Today I have Linda Clarke here to tell us more about herself and her newest cozy mystery, The Mysterious Doll.
Welcome, Linda. It’s nice to have you on my blog again. I read your first book in this series, Bali Mystery, and notice that a lot of your books are set in exotic locations. Have you visited the places you write about in your stories?
I do a lot of research about the places I haven’t been. So much so that I feel I have actually been there and I can’t wait to visit it in person. In The Mysterious Doll, I have been to Estes Park and stayed in the famed Stanley Hotel. It is not only noted for being an elegant hotel but also for being haunted, especially the grand piano in the music room. My husband, my daughter Serena, and I stayed there over night and it was a delightful place. We really enjoyed it, but we never heard any ghosts playing in the halls or heard the piano play on its own accord. Although, I definitely heard the piano play! Serena sat down and played some beautiful pieces on that piano for a small audience. She can now boast that she played on the same piano as John Phillip Sousa.
Do you have places in mind for future books?
Yes, I always pick a place that I’m interested in or know about. My next book, which is called Her Lost Love, is set in southern Utah in St. George and Zion National Park where I live. This area is referred to as Color Country because of all the red mountains and soil.
Sometimes I’ll get an idea that comes to me such as: What if an elderly woman realizes that her brother has been missing? His home has been deserted for at least one month, so where did he go? This ended up as The Bali Mystery. Another idea came to me as I wondered: What if a young girl finds out she is adopted and wants to know about her heritage? She is told that her parents past away soon after her birth, but she wonders who her grandparents are. What if it is a mystery why her parents left Ireland so suddenly? What if there is more to this adoption than meets the eye? This ended up as The Shamrock Case.
How many mysteries do you envision for Amelia Moore and Rick Bonito?
It’s hard to say. I never know how many books are going to be in my series. My historical romance series, A Family Saga in Bear Lake Idaho, ended up with five books. My mystery/adventure series, The Adventures of John and Julia Evans, ended up with four books. My cozy mystery series, Amelia Moore Detective Series, may have many mysteries for Amelia and Rick to solve. This new series isn’t a “who-done-it” mystery. Amelia specializes in missing persons. Her Lost Love is in the editing stage right now and is book number five in this series. I’m really enjoying my two main characters. They are so fun. Rick loves to tease Amelia and his attraction to her is adorable. Amelia is a strong woman character and will not be threatened by anyone who tries to stop her research.
Is sweet romance your favorite genre to read as well as write?
Oh yes. I love reading about a happily-ever-after story. But to set a mystery to a cute romance is even more intriguing.
How did you get into writing?
It all started with writing my family history. After writing the stories of my parents, grandparents, and great grandparents, I couldn’t stop writing. Right now I teach “A Family Legacy Workshop” at libraries and help people to write their family’s and ancestors’ stories. I have been to 17 states and taught over 450 workshops. I believe it’s very important to teach our children their heritage.
What piece of advice would you give to writers?
The most important part of writing is having a good editor. It makes a world of difference with the outcome of your story. The editor can see mistakes that you may not. If a sentence sounds awkward, an editor can help you with sentence structure. Many times their advice can spark another idea in your mind and you end up adding more to your story.
What’s your favorite indulgence?
I love drinking hazelnut hot chocolate. Raspberry hot chocolate is also delicious. I’ve even added caramel flavoring to my hot chocolate. There are several flavors that are fun.
Tell me about how you picture your most happy moment.
My happy moment is when I’m with my husband sitting on the swing and watching the stars together or watching a thunderstorm from our porch. Sometimes it’s enjoying a movie and laughing with him. I guess my happy moment is just being together.
Sounds perfect! Thanks again for letting us get to know you better, Linda. Good luck on your future books!