Today, it is my pleasure to introduce Amy Metz, author of Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction. Not only is Amy the queen of Southern humor, but she's also a darned good mystery writer too. Her newly released novel offers the best of both - humor and mystery - and a dash of romance.
When Tess Tremaine starts a new life in the colorful town of Goose Pimple Junction, she thinks she's moved to a quiet little burg. Curiosity leads her to look into a seventy-five-year-old murder, and suddenly she's learning the foreign language of southern speak, resisting her attraction to local celebrity Jackson Wright, and dealing with more mayhem than she can handle.
If brains were dynamite, Willy couldn't blow his nose. Could a murderer be that stupid? Jack can charm the dew right off the honeysuckle. Surely a fine southern gentleman isn't a murderer. But Tess is determined to find out, and Goose Pimple Junction will never be the same.
A bank robbery, murder, and family tragedy from the 1930s are pieces of the mystery, which Tess attempts to solve. As she gets close to the truth, she encounters danger, mystery, a lot of southern charm, and a new temptation for which she's not sure she's ready.
Tricia: Hi Amy. It's great to have you. Before we talk about the book, can you tell us about yourself?
Amy: Tricia, I'm a pretty boring person. I taught first grade until I had my first child...twenty-four years ago. Gasp! Then I was a stay at home mom and PTA volunteer. In 2009, my mother was diagnosed with vascular dementia, and I became her caretaker. If you've ever had a loved one with dementia, you know how completely frustrating and depressing it can be. I started writing a book about my experiences with my mother, which was good therapy, but it also kind of magnified the events. As you know, when you write, you live in the manuscript, much as you do when you read a book you really like. So I was living this horrible time in my life, then coming home and writing about it and reliving it all over again. I needed an escape from life, so I began writing GPJ.
Tricia: Tell us about the book....
Tricia: Tell us about the book....
Amy: The book is told in two time periods--the 1930s and the present day. My main character, Tess Tremaine, moves into the former home of John Hobb, a man who was murdered in 1935. The murder was never solved, but when Tess finds a mysterious item in the house, and learns of Hobb's unsolved murder, she decides to investigate. This draws the attention of two men in town: one who wants her, and one who just wants her dead. Throw in some quirky characters, a ton of goosepimpleims, and another murder in the present day, and you have Murder & Mayhem.
Tricia: How did you come up with the idea for the book?
Amy: The story is actually based on the 1935 murder of my father's uncle. I grew up hearing the stories about that murder and some other tragic events in my family's history that are also in the book. I'd always thought the stories would make a good book. When I decided to write GPJ, I knew I wanted to write about the murder, but I also wanted the story to be humorous. I like reading humorous mysteries, I like to laugh, and I very much needed to laugh when I wrote the book. While the story is based on real life events, the book is totally fictional, as are all of the characters. Murder isn't humorous, so I tried to make my characters humorous.
Tricia: You have a pretty amazing book trailer that I think will really bring the story to life for my readers. Let's have a look...
Tricia: What are your plans for the series?
Amy: I've completed the second book in the series, and I'm currently writing the third. Martha Maye, one of the secondary characters in the first book, is the main character in the sequel. Goose Pimple Junction is just recovering from the murder and mayhem of book one, when a stalker, a murderer, and a serial thief come to town. Martha Maye’s divorce is almost final, but her husband shows up in town wanting her back. And then there’s the other guy in town who wants her…
I’m currently writing the third book in the series. Pickle’s mother, Caledonia Culpepper—a true Southern Belle—is the main character in the third book. There will be a hit woman, a kidnapping, and Lord knows what else. I’m just getting started on it.
Q: Who is your favorite character in GP1 and why?
A: I love Tank Marshall, the tough as nails biker dude. He actually plays a small part in the story, but I had a lot of fun writing about him. The scenes he’s in are some of my favorites. I also love clueless Pickle, who’s in the story a lot. He was really fun to write too.
Tricia: Do you outline your novels, or do you write by the seat of your pants?
Amy: I’m not being evasive when I say both! For Murder & Mayhem, I was a pantser. I had a general idea of where I wanted the story to go, and I just wrote and let it unfold. Sometimes I think I wrote the story while the characters dictated it to me. For the second book, I started off being a pantser, but switched to outlining after a few chapters. I needed a clearer plan from which my imaginary friends could work. Same for the third one. I have a rough outline for it.
Tricia: How important is southern humor in your series?
Amy: It’s the foundation of the story. I use dialect and southern expressions throughout the book, and it just would not be the same story if the book were set in another region of the country. I started calling the expressions “goosepimpleisms” when someone said she thought they made the town seem like one of the characters. I can’t claim them as my own—they’re sayings I’ve heard all my life, and some I found in research, but they’re definitely part of the fabric of the story.
Thanks for hosting me, Tricia. I love your blog, and it’s always good to be here.
Tricia: I wish you the best of luck with your new book, Amy. Thanks for stopping by. For those readers who would like to purchase a copy of the book, or who would like to learn more about Amy's work, please visit the following links:
Purchase the book on Amazon
Purchase the book on B&N
Visit Amy on Facebook