Something new for you (Miami Interview #1)

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From time to time I will be interviewing other authors (mostly cozy writers) and asking them the same four questions.  Today’s post is the first of my interview series.

Please welcome Joyce Ann Brown.

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  1. Have you ever been to Miami? Please tell us the one thing you found delightful or unique about “The Magic City.”

I’m from the Midwest; so Miami draws me with its warmth and its location near the coast. I’ve had the pleasure of attending the Sony Ericsson Tennis Open on Key Biscayne a couple of times. I got to see Serena Williams, Andy Roddick, Bob & Mike Bryan, and many other world class players in one of the most beautiful settings I can imagine. On one side of the island we could see the Intercostal waters and Miami proper, on the other side the sparkling Atlantic. All that sunny beauty and tennis, too! What could be better?

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  1. What is your favorite novel set in Florida and why?

Because of Winn-Dixie has to be my favorite novel set in Florida. It’s a young adult book, and I was a children’s librarian. The small town setting is in Florida, sure, but the quirky, heart-warming characters and the scraggly dog could be from any town. They all become an extended family for young Opal and help her overcome her personal unrest. They help us all grow in understanding.

 

  1. Tell us about your writing and main characters.

My plots and characters are a compendium of stories I’ve heard or read, people I know or have met, and places where I’ve spent time. My Psycho Cat and the Landlady Mystery series are set in a cozy neighborhood in Kansas City, an area I know intimately. I write what I see and feel and weave it all together into imaginative stories.

CATastrophic Connections Revised Front Cover

  1. Would your main character(s) be a fish out of water in Miami or would they dive in and swim with the sharks?

Although my amateur sleuth lives about as far inland as one can get from Miami without heading for the opposite shore, she follows clues anywhere they take her. In Catastrophic Connections, she streaks swimmingly through breathless encounters in the Virgin Islands where she is fishing for answers. If you asked her, “Beth, would you attempt to track down a vicious villain in Miami?” she’d say, “No way.” But, never fear, her spunk and sense of justice would obligate her to dive right in.

Thank you, Joyce. I hope you visit South Florida again soon.

 

 

Adventures with a POET

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Today, I indulged the poet side of me at the Miami Book Fair.

My day started with a reading by three poets.

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Chelsea Rathburn , Jen Karetnick,and Elisa Albo.

Each poet read for 20 minutes.  I wanted ALL of their books. But since I am a girl on a budget I had to choose one. Being that Jen and Elisa are local,one teaches at Miami Arts Charter and the other at Broward College, my chances of running into them again soon is higher. So, I went with Chelsea’s poetry book about her divorce, the healing, and a new marriage.

P1070594After the reading, I hustled my butt over to the O’Miami/Jai-Alai booth for a micro-workshop 910-minutes) with Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellows.

As luck would have it I was able to snag two slots! One with Heather Gamble.

Hannah Gambel Omiami bookfair 2014

She gave me a lot of food for thought on my “City Poems” chapbook WIP. (work in progress) Hannah ask some insightful questions about the subtext and place of the poems. It was wonderful for me to have the opportunity for another set of eyes and ears to experience the poems.

Solmaz Sharif was my second micro-review.

Solmaz Sharif Omiami bookfair 2014

She, also, had constructive comments for me but beyond that we connected with a list of shared favorite poets. Lucille Clifton, Sandra Cisneros and Nikki Giovanni. She said she saw/hear their influence on my writing. My poems have a similar subtly, humor and voice.

With my head in the clouds, I cruised some other book fair highlights like the Exile book lounge and The Swamp. At Exile, I ran into my friend Leila. She is half of the Portable Editions artist press. They curate and produce small run artist books. At The Swamp I got to hear the tail end of some Florida stories about the WeekiWachee mermaids and some others wild tales about invasive species.

My last stop was the Mystery Writers of America booth. They have a used book sale. and I got my 4 month supply of 12 cozy mysteries.

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 I should be set for about 4 months!

Theatre major? You? No way.

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Never doubt that I was a Theatre Major! My concentration might have been in Directing but that does not mean I can’t whip up a character in a 5pm-rush-to-get-a-Halloween-party-that-starts-at-6 frenzy.

Please meet Rhoda Morgenstern. This is after her Mary Tyler Moore days. This is during her Gin Rummy and Mahjong later years once she retired to South Florida.

RVReyes as Gin Rummy Rhoda

I hope everyone had a theatrical Halloween!

Fun adventure to come so stay tuned by subscribing to this blog.