I’m delighted to welcome my friend Ava Mallory to the blog today! Ava is the author of many cozy mystery books including Witch After Time, which launches today.
Here’s Ava’s interview:
WHEREABOUTS IN THE WORLD DO YOU CALL HOME? WHAT’S IT LIKE THERE?
I currently live outside the city of Chicago, just across the Indiana border. My town is really quiet. We have about 10,000 residents, a nice main street, good schools, walkable paths, and a real sense of community.
WHAT’S YOUR LIFE LIKE AWAY FROM YOUR WRITING? DO YOU HAVE FAMILY, PETS, ETC?
I have four children between the ages of 27 and 13. My life is busier now that my kids are older. It’s a strange phenomenon. My oldest just bought his own home about ten minutes from ours by car. My second oldest lives at home. He has cerebral palsy, but he hasn’t let that stop him from doing what he wants. He works full-time in a field he loves and spends the rest of his time trying to drive me nuts. My younger two, a girl and a boy, are students. They have busy schedules which by default means my schedule is very busy. Most of my time is spent carpooling children back and forth for activities.
WHEN DID YOU START WRITING?
I wrote my first full novel by hand twenty some years ago. I did absolutely nothing with it because I had more stories to tell, so I wrote more. I didn’t officially publish anything until June of 2014. Since then, I’ve published some of the stories I wrote by hand and written dozens more.
HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR LOVE OF COZY MYSTERIES?
I’ve always read cozy mysteries but didn’t know it. I just knew I loved the stories. After writing some very dark books and several hot romances, I wanted to try something new that my children could read, so I turned to cozy mysteries for a change of pace.
IF YOU WERE GOING TO BE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND WITH ONLY ONE COZY MYSTERY BOOK, WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
Great question. I think it’d have to be And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.
HOW DO YOU FIND YOUR IDEAS?
Ideas are everywhere. I’ll read a story or hear a news clip or overhear a conversation and will think what if and go from there.
DO YOU PLAN OUT YOUR BOOKS OR JUST START WRITING AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS?
I think of myself as a plotter. I like the plotting process and can spend weeks doing it, but when I actually sit down to write, I almost always let the story or characters dictate where they want to go, then, I go back later and fill in the blanks and hit the points I wanted to hit with help from my outline.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL WRITING DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
Chaos. I use several planners to organize my life, but someone or something always throws a wrench in my plans. Currently, Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays are dedicated to all day writing. That looks good on paper, but as mentioned, things don’t always work out that way. Tuesdays and Thursdays are super busy days in my house, so writing if it happens doesn’t happen until after dinner.
WHICH BOOK OF YOURS IS YOUR FAVOURITE? OR IS THAT LIKE ASKING IF YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE CHILD?!
My absolute favorite book is one I wrote under one of my pen names. It’s a romantic suspense title about a pair of strangers who meet under incredibly difficult circumstances and find themselves implicated in a horrific crime. I love it because it delves deep into emotional issues without holding back. It’s raw. It’s real. It’s a rollercoaster ride and was so much fun to write.
WHAT DO YOU HAVE PLANNED WITH YOUR WRITING IN THE NEXT YEAR?
I have a huge backlist between my main name and pen names, so the next year will be about pushing that backlist and turning to more collaborative projects and tackling a big passion project.
DO YOU LIKE CONNECTING WITH READERS?
WHERE WOULD BE THE BEST PLACE FOR A READER TO FIND YOU ONLINE?
CAN YOU SHARE ANY SECRETS OR EXCITING PLANS YOU HAVE COMING UP?
Yes. I just received word that an essay I wrote will be included in an anthology with none other than Jen Mann, the phenom behind People I Want to Punch in the Throat and many other super funny projects. This project will be released in the Spring. I’m so excited!
Wow, thanks so much Ava!