by Julie Seedorf
Granny Skewers a Scoundrel:
A Fuschia Minnesota Mystery
Cozy Mystery – 225 Pages
Cozy Cat Press (March 11, 2014)
Granny has a new addition to her arsenal of crime fighting weapons as Fuchsia, Minnesota’s most colorful detective. Now, along with her famous crook-hooking umbrella, she’s acquired a scoundrel-skewering knitting needle. And just in time! Residents of Fuchsia seem to be dropping dead like flies! First, it’s Granny’s neighbor Sally (who gives up the ghost in her weed-filled front yard), followed by Esmeralda Periwinkle (the squirrel lover on Main Street), and then, Mr. Nail, owner of the local hardware store (who is squashed when dozens of bags of fertilizer fall on top of him). Granny is baffled. Who is behind this murder spree?
Granny enlists the help of her sort of boyfriend franklin Gatsby, the town’s police chief Cornelius Stricknine (or “The Big Guy”), her reality-show loving neighbor Mavis, and her own son Thor. And, of course, the special assistance of her menagerie of pets — including Mr. Bleaty, the goat. Soon Granny is hot on the trail of this dastardly murderer. Unfortunately, when Granny herself is poisoned, everyone insists that she cool her crime solving ways and stay indoors and out of harms way. Of course, that’s never going to happen! Not when Granny knows all the secret passageways and tunnels that run underneath Fuchsia. Out she goes–and watch out, you evil doers! Granny will solve this mystery–you can bet your pink undies, she will!
About This Author
Julie grew up in a small Minnesota community. She knows the value of neighbors looking out for neighbors.
Julie has worn many hats during her lifetime. She has been a waitress, barmaid, activities assistant, store clerk, office manager and for the last 14 years has worked in computer repair, and finally owning her own computer repair business. In January 2014 she closed her computer business to write full time.
Her most important career in her estimation has been wife, mother and grandmother. Nothing could equal the gift of nurturing and watching her children and grandchildren grow.
Julie is also a columnist for the Albert Lea Tribune. Her column “Something About Nothing” brings a little fluff to an unfluffy world. She believes there is always something underlying in the nothings we talk about. In 2011 she self-published “Whatchamacallit? Thingamajig?. It is a book about grandmothers and grandchildren. It was a collaboration between her grandchildren and Julie. Along with a glossary and lots of weird words, it is a mystery that reveals to the characters grandchildren who Grandma used to be.
In 2013 Julie signed a contract with Cozy Cat Press for the publication of her Cozy Mystery “Granny Hooks A Crook.” It fulfilled one item on Julie’s bucket list. Granny lives in the fictional town of Fuchsia, Minnesota. The Fuchsia, Minnesota books is a series. Granny Skewers A Scoundrel, book two in the series was released in March 2014. The Fuchsia books are unusual cozies with a little satire about small communities and an over the top Granny that gives a new meaning to old. Julie also writes free lance for the Courier Sentinel and the Albert Lea Tribune. She also is designing a line of shirts, cups and other material to complement her books.
Never quit dreaming is Julie’s motto. Dreams are the gateway to fun, fantasy and the future.
Guest Post by Julie
Can A Fictional Character Change A Real Character?
People always ask me whether it was hard to write my first book, Granny Hooks a Crook. I feel they are expecting me to say “Yes” with emphasis. I can’t lie to them and give them the answer I think they seek. Writing my first book was easy. It was done on a lark to wake me out of a depressive state. Each day I would wake up eager to start my day with the next chapter in my story. I didn’t have any thought of where the story was going to lead or whether I was going to find a publisher. All I knew was that the story, and the characters, got me out of bed in the morning and gave me reason to look forward to my day. The silliness in the story brought the silliness and fun back to me, the me, I used to be many years ago.
When I wrote Granny Hooks a Crook, I have to say I probably had a bad attitude for years. I was a glass half empty person and writing made me a glass half full person. I have to credit God too because I have to think that he put the story in my head.
If people would ask me if it was hard to write my second book I would absolutely answer yes. Granny Skewers a Scoundrel was hard to write because of the expectations that I thought might be out there from my publishing company, Cozy Cat Press, my readers, my friends. What if I bombed? What if I couldn’t be funny? I didn’t know where in my mind the first book came from; would the second book be as good as the first? That is, if people thought the first book was good. Critics can be very harsh. Would my publishing company accept the second book? Would I become a one book wonder?
For a while writing went from being a lark, to being too paralyzed to actually sit down and start that second book, Granny Skewers a Scoundrel. It was harder writing that second book because of fear. Once I actually started the process the Granny in my head took over again. As I was writing all the critiques of my first book went through my mind like scrolling text on a computer screen. This book is ridiculous, over the top, it couldn’t possibly be real, the characters are too silly, I don’t like the animals, and the words kept scrolling in my mind. Did I want to change my writing and conform to what people would expect? Although the good reviews far outweighed the bad reviews, it is the bad reviews that tend to stick in our heads at the time of stress and deadlines.
As I was deep into my story I found that I did change a little of my writing. I added between the lines a vulnerability to Granny. She hurt and mourned when someone died, and her crustiness and silliness covered up those feelings. She was stubborn when she felt she needed to be because she had to follow what her gut was telling her. Granny had to be true to herself because for many of her years she had lived under the shadow of societies expectations. She no longer wanted to do that.
As I was writing I received wisdom from my character, Granny. She taught me that I have to write what is in my soul. I, like Granny, spent many years conforming to others expectations so much that I lost me. I want to be silly, weird, creative and empower others to dream and imagine, and unleash the part of them that has been lost in whatever way that will not hurt anyone else. I want others to nurture the gift that we were given that lives inside all of us. The uniqueness that lives in all of us makes us different. Embrace your uniqueness. It is creatively yours.
July 14 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review
July 15 – Kelly P’s Blog – Interview
July 16 – My Recent Favorite Books – Review
July17 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Guest Post
July 18 – readalot blog – Review
July 19 – Christa Reads and Writes – Review
July 20 – Latte’ Da! – Review, Interview, Guest Post
July 21 – Author Michele Lynn Seigfried’s Blog – Guest Post
July 22 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Guest Post
July 23 – Back Porchervations – Review
July 24 – Teresa Trent Author Site – Review, Interview
July 25 – Omnimystery News – Interview –
July 26 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
July 27 – a chick who reads – Review
July 28 – deal sharing aunt – Interview