When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I didn’t want to be a writer. I started writing as a game because I was bored.
How long does it take you to write a book? It varies, but maybe four months and then another couple of months of editing before it’s good enough to be seen in public by beta readers, then more editing, then off to the editor.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?I’m the world’s most undisciplined writer. I write when I have a scene ready to go and when I’m not doing something else.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I love to watch how my characters move as they enter a scene.
How do your books get published?
I have a small publishing company, Good Read Publishers, and I use KDP for e-books and print books.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Oh gosh. I watch people and imagine.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I was already a geezerette when my first book came out. I was 59.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I host Airbnb, which is so much fun that I’ve even written about it. I am an occasional community activist. I like to garden and socialize with friends.
What does your family think of your writing?
They think it’s cool that I do it. My next goal is recording audiobooks and my youngest son has set up a mini recording studio for that.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Characters talk to you and tell you things about themselves that you didn’t know.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? Seven in the Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries series, a stand-alone novel called Mags and the AARP Gang, The Glass House, the first book in the PIP Inc. Mysteries series, and a mini tell-all called, The Truth About Hosting Airbnb. I’ve also edited Cozy Food: 128 Cozy Mystery Writers Share Their Favorite Recipes and an anthology called Santa Cruz Weird.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Get a good editor.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Do you like to create books for adults?
All my books are for adults.
What do you think makes a good story?
Almost anything can make a good story.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I haven’t decided yet.
Any books in the works?
I’m working on The Funeral Murder, book two in the PIP Inc. Mysteries (which stands for Private Investigator Pat) I went to a funeral about a year ago where someone died during the funeral. It set me to asking questions and thinking…
What are your plans for the future?
I’m not bragging, but I have a big house set on thirty-six acres of private forest with a commanding view of the Monterey Bay and Pacific ocean. People say it’s a magical place and a wonderful retreat. I thought it would be great fun to hold writer retreats her a few times a year. Doesn’t five or six people all coming up with novel ways to commit murder sound like fun?
The Glass House: A PIP Inc. Mystery (PIP Inc. Mysteries)
by Nancy Lynn Jarvis
Law Librarian Pat Pirard got an unexpected thirty-fifth birthday present: a pink slip. Now she has nine weeks to reinvent herself before she runs out of money. Her best friend Syda gives her a glass-forming class as a birthday present and distraction where Pat gets another surprise: a murder.
Entertaining cozy with a dose of romance
I love the start of this new series from Nancy Lynn Jarvis. It’s written in her engaging style, with solid characters, plenty of red herrings, and a murder that feels perfect since the victim is someone you love to hate!
I was particularly impressed by the deft introduction of the main character, Pat Pirard. At the start of the book, Pat is in her new car, a two-door sunburst yellow Mercedes, pulling into her newly-designated parking spot at the Santa Cruz County office building. She’s listening to Aretha’s “Respect.” We learn that she’s got strawberry blond hair. She’s wearing peachy lipstick and stylish pointed-toe pumps, and she totes a leopard print briefcase. It’s a great character portrait, right there on page 1.
Needless to say, I was hooked. Pat is a fun character. She’s likable, smart, and funny. Her friends are equally so. The plot moves along quickly, with Pat pulled into a murder investigation thirty pages in. As Pat proves herself as a P.I., she’s also falling in love. The romantic element of this book is written with just the right amount of spice. And the story is fun, with lots of detail about Santa Cruz, glasswork, and the ins and outs of private detecting. As the plot unfolds, you’ll find plenty of suspects and shifting facts, and you’ll definitely want to keep reading to find out what happens.
I highly recommend The Glass House for readers who like a cozy mystery with a dose of romance.