This week’s interview is with up-and-coming author, Amy Metz. Her debut novel, Murder And Mayhem In Goose Pimple Junction, is scheduled for release by Iconic Publishing this autumn.
Here’s the pitch for the novel:
|Author, Amy Metz|
When Tess Tremaine starts a new life in the colorful town of Goose Pimple Junction, she thinks she’s moved to a quiet little town. Curiosity leads her to look into a seventy-five-year-old murder, and suddenly she’s learning the foreign language of southern speak, resisting her attraction to local celebrity Jackson Wright, and dealing with more mayhem than she can handle.
If brains were dynamite, Willy couldn’t blow his nose. Could a murderer be that stupid? Jack can charm the dew right off the honeysuckle. Surely a fine southern gentleman isn’t a murderer. But Tess is determined to find out and Goose Pimple Junction will never be the same.
A bank robbery, murder, love triangle, and family tragedy from the 1930s are pieces of the mystery, which Tess attempts to solve. But someone wants it to remain unsolved. As Tess gets close to the truth, she encounters danger, mystery, a lot of southern charm, and a new temptation for which she’s not sure she’s ready.
Tricia: Thank you for speaking with us, Amy. Wonderful premise! And, who can resist murder, mystery, and a love triangle? It sounds like my kind of novel and I can’t wait to read it. Can you tell us a little more about your book?
Amy: Murder And Mayhem In Goose Pimple Junction is a humorous murder mystery. Each chapter starts with a scene from the 1930s and chronicles several tragic events in the life of the Hobbs family, one of which was an unsolved murder. The meat of the story is set in the present day, when Tess Tremaine moves to the Hobbs’ former house in the town of Goose Pimple Junction. Tess makes a discovery in the house that causes her to look into the 1937 murder. She meets Jack Wright, a handsome, successful mystery writer, who just happens to be a single, and very available, man. When the two of them begin investigating the cold case, murder and mayhem break out…and a little romance.
Tricia: Is Goose Pimple Junction a real place?
Tricia: How did you get the idea for your novel?
Amy: The book is actually based on real life events. When I heard the stories as a little girl, I remember thinking someone should write a book about them, but it took me about forty years to get around to it. While the bank robbery and two murders in the 1930s portion of the book happened in real life, all of the characters and the conclusions that Jack and Tess reach are figments of my imagination.
Tricia: Well, I’m glad you decided to take the plunge and write the book. When did you begin your writing career?
Amy: I’ve been writing for about three years. In 2009, my mother was diagnosed with dementia, and I became her caretaker. So many crazy things were happening at that time, from hilariously funny, to maddeningly frustrating, to startling depressing, and I started writing a book about my mother. It was such a dark time, and writing about it was so intense, I needed an escape, so I began writing the Goose Pimple Junction book at the same time. When I tell people I wrote a humorous murder mystery, they look at me funny, but I needed to put humor in my life, so I wrote it into the book.
Tricia: How exactly does one write a humorous story about murder?
Amy: The humor in my book comes from the colorful characters, not the murders. They are well versed in the language of a southern phrase, and their “goosepimpleisms” play a prominent role in the book. Phrases like, “She looks like she made an ugly pie and ate every slice” or “You can put your boots in the oven but that don’t make ‘em biscuits” are examples of the southern humor in the book.
Tricia: I love your “goosepimpleisms.” They’re too funny! What other writing projects are you working on right now?
Amy: I’m currently writing the second book in my Goose Pimple Junction Series. This one is titled, Heroes And Hooligans In Goose Pimple Junction. It picks up two months after Murder And Mayhem left off. Goose Pimple Junction is just recovering from a kidnapping and a murder, its first major crimes in years, when trouble begins anew. Life is turned upside down in the little southern town when three hooligans arrive. A philandering estranged husband, a murderer, and a stalker scare the living daylights out of the residents, and keep the new police chief busier than a set of jumper cables at a redneck picnic. Suddenly he has his hands full trying to apprehend a killer, stop a stalker, and fight his feelings for the damsel in distress.
I like having two or three projects going at a time. When I start to get writer’s block on one, I switch to another. Working on different genres keeps it interesting. So I’m also writing a thriller set in the deep south about a serial killer who disguises himself as a helpless old man. He knows that it’s very hard for someone to deny help to an infirm old man, and once he gains a person’s trust, he strikes. A lady private detective and a local FBI agent team up to hunt him down.
I’m still working on the book about my mother! Fortunately, or unfortunately, she gives me plenty of material. I’m also trying to find a publisher for a children’s book I wrote about a picky eater.
And last but not least, I’m happy to say that I just signed a contract with Iconic Publishing to publish my coffee table photography book on one of my favorite places in Louisville, Locust Grove, a national historic landmark. Half of the work is done on that project–the pictures–but now I’ll be working with Iconic on layout and the final preparations for printing.
Tricia: Congratulations, Amy. Your career is really taking off! Do you have any advice for writers who are just starting out?
Amy: I think joining an online or local critique group is the most important thing a writer, and particularly a new writer, can do. Friends and family might not be completely honest with you, or they might be too honest and hurt your feelings. A critique buddy or group who can be completely objective, and who know what they’re talking about, is an invaluable resource. Getting other writers’ feedback strengthens your writing and your story in so many ways. They can point out holes you might have missed, or things that don’t make sense, or suggest ways to reword a sentence that sounds off to them. They catch things you’re often too close to the project to see. You will also make some great friends in critique groups who can support and encourage you. Writing is such a solitary job. It’s fantastic to be able to share ups and downs, bounce ideas off someone, or give and get moral support. Just make sure you trust and respect the writer who is advising you, and don’t let anybody change your characters or plot from the way your gut tells you to write them.
I also believe in writing a chapter and then putting it aside for a week or more. When you go back with fresh eyes, you’ll see things you would have missed no matter how long you looked at it.
Tricia: Excellent advice. Where can my readers go if they’d like to find out more about your work?
Amy: My website is www.amymetz.com, and they can also go to www.IconicPublishing.com for more information. In social media, my twitter name is @goosepimpleisms. My facebook profile page is: http://www.facebook.com/AmyMetzAuthor and my author page is:http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmyMetz
Tricia: Amy, thanks again for stopping by.
For everyone interested in learning more about Amy’s work, please check out the links above. I’ll post an announcement when Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction is available for purchase, and I’ll be sure to let everyone know when her photography book is scheduled for release.