Today, I'm honored to have Erin Scoggins, one of the authors featured in the Mysteries Midsummer Anthologies with me.
Welcome, Erin. Can you describe your current writing space for my readers?
My office is my favorite room in the house. I write at my father’s old executive desk, which I painted a cozy farmhouse gray. I collect antique typewriters, and my favorite sits atop a refurbished card catalog from my local school library. I have a full set of bright blue gym lockers to hold all my notebooks and office supplies. There’s art from my kids, flowers, and an overstuffed chair to curl up in when I need a mid-sentence nap.
Sounds perfect, right? To get the full picture, though, you’ll need to add in three kids who are still in virtual school and like to hang out in the chair waiting for technical support while I’m writing. There’s also a giant dog who sleeps under the desk. I have to shove him out of the way to sit down at the keyboard. He snores like someone is trying to start his engine, which is fun when I’m trying to have a Zoom call. It’s loud and crazy and messy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Great! How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It usually takes me a few months to write a draft I’m excited to work with. From there, it goes quickly. I’m lucky enough to have a fantastic team of editors who help me wrangle my words into submission with one or two passes, then we’re ready to publish. I tried to speed up the process recently by dictating a few chapters. In theory, it would be an ideal way to get the books out faster. In practice, I don’t think the software developers who created the program were prepared for people who dictate in a house full of chaos. The editing process takes a lot longer when you’re removing strange voices constantly asking for snacks and a dog who likes to bark in my face to warn me about the squirrels outside the window.
What comes first for you, the plot or characters?
For me, it’s all about the characters. In cozies, the plot is important, but the characters drive the story. I want to see them grow while they’re solving a murder. I’m sure we’d all be thinking about personal development while there’s a killer on the loose, right? And I live in the South. There’s no shortage of quirky people to use as inspiration.
What kind of research do you do for a book?
Food plays a central role in my books, and it wouldn’t be realistic for me to write about brownies if I hadn’t recently eaten one. So I cook a lot. Thankfully, I have a bunch of people around who think that’s a great idea and encourage that part of my writing process. Since I write books set on the North Carolina coast, I take regular research trips to the beach to make sure I’m capturing the details of the area. It’s a tough job, but I need to ensure I’m doing justice to the people and traditions of one of my favorite places. Plus, there’s no better place to taste the seafood than sitting next to the ocean.
LOL. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
I’d give myself the same pep talk I give my kids: There may be other people who are faster or smarter or more talented than you, and that’s okay. You have a story to tell, and you’re the only one who can tell it. So be brave in the knowledge that you are uniquely qualified to share what’s in your heart and your imagination. You can’t fail when you honor your own story.
Thank you for sharing with us today. Now to the anthology!
Poisonous picnics, burgled barbeques, deadly deckchairs... and midsummer mayhem! From a brilliant bunch of amazing authors, including multiple prizewinners and USA Today best sellers, comes this wonderful collection of 21 summer-themed cozy mysteries. Featuring peril at the pool, blood on the beach, and felony at the festival, these fabulous stories—21 brand new and exclusive tales—will keep you entertained until long after the sun has set.
With stories from Hillary Avis, Benedict Brown, Catherine Coles, Paula Darnell, Connie B. Dowell, Ellen Jacobson, Joann Keder, Patti Larsen, Cate Lawley, Gayle Leeson, Daisy Linh, Rimmy London, R.B. Marshall, Megan Mayfair, Wendy Meadows, Phillipa Nefri Clark, Michele Pariza Wacek, Erin Scoggins, Cathy Tully, Victoria LK Williams and Carly Winter, you'll surely find some of your favourite authors and discover some great new writers within the ~1600 pages of this set. This collection will only be available for a limited time so don't miss out - grab yourself a bargain today!
Enter to win one of these great prizes offered by the authors included in the anthology. All prizes can be awarded internationally unless otherwise specified. Good luck!
List of Possible Prizes
1 x ebook copy of Oceanberry Blues & Tangerine Troubles by Joann Keder
Signed paperback of The Murder Before Christmas by Michele Pariza Wacek
1 x signed paperback of Cabernet & Confessions by Daisy Linh (US only)
1 x ebook of Cabernet & Confessions by Daisy Linh (international)
1 x audio book of each of A Cop & A Coop, A Flock & A Fluke; and A Roost & Arrest by Hillary Avis
1 x ebook of Bride & Doom by Erin Scoggins
1 x ebook of each of The After Hours Deception, The Hothouse Deception, and The Backstage Deception by Patti Larsen
1 x ebook of winner’s choice from the Izzy Palmer mysteries and the Lord Edgington Investigates series by Benedict Brown
1 x ebook boxset of 4 first in series books by Victoria L K Williams
1 x signed paperback of Murder for Neptune’s Trident by Victoria L K Williams (US only)
1 x ebook of both Apples & Alibis and Designs on Murder by Gayle Leeson
1 x paperback of Artistic License to Kill by Paula Darnell
1 x signed paperback of The Body in the Bookmobile & A Villain in the Vineyard by Connie B Dowell
1 x ebook of Till Daph Do Us Part by Phillipa Nefri Clark
1 x paperback (signed if winner in the US) of Murder by Numbers by Megan Mayfair
1 x ebook of the Mollie McGhee cozy collection: books 1-3 by Ellen Jacobson
1 x paperback of Murder at the Marina by Ellen Jacobson (US only)
1 x ebook of A Corpse at the Castle by R B Marshall
1 x paperback of Clues, Christmas Trees, & Corpses anthology – various authors
1 x ebook of Fairmont Finds Canine Cozy Mysteries Books 1-3 by Cate Lawley
1 x signed paperback of Dr Shine Cracks the Case by Cathy Tully (US only)
1 x signed paperback of The Guest is a Goner & News and Nectarines by Carly Winter
1 x ebook box set of the Tommy & Evelyn Christie mysteries Books 1-3 by Catherine Coles
1 x signed paperback of Murder at the Manor by Catherine Coles
1 x signed paperback of Poison at the Village Show by Catherine Coles
1 x $25 gift card to winner’s e-bookstore of choice
2 x $10 gift card to winner’s e-bookstore of choice
3 x $5 gift card to winner’s e-bookstore of choice