Please tell us more about your new release, MURDER TAKES THE CAKE. This is a re-issue of the first Daphne Martin right? Why a re-issue?
The book is being reissued because the series was bought from Bell Bridge Books by Simon & Schuster’s Gallery imprint. Gallery also added more back story on Daphne and Ben and included a back-of-the-book section called “Daphne’s Kitchen.” This section has cake decorating tips, recipes, and book club discussion questions.
click on the link to watch the trailer
Do you ever find it hard shifting between Daphne and Marcy?
Yes! Before working on a book in the series, I go back and reread previous books in order to get a feel for the voice. And I have to stop and think, “Am I doing cakes or embroidery projects?”
I love solving the puzzles presented by mysteries, but I prefer not to incorporate very much blood and gore or profanity into my stories. Cozies allow me to present a conundrum while most of the gross-out stuff happens off-stage. For example in Murder Takes the Cake, Daphne finds Yodel Watson dead on her sofa, but it’s not a bloody, horrible crime scene described ad nauseam. Here’s how Daphne describes the event to Myra: “…I went in and…and found Mrs. Watson in the den.” “And she was dead?” I nodded. “Was she naked?” “No! She had on a robe and was covered with a blanket. Why would you think she was naked?” Myra shrugged. “When people find dead bodies in the movies, the bodies are usually naked.” She opened her soda. “So what happened?” “I don’t know. Since there was no obvious cause of death, she’s being sent for an autopsy.” “Where there any opened envelopes lying around? Maybe somebody sent Yodel some of that amtrax stuff.” “I don’t think it was anthrax,” I said. “I figure she had a heart attack or an aneurysm or something.” “Don’t be too sure.” “Why do you say that?” “Because Yodel was mean.” Myra took a drink of her soda. “Heck, you know that.”
Why the different series?
I enjoy them both. I started with the Daphne series; and then when I got the opportunity to do the Marcy series, I jumped at the chance. I’m currently even working on a stand-alone. I’m a glutton for punishment! Sometimes, I’m merely a glutton, which is why I can’t concentrate solely on the cake decorating series.
Did you always want to write?
Actually, I wanted to write, I wanted to act, I wanted to sing, I wanted to be a spy, I wanted to direct films, I wanted to be a detective…. With writing, I get to do all that!
Very true…you do. How cool is that?
Do your characters “talk” to you; visit you, live w/ you in a “special lil place”?
Funny you should ask that. The resource officer at my children’s school knows I’m a writer, and I sometimes ask him technical questions. About a month ago, I was asking him about a scenario for the stand-alone book I’m working on. I thought I’d made it clear I was asking a “literary question,” but apparently, I hadn’t. His eyes widened, and he asked, “Where is all this taking place?” I smiled and said, “My head.” He said, “Oh, this is a book! I was wondering why I hadn’t seen anything about it on the news.” I laughed and said, “Well, at least you did find it interesting.” The other strange thing is that I’ll see a red Mini Cooper on the road and think, “There goes Daphne.” Or I’ll see a petite blond and think, “She looks a little like Marcy.” So, yeah, these folks become very real to you!
That’s hilarious….had him going there.
Do you have a favorite genre to read? An all time favorite book?
Favorite genres – cozies, mysteries, thrillers. I can’t pick an all-time favorite, but one that comes to mind as being one of my first mysteries that made me gasp in surprise is Victoria Holt’s Bride of Pendorric. I found in in hardcover and bought it for my daughter last Christmas. I had to pass that one along to her.
I devoured Victoria Holt..I loved those gothics.
The Twelfth Imam by Joel Rosenberg; The Monster of Florence, by Douglas Preston; and The Purse Driven Life, by Anita Renfroe (from whom I’ve learned, by the way, that I might have purse schizophrenia – meaning that I must have a purse for every mood or outfit.)
Gayle, I always enjoy your humorous visits. Thanks for making time for Manic Readers & including us in your release party!
Thank you and your readers for including ME!