The first book I can remember reading was Uncle Remus. That’s when I was six or seven. At age nine, I went to the public library and checked out Nancy Drew and the Secret of the Old Clock. My life was changed forever. I not only fell in love with reading, big time, I fell in love with mysteries and writing. It’s a love affair that has never waned. I went to college on a costume scholarship and studied drama. Ultimately, I went to NYC to become an actress, but I hated it. I hated the life of an actor. It wasn’t for me. All that traveling! Living out of a suitcase! Who needs it? However, I loved writing. I could sit in a room and write for hours, send characters to the far corners of the earth and never leave my chair. To make money, I worked in advertising for a while, wrote short stories, one-act plays, and ad copy for humorous ads, and acts for performers. It was the best. I didn’t tackle writing a novel until I came to California in 1986.
My 10th book, The CEO Came DOA, Book Five of the Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries, debuted September 1, 2016, and has already received rave reviews. I am in the middle of the sixth book of the series, The Culinary Art of Murder. The Chocolate Kiss-Off, Book Three of the Persephone Cole Vintage Mysteries, just won the Global Ebook Awards Silver for Best Mystery Fiction 2016. An anthology of my short stories, Corliss and Other Award Winning Stories came out the year before. Life is good.
I’m often asked which books I like to read. Here’s an answer a lot of people don’t expect. The top of the list is Right Ho, Jeeves! by P.G. Wodehouse. No matter how many times I read it, it makes me laugh. I have read every book of his I can get my hands on and he wrote over 90! His writing can make me laugh like no one else’s. He’s most famous for the Jeeves and Bertie Wooster collection of short stories and books but he was a prolific writer of screenplays, plays, novels, short stories, pretty much anything. I’m a big fan. Agatha Christie, the queen of the mystery, the plot maker, is the one who made crime writing what it is today. Hats off to the Queen. Janet Evanovitch is the lovely lady who turned it all into a wonderfully funny game. Then there’s Earnest Hemingway, who was a terse writer, if there ever was one. He is credited with writing a 6-word short story, “Baby shoes for sale. Never used.” I mean, come on. The man was a wonder. And he loved cats. He was surrounded by dozens of 6-toed cats when he lived in Key West; many feline descendants still call his estate home. Have I left any books or writers out? Of course!