerdoodles just came out of the over, and we all knew that our cousin should have never married that man because her family wasn’t reliable back in 1907, so what did she think was going to be different now?
Dearest Wicked Reader: If you don’t stop at your uncle’s table when you see him at the diner on Sunday morning do you hear about it at the next Christmas dinner in front of everyone within ear-shot?
I’d love to give away a copy of my new book Carpet Diem to one commenter. US only.
Bio: Misty Simon always wanted to be a storyteller…preferably behind a Muppet. Animal was number one, followed closely by Sherlock Hemlock… Since that dream didn’t come true, she began writing stories to share her world with readers, one laugh at a time. She lives in Central Pennsylvania where she is hard at work on her next novel.
Blurb for Carpet Diem
Live and let dust . . .
Now that Tallie Graver’s cleaning business is starting to shine, she’s ready to go squeegee to squeegee against Audra McNeal for a major contract at the Ambecrombe mansion. Tallie’s not afraid of a little friendly competition from the new cleaner in town. In fact, Tallie likes Audra, though she wonders how her glamorous rival manages to clean house and maintain her fancy manicure. But when someone from her ex-husband’s snobby social circle tries to sabotage her efforts, Tallie has her rubber-gloves full staying one step ahead of her nemesis. Until she finds a well-polished hand poking out of a rolled-up carpet, rendering her competition . . . dead.
Though it lands Tallie the big job, there’s nothing tidy about Audra’s death. So between polishing and scrubbing, Tallie’s determined to find the killer. Hopefully the police chief doesn’t mind her cluttering up his investigation with the filthy dealings she discovers. Turns out Audra was not as squeaky clean as she appeared. And confronting her killer could bring Tallie to a very foul end indeed . . .