Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Well Read, Then Dead



Today we have an interview with Terrie Farley Moran, author of Well Read, Then Dead, the first in a new series. If you comment below, you could be entered for a chance to win a copy of Terrie's new book & a little bag signed by Carolyn Hart, Joan Hess, Hank Phillipi Ryan, Kate Carlisle, Cathy Ace and Terrie. AND Terrie is having a book launch party on Facebook tonight from 7-11 EST and 4-8 pm PST and there will be prizes there too. 




Before we get to the interview, here's a little bit about Well Read, Then Dead.


Nestled in the barrier islands of Florida’s Gulf Coast, Fort Myers Beach is home to Mary “Sassy” Cabot and Bridget Mayfield—owners of the bookstore café, Read ‘Em and Eat. But when they’re not dishing about books or serving up scones, Sassy and Bridgy are keeping tabs on hard-boiled murder.

Read ‘Em and Eat is known for its delicious breakfast and lunch treats, along with quite a colorful clientele. If it’s not Rowena Gustavson loudly debating the merits of the current book club selection, it’s Miss Augusta Maddox lecturing tourists on rumors of sunken treasure among the islands. It’s no wonder Sassy’s favorite is Delia Batson, a regular at the Emily Dickinson table. Augusta’s cousin and best friend Delia is painfully shy—which makes the news of her murder all the more shocking.

No one is more distraught than Augusta, and Sassy wants to help any way she can. But Augusta doesn’t have time for sympathy. She wants Delia’s killer found—and she’s not taking no for an answer. Now Sassy is on the case, and she’d better act fast before there’s any more trouble in paradise.



Sassy and Bridgy take their first solo kayak ride from Bowditch Point Park where the fresh water of the inland streams and rivers meet the salt water of the Gulf of Mexico. 
You mention many other authors in your book. What inspired you to include them and how did you choose?

Well Read, Then Dead is a cozy mystery set in the Read ’Em and Eat, which is both a café and bookstore in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. The owners, Sassy Cabot and Bridgy Mayfield, two twenty-something transplants from Brooklyn, are very creative when it comes to bringing the themes together. They named each dining table for a writer. As an example, one table is named for Robert Frost. Laminated to the table top is a copy of the March 30, 1962 Life Magazine cover featuring Frost with craggy eyes and a boyish smile.  It is surrounded by snippets of Frost’s work, including “The Road Not Taken,” and a copy of the two poems collectively known as the fruit poems—“After Apple-Picking” and “Blueberries.” Those poems are the genesis of the Robert Frost Apple and Blueberry Tartlets, a staple on the Read ’Em and Eat menu. A number of book clubs meet there and the clubbies talk about books and authors all the time. But I get to choose which ones and I generally choose authors whose work I enjoy and appreciate. In the first few pages of Well Read, Then Dead there is a book club conversation about Anya Seton and Daphne du Maurier which leads to Bill Crider in very short order. Authors, authors everywhere.


Where did you get the buttermilk pie recipe that’s in the book? 

Let me just say that cooking and baking are not my areas of expertise. Still, Aunt Ophie’s Buttermilk Pie was so prominent throughout the story that I decided it only fair to include a recipe for any readers who might like to try their hand. I researched nearly a dozen recipes from cookbooks and the internet.  Other than buttermilk, sugar, flour, butter, vanilla and eggs, there was a wide variety of ingredients among the recipes. I decided to eliminate anything I felt was just an add-on and stick with the basic six. Then it became a process of trial and error in terms of amounts and baking temperatures. Fortunately, I have seven grandchildren who all like to hang out in the kitchen to measure and pour and stir and beat. And of course they are the official taste testers of all recipes related to the Read ’Em and Eat. It took five attempts before we developed a recipe that was grandkid approved. You can find it in the back of Well Read, Then Dead.

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

I think Mary Sassafras “Sassy” Cabot and I would hit it off rather well. I admire that she is a compassionate person always willing to do the kind thing, commit the decent act, be it trying to find a lost animal or the murderer of a friend.  Of course she is often quite single-minded, some might call her stubborn. But we share a love of reading—that spans all gaps.


Here is grandchild #6—one of my seven walking billboards. Who could resist that smile?

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

I never have doubts about the work itself, the story, characters, setting. I am often frustrated by my own inability to get the point across as succinctly and powerfully as I want. That’s what re-writing, re-writing and more re-writing is for, I guess.


When she walked under the Fort Myers Beach pier Sassy overhears a conversation.

Do you ever base characters on people you know?


Never. I did have one friend read a story and say, “That character is really me, right?” And I said, “No.” And she insisted. I let it go but the truth is, the character is nothing like my friend, although apparently the character is a lot like how my friend sees herself.  I have named characters after friends. I have a great deal of respect for a yoga instructor and social activist I know whose name is Maggie. So the yoga instructor in Well Read, Then Dead is named Maggie, different last name and different family circumstances, different personality, but Maggie. And my closest friend, whose maiden name was Cynthia Mays, gave me permission to use that name for the veterinarian. They are both attractive African-American women who love animals but that is where the connection stops. 



Twice short-listed for Best American Mystery Stories, Terrie Farley Moran’s cozy mystery novel, Well Read, Then Dead is the first book in the Read ’Em and Eat Café and Bookstore series. You can find Terrie blogging amid the grand banter of New York writers known as the Women of Mystery.www.womenofmystery.net Terrie tells anyone willing to listen that hanging out with any or all of her seven grandchildren provides life’s grand and joyful moments.

Don't forget to comment below to enter to win the ultra cool zipper bag below and a copy of Terrie's book. US residents only.







42 comments:

  1. Thank for for a great interview Terrie!

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  2. Deb, this is just lovely thank you so much for inviting me.

    Just want your readers to know, the time of the party is 7-11 EST, and 4-8 PST

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  3. I wish there really was a combo bookstore/cafe and it was close to me---I might never leave it if I could bring a sleeping bag with me.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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  4. A delightful interview and captivating book. Spending time with grandchildren is rewarding and so enjoyable. best wishes. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  5. Terrie, enjoyed the interview. So wish there was a place like the Read 'Em and Eat near me. It sounds like a fun place to hang out.

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  6. What a great setting. This book is intriguing and a treasure. I enjoyed the very interesting feature. Many thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  7. Great interview, Terrie. I wish Read 'Em and Eat was a real place so I could visit. Love the picture of your grandson and his cool t-shirt.

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  8. Great giveaway! Thanks for the opportunity and can't wait to read this book. kuzlin(at)aol(dot)com

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  9. SO looking forward to reading...thanks for the giveaway.


    patucker54 at aol dot com

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  10. Fort Myers, FL... located between Venice & Naples. :P
    Beautiful area! Maybe Sassy and Bridgy will travel north to Venice and search for ancient sharks teeth or to see Judge Judy in Naples.

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  11. First time follower here Deborah. Great interview! Thank you and Terrie for taking the time to introduce this first of a brand new series. I'm looking forward to reading it! Now, I'm off to the release party!
    Sandy in So. Cali sxygrndma48(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  12. I can't wait to read this one!

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  13. This one looks fantastic!! Thanks for the giveaway.

    Kimberlee
    girllostinabook@hotmail.com
    www.girllostinabook.com

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  14. Great interview! Can't wait to read it. Thanks for the giveaway!!

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  15. Looking foreword to this new series.

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  16. This book really sounds like something I would enjoy. Can't wait to read it.

    carstairs38@gmail

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  17. Enjoyed the interview very much. Would they consider a trip to Indian Rocks Beach???
    Karin

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  18. Great interview and good luck on your tour, Terrie. Kuzlin(at)aol(dot)com

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  19. Great interview! Can't wait to read this book!

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  20. so excited to start a new cozy!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

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  21. Wish I could get my grandkids to be walking billboards for reading books--any books. Neat idea !! My kids grandparents used to live in Ft. Myers a number of years ago

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    1. Annoying when the posting just stops --anyway, my kids grandmother worked as a volunteer in a local library and had many interesting tales to tell. I especially like book that include other books and authors within them. Looking forward to this one!!

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  22. Fun interview, Terrie! I already have Well Read, Then Dead, and I'm looking forward to reading it more than ever now. I love the idea of Read 'Em & Eat, and the authors you mentioned are some of my favorites. Also, hubby and I used to vacation a lot in Ft. Myers Beach when our daughters were young, so it'll be like revisiting a favorite spot.

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  23. I love the setting of your book. I am an avid reader and having 3 Grandgirls the oldest one is the reader. Thank you Grandma:) Love the idea of incorporating authors into the book. I am looking forward to reading it:)

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  24. Hi Terrie: I have about half of your book read as I was delayed in reading due to having all three of our grandchildren this week and I am loving it. How great it would be to have a bookshop/coffee-tea room like the one in your book. Someone should open one!!!!

    It will be fun to chat online. I loved the part of the interview when you told about you and yours testers for the pie recipe. My three love to bake with me all the time, so I can picture double that amount all in the kitchen at once (which probably was not the case, but it came to mind. :)) Wishing you wonderful luck with this new series. Would love to get another copy for this book for my friend who lives in Naples, Fl. And the tote bag would be fantastic of course. Thank you.
    Cynthia

    ceblain(AT)tmlponline(DOT)net

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  25. Fun interview, Deb! Congrats to Terrie on the exciting debut of her awesome series. Wouldn't we all love a "Read 'em & Eat" cafe & bookstore? It sounds so cozy :-)

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  26. The Read 'em & Eat cafe and bookstore is my dream someday. I would love to be able to offer people not only the chance to sit a spell and read but also eat or drink some delicious offerings. Congrats to Terrie on her inviting book.

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  27. I love cozy mysteries. The book and bag are awesome. Thank you for this giveaway!

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  28. Can't wait to read this one. Thanks for the giveaway. kphans08@gmail.com

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  29. Really wish your cafe was real and close to me!

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  30. great interview - learned alot about your new book and how the writing process works for you. I do not have a any of these accounts to post this comment so you can find me on FB under Vickie Dailey - PS would love to try the buttermilk pie recipe

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  31. I am delighted with the happy comments about Well Read, Then Dead, and doubly pleased about all the interest in winning the fabulous signed purse.

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  32. Enjoyed reading this :)
    Marilyn (ewatvess@yahoo.com)

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  33. Looking forward to reading this one.

    dotkel50 at comcast dot net

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  34. Our winner is Marilyn! Look for an e-mail shortly.

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  35. Woo hoo...fantastic...I have sent an email. Thank you so much.
    Marilyn (ewatvess@yahoo.com)

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  36. Whoo Hoo Marilyn--congratulations. Enjoy your purse and please let me know what you thik of Well Read, Then Dead.

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  37. Thanks to everyone for entering--and thanks for your grand comments!

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