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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