Agatha-nominated and national best-selling author Edith Maxwell writes the Local Foods Mysteries, the Country Store Mysteries (as Maddie Day), the Lauren Rousseau Mysteries (as Tace Baker), and the Quaker Midwife Mysteries, as well as award-winning short crime fiction. Her latest book is FLIPPED FOR MURDER, the first in the Country Store Mysteries (October 2015, Kensington Publishing). Maxwell lives north of Boston with her beau and three cats, and blogs with the other Wicked Cozy Authors. I managed to catch Edith in a spare moment (hard to believe she has any). I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did!
Judy: Tell us a bit about Flipped for Murder.
Edith: Robbie Jordan is a Californian transplanted to scenic hilly Brown County, Indiana. Her cabinetmaker mom taught her carpentry, but she’s also an accomplished chef, and put both skills to work when she renovated an antique country store and opened Pans ‘N Pancakes, her breakfast-and-lunch restaurant. She likes to get out on her bicycle for exercise, and is a pro crossword puzzler solver at home, which helps when it comes to solving the puzzle that is murder.
FLIPPED FOR MURDER and the following mysteries in the series are set in fictional South Lick in Brown County, where small-town rivalries and gossip vie with the loyalty and support of the local residents. It’s hilly and pretty, with century-old Art Deco style buildings downtown. The artsy (actual) county seat of Nashville is five miles away, and the local (very real) towns of Gnaw Bone and Bean Blossom aren’t far, either.
Judy: What or who inspired you to become a writer?
Edith: I have always written, but I took a several-decades non-fiction break between my story-writing as a child and starting up again with mysteries in my forties. My mother, a big mystery reader herself, said to eight-year-old me, “You’re a good writer.” And I believed her!
Judy: Describe your writing process and/or a typical day in your life.
Edith: I usually write in my upstairs home office, and I’m at work before seven every morning except Sunday. I like it quiet when I write, and for distraction I gaze out the windows to my right and track the goings-on of my street. I do my creative work all morning, then go for a plotting walk and have lunch before doing all the other business of an author in the afternoon.
Judy: What’s the best writing advice you have ever read or been given?
Edith: “Butt in the chair, fingers on the keyboard.” You can’t revise what you haven’t written. The magic of telling the story always comes out of my fingertips once I sit down and start typing.
Judy: What’s next for Edith Maxwell?
Edith: With three contracts, I’m always working on the next book. Right now I’m polishing the second Quaker Midwife mystery, and gearing up for the April release of the first one, DELIVERING THE TRUTH.