Welcome to Dames of Dialogue, Amy! Tell us about Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction, the first book in your mystery series, and how you came up with the name Goose Pimple Junction – I love that.
Thank you, and thanks for inviting me. Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction is a mystery with a little bit of romance and a lot of southern humor. The main character, Tess, moves to town and discovers an old key, which leads her to a seventy-five year old cold case murder that she decides she needs to solve. But even after all those years, someone in town doesn’t want the murder to be solved. So of course, mayhem ensues.
My town is fictional, but there actually is a real Goose Pimple Junction in Virginia. I visited it in 1985 when I went to see a relative who lived nearby. I loved the name and never forgot it. When I decided I wanted to write a humorous murder mystery, I knew the humor had to come from a quirky town full of funny residents. Goose Pimple Junction just seemed right.
I absolutely love reading anything that’s quirky. Sounds like a fun book. What’s next?
I’ve completed Heroes & Hooligans In Goose Pimple Junction, the second book in the series, and I’ve started on the third. I also work on and off on a thriller, and I have a photo coffee table book coming out next year about a historical home.
You’ve also written a children’s book. Tell us about that.
I’d wanted to write a children’s book ever since I took a Children’s Lit—better known as Kiddie Lit—class in college about…well, let’s just say many years ago. That Would Taste Better In Your Mouth is about Louie, a little boy who is a very picky eater. His mother can’t get him to try anything new. But she loves vegetables, and she comes up with a way to get Louie to try them, and of course he discovers he loves them. It uses alliteration and repetition, which my school kids and my own kids always liked. I’m still looking for a publisher for this one, though.
Oh, I know you’ll find a publisher for this. You’re writing a mystery series, have written a thriller, children’s book and nonfiction coffee table book about Locust Grove in Louisville, Ky. Wow. Which is your favorite genre to write, if you have a preference?
I love them all, but I’d say my favorite is mysteries. It’s also my favorite genre to read. Mysteries with a little humor in them are my favorite, which I suppose is why I wrote humor into Murder & Mayhem.
With you there, Amy. My favorite genre is also humorous mystery. I notice you have a background in teaching. I know more than a few authors who were teachers at one point in their lives, including my sister Cyndi Hodges aka Caitlyn Hunter. Did this in any way prepare you for your journey to publication?
Well, I was originally going to major in English Literature in college, but I was steered toward teaching and ended up getting a degree in Elementary Education and subsequently teaching first grade. I think teaching definitely helped me with my children’s book, but majoring in English probably would have been more beneficial to me as a writer in general.
What do you like most about writing? What do you dislike most?
I love coming up with a new plot and being totally engrossed in writing a new book. Once I know where I’m going with the story, I can’t wait to get it down. And then I love going back and layering the characters, dialogue and scenery. What I dislike the most is writing the synopsis or book blurbs. They are truly harder for me to write than the actual book itself.
Yes! I hate writing synopses and book blurbs. My mind just freezes. Thank goodness my sister Cyndi is great at that. What works best for you in regards to promoting?
My book will be released on August 5th, so I can’t really say yet what has worked, but I’m trying to do interviews and guest blogs online as much as possible. I use social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads, and I’ve become a member of some online Indie sites. I’m constantly looking for ways to get my book out there.
Good luck with that, Amy. I think promoting is the thing I dislike most about being an author. Are you a pantser or outliner?
Actually, I’m both. For Murder & Mayhem, I was a seat-of-my-pants writer. The story just kept unfolding as I wrote, and I let the characters tell me where to go next. I knew in my head how I wanted the story to end, but I let the rest of the book just unfold as I wrote. For Heroes & Hooligans, the pantser way didn’t work out. I ended up outlining after the first couple of chapters. The jury’s still out on the third GPJ book and the thriller. I have about three chapters written of each, and I’m still not sure where I’m going with either story.
From your website, it appears you’re also a photographer. Are the photos on your site ones you’ve taken? They’re gorgeous!
Oh, thank you so much. Yes, they are mine. The ones on my website are some of my favorite pictures. My idea of a good vacation is going somewhere where I can take photos all day. In fact that’s how my Locust Grove book came about. The historical home is my favorite place in Louisville, and three years ago on my birthday I had the day to myself, and I went there to just walk and take pictures. It’s one of my favorite things to do.
Sounds beautiful, Amy. You’re truly a talented photographer with a good eye for color. Tell us about your neck of the woods.
Well, let’s see. I live in Louisville, Kentucky. Our house backs up to woods and I’m constantly on the lookout for photo ops of birds and other wildlife. A few years ago we couldn’t keep the squirrels out of the bird feeders, so we began putting birdseed on an upstairs window ledge. Now every morning I can work on the other side of the glass and watch as the birds come and go. I love watching the woodpeckers the most. We thought we’d finally outsmarted the squirrels, but we discovered if the birds happen to leave any birdseed overnight, the flying squirrels get it. We also have a lot of deer, which I’m not overly fond of, because they eat all my flowers and plants. We’ve seen a coyote, turkey vultures, and even had a peacock visit for a few days once. Unfortunately we share a backyard with the occasional snake too. So my neck of the woods actually is part woods!
Our property is mostly wooded and we see our fair share of wildlife. We have a woodpecker that wakes us up each morning, drilling into our deck, and a small sparrow that pays us visits throughout the day, looking in our living room window and singing to us. We see the occasional snake, which always freaks me out. What’s your favorite place to visit?
Outside of Louisville, it would be the Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport, Maine. It’s a quiet, beautiful historic hotel overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with wonderful views and lots of photo ops!
I visisted Kennebunkport several years ago when Cyndi lived in Maine. Gorgeous area. Do you have any pets? If so, tell us about them. If not, what’s your favorite animal?
We have a Labradoodle named Cooper, and two granddogs. One is a Chocolate Lab named Gage and the other is an English Mastiff puppy named Arlo. Cooper loves it when they visit and we do too. I used some of Gage’s antics in Murder & Mayhem. He has an unbelievable ability to sniff out food and tennis balls, and he’s adept at getting into anything he wants to get to said food and tennis balls—including Tupperware containers full of brownies and cupcakes stored in a cabinet! He also opens refrigerator doors and helps himself, (no I’m not kidding) and he can open any interior door in our house. I timed him once. It took him six seconds. He’s something else. My son and his wife also recently got a Mastiff puppy. We’re having fun watching Arlo grow. He’s three months old now and weighs over fifty pounds. They say he’ll top out at around one hundred and seventy-five pounds.
I am laughing at your dog’s antics. That’s priceless. Mastiffs are beautiful dogs but huge! I hate to think what their food bill will be. I imagine he’s so cute, though. Thanks so much for joining us today, Amy. I really enjoyed the interview.
Thank you so much for talking with me. I had a great time and I love your website!
For more information about Amy: www.amymetz.com
Book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vIbieSgVjk
Buy links: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0985138874