Writing in Shorts– Christina Freeburn

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This is interview 11 of 14 celebrating the authors of Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime, a food-themed short story anthology.

Christina Freeburn started jotting down stories on her bus commute to high school and never stopped. The Scrap This Mystery series* is a mix of crafty and crime, bringing together her love of mysteries and scrapbooking. Her New Beginnings series is an inspirational romantic suspense featuring heroines and heroes willing to risk their lives to find hope, promise and a future for those struggling in a world that’s set against them.

*This series is with Henery Press. I love their cover designs! 

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When and why did you begin writing “in shorts”? Is it harder or easier than full-length novels?

I started writing shorts years ago when I first decided I wanted to write for publication. Writing a novel seemed so daunting so I decided to start with short stories to prove to myself that I could finish a story. I find it harder to write short stories than full-length novels because I’m a rambler when I write a first draft and I find it harder to cut the word count down on a short than a novel. Concise is something I have to actively work on doing rather than a just natural way of writing for me.

What is your favorite short story anthology beside the Happy Homicide series?

The Chesapeake Crimes collections.

As an author, what has been your most embarrassing moment, typo, or gaffe?

Oh my, how I try to forget. It was during an online chat and someone had asked me what consumes most of my time when a book is released. The questions were coming fast so I was answering quickly so I didn’t ignore anyone’s question, and in my haste to answer: “What consumes most of your time when you release a book?”, I typed “Porno.” The correct answer, and what I intended to say, was Promo. From then on if an answer to question is promotion, I now make it a point to type out the complete word.

What is your favorite vacation spot to be in shorts? (I want you to say Miami, but no pressure. wink)

Miami is on our list of places we want to visit but haven’t had the pleasure yet, so I’ll have to say Disney World as that’s the closest we’ve been to Miami.

Since this edition of Happy Homicides is food themed, I have to ask—What is your favorite comfort food?

My favorite comfort food is chocolate chip cookies right out of the over…well, not quite right after taking them out of the oven, more like a few minutes later so I don’t burn my mouth.

Find out more about Christina and follow her on these site.

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Writing in Shorts– Teresa Trent

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Teresa Trent writes the Pecan Bayou Series and is debuting the Piney Woods Series this month. Being a fan of the Andy Griffith Show and Murder She Wrote she loves creating quirky small towns and colorful characters.

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This is interview ten of fourteen celebrating the authors in the Happy Homicides 6: Cook Up Crime short story anthology.

When and why did you begin writing “in shorts”? Is it harder or easier than full-length novels?

I’ve been writing short stories for years. I am always involved in a novel project so stopping to write something that has to be so concise is a good way for me to keep sharp. I’ve been with Happy Homicides since the first anthology. I had written six Pecan Bayou books and decided, that’s it. I’ll move on to a new series, because how much crime can center around a tiny town in Texas? * Still though, I missed the characters. Sounds silly, right? But those families I created are my family. When Joanna Campbell Slan came along with the idea to do an anthology creating short stories and novellas featuring our most known characters I loved the idea. Betsy and her crew came back to life, and in the process, I found I couldn’t give them up. My seventh book in the series, Till Dirt Do Us Part came out in 2017 and there’s another on the schedule for this year!

* The Cabot Cove syndrome!

What is your favorite short story anthology beside the Happy Homicide series?

It is a horror anthology. Yes, I have a dark side. Dark Screams Volume 7 had a fabulous story titled A Monster Comes to Ashdown Forest which was about Christopher Robin, now an old man and the characters in the 100 Acre Wood were monsters. All I can say is watch out for Tigger.

 

As an author, what has been your most embarrassing moment, typo, or gaffe?

I am a hybrid author, which means some books I independently publish and others I publish through an agent and a publisher. I started out self-publishing and learned the hard way to hire an editor on my first book. One thing you find out as an author is no matter how many times you read and edit, there is a mistake in it. I re-edited my first book several times and I had a tough time stopping!

What is your favorite vacation spot to be in shorts? (I want you to say Miami, but no pressure. wink)

Forgive me, but I’m from Texas. I live close to Galveston, so go there a lot. I also love Panama City Beach and I honeymooned in the Keys

Since this edition of Happy Homicides is food themed, I have to ask—What is your favorite comfort food?

Homemade Chicken and Dumplings. My mother and grandmother were from North Carolina and they had a way with biscuit dough!

Teresa Trent is a prolific author. I urge you sign up for her newsletter and follow her on her social media to keep up with her. 

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Check back next week ~~

There are four more interviews in this series. 

 

 

Writing in Shorts– Micki Browning

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I had the pleasure of interviewing Micki in 2016. She is an interesting person and very good writer. I urge you to read anything you can by her. Not only her latest release Beached, but also her short story “F is for Fruitcake”, in the Happy Homicides 6 anthology.

Micki Browning worked in municipal law enforcement for more than two decades, retiring as a division commander. Now a full-time writer, she won the 2015 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence and the Royal Palm Literary Award for her debut mystery, ADRIFT. BEACHED, the second Mer Cavallo Mystery launches January 10th, 2018.

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This is interview nine of fourteen celebrating the authors of Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime.

 

When and why did you begin writing “in shorts”? Is it harder or easier than full-length novels?

Writing short stories isn’t so much a matter of it being harder or easier than writing a novel, it’s just different—and quicker! My first fiction credit was a short story. I had been working on a novel, and the short story was a bit of a lark (the story was based on a writing prompt and I just ran with it). Short story writing is a great way for budding authors to build their resume. The shorter format also provides an opportunity to experiment with story, voice, point of view, and character without investing the time required to complete a novel. I find myself turning to short stories when I’m on vacation or need to work out a plot point on my novel-in-progress. Changing formats always seems to break something loose in my mind.

What is your favorite short story anthology beside the Happy Homicide series?

I’m partial to Dangerous Women.  It contains stories by Diana Gabaldon, Jim Butcher, Lev Grossman, George R.R. Martin (who also is credited with editing the anthology), and many more. As the title suggests, there are no shrinking violets in its pages. But you can’t go wrong with any of the “Best Of” anthologies and many authors now have their own collections of shorts.

As an author, what has been your most embarrassing moment, typo, or gaffe?

Oh boy. I don’t usually write stories that contain recipes. That said, my Mer Cavallo Mystery series is set in the Florida Keys, and nothing is more representative of the Keys than Key lime pie. As part of my promotional materials, I printed up postcards that show the cover of Adrift on the front and my Key lime pie recipe on the back. I can’t tell you how many people proofread that copy, but darn if it doesn’t say “better” instead of “butter” in the list of ingredients for the crust. A mere thousand postcards later, I’m hoping most people used ready-made pie crusts….

Micki, your next short story should be “Betty Botter’s Better Butter”.

What is your favorite vacation spot to be in shorts? (I want you to say Miami, but no pressure. wink)

The Florida Keys! I love being able to wear shorts any day of the year—and it’s close enough to Miami for a fabulous daytrip. When I moved to the Keys from Colorado, I knew I was going to have to adjust to a more laid-back lifestyle, but I hadn’t given much thought to how that was going to impact my wardrobe choices. Shorts, flip-flops, wetsuits… ah, paradise!

Since this edition of Happy Homicides is food themed, I have to ask—What is your favorite comfort food?

I have a confession. I love fruitcake–the darker and spicier the better. Brew a bracing cup of black tea to go with it, and all is well in my world.

Please visit and connect with Micki Browning via her social media.

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Please check back next week for another great author & interview. Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime is available on kindle for $3.99 or free if you are an unlimited member. Read Micki’s short story “F is for Fruitcake” along with 14 other food-themed stories including mine “Fish Fried”.

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Writing in Shorts-Randy Rawls

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This is interview eight of fourteen highlighting the authors in the Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime anthology. 

Randy Rawls is a prince among men. Let me revise that– he is a gentleman cowboy among men. I have never seen or heard of Randy being sans cowboy hat. He wears it well. For those that wonder, yes, Randy is a Texan but he’s lived in South Florida for a while now. The hat is not entirely out of place being that north & central Florida is or used to be cattle country. But Randy isn’t herding lil’ doggies. He is spinning entertaining yarns of murder and mayhem. He has two series one with Ace Edwards, PI set in Texas and the other with Beth Bowman, PI set in Florida.

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Randy attends a lot of the Murder on the Beach bookstore events. I encourage you to seek him out at one of them. He is a charming person you will enjoy knowing.

When and why did you begin writing “in shorts”? Is it harder or easier than full-length novels?

Both are always a challenge. I stumbled into writing short stories. It was after I finished one of my novels several years ago. As I edited it, I realized my writing had lost some of its sharpness as I progressed through the story. Working to fix it, I decided I needed a challenge, something to force me to concentrate on tightening the prose while laying out the plot. I decided to write a short story with a maximum word count of 10,000 words. It worked. By the time I finished it, I was once again well aware of throwing away the unnecessary and concentrating on what was needed. Since then, I’ve found it therapeutic to write one or more short stories between novels. There is something re-educational about bringing in a story below an established word count.

What is your favorite short story anthology besides the Happy Homicide series?

I am always thrilled to have one of my stories accepted for publication, whether it be a short story or a full-length novel. Anthologies are always fun, especially those with themes, such as Happy Homicides. It’s a challenge to write to that theme—one I enjoy.

Randy, you didn’t answer the question. Very diplomatic of you. That must be one of the reason you made such a great president of the Florida Mystery Writers of America chapter. You can’t play favorites as a president. Writers egos are fragile. 

As an author, what has been our most embarrassing moment, typo, or gaffe?

One of my most infamous occurred in an Ace Edwards mystery. I meant to write something like, as sharp as a barbed wire. Unfortunately, I wrote as sharp as a barbed wife. The typo survived through several book signings, conferences, and other appearances. Finally, a reader commented that he got a good chuckle out of my barbed wife comment. I was dumbfounded. But, after stammering my way through it, I checked the passage. The fan was right. I’ll always wonder how many married women never picked up another Randy Rawls book.

What is your favorite vacation spot to be in shorts? (I want you to say Miami, but no pressure. Wink.)

This question requires a pre-cancer and post-cancer answer. Pre-cancer, I used to say I’d never live any place where it was too cold for short pants—and South Florida was my perfect paradise. Then, boom, Mr. Cancer invaded, and I took a large weight loss. (No, I don’t recommend it in lieu of a good diet.) With the weight loss came a messed up internal thermostat and an inability to exercise, among other things. Long and short of it, I had to give up my beloved short pants. Now, it’s long pants only, no matter what the temperature outside.

Since this edition of Happy Homicides is food themed, I have to ask—What is your favorite comfort food?

Again, I have to go pre-cancer and post-cancer. I grew up in a small town in North Carolina where Southern Fried Chicken was king. And my mom made the best ever. That love stayed with me until Mr. Cancer came to town. Yeah, Southern Fried Chicken was my favorite comfort food. Post-cancer, it’s anything I can chew and swallow comfortably. The Irish Texas Chili in my short story fits that description nicely.

Get Randy’s Irish Texas Chili recipe along with other recipes from the HH6: Cooking up Crime authors in the bonus pdf. Instruction on how to claim your bonus are on the last page of the e-book. 

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I am taking a few weeks break to enjoy the holidays. Use the archive links (Oct. Nov. Dec.) in the right hand column to visit the seven other HH6 author interviews then come back on Jan 8th for the return  of the series. 

Happy Holiday!

Best wishes for a Yuletide book flood like the Icelandic Jolabokaflod.

Hoping that some of the HH6 authors are in your book flood.

 

Writing in Shorts-Neil Plakcy

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This is the seventh of fourteen interviews to celebrate Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime

I’ve know Neil for at least a decade. We first met via SleuthFest. At the time, he was the chair/organizer. Ten years later and I’ve just learned the mnemonic for his name. Plakcy rhymes with taxi. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve messed up his name. Forgive me Neil. I hate to blunder someone’s name as I’ve had both my first and last names messed up more times than I can count. Rachel, Rockel, Welch, Reeze, Rays, and so many other combinations. FTR- Reyes is pronounced ray-iz.

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Neil Plakcy has written or edited over three dozen novels and short stories in mystery, romance and erotica.To research his Angus Green FBI thrillers, he participated in the FBI’s sixteen-week citizen’s academy, practiced at a shooting range, and visited numerous gay bars in Fort Lauderdale. “Seriously, it was research.”, he says. Neil knows how to pick some fun research – Bars in South Florida, Surfing in Hawaii, and Golden Retrievers.

When and why did you begin writing “in shorts”? Is it harder or easier than full-length novels?

I began writing short stories when I was a teenager—but didn’t have my first one published until I was at least a decade older. Interestingly enough, it was a short piece of erotica called “The Cop Who Caught Me” and I’ve been writing about cops and sex ever since!

What is your favorite short story anthology beside the Happy Homicide series?

I’m quite partial to the city noir series published by Akashic Books. I’ve read a number of them – including, of course, Miami Noir.

I love the noir series, too.

As an author, what has been your most embarrassing moment, typo, or gaffe?

I attended the Left Coast Crime fan conference in Kona, Hawaii, back in 2009, and at the banquet on the last afternoon I was fortunate to win their Lefty Award for best police procedural for Mahu Surfer, my second mystery. I was so excited I ran off to call people and then make social media posts—completely forgetting I had an author discussion to do! Fortunately the sun had come out after a few days of rain and everyone was outside enjoying it so no one noticed.

What is your favorite vacation spot to be in shorts? (I want you to say Miami, but no pressure. wink)

Well, since I’ve been living in the Miami area for over thirty years, I’m going to say Sanibel—totally relaxing, and fun for shell-gathering.

Since this edition of Happy Homicides is food themed, I have to ask—What is your favorite comfort food?

Mine is macaroni with butter and some grated cheese sprinkled on top. What I used to eat as a kid for lunch when I was home sick from school—and it’s still very comforting!

Follow Neil on his social media:

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I still have six interviews to go. So, check back weekly.   

Don’t forget reviews help other people find the Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime anthology.

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Writing in Shorts-Vered Ehsani

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This is the sixth of fourteen interviews to celebrate Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime

I’ve met most of my interview authors in person at some point and time. But Vered Ehsani is a hard woman to get to. Why, you may ask? She lives in KENYA!  Yes, the Kenya that is in Africa. (This is her home and the critters that roam it. Ummm, hyena!) Even though, I would love to visit such a majestic place, sadly, airfare and vacation time do not permit it. I and you will have to make-do with reading about it via Vered’s lens. She writes a paranormal detective series that is ‘Jane Austen meets Lara Croft’ and ‘African myth meets Victorian manners’.

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When and why did you begin writing “in shorts”? Is it harder or easier than full-length novels?

I use shorts to understand the backstory of a character, or to explore an idea for the next book. In some ways, it’s easier than a novel, and certainly quicker.

What is your favorite short story anthology beside the Happy Homicide series?

Christmas Lites – all the proceeds go to support victims of domestic violence.

As an author, what has been your most embarrassing moment, typo, or gaffe?

I published my first book in the Society for Paranormals series, believing my editor had done her job. She hadn’t, and there were a number of typos and issues which reviewers were quick to point out. I had to re-do the editing.

What is your favorite vacation spot to be in shorts? (I want you to say Miami, but no pressure. wink)

Mombasa, Kenya – I live in Nairobi, so going to Miami isn’t a great option for a long weekend!

Do an image search for Mombasa beach! You may want to start your trip saving now. It looks gorgeous. Very tropical paradise feeling.

Since this edition of Happy Homicides is food themed, I have to ask—What is your favorite comfort food?

It’s not a food but a beverage: tea. Copious amounts of tea. My favorite is Lady Grey, because I am above all things a lady… except when I’m not, in which case I reach for White Tea. I prefer to use whole leaf, as the bagged tea is really whatever can swept off the factory floor.

 Do you use honey, sugar, cream?  

I absolutely never add honey, sugar or cream. These additives would completely distort or destroy the subtle tastes inherent in that delightful beverage.

Do you drink it with a favorite treat?  

While a biscuit is always a lovely addition to tea time, I usually don’t indulge as a pot of tea is a treat all on its own.

Vered’s short story in Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime is A Death in Customs: The Cozy Tea Shoppe Mystery Series. Give it and all the other stories a read. Quick, fun, light, and plenty of laughs.

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Please follow Vered on her various social media platforms

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& ask her a question about Kenya in the comment section below.

Writing in Shorts- Terry Ambrose

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I hope everyone had a good holiday weekend. Is there any pumpkin pie left? My favorite Thanksgiving leftover is turkey. I love a simple turkey sandwich the day after and the day after that, too. Here I am talking about food, again. Good thing this series of interviews is with the authors of Cooking up Crime!

This is the fifth of fourteen interviews to celebrate Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime

My guest today is Terry Ambrose. His story in the anthology is titled Recipe for Murder and is part of his Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery series. Terry has written more than a dozen books, several of which have been award finalists. In 2014, his thriller, “Con Game,” won the San Diego Book Awards for Best Action-Thriller. In a former life, he ran skip traces and collected on deadbeats. That gave him great material for his stories and also taught him “liars come from all walks of life”. He is always watching out for scams. If you follow his blog & social media (links at the end of the interview) you will benefit from his vigilance.

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When and why did you begin writing “in shorts”? Is it harder or easier than full-length novels?

For years I only wrote full-length novels. I loved the complexity of piecing together a complex plot, building characters, and finding ways to weave it all together. My first short endeavor was a story written for an anthology I organized to benefit Read Aloud America, an organization that promotes literacy in Hawai’i. I found the process of writing shorter to be equally challenging and have enjoyed writing “in shorts” ever since.

What is your favorite short story anthology beside the Happy Homicide series?

I’d have to say “Paradise, Passion, Murder: 10 Tales of Mystery from Hawai’i.” Okay, I’m prejudiced because I organized it, but also I loved the stories about Hawai’i from the other authors.

As an author, what has been your most embarrassing moment, typo, or gaffe?

Leaving out the typos that create words of the unmentionable variety, I’d have to say it occurred while I was talking to an local editor in Carlsbad, CA. The book in which the gaffe occurred is License to Lie and is set in Carlsbad. An interstate freeway runs north-south through Carlsbad. In one of the closing scenes, my protagonists were on their way to meet the antagonist at an outlet mall, which is a very public place. They drove south, took the freeway exit, and drove over the freeway to the mall.

At a professional meeting for writers and publishers, a local editor came up to me and told me he liked the book, but said there was one problem with that scene. The road to the mall doesn’t go over the freeway, it goes under. Ugh.

What is your favorite vacation spot to be in shorts? (I want you to say Miami, but no pressure. wink)

Sorry, but not Miami—Kaua’i. I love the climate, the smaller atmosphere, and it’s the one place where I feel truly centered. Okay, maybe that’s a little too touchy-feely for some people.

Since this edition of Happy Homicides is food themed, I have to ask—What is your favorite comfort food?

Hmmm…tough choice. If we’re going with cookies as comfort food, then probably Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroons. If we’re talking about something halfway nutritious, then it would be chicken pot pie—but it has to be gluten-free since I’m one of those people with Celiac disease and am gluten intolerant. And yes, we do have a killer chicken pot pie recipe. Yay!

Yum! My family eats a lot of gluten free foods due to gluten intolerance. I will be trying out the GF recipes Terry has on his website. Enough to fill a cookbook. Hey, there’s an idea Terry. Maybe that will be your next publishing adventure?

Follow Terry Ambrose on these social media platforms.

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Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime has a bonus pdf of recipes & crafts. Instructions on how to access the bonus file are in the book. FYI-If you are an amazon prime member the book is free! Leave a review once you’ve read a few of the stories in the anthology. It helps other readers discover us.

Writing in Shorts- Joanna Campbell Slan

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This is the fourth of fourteen interviews to celebrate Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime.

Introducing the fabulous Joanna Campbell Slan. She is the national bestselling and award-winning author of more than 30 books. RT Reviews has called Joanna Campbell Slan “one of mystery’s rising stars.” In her work, Joanna likes to explore mysteries of the heart.

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I have know Joanna for over a decade and I’ve interviewed her before. So, you’d think I’d have nothing new to learn about her. Wrong. Lemon Poke Cake. I didn’t know that was a thing. I thought it was a typo for Lemon Poppy. But Joanna would never make a typo like that. She is a sharp editor and grammarian. She is also a crafter. Scrapbooks, miniatures, needle crafts, zentangle, and more. She even has has a coloring pages for grown-ups group you can join. Always working on a new project, I wish I had a smidgen of her energy and focus.

Onto the interview–

When and why did you begin writing “in shorts?”

Traditional publishers always had a long interval between books, and I realized that during that interval I was losing my readers’ attention. I figured that short stories could bridge the gap. I now have about 50 short stories that go with various series.

Is it harder or easier than full-length novels?

It depends on the short story and on the book. In some ways, a full-length book actually feels easier because you have more room to develop a plot. But that also makes it harder, because there’s more material to deal with. In some ways, a short story is easy because you have to limit the number of characters, scenes, and so on. But that also makes it harder, because you have to be so economical with what you write.

What is your favorite short story anthology besides the Happy Homicide series?

I remember when I was growing up, my parents had a tattered copy of the Norton Anthology of English Literature. I loved that book! Opening it was like opening the door to another world. So many authors, each with such a different world view, and all available to me because I could read.

I have to agree that Norton has amazing anthologies. And I love the thinness of the pages. 

As an author, what has been your most embarrassing moment, typo, or gaffe?

I think it was the time the Barnes & Noble manager announced, “We have a special guest in our store today. Joanna Campbell Slan is the author of the Kinky Lowenstein Scrap and Crap Series.” I laughed until I thought I’d fall face first into the carpet.

Oh, Kinky! You will never be Kiki again.

What is your favorite spot to be in shorts?

On the beach in Florida. I was born in Jacksonville, and we live on Jupiter Island, so Florida is my happy place, always and forever.

Since this edition of Happy Homicides is food themed, I have to ask—What is your favorite comfort food?

Sadly, my list of comfort food is long. (Too long.) Snickers Bars, Malbec wine, mashed potatoes, homemade vegetable soup, chocolate chip cookies, Wesleydale cheese, Gouda cheese, fresh cherries, and lemon poke cake are probably somewhere at the top of the list.

Do yourself a favor and follow Joanna on your social media platform of choice. She has tons of giveaways, contests, and freebies. 

 Twitter & Facebook

See all her books on Amazon

Read one of her books absolutely free

Share your love of books with her on GoodReads

Join her community of readers for fun, special offers, contests, and more.

Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your long weekend of family, friends, and food. Psst… a long weekend is a great time for reading and also a wonderful excuse to get away from the house guests. 

Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime is just a download away.  

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Writing in Shorts– Loulou Harrington

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This is the third of fourteen interviews to celebrate Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime.

Loulou Harrington writes the Myrtle Grove Garden Club cozy mystery series and recently contributed to the mystery anthologies Happy Homicides 5: The Purr-fect Crime & Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime.

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She is also the author of nine romances for Harlequin. Check out the covers. Aren’t they great?!  Classic Harlequin.  

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Loulou is a gardener herself and is always posting the loveliest photos of flowers on her facebook and twitter pages. Follow her and thank me later.  On to the interview—

When and why did you begin writing “in shorts”? Is it harder or easier than full-length novels?

I began writing “in shorts” for the Happy Homicides anthologies just this year. For me it’s harder than writing a full-length novel. Even though it takes much less time to complete, I think it takes just as long, for its size, as a full-length book would take.

What is your favorite short story anthology beside the Happy Homicide series?

My first introduction to an entire book of short stories was the Nick Adams stories by Ernest Hemingway. It’s still probably my favorite.

As an author, what has been your most embarrassing moment, typo, or gaffe?

My first published books were Harlequin romances, and probably the most embarrassing moment was early in my writing career when a male co-worker and friend brought one of my books to work with him and began reading part of a love scene aloud when I walked into his office. It wouldn’t have embarrassed me nearly so much if it hadn’t been an open cubicle where anyone could hear him over the walls. Luckily, by the time I got him to quit, he had me laughing, too—and thankfully he never did it again.

What is your favorite vacation spot to be in shorts? (I want you to say Miami, but no pressure. wink)

Miami. Seriously, I love that whole area, from Ft. Pierce to Key West. From around Biscayne especially, and down through the Keys, my husband and I have spent weeks at a time in an old sailboat exploring the area. Whether reading about it in shorts, full length books, or visiting in person, the Miami area has been like coming home for me for many years. I get nostalgic just thinking about it.

Since this edition of Happy Homicides is food themed, I have to ask—What is your favorite comfort food?

My favorite comfort food? Oh, man, that’s hard, but if I had to choose one food that goes all the way back to my childhood and is still something I can’t get enough of, it’s southern-style cornbread dressing like my mother made for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and very special Sunday dinners. Turkey with cornbread dressing and cranberry sauce is all I need to feel like it’s a holiday any day of the week.

YUM! Makes me wish next week would hurry up and get here already. Download Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime before the long holiday weekend. Be it for the food themed stories and bonus recipes or for a distraction from your relatives, it will be a great addition to your library. 

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Keep checking back with Cozy in Miami for the rest of this interview series. Joanna Campbell Slan, the mastermind of the Happy Homicides anthologies, will be joining us.

 

 

 

Writing in Shorts-Amy Vansant

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When I asked Amy for a short biography, this is what she sent me.– Amy Vansant specializes in fun, comedic reads about accident prone, easily distracted women with questionable taste in men. So, autobiographies, mostly. Currently, she is a nerd and Labradoodle mommy who works at home with her goofy husband.

Fun-loving is the perfect one-word (Okay, it is actually two words with a hyphen cheater.) descriptor for her. Just look at her author photo. And, her books keep to the punny theme. I love “kilty” as guilty. (I wish I’d thought of it!) She writes several series and crosses genres. The Pineapple Port series (5 titles ) is in the cozy vein. The Kilty series is romantic suspense. I love the tag line Romance. Suspense. Haggis. She also has an urban fantasy series and a romantic comedy series. This lady never stops writing stories that must be why her answers to my interview questions were short and sweet. She had to get back to the keyboard.

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  1. When and why did you begin writing “in shorts”? Is it harder or easier than full-length novels?

When I was asked to join the Happy Homicide series! It’s harder to write short stories for me, because I need to introduce the characters, make them memorable, introduce a good mystery and have it solved satisfactorily with enough twists and turns all in a few thousand words. That’s tough.

  1. What is your favorite short story anthology beside the Happy Homicide series?

I guess I could say Moms are Nuts because it is a story anthology I put together with other humorists a few years back.

  1. As an author, what has been your most embarrassing moment, typo, or gaffe?

The funniest thing that happened recently – I was setting up a promotion for another author and realized I’d posted an embarrassing typo for his book “BONE MAKER” – I’d typed “BONER MAKER” Had me crying laughing… talk about a totally different book!! Luckily it hadn’t gone live yet and I was able to fix it.

  1. What is your favorite vacation spot to be in shorts? (I want you to say Miami, but no pressure. wink)

Miami is a favorite for the culture and food  – plus any island. I’m rarely happier than when I’m on a Caribbean Island!

  1. Since this edition of Happy Homicides is food themed, I have to ask—What is your favorite comfort food?

Pasta, butter and cheese. I used to have it every day for lunch in college – turns out you can’t have that meal every day as an adult and still be able to fit through doors…

Please check out Amy Vansant’s website and other social media. You will be assured a laugh, a giggle, and maybe even a ROFLOL.

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This is interview 2 of 14 highlighting the authors of Happy Homicides 6: Cooking Up Crime. Keep coming back to Cozy in Miami to get to know the other authors in this great short story anthology.

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