I'm so excited!! Tristi Pinkston, a talented, amazing writer and an all-around great person, has stopped by my blog to talk about her new book, Secret Sisters, a fun, humorous mystery novel.
Hey, Tristi, tanks for stopping by. I have a few questions for you.
I love answering questions, especially about my books. Fire away.
Can you describe what a cozy mystery is and how your book, Secret Sisters, differs from the norm?
A cozy mystery features a quirky main character who finds herself solving a crime. I say “herself” because it’s definitely a women’s genre, although men do read them as well. Generally speaking, the story starts with the discovery of a crime and ends with the solution. It's called a "cozy" because it's pretty clean, the violence is kept to a minimum, and there's a fair amount of humor.
“Secret Sisters” varies from the traditional mystery formula in that it’s entirely character-driven. It is a cozy mystery, but the real story comes in watching the characters interact with each other. I could put my three main characters out on a desert island with nothing to do, and we’d have a wonderful time just listening to them talk. The mystery is fun, but it’s just the gas in the engine. The characters are the vehicle. That’s unusual for the mystery genre.
Do you think your RS presidency spies on people?
Mine, no. They keep a respectful distance but I always know where to find them, if needed.
If we think our RS presidency might be spying on us, what do you recommend we do?
Get some of those sticky glue traps like you can get at the hardware store and place them in your bushes. If they come up to your house to peek through the windows, you’ve got ‘em, and it’s pretty humane.
Great idea! Okay, seriously, where did you come up with the idea for Secret Sisters?
I overheard one lady saying that she felt her home teachers were being too nosy, and it was none of their business if she had her 3-month food storage supply or not. I felt bad for this sister for not understanding the importance of sharing with your ward what your needs might be. In case of an emergency, your leaders should know where the first responders need to go. But then I got to thinking, what if our leaders were too nosy? In fact, what if they were spies? I shared the idea with my husband late one night when we both had the giggles, and we tossed ideas back and forth. The idea to call it “Operation Green Jell-O” came from him.
Ida Mae is such a funny, quirky character. Is she based on anyone you know? How did you make her feel so realistic?
Ida Mae and her friends popped into my head fully formed. They’re not based on anyone I know, except for themselves. They’re realistic because, to me, they are real. They chatter in my head and carry on outrageous conversations all the time. They’re a hoot.
You're right--the whole group is so entertaining. I love their dialogue. Did you know the ending before you started or did the ending surprise you?
I had no clue what was going on when I first started. I had the climax drafted out in my head, but I had no idea how we were going to get there, or what trouble we would be in. I just knew that the climax was going to be dang funny. The rest surprised me along the way.
The problem from the start was, how to keep the clues building up while keeping the police out of it. Once we had solid proof, the police had to take over, and that would be the end of my little ladies’ involvement.
If Ida Mae could give us a piece of advice, what would it be?
Stick to your guns. That’s how she’s lived her entire life.
What's the next book in the series?
The next book is called Ida Mae Rides Again, and it will be released in August of 2010.
Oh, I can't wait. I love your writing style and your humor. Thanks so much for stopping by.
Secret Sisters is such a fun book. I recommend it! Of course, I'm a big fan of Tristi's--you will be, too, if you read her books. To learn more about Tristi Pinkston check out her website. You can also visit her blog.
Purchase Secret Sisters.