Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Melissa Bourbon's A Killing Notion

Melissa Bourbon joins us to today to answer a few questions about her new book, A Killing Notion. And don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post.

Here's a description of the book:

Harlow Jane Cassidy is swamped with homecoming couture requests. If only she didn’t have to help solve a murder, she might get the gowns off the dress forms....

Harlow is doing everything she can to expand her dressmaking business, Buttons & Bows—without letting clients know about her secret charm. When she has a chance to create homecoming dresses with a local charity and handmade mums for several high school girls—including Gracie, whose father, Will, has mended Harlow’s heart—she is ready to use her magical talents for a great cause.

But when Gracie’s date for the dance is accused of murder, Harlow knows things won’t be back on course until she helps Gracie clear the football player’s name. If Harlow can’t patch up this mess before the big game, her business and her love life might be permanently benched.

And now let's talk to Melissa:

1) What was your favorite book growing up and why?

I loved Gone with the Wind in high school (and beyond). I don't reread many books, but that’s one I’ve reread several times. I love that Atlanta is really a character in the book, and Scarlet is such a well-drawn heroine. Complex and layered, so great inspiration. And Rhett Butler?  Love.

2) If your protagonist were actually a real person, would you be friends with them? Why or why not?

I absolutely would be friends with Harlow Cassidy (and Lola Cruz from my other series).  I think that’s one of the requirements of the main characters I create… I want to write about people I want to spend time with (because I spend a lot of time with them!). Harlow is a down-to-earth woman who could easily be a neighbor, friend, confidant. 

3) Have you ever come close to missing a deadline?

Too many times! I have come to realize that I work better under a tight deadline. I work slowly, plugging away, but I usually don’t make my daily quotas because my day job is so busy. So when it comes close to deadline, I’m always behind!  But I find inspiration comes when I’m forced to create. Sometimes I think I’m a masochist! But it works. 

4) Do you ever have doubts when you are in the middle of the writing process? How do you get past them?

I think doubts are part of the process. I have a love/hate relationship with the book I’m writing. I alternately think it’s the best and the worst thing I’ve ever written. But the great thing is that the revision process allows me the time and process to work through any issues I’ve had and to make it the best it can be.

5) Do you ever get writer’s block? How do you get past it?

I think writer’s block is part of the creative process. Even though I plot, the actual development of characters and the world come as I write. And sometimes that development doesn’t come when I need it to. When I get blocked, I put the project aside for a day or two and just mull things over. Invariably I figure out the way past the wall I was against.

6) How long did it take you to get your first draft done of this book?

I had the luxury of taking a year and a half to write my first book. When you have a contract, things change and you can’t take that time. I have a nine month time period between publication of A Magical Dressmaking mystery series, which means I have about six months to write each book. After that comes revisions. Of course, if I’ve procrastinated, then I have less than those 6 months.

Melissa Bourbon, who sometimes answers to her Latina-by-marriage name Misa Ramirez, gave up teaching middle and high school kids in Northern California to write full-time amidst horses and Longhorns in North Texas.  She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with yoga and chocolate, is devoted to her family, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams.

She is the Marketing Director with Entangled Publishing, is the author of the Lola Cruz Mystery series with St. Martin’s Minotaur and Entangled Publishing, and A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series with NAL. She also has written two romantic suspense novels, a light paranormal romance, and is the co-author of The Tricked-out Toolbox, a practical marketing guide for authors.

You can find Melissa on Twitter (http://twitter.com/melissabourbon) and Facebook.

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  1. Sounds like a really interesting book. Love the premise.

  2. This sounds like a really great book.

  3. Thanks for a great interview Melissa!