Blog for Pamela and Terri from the CozyArmchair Group on yahoo
Friday, December 21, 2012
An Interview with Monica Mary Pulver
Pam: Mary how many books have you
penned? How many series do you write and of course how many independent books
have you written?
Monica: I am currently writing just
one series, the Betsy Devonshire needlework mysteries.I am in awe of authors who write two or even
more series at a time – because I don't seem able to do that. I started by
writing short stories, and still occasionally will write one.I've sold something over two dozen short
stories.Some use characters from my
books, others don't.My first series was
written as Mary Monica Pulver, about a police detective, Sergeant Peter
Brichter, who married a horse breeder; then Gail Frazer and I, as Margaret
Frazer, wrote six novels in the Dame Frevisse “Tales” together (she continued
the series alone).It's set in a nunnery
in fifteenth-century England.I've been
extremely fortunate in that only two books I've written haven't been published
– both badly flawed.
Pam: Tell us about your writing
Monica: I get to my desk first thing,
boot up, and look at the national news.I'll read a couple of blogs.I
open the story I'm working on and go back and forth between the Internet and
the story until the story engages my full attention – which happens pretty
quickly.At noon I stop to make a salad
for lunch, then go back to work until I am out of writing or it's suppertime,
whichever comes first.If there's a
deadline looming, I'll go back to work in the evening.All this happens around the usual stuff of
life: grocery shopping, cleaning house, writers group meetings, book signings,
meeting people who give me research information, getting the car serviced,
Christmas shopping, etc., etc.
Pam: Are you currently working on a book?
Monica: Yes, the seventeenth in the
Betsy Devonshire series.Currently
titled The Drowning Spool, it is about a night watchman falsely
suspected of drowning a young woman in the therapy pool of the senior complex
he works at.
Pam: Terri wanted me to ask you about
your hats you wear to Malice every year and do you have any favorite one?
Monica:Oh, gosh, choosing a favorite hat!That's impossible!LOLI
like large, elaborate hats, felt for winter and straw for summer, with feathers
and ribbon and sometimes sequins or rhinestones on them.I have some antique hats and some new ones,
and one really outrageous one I bought this fall at a mystery convention, Magna
cum Murder, held in Muncie, Indiana.You
can see it on my Facebook site.Impossible to describe, really.My web site has some pictures of me in some of my hats – I own around
Pam: It is the holiday season so
what makes your holiday special?
Monica:Gatherings with family and friends.Baking a double batch of Austrian Vanocka, a
sweet yeast bread with nutmeg, orange zest, almond splinters and two colors of
raisins.The smell of it baking really
evokes Christmas emotions in me.I had a
really enormous collection of Fontanini Christmas Creche figures (not just the
stable, but all of Bethlehem!) that was too big to display in the apartment we
moved into, so I donated it to my church.They put me in charge of setting it up and taking it down during the
Christmas season, so I still get to play with it, and continue to add new figures.Last year I bought the blacksmith, this year
the brickmaker.They are very beautiful
and I tell myself stories about them as I arrange them on the tables in the
Pam: Okay now for some fun questions.
Do you have a favorite place to vacation, book, meal, movie, song and dessert?
I have a sister and two nieces who
live in Florida, so there's a great place to visit for a winter get-away.I have not-strongly-formulated plans to go to
England if the skeleton found in Leicester, England, proves to be the bones of
King Richard III – I'm a huge, huge fan of Richard.I love re-reading my collection of Terry
Pratchett and Donald E. Westlake novels.There's an Asian restaurant right in my neighborhood I go to and bring
friends to.Favorite movie?This season I'm very fond of watching the old
version of “A Christmas Carol” starring Alistair Sim.I like J.S. Bach, especially “The B Minor
Mass.”I'm on a diet and not supposed to
think about desserts, so we won't talk about cheesecake or anything to do with
Pam: What advice do you have for
Monica:Sit down and write.All the wishing, all the plotting, all the
classes mean nothing if you don't sit down and write.A writers group can be extremely helpful if
you can find (or found!) a good one.The
goal of the group must be to get every member published.
Pam: What is your favorite part of the
Monica:Oh, getting a great idea!No, coming up with a couple of really clever
plot twists.No, wait, discovering a
character who you love spending time with.I actually like editing a manuscript than writing it.Better than that, finishing the doggone
thing, very gratifying.Best is signing
a contract with a publisher.Even
better, getting that advance copy, holding it in your hands, opening it and
finding your words right there on the page.No, I've got it: getting invited to a signing and having someone come up
and gush, “I just love your book!”Especially if she stays to gossip about the characters as if they are
real people.Now I think about it, those
royalty checks are terrific, too.I
guess my favorite part is being a writer.
Pam: Do you have favorite minor
Monica:Gosh, yes.I like Irene, a skilled needleworker who looks at the world from a
little off to one side.Sergeant Mike
Malloy, the long-suffering police detective in Betsy's home town is fun to
write about.Jill Cross Larson, despite
her Scandinavian cool reticence, has all kinds of hidden quirks.I haven't brought Joe Mickels out for an
appearance lately; he's overdue.(I'll
tell you a secret about him: he's based on the classic comic book character,
Pam: What are you looking forward to
Monica:Well, the world didn't end as scheduled, so
it's onward and upward with The Drowning Spool.I bought a beautiful counted cross stitch
pattern from White Willow Stitching, “Tribal Cat,” designed by Jamie
Larson.I've been putting off working on
it so my New Year's Resolution Number One has to be to get started.I'm also going to rediscover punch needle –
research for TDS.
Pam: Lastly would you leave us with
words of wisdom from one of your characters?
Monica:Jill, who has a darker view of life than
Betsy, likes to point out, “When seconds count, the police are just minutes