MM: Daryl, tell us what new releases you have coming out in 2016?
GIRL ON THE RUN, my first stand-alone suspense, comes out April 9th. It’s getting excellent early reviews. GRILLING THE SUBJECT, the 5th Cookbook Nook Mystery, comes out August, 2016. Wild West Extravaganza is coming to Crystal Cove.
MM: Both personally and professionally what has you excited this year?
Trying my hand at a self-published book, GIRL ON THE RUN, is particularly exciting to me. It’s taken a lot of work and effort, but I love this story, and I’m thrilled to see others are enjoying it!
MM: Where is your favorite place to write?
I write anywhere I can. In my office, in my kitchen, outside, at Starbuck’s. I love listening to music when I write.
MM: Tell us about all of your series and what would your protagonist tell us about you?
As I said, I am currently publishing a suspense novel. I love suspense. I’ve read suspense and thrillers, as well as mysteries, all my life. GIRL ON THE RUN tells you I love the thrill of the chase! It also tells you I love Lake Tahoe! My Cookbook Nook Mysteries are set on the coast of California. I love writing about a culinary book shop. I entered one a few years ago and fell instantly in love. The Cheese Shop Mysteries, which I write as Avery Aames, are set in Ohio. I adore cheese and I adore cooking. The two make for a very tasty time when I write.
MM: Give us an example of your writing schedule?
I wake early and walk Sparky, my darling and very energetic golden-doodle. I eat, exercise, and then get to work and write until noon. I do my emails and social media, and then hopefully get right back to work after lunch until dinner. I do take fun days. One to play golf. Another to go to the movies or spend time with friends and family. When I’m doing either, my mind is still working on ideas and segues and characters. Fun!
MM: Here is a fun question. Dead or alive if you were going to host a dinner party. What authors would you invite? What meal would you serve? Who would be your guest of honor?
Well, I hope I’m alive when I host the party! J I would love to have Mark Twain, Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Lisa Gardner, Krista Davis, Hannah Dennison, and Mary Higgins Clark. I think that would make a great complement of authors. Pithy, funny, fun! Definitely barbecue. It’s easy and everyone loves it, and I have the best barbecue sauce! I think Shakespeare would be my guest of honor. I studied his works back in college and fell in love with the comedies. I hope he’s as funny as his work is. Did you see “Shakespeare in Love”? One of my all-time favorite films. Do you think he might be that handsome?
MM: Tell us about where you live? Be our tour guide with the sights, sounds and smells that makes where you live unique?
I live in Los Angeles, in a suburb called Encino. Our house is in the hills and surrounded by gorgeous trees. My backyard is my haven. I have planted all sorts of white, purple, and yellow flowers, as well as a bunch of roses. I adore roses! Butterflies and hummingbirds love the yard. My favorite time of day is going out after breakfast to do the crossword puzzle and listening to the birds wake up each day and hearing squirrels race through the pines.
MM: What would you like to say to your readers?
Hi. (Oh, you wanted more than that?) I’d like to say that I hope my readers are open to reading more of my work than just my cozy mysteries. I will never write dark. I will never harm a child or pet. But I do love suspense and I also love romantic comedy, so who knows what else I might write in the coming years! But most of all, readers, I hope I am entertaining you. That is my main goal.
MM: It seems to take a village to write a book. Who, what when and where is in your village?
Right now, my village is Berkley Prime Crime. But I also have a wonderful website maven, a fabulous virtual assistant who has helped with every step of this self-publishing process. My sister is my computer guru and keeps me from throwing my computer out a window on occasion. I have author friends, like Krista Davis, who has helped build additional social media platforms where we can reach out to readers. She is a blessing! And I have author friends with whom I can chat and share stories and network. Having these kinds of friends keeps me level-headed and in the game at all times. I love them all.
MM: What advice will you give other mystery writers who want to write a series? Also how is writing a stand-alone different than writing a series?
A series requires a “bible” meaning make sure you write bios for each of the characters and now their background. Know where they are going through 3-5 books. What are their personal arcs? Map out your town so you know which direction your characters are moving. Keep notes and more notes (the more organized, the better) so you can be sure that the dog’s name is X and the best friend’s name is Y and they met how and when… Writing a stand-alone, you’re solely responsible for that one story. Yes, you need your characters’ histories, but you won’t have to drum that up for another book down the line. There’s some relief in that! However a stand-alone is creating a whole new world, whereas, in a series, there’s a familiarity each time you start a new book. It’s like going “home.”
MM: Do you binge watch any shows or movies? If so which ones are your favorite?
I love a few right now. Quantico, Elementary, Blindspot, NCIS, and Dancing with the Stars! That’s my only reality show, but I love it. I used to be a dancer, so I can really relate to the drama of it.
MM: What mystery panels are you looking forward to seeing or hosting this year?
I’ll be on a foodie mystery panel at Malice Domestic. That should be fun. It’s always fun to talk about food and how it plays as a “hook” in a mystery.
MM: Tell us something humorous that has happened to you at a book signing or convention?
It’s not humorous, but it’s oh, so fun! I was at a book signing at Malice Domestic and Harlan Coben walked in. He’s SO tall! I hurried to him to say hello and to remind him that we’d met years ago at another conference. I love his work. He knew my name, which surprised me. It wasn’t the one on the placard. Avery Aames (my name for the Cheese Shop Mysteries) was on the placard, but he said, “You’re Daryl, right?” So cool!
MM: Who do you think is the most overlooked author of our time?
Me. LOL Um, I’m not sure. I read but I’m not as extensive a reader as so many of you.
MM: Lastly where do you like to vacation?
I like to go where there’s water. Lake Tahoe, Hawaii. I don’t bask in the sun any more, but I love to hear the water when I’m reading and resting. I love the sound of seagulls and I love watching whales and dolphins play.
MM: In closing what life lesson has writing books taught you?
That you have to persevere. If you give up before you reach your goal, you will NEVER reach your goal. Against all odds, I got published! It took a long time. I was rejected numerous times. I had a seventh grade teacher who told me I shouldn’t write. If I’d listened to him… So never give up. Believe in yourself. I do believe in myself, but there are days when that is tough to do, so I post notes everywhere. On occasion, I give myself pep talks in the mirror. It works.
And for one lucky person - Daryl is giving away a copy of Fudging The Books - The 4th Cookbook Nook Mystery!
Just enter a comment below!
The Drawing will be on 4/15/16!