I'm pleased to welcome Mary Anne Edwards to Cozy Up With Kathy. Mary Anne writes the Charlie McClung Mystery series. The first book in the series, Brilliant Disguise, was released in February 2014 followed by A Good Girl. The third in the series, Criminal Kind will be released June 30th. So, if you haven't started the series yet you have time to catch up!
Kathy: In Brilliant Disguise, Charlie McClung leaves the big city for a small one when he isn't able to find fulfillment in his career or personal life. Have you ever made a similar change?
MAE: My husband and I moved about three years ago to be closer to his work. I retired from my job as branch manager at a small credit union and began writing full-time. Not quite as drastic as Detective Charlie McClung but was quite a change for me, leaving our home of 26 years.
Kathy: The Charlie McClung Mystery series is set in the 1980s. What made you choose this time period?
MAE: This was a time when technology was just emerging, computers and cellphones were not common place. I feel that detectives had to rely more on their interview techniques, observations, and deduction of clues.
Kathy: You are very active in social media. What are your favorite aspects of it? What don't you like about it?
MAE: I love being able to connect with my readers. I enjoy seeing their pictures, I laugh when they laugh, and I cry when they are suffering. I feel their prayers and I hope they feel mine. I feel like we are close friends and family. There really isn’t much that I don’t like about it.
Kathy: What first drew you to mysteries?
MAE:I love solving puzzles, connecting the dots. I guess I’m curious, nosy, so to speak
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
MAE: I have written Christian short stories, few have been published. My first manuscript, “Useless Beauty,” is Women’s fiction. One day, I will dust if off and publish it.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
MAE: Oh, that’s hard for me to do. The Charlie McClung series are mysteries with a touch of romance. That’s it in a nutshell. My characters are different from most mysteries. They are mature, respectful, and believable. They are based on people I know. I hope readers will fall in love with them and will want to get to know them more intimately.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
MAE: Right now, I would have to say, Ma, Charlie’s mother. She is funny, lovable, a great cook, loves everyone, and everyone loves her. She was going to be in just one book but I’ve had so many readers asking me to bring her back. So she will be in the fourth and fifth book. Who knows where she’ll pop up?
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
MAE: The first book was based on a true story. I get inspiration from news stories and Tom Petty songs, note the book titles.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
MAE: My husband. He is my champion and cheerleader. With his support and encouragement, I followed my dream.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
MAE: Just four? Fine, I’ll do my best to limit my party to four. Elizabeth Peters, Agatha Christie, Caroline Graham, and Wilbur Smith. If I can have one more, Gretchen Archer.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
MAE: A must read! Expedition Indigo by Stacy Allen.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
MAE: I’m rather boring. I collect shot glasses. Whenever I travel, I like to find a Christmas ornament for my ornament tree. My hobbies are reading, watching mysteries and historical fiction. I love anything Egyptian. I tried to teach myself to read hieroglyphics but my eyes crossed. I’ll try again, one day.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
MAE: Eggs, cereal, Almond milk, and Diet Dr Pepper.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
MAE: Right now, I have ten planned for the Charlie McClung Mysteries, who knows there may be more. I will publish Useless Beauty, my first manuscript and republish my collection of short stories.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
MAE: I get to create my own world. I’m a puppeteer making my characters do and say whatever I want. Well, sometimes, they tell me “no” and do what they want to do. Plus, I get to set my own hours.
Mary Anne Edwards has graciously offered a Kindle edition of Brilliant Disguise and A Good Girl to Cozy Up With Kathy readers. To qualify all you have to do is comment on this blog post telling us what you like about mysteries set in the not too distant past. Also be sure to leave your e-mail address so that I can contact you, should you win. Leave your comment no later than Sunday night at 11:59 pm EST. I'll use Random.org to pick 2 winners, one for each book!