I’m pleased to have author Dena Haggerty, writing as D.E. Haggerty, from Hague in the Netherlands, here to speak about her writing and new release, Picture Not Perfect, that’s on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.
Welcome, Dena. How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.
I self-published my first book in 2013. I’ve published thirteen books since then. Here they all are:
Buried Appearances / Begraven in het Verleden
Murder, Mystery & Dating Mayhem (Book 1 of the Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives Series)
Jack Gets His Man (Book 2 of the Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives Series)
Love in the Time of Murder (Book 3 of the Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives Series)
Never Trust a Skinny Cupcake Baker (Book 1 of the Death by Cupcake Series)
Bring Your Own Baker (Book 2 of the Death by Cupcake Series)
Self-Serve Murder (Book 3 of the Death by Cupcake Series)
Fat Girl Begone!
Searching for Gertrude
Finders, Not Keepers (Book 1 of the Not So Reluctant Detective Series)
Picture Not Perfect (Book 2 of the Not So Reluctant Detective Series)
That’s quite a bibliography.
Tell us a little bit about your books — if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress. If you have an upcoming release, please specify the release date.
I write cozy mysteries, historical fiction, and romantic comedies. I’m currently working on the cozy mystery series: The Not So Reluctant Detective Series. The second novel in the series, Picture Not Perfect, released January 21st. The series will consist of three books, and I’m already busy working on the third book.
I also write a cozy mystery series and also a romantic comedy novella, so we have a few things in common
Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?
My goal as a writer is to consistently publish three books a year. After I finish the Not So Reluctant Detective series, I’ve got another series I want to get started. This series will not be cozy. I can’t wait! I’m also working on a memoir and another historical fiction novel.
Lofty goals, but it sounds like you’re determined to accomplish them.
What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
As I write in a variety of genres, it’s sometimes difficult to pin down who exactly my ideal reader is. My books do, however, appeal to women in general – especially the romantic comedies. I also like to feature heroines who are a bit older – between mid-thirties and mid-forties. As a reader, I feel like there aren’t enough heroines in that age group. I guess that means my ideal reader is a middle-aged woman.
A good group to target.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
I’m self-published, so I can’t advise anyone on how to get an agent or any of that. I would advise potential authors to take a good hard look at what they want to achieve with their writing before deciding to go the traditional route or self-publish. Both sides have their good and bad.
That’s a very good piece of advice. I’m in the middle of the road right now publishing with an online publisher, but I still hope to publish traditionally one day.
What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?
My struggle wasn’t about getting published as I went the self-published route. My struggle was more about making the leap of faith to become a published writer. I still struggle with calling myself a writer and that’s after publishing thirteen books!
I hear that from other authors, so it’s not an uncommon concern.
Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?
I don’t currently. I think writing groups are great and I’ve belonged to a few in the past. I’d love to join another group but haven’t found an English-language group in my town yet.
I’m sure there are online groups you could look into.
What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?
I’m a huge reader – of course! I also play tennis, love to visit museums, and enjoy movies. And I’m not averse to drinking a few adult beverages with friends.
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
I like being creative: whether it’s figuring out what my crazy characters will do next or trying to come up with a good marketing strategy. The toughest challenge is the market. There are thousands of eBooks published A DAY. Yes, every single day. Trying to find out ways to stick out above the crowd is a challenge.
That’s the truth. Marketing is not most writer’s cup of tea.
What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?
Mysteries are fun to write. Trying to throw readers off track while giving little clues here and there as to identity of the true killer is great fun. Cozy mysteries are especially fun as the ‘detective’ is an amateur and there’s therefore no need to stick to the rules and procedures of the police. I’m not much of a rule follower.
Good point, and I feel that way, too.
Can you share a short excerpt from your latest title or upcoming release?
“Ms. Hanson, please have a seat.” Detective Meyer motioned to a chair before setting a bottle of water on the table in front of him. Then, he sat down and placed a file on the table. His partner remained standing in the corner of the room near the door. Mel started to stomp her way to the chair before remembering someone was probably watching and recording whatever she did and said in the room. She firmed her jaw before slowly walking to the chair and sitting down.
Melanie opened the bottle of water took a few gulps before asking, “Is this where you finally tell me what’s going on?”
Instead of answering her question, the detective pulled a picture out of the file and put it on the table in front of her. “Do you know this man?”
Mel picked up the picture. “Sure. It’s Alfred Schultz. He’s a social sciences teacher at the high school where I’m a guidance counselor.” She handed the picture back to the detective. “Why?”
Again, he ignored her. He pulled out a series of pictures and laid them on the table in front of her. Mel looked down and gasped at what she saw. Every single picture was of her. “What in the world are you doing with these? What is going on?”
“These are pictures we found in Mr. Schultz’s apartment.”
“What?” Why would Alfred have pictures of her in his apartment? They weren’t friends. Was he following her? She shivered. The man’s creepiness level just skyrocketed. “What’s going on?”
“That’s what we’d like to know,” Detective Davis replied from her position leaning against the wall.
Mel’s hands shook as she gathered the pictures together and handed them back to the detective. She needed to calm down. Freaking out wouldn’t get her any answers. She forced herself to remember her yoga training. Calming breaths. She could do this. Deep breath in through the nose. Exhale through the mouth. Again. Breathe in. Breathe out.
“What was your relationship with Mr. Schultz?”
“We don’t really have a relationship. We’re colleagues. He’d like more, but …” she trailed off. Wait a second! Her mind rewound on his words. “Was? Did you say was?” She gulped. “What happened?”
“Mr. Schultz was found dead in his home yes—” His words were cut off by Detective Davis clearing her throat.
Mel gasped. “Found dead? Is that cop-speak for murdered?” At the detective’s nod, her mouth dropped open. “How? Why? Who?”
“We were hoping you could answer those questions for us,” Detective Davis answered. She was no longer casually leaning against the wall but now stood with her arms crossed over her chest staring down at Melanie.
“Me? Why would I be able to answer those questions for you?” In response, Davis merely tilted her head towards the pictures.
The pieces of the puzzle clicked together, and she finally realized what was going on. She jumped from her chair. “Holy moly! You think I had something to do with his death!”
That was excellent. Thanks so much for chatting today, Dena. I’m including information for your blog tour and rafflecopter giveaway below:
Picture Not Perfect (The Not So Reluctant Detectives)
by D.E. Haggerty
About the Book
Picture Not Perfect (The Not So Reluctant Detectives)
2nd in Series
Self Published (January 21, 2019)
Print Length: 230 pages
A picture tells a story. But is it the truth?
When the police find pictures of Melanie hanging up at her murdered colleague’s house, they’re convinced he was stalking her. Maybe she even killed him. Melanie was not being stalked! And she certainly didn’t kill her supposed stalker – as if. But Mel – always up for a bit of drama – jumps at the chance to go search for the real killer. When Mel’s ex-boyfriend, Owen, discovers her plans, he pulls out all the stops to ensure she’s safe and to win her back. No matter what happens with the murder investigation, he’s not letting her go. With the police setting their sights on Mel, he may need to jeopardize his own career on the police force to protect her.
Will Mel find the real killer before the detectives arrest her for murder?
About the Author
I grew up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic before returning to the law. But practicing law really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out running a B&B wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where, in between tennis matches and failing to save the world, I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.
Picture Not Perfect is my fourteenth novel.
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/D.E.-Haggerty/e/B00ECQBURU/
Newsletter signup: http://eepurl.com/bbmdj9
Bookbub author page: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/d-e-haggerty
a Rafflecopter giveaway
January 21 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
January 22 – Mythical Books – GUEST POST
January 23 – Babs Book Bistro – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 24 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 25 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 26 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
January 27 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW
January 28 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 29 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 29 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
January 30 – Books Direct – REVIEW, GUEST POST
January 31 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
February 1 –Christa Reads and Writes – GUEST POST
February 2 – Readeropolis – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
February 3 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
February 3 – Laura`s Interests – SPOTLIGHT
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