I am so happy to welcome Avery back to Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book. She is the author of the Cheese Shop Mysteries and I look forward to each and every one. The latest, To Brie or Not To Brie was released February 5. I wanted to learn a bit more about the author behind these wonderful stories so today she stops by to answer a few questions!
1. While visiting your website recently I had an “aha moment”. You always looked familiar to me and now I know why. You were an actress on television. Mystery shows I loved to watch and popular commercials. Can you tell us a bit about your television experience? Both as an actress and a screenwriter.
After graduating college, I wanted to be an actress. I headed to Los Angeles, and I quickly found work. I was one of the lucky ones. I made a living doing, primarily, commercials. I had that girl-next-door face. You might have seen me pitching Diet Pepsi, Milky Way, Jell-O, Wonder Bread, and more. Cracking into film and television roles was a bit more difficult. I acted on “Murder, She Wrote.” Angela Lansbury, what a talent and what a lady. I won roles on hits like “Dallas,” “Hart to Hart,” and other TV shows, and I got close to nabbing a couple of series regular roles….but didn’t and I soon realized I needed to write a vehicle for myself if I was going to have a bigger career. At first, I focused on television. Again, I was fortunate enough to come up with the idea for a TV show called “Out of this World,” which became successful in syndication. Then I turned my sights back to film. Writing the long-form screenplay really intrigued me. I loved telling a complete story. I loved writing dialogue. I wrote a few mysteries and thrillers. I wrote a couple of romantic comedies, too, that I felt were perfect for Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan. I was working on networking those possibilities into realities when…my husband was offered a new job across the country working for ESPN. Because my career had not yet soared, and even though I was still making a living as an actress, we decided that the move was right for our family. We had a young son. I turned my attention to writing novels.
2. Was it a difficult transition to cozy mysteries after writing screenplays?
No. Screenplay writing helped me see the overall structure of a story. When I gave up writing screenplays, I took novel writing classes. I read some fabulous books by Chris Roerden and Hallie Ephron that helped me understand how to enhance my plot, my prose, and my characters. While screenplays are visual, novels are internal. A reader wants to know what the protagonist is thinking and feeling. Learning how to “show” these aspects and not “tell” them was the hardest thing for me to learn.
3. Did you have a mentor that encouraged your writing early in life?
I had a teacher who told me to give up writing forever. Kid you not! My seventh grade teacher. He said I didn’t have talent. At the time, I had written a short story that he didn’t like. Who was he to dash my dreams? All of you budding authors, don’t buy into this kind of dialogue. However, I did believe him and I put my pen aside for a long, long time. It took the desire to write a screenplay to bring me back to the page. And I battled self-doubt (still do on occasion…) for many years. Rejection by agents didn’t help. But I am nothing if not persevering. I won that award during high school. I’m not quite sure why. Hmm. I guess I was resolute even then. LOL
4. What do you draw on for inspiration when you sit down to write the Cheese Shop Mysteries?
Cheese. Ha-ha. Actually, I start with a theme, then ask myself “what if” and I go from there. I try to listen to my protagonist, Charlotte, and see what story she has to tell. I ask her about her feelings. I consider what challenges she must face. I also consider the play that Charlotte’s grandmother will be putting on at the local theater because often that production will influence what happens in town. In To Brie or Not To Brie, Grandmére is putting on “Hamlet” in the Village Green, open-aire. As it says in the blurb for the book, Revenge, secrets, murder. Shakespeare has arrived in Providence. I love Shakespeare. Thinking about his drama stirred all sorts of intrigue in my mind.
5. When you pick up a book to read just for fun, what type of book do you like to escape into?
I love reading thrillers as well as mysteries. It truly depends on my mood. I love to read my fellow authors on both of my blogs, Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen and Killer Characters. All are wonderful writers. However, I love to escape into a Lisa Gardner, Meg Gardiner, or Jamie Freveletti action- or suspense-packed novel, as well.
6. What are your reading right now?
I’m judging a contest for Thrillerfest, a thriller conference held each year, so I am reading a ton…literally a ton…of debut novels. Some have been great. Some were mysteries (and terrific), but they were not thrillers. Many didn’t grab my interest. When I’m done with this commitment, I have a Jamie Freveletti thriller and a Julie Hyzy cozy waiting on my night stand. Yay!
7. You are writing a new series coming out in July. Would you like to tell us a little bit about it?
Oh, yes, please! It’s called A COOKBOOK NOOK MYSTERY. The first title is Final Sentence, a tribute to the “book-ish” theme of the series. Get it? Anyway, this is so much fun. I’m writing under my “real” name, Daryl Wood Gerber. The story is set in the fictional seaside town of Crystal Cove, California (sort of between Monterey and Santa Cruz). It features Jenna Hart, a foodie and avid reader and former ad exec, who helps her aunt open a cookbook store and café that should have opened thirty years ago. Like my Cheese Shop Mysteries, the books will include recipes. I’ve been cooking up a ton of cookies! I’ve always been a cook, and I have a great collection of cookbooks, but I am learning so much more as I explore the world of cookbooks. I was inspired to write the series after visiting a darling cookbook store called Salt & Pepper in Occoquan, Virginia. The owner was selling not only cookbooks but culinary mysteries (like many of those from Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen authors), fictional foodie mysteries, and knickknacks. I got lost in the store and knew I could get lost in this series. My editor is very excited. She loves the new world.
8. If money was no object and you could escape to anywhere in the world to write, where would you go and what do you think the book would be about?
Great question!! I would escape to Lake Tahoe. I spent all my summers there as a girl, and it’s still the most inspirational place in the world to me. The lake is incredibly beautiful. The scent of the pines stirs my soul. I love to swim in the icicle-cold water, take hikes, and meditate. I have written a number of suspense and thriller novels set in Lake Tahoe, so I would like to rewrite all of them and get them published. I also have one thriller, a work-in-progress, set in the San Francisco Bay Area that I would like to finish, as well. Oh, and there’s a women’s fiction story—magical in nature—that I’d like to write, too. So much to do…lots of time!
Thank you Avery so much for visiting today! I hope you come back soon and often!!!!
You can find Avery on Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen, Killer Characters and her webpage.
To Brie or Not To Brie
(CHEESE SHOP MYSTERY)
4th in Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (February 5, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Teresa Fasolino
Cover Design by Laura K. Corless
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
E-Book File Size: 645 KB
Murder, revenge, and secrets: Shakespeare has arrived in Providence, Ohio…
Charlotte Bessette—owner of Fromagerie Bessette, known by locals as The Cheese Shop is one busy lady. She is planning the menu for best friend and cousin’s wedding and she is trying to come up with new and unique choices like Brie Blueberry Ice Cream. Her grandmother’s theater group is doing Hamlet outside on the Village Green and Charlotte has to keep the cast and crew well fed. Plus she has her own wedding to plan or at least settle on a date for the wedding.
As if she doesn’t ave enough on her plate, just days before her cousin’s wedding a stranger is found dead in the freezer at the Igloo Ice Cream Parlor. The murder weapon seems to be a container of Charlotte’s new ice cream creation. Charlotte has no choice but dive right in to investigation when she learns the strangers death could destroy everything she has worked for and everything she loves.
Another wonderful cozy from Avery Aames!
She has blended together a colorful cast of characters that are as varied as the cheese and the wine in Charlotte’s Shop. Charlotte is as sharp as cheddar and as sweet as a Young Camembert. Her grandparents are aged to perfection, Rebecca has that fruity quality with her knowledge of television crime shows she is so determined to help Charlotte catch the killer. Jordan and Matthew are smooth and fine but Jordan has a secret which adds a smokey quality. Jacky is hiding something too, her history has that Swiss quality, full of holes. Then there are a couple of characters just trying to cause trouble that remind me of a good block of Limburger.
Aames has plated up a fine mystery as well that keeps the reader guessing until the very last clue falls into place. She also leaves us hungry for the next installment with a juicy tidbit on the final page. The Days of Wine and Roquefort cannot get to my door fast enough.
Plus there are recipes including the one for Brie Blueberry Ice Cream!!
To Brie or Not To Brie “Methinks” everyone should purchase this book as soon as possible.
I want to thank the author and the people at Berkley Prime Crime! Escape With Dollycas Into A New Book is quoted on the Praise page for To Brie or Not To Brie. Thank you so much!!
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have
2 copies of this awesome book to giveaway
so be sure to fill out the form below to enter!!
U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.
Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.
Leave a comment for Avery for 5 Bonus Entries!
If you publicize the giveaway anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.
Contest Will End March 6, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.
CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Comments on “Cozy Wednesday with Author Avery Aames (Giveaway too!)”
Loved the interview! I loved all the shows you was in. Murder she wrote I still watch its on everyday. Your books sound great would love to read them. Thanks for the giveaway. Maye I can win one. The reviews on the book was great also.i love a good mystery.
Great interview. Avery Aames books always make me hungry!! I love them. Dee
I hope you do write something in the SF Bay Area…one of my favorite bookish settings (and real life, too). Also Lake Tahoe.
Would love to read this Cheese Shop series!
Avery, I haven’t started the Cheese Shop series yet. Maybe I’ll win a copy of the new book to get me started. Sandy SMith
I’m looking to reading this newest installment!
Terrific interview, awesome title.
Novels that involve cooking and murder are my favorite. Cooking mysteries have inspired me to create many excellent dinners.
Cool. Looking forward to the new series. Did you know that Scooby-Doo now lives in Crystal Cove, too? Maybe you could do a cross-over! The Scooby gang comes to the cookbook store!
Does judging involve stating reasons for liking/panning a book? Must be difficult to avoid downer comments such as your 7th grade teacher made. Glad you ignored his assessment.
Great interview! I love hearing about how authors started writing, and the paths that led them there.
I amlooking forward to reading this and your future books. Great interview, enjoyed it so much. Blessings, Susan Fryman
I have gotten my sister hooked on this series. Can’t wait for this one.
as of yet I haven’t read any of this series, I hope I win so I can start soon
The titles alone make me want to read these books. So cheesy! LOL!
Excellent interview and series.
An most interesting interview which captivated my interest in this wonderful series.
Thanks for sponsoring such a great giveaway and making it open for Canadians as well 🙂 I have been hearing a lot about this series and I love coming across a good mystery to curl up to.
I enjoy this series….adding this to my TBR pile.
Love Avery’s books and series! Looking forward to reading this next installment!
Who doesn’t love mysteries!?
I love the book covers, and I hope I can get my hands on one 😉 Thanks for the giveaways! It really sounds like a great series!
This looks like a great one! Thanks for sharing it with us 🙂 I absolutely love cozy mysteries!
Great interview. The new Cookbook Nook series sound wonderful, I love the location.
Nice interview. Looks like a very good series. Two questions for Ms. Aames
Who’s your favorite mystery writer, (besides yourself, of course) that you enjoy reading? And one other thing, during your days as an actress/screenwriter who was your favorite celebrity that you ever had the pleasure of meeting?
I’ve read the first three books of this series—and they are GREAT!! Love the recipes, too–although I haven’t tried them all yet. Please end me to win this book.
Loved the interview. The cheese shop mysteries are on my TBR. Would love to read the Cookbook Nook Series, sounds great.
Wonderful interview, wonderful series, wonderful recipes~!
I am fanatical about the cooking mysteries; they include tons of receipies.
Don’t like cooking but love your mysteries.
Avery is one of my favorite authors to read. Thank you for the chance to win the next in the cheese shop series
I haven’t read any of the cheese shop mysteries yet, but they really sound intriguing. Thanks for the giveaway.
What a great post. I have a friend who decided she would write screenplays and then develop a novel from the screenplay which seems to be working great for her. I’m glad the teacher only dampened your spirit for a while.
Great interview. I live near Occoquan, VA but can’t say i have visited the Salt & Pepper bookstore. I do recognize Avery from Murder She Wrote series (love that show). I am new to the cheese shop mysteries and look forward to adding them to my to be read pile. I can’t wait for your new series, Cookbook Nook. I will add that to my wish list for summer purchases.
Can’t wait to read this book.
I never read enough cozy mysteries, and the new series really sounds interesting (in addition to this one).
Great interview. Can’t wait to start reading both of these books!!
I really loved the interview!! I also remembered her face but couldn’t place her. Great question that you asked. I understand why she loved Lake Tahoe, I would love to go back.
Love this series~ love how the characters are growing
Cheese and mysteries. This has got to be good. I love the interview too.
I am a fan of Avery’s books and would love to win this book. Thank you
Wowsers this has got to be one of the BEST interviews ever. I adore mysteries, food, especially cheese, and so therefore have really enjoyed Avery’s books. What I did not know was why her face was familiar, or that she created a show I adored… how cool is this… I have been jabberring to the hubby about it because I just cannot get over all the things Avery has done! So cool.
She has been the topic around here too! As soon as hubby saw Avery picture he said “she’s an actress too!” I said “how do you know that?” He said he remembers seeing her in something he watched late in the night a few weeks ago. too funny!
Great interview its always nice to have a peek into a writers thoughts
Marvelous interview! Love murder mysteries and food. Brie is one of my favorites. So very versatile. Even my son loves it although my grandkids have not yet acquired the taste.
sounds good would love to read it.thanks for the chance to win
thanks for the giveaway – not a brie fan but maybe after this book it will be!
I love to read murder mystery book. Thanks for chance to win
I enjoyed reading more about your experiences as a Actress. =) I have started this series, and really enjoy it! I would love to win this book! =)
Am new to this page, and your books! Can’t wait to read them! I love cheese and cooking/crafting mystries!
I love this series. Looking forward to reading To Brie or Not To Brie.
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