Blog for Pamela and Terri from the CozyArmchair Group on yahoo
Thursday, November 29, 2012
An Interview with Mary Welk
Pam: Mary how many books have you written? Tell us about your
I've written four complete novels in the "Rhodes to Murder" series,
two novellas featuring Caroline Rhodes from the series, and multiple short
stories, two of which also featured Caroline and her pals from the little
university town of Rhineburg, Illinois. I built the other short stories around
vastly different characters. Those stories have appeared in the anthologies
Chicago Blues; Blondes in Trouble and Other Tangled Tales; Mayhem in the
Midlands; and most recently, Dark Things II: Cat Crimes.
to my work schedule, I used to be a night owl, writing late at night and into
the wee hours of the morning. Since retiring, I hit the pillow a lot earlier.
Now I write in the afternoons and early evening.
Pam: Do you have some favorite minor characters?
Mary: Caroline's main sleuthing buddy is Carl Atwater, a professor
of history at Rhineburg's Bruck University. He's really a major character,
though, as is antique dealer Maddy "Mad" Moeller, Caroline's closest
female friend in Rhineburg. I think my favorite minor characters are the half
dozen or so ladies who live at the Rhineburg Boarding House and Home for Gentle
Women. They first showed up in The Rune Stone Murders, the second book in the
series, where they were engaged in a somewhat nefarious practice aimed at augmenting
their Social Security income. These fine ladies made
a return appearance in The Scarecrow Murders where they led the town's women in
a protest march that ended in a battle with their elderly male counterparts.
They will certainly appear again in upcoming stories.
Pam: Are you currently writing a new book? When will your next
mystery be released?
Mary: I recently finished writing Haunted Hearts, the second
Caroline Rhodes novella and a Halloween mystery. It was published in late
October as a follow-up to the novella Framed, which appeared as one of three
stories by different authors in the book Hearts & Daggers, released this
past Valentine's Day. In Framed, Caroline falls for Paul-Henri Girard, a dark
eyed handsome gambler who's made his fortune playing poker at tournaments in
the U.S. and Europe. Haunted Hearts continues the story of their growing
romance while also telling the story of Caroline's first murder case years
earlier. Next up for publication is a Christmas short story and a spring anthology
of short stories. Right now, though, I'm happy to announce the December 2012
release of the mass market paperback edition of A Merry Little Murder by
Harlequin/Worldwide. A Merry Little Murder is a Christmas holiday mystery and
the first book in the "Rhodes to Murder" series. Harlequin will be
publishing the other three books in the series as mass market paperbacks in
Pam: Since you have been an author for a while, I bet you have
some really great writing advice to share with us?
Mary: My best advice is to edit, edit, edit before you send out your
work to be read. Make a list of words you frequently use without even realizing
it, words like "just", "always", "really",
"that", etc. Do a word search for those kinds of words and replace
them. Eliminate "that" and "was" as often as possible. Use
strong active verbs to describe action. Instead of saying "She went out of
the house", write "She hurried/ran/stumbled/tip-toed/etc. out of the
house". Keep the action moving to avoid dead space in the story. And do
your research. For example. if your character goes camping in Minnesota, make
sure you don't describe the forest as full of palm trees. Find out what kind of
trees grow in Minnesota forests and use the correct names for them.
Pam: Now for some fun questions. What is your favorite movie,
dessert and if you can narrow it down your favorite book?
Mary: I have several favorite movies, some old, some newer. I'd have
to say Steel Magnolias and Fried Green Tomatoes are two of my all time
favorites along with that oldie but goodie Arsenic and Old Lace. My favorite
dessert is cherry pie and peppermint ice cream. As for my favorite books,
almost anything by Fannie Flagg. I absolutely loved her books Welcome to the
World, Baby Girl and A Redbird Christmas. Flagg is a true storyteller who
writes with an honest and sympathetic voice, which makes her characters as true
to ordinary life as possible. My second favorite author is Terry Pratchett. I
adore his Discworld series.
Pam: Mary do you ever get the chance to read books by your
Mary: Oh, yes. I'm currently reading Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
and just bought his book The Last Hero.
Pam: What would you like to say to your readers?
Mary: I hope readers will try the "Rhodes to Murder"
series. I write inter-generational mysteries, meaning I have characters ranging
from their mid-twenties (Caroline's three grown children) to middle age
(Caroline and Maddy) to senior citizen (Carl Atwater). I love the interplay
between people of various ages, and I enjoy writing mysteries that show their
various abilities. To see all my books and shorts stories, please visit my
website at www.marywelk.com or my Amazon
page at www.amazon.com/author/marywelk.
Pam: Since it's the holiday season...this year what do you want
Mary: That's easy! I'm hoping to get a Kindle Paperwhite for
Christmas. I'm been hinting about one for weeks, so hopefully my kids heard me.
Pam: In parting as an author what are you looking forward to in
Mary: More time to write! It's been a very busy year in our
household. Hopefully, 2013 will be a less hectic and more peaceful year. Thanks
for asking such great questions. I've enjoyed being interviewed by you, Pam.