13 Oct 2013

Amy Metz: “Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction”

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Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction

“Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction” by Amy Metz came with high recommendations from a friend. I am not a great fan of murder mystery, but this one was as good as I was promised.
Cleverly told in separate narratives jumping between 1932 and 2010, there is the story of an old bank robbery that is connected to an unsolved murder, and there is the story of Tess.
Tess recently divorced her philandering husband and is trying to make a fresh start in a Southern town, aspiring to write a book. With help from local celebrity writer and unexpected love interest Jack Tess investigates mysterious break ins into her new home, which leads to the past.
Tess is an engaging character, as are her companions. The setting in the South sounds authentic and endearing to my European eyes and the plot is well paced and intelligently unfolded.
This is a very charming and entertaining read and one that I am sure may fans of the genre will follow through the entire series as it is being written. Great fun and highly recommended.

 

Interview with Amy Metz:

Tell us a little something about yourself as both a person and an author:

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Well, I have a husband, two sons, one daughter-in-law, one dog, two granddogs, and two grandcats. I am a former first grade teacher and PTA mom. I’m currently writing a humorous mystery series, a chick lit book, and a thriller (when I’m not dealing with a crisis with my mother, who has dementia). I started writing about four years ago, and I have one published novel that is a cozy mystery.

What made you decide to be a writer?

Necessity. It was either start writing or go insane. I chose the former, but the latter might have chosen me. I started writing as therapy when I became a caretaker for my mother who had just been diagnosed with dementia—that’s what I meant by necessity—but halfway into a memoir, I started writing a humorous southern mystery as an escape from real life. I found I really like living in imaginary worlds and talking to imaginary people, so that’s what I do most days now. And nights.

What made you decide to write comic crime fiction?

The memoir I mentioned was therapeutic to write, but it was also like immersing myself in depression. I needed something to laugh about. When I started thinking about writing a mystery, stories from my childhood came to mind about murders in my family’s history. The need to laugh and the need to tell the story of those murders just melded into a humorous mystery novel.

Tell us a little about your latest book.  GPJbackpainting

My latest published book is Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction. As I said, it’s based on real life and told in two different time periods—the 1930s and the present day. The 1930s are flashbacks to the murders—one unsolved—and my characters in the present day try to solve the cold case. My main character, Tess, is a Yankee, new to the town, and she’s a little culture shocked as she gets to know the folks in town. That’s where Jackson comes in—he helps translate the southern speak, helps her investigate the murder, and becomes a temptation Tess doesn’t want.

Did you have it all planned out before you wrote it or did the characters and story surprise you?

My characters absolutely wrote the story. I knew the basic premise, and I kind of knew how I wanted it to end, but they did all the rest.

How do you come up with your ideas?

My characters whisper them to me. Sometimes they knock me upside the head with them.

You also write in other genres. Could you tell us about those projects?

Waxman is a thriller set in the South. It’s also based on a true story—something I experienced, combined with a real serial killer on a college campus that someone told me about years ago. The killer was disguised as an old man, and he’d ask unsuspecting college kids for help. Who wouldn’t help an old man in need, right? Then, he’d get them alone and kill them. Cut to several years later when I was at the park with my sons and we were approached by the creepiest old man I’ve ever seen. He still makes me shudder, and I wonder if he really was an old man or just disguised as one. Creepy doesn’t begin to describe him.

Anyway, Waxman is set at a resort in Alabama, and someone is killing the women guests. The hotel hires a private investigator—Kate Pepper—to find the killer before word spreads and the hotel loses all its business. Of course there’s a handsome FBI agent assigned to the case, and sparring and sparks ensue.

My children’s book is called That Would Taste Better In Your Mouth, and it’s about Louie, who is a very picky eater. His mother tries everything to get him to try new foods. It’s told with alliteration and repetition—two things my kids loved in books when they were little. This is going to sound redundant, but it’s based on real life too. My oldest son was a very picky eater (hence, the storyline), and once when we tried to get my youngest son to eat something new, he said, “I think that would taste better in your mouth” (hence, the title). I’m working on the Guinness world record of rejections for that story, but I’m not giving up on it.

How have you found the experience of self-publishing? What were your highs and lows?

Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction was published by a small press. It would not be hyperbole to say my experience with them has been a nightmare. The highs? That’s got to be when I was on Amazon.com’s bestsellers lists for mystery authors, mysteries and women sleuths. I don’t care how simple my little book is, it is absolutely thrilling when you see your book ranked in between James Patterson and Janet Evonavich.
The lows? Let’s see…maybe when the publisher pulled my book from Amazon and B&N. Or maybe it was when I got the umpteenth bad comment on the poor formatting of the eBook. No, maybe it was when the eBook was pulled from Amazon for two and a half months while the publisher “fixed” the formatting. No, it was probably when the publisher filed for, and got, the copyright to my book. There have been a lot of lows. If your readers want to read about my experiences with publishing, they can check out these blog posts:

http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/guest-blog-amy-metz-when-bad-publishers-happen-to-good-writers/

Did you have any actors or people in mind when writing your characters in Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction?

No, I really didn’t. In my mind, my characters are unique people. I find it hard to pair them with actors when I’m asked to do so in interviews.

What is your writing environment like?

It varies, but it almost always includes a big comfy chair. At home, I write either in my office or my bedroom, both of which have big comfy chairs. But I also like to go to a local dessert café that has big comfy chairs and couches. I love a lot of natural light, and the room is surrounded by floor to ceiling window. I love going there during the week when it’s not very busy. Besides the bright, comfortable room, it has pie. My philosophy is life is always better with pie.

 

But I had the absolute best writing environment last July when I stayed in the Berkshires for a month. Every day, I went to the Stockbridge Library, up to the top floor, which was rarely occupied. And I had thousands of books, lots of history, and a big, beautiful room all to myself. It was wonderful. I worked on GPJ3 while I was there.

 

Tell us about your blog.

 

Stockbridge Library

When I first started promoting my book, I contacted a lot of bloggers. Some were very kind and hosted me with an interview or agreed to review my book. Some said no, and some just plain ignored me. I learned that it’s not easy for an Indie author to promote their work. I saw a need to help authors market their books. So I started A Blue Million Books, in a pay it forward spirit, and a desire to help Indie authors connect with readers.

What is your advice to new writers?

Oh my goodness, how much time do you have? My first bit of advice would be to join a writers group—either online or locally—and get feedback on your work. Beta readers are essential in helping you strengthen your story. I also recommend reading your work out loud after you’ve edited the heck out of it. A final read through out loud will help you see/hear things you might otherwise miss. And if you think your work doesn’t need to be edited—by you or anyone else—don’t quit your day job. Editing can sometimes be painful, but it’s part of the gig. If you can’t edit or can’t take constructive criticism, put your work in a folder for your family to read. Because they’re the only ones who will.

My next bit of advice is read, read, read, and write, write, write, but don’t stress if you get stuck at times.

And my last bit of advice is to thoroughly investigate a publisher before you submit your work to them, and investigate even more if you’re offered a contract. Pick apart the contract, and if you can afford it, have a lawyer, or someone who really understands contracts, read through it too. Whatever you do, avoid at all costs a first right of refusal clause or a contract that binds you to the publisher for longer than two years.

Buy Links:

Amazon US:

http://www.amazon.com/Murder-Mayhem-Pimple-Junction-ebook/dp/B009FR8ZO2/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

Amazon UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=murder%20%26%20mayhem%20in%20goose%20pimple%20junction

Barnes and Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/amy-metz


Social Media links:
Goodreads:

http://www.goodreads.com/AmyMetz

Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/AmyMetzAuthor

http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmyMetz

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/authoramymetz

Blog:

http://abluemillionbooks.blogspot.com

Website:

http://amymetz.com

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written by
Christoph Fischer was born in Germany in 1970 as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ is his first published work. He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.
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