I’m pleased to have author Maddie Day from Amesbury, Massachusetts here to chat about her writing and her cozy mystery, Strangled Eggs and Ham, A Country Store Mystery, that’s on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.
Nice to have you here, Maddie. 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.
Speaking of Murder, my first mystery (written as Tace Baker), came out in the fall of 2012. It and its sequel were published by Barking Rain Press. I had a few short stories published before that (as Edith Maxwell). As Maddie Day, Strangled Eggs and Ham is the sixth Country Store Mystery from Kensington Publishing, and there will be at least three more plus a novella. Maddie also writes the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries, with Murder on Cape Cod as the first.
I have five Local Foods Mysteries, also from Kensington, out as Edith Maxwell, and Edith writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries, which were from Midnight Ink through Charity’s Burden, book four, and are continuing with Beyond the Page Publishing with Judge Thee Not and at least two after that. I have self-published the rerelease of a number of my short stories, which originally appeared in juried anthologies, as short ebooks.
Excellent. You are quite prolific.
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.
My Country Store novella “Christmas Cocoa and a Corpse” will be out in September in Christmas Cocoa Murder. After that will be Nacho Average Murder next summer and I just finished writing book eight (title TBD). Murder on Cape Cod rereleases on all platforms in January, and Murder at the Taffy Shop will be out in a Barnes & Noble exclusive in April.
Those sound great. I love the title of the Christmas one.
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?
I aim to meet my contractual deadlines for three-plus books a year in three series. My writing is my full time job and I treat it as such. I also like to stretch myself by writing short stories that are a little darker or which feature the villain as narrator, and I’m playing around with ideas for a new historical series. Stay tuned!
That’s quite a schedule, so it’s good that you can devote all your time to it. I also like to write short stories in addition to my books, but I work full-time, so it takes a bit longer for me to write.
What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
I’m looking for readers who love a compelling, well-told story in which characters have strong bonds, the protagonist is a smart strong woman, and things get put right by the end. My readers won’t see violence on the page, read obscenities, or see romance get too hot (lovers close the bedroom door just in time).
A great “recipe” for cozy mysteries.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
Plant your butt in the chair and your fingers on the keyboard to write the best book you can. You can’t fix what you haven’t written. Find your tribe of writers, such as Sisters in Crime, and learn from them. Revise and polish and hone your book, then get someone with a critical eye to do the same. Persist! Early on I told myself, “Somebody is going to get published, and it might as well be me.”
Very motivating. I’m also a member of Sisters in Crime and find them very helpful. I’ve published 7 novels (4 are part of my Cobble Cove cozy mystery series), but I’m still seeking an agent and to publish with a large publisher like Kensington.
What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?
I gave up on finding an agent after more than fifty rejections, but then an agent came to the New England chapter of Sisters in Crime looking for authors, and we worked out a deal. I was also writing around the edges of a full-time job, which isn’t easy.
That’s my issue. Glad it worked out for you.
Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?
Sisters in Crime, including the New England chapter and the Guppies, and Mystery Writers of America. I also belong to a local cross-genre group, the Newburyport Writers.
As I said, I’m also a member of Sisters in Crime and also Guppies, but there’s not a chapter near me, so I connect with them mostly online.
What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?
I like to garden, cook, do crossword puzzles – and read, of course.
A nice variety of hobbies.
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
I love when I hear from readers that my book got them through a tough time, whether sitting with an ill relative or their own hospital stay. I also delight in the times when I feel like I’m channeling the story, when my characters surprise me and I have to keep typing to find out what happens next!
The middle of the book is a challenge for me every time, but now that I’m writing novel #22, I know I will get through it if I persist. Promotion is also a challenge – figuring out how much and what kind is enough and effective, and how much puts readers off.
Although I’ve had some wonderful comments about my books, I haven’t yet been told it’s helped anyone through a hard time. I would love that. As far as my characters surprising me, they do it all the time. Regarding promotion, I think most authors struggle with that whether you self publish, have a small publisher, or a large one.
What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?
I love that I can set up a community of returning characters and, after some mayhem, restore justice to the community in the end.
Yes, that’s a lot of fun but also a challenge.
Can you share a short excerpt from your latest title or upcoming release?
Here’s a tidbit from Strangled Eggs and Ham:
Adele faced me, fists on her waist. “So you’re not going to help me? A little old lady who’s done so much for you?” Her tone was plaintive, but a smile played at the edges of her mouth.
“Hey, Jordans don’t guilt trip, right?” I lowered my head and gave her the look my mom used to give me. “And you’re hardly a helpless old lady.” On the contrary, my aunt was one of the most competent women I knew.
She chortled. “I’m pulling your leg, sugar. That said, I mean to stop this Fiona if it’s the last thing I do.”
I shivered. If this conflict led to another murder, it had better not be Adele’s. “Promise me you’ll be careful?”
“Girl Scout’s honor.” She held up three fingers.
Except her other hand was behind her back, and I was willing to bet my month’s profit she was crossing her fingers back there.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you or your books?
Please find me! I love to hear from readers. You can sign up for my author newsletter on the home page of my web site, edithmaxwell.com. And, as always, a short positive review on Goodreads, Bookbub, and Amazon goes a long way toward helping the author. Also, come visit the Wicked Authors blog and join our Facebook group. We are six New England authors who have built a community of readers. We host giveaways, a book club, guests, and so much more.
Wonderful. Thanks so much for the interview, Maddy, and best wishes on your new release. I’m sharing your blog tour and giveaway below.
Strangled Eggs and Ham
(A Country Store Mystery)
by Maddie Day
About the Book
Strangled Eggs and Ham (A Country Store Mystery)
6th in Series
Kensington (June 25, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Digital ASIN: B07HW1D15K
Robbie Jordan’s rustic country store is growing in popularity. But when a dead body appears, it turns out that Robbie’s home-style cooking attracts hungry customers—and murder!
While Robbie scrambles through breakfast orders for her expanding clientele at Pans ‘N Pancakes, tempers run as high as the sticky August heat in South Lick, Indiana. Real-estate developer Fiona Closs plans to build a towering luxury resort at one of the most scenic hilltops in Brown County, and not everyone can see the sunny side of the imposing proposition—including Robbie’s furious Aunt Adele, who doesn’t waste a minute concocting protests and road blockades. When tensions boil over and a vocal protester is silenced forever at the resort site, Robbie ditches the griddle to catch the killer. But if slashed tires are any indication, she’ll need to crack this case before her own aunt gets served something deadly next . . .
Includes Recipes for You to Try!
About the Author
Maddie Day is a talented amateur chef and holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from Indiana University. An Agatha Award-nominated author, she is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and also writes award-winning short crime fiction. She lives with her beau and three cats in Massachusetts.
As Edith Maxwell, she writes the Local Foods Mysteries (Kensington Publishing) and the Quaker Midwife Mysteries (Midnight Ink).
You can find all Maddie’s/Edith’s identities at http://www.edithmaxwell.com. She blogs every weekday with the other Wicked Cozy Authors at wickedcozyauthors.com. Look for her as Edith M. Maxwell and Maddie Day on Facebook and @edithmaxwell and @maddiedayauthor on Twitter.
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