I am thrilled to welcome Peg Cochran back to Escape With Dollycas today!
Her new Farmer’s Daughter Mystery, No Farm, No Foul was released this month!
Question and Answer with Peg Cochran, Cozy Mystery Author
(Post Provided by Publicist)
Before a book comes out, authors are asked to write blogs to help promote their book. We are grateful for the cozy reviewers and bloggers who help us get the word out about a new release! For this blog, I decided to do something different so I asked people who follow me on Facebook for questions they’d like answered. Here you go!
Did you grow up on a farm? If not, what inspired you to write about a farm?
I grew up in a suburb in NJ, 25 miles from NYC. That area is now densely populated, but when I was growing up, that wasn’t the case. My grandparents lived only a couple of miles away and down the street from them was a farm where they had horses, pigs and chickens. My grandparents had a huge “yard” and grew tomatoes, strawberries, blackberries and grapes for the wine my grandfather pressed himself.
About a mile or two from my house there was a small farm where they grew corn and a farm stand where you could buy the best Jersey corn ever!
The idea for the Farmer’s Daughter came from my agent and the premise intrigued me. I fleshed it out with character, a setting and a plot.
Do your characters ever influence you to take a different direction than where you intended to go? Or do you have a theme in mind and stick to the plan.
My characters usually allow me to stick to what I’ve planned. What does happen are those serendipitous brainstorms where all of a sudden a bunch of random dots become connected to each other—like where you have two unrelated characters but then you realize that character A is actually character B’s mother but neither knows it and that impacts the story and ties everything together. When that happens I jump out of my chair and run around the room pumping my fists in the air!
How much work was the research on this series? What did you do?
I love research so I don’t really consider it work. I did a lot of reading—books and on-line and I was still constantly looking things up—how much does a bag of chicken feed cost, what kind of chickens are the best for laying eggs—things like that.
How do you come up with your character?
I honestly don’t know. It’s a mysterious process and I try not to over-analyze it! I usually start with some personality characteristics and then move on to deciding what a person like that would look like.
When you are not writing, what do you like to read?
I read mysteries as well as suspense. The books on my Kindle are pretty diverse from current bestsellers to Mary Higgins Clark to classic Agatha Christie and Patricia Wentworth along with a smattering of women’s fiction.
Are there certain farm animals that inspired a farm themed series?
Not really, no. But I couldn’t write a book without a couple of pets—in this case a Jenkins, a Westhighland white terrier, Bitsy, a mastiff and a calico cat named Patches!
About The Author
Mystery writing lets Peg indulge her curiosity under the guise of “work” (aka research). As a kid, she read the entire set of children’s encyclopedias her parents gave her and has been known to read the dictionary. She put pen to paper at age seven when she wrote plays and forced her cousins to perform them at Christmas dinner. She switched to mysteries when she discovered the perfect hiding place for a body down the street from her house.
When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading, cooking, spoiling her granddaughter and checking her book’s stats on Amazon.
A former Jersey girl, Peg now resides in Michigan with her husband and Westhighland white terrier, Reg. She is the author of the Sweet Nothings Lingerie series (written as Meg London), the Gourmet De-Lite series, the Lucille series and now the Cranberry Cove series. Her newest series, the Farmer’s Daughter, debuts with No Farm, No Foul is now available.
No Farm, No Foul
(Farmer’s Daughter Mystery)
Setting – Michigan
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (September 6, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book – ASIN: B0191WS1QW
First in the Farmer’s Daughter mystery series set on a picturesque farm in Michigan, where Shelby McDonald runs a popular lifestyle and cooking blog, from the national bestselling author of the Cranberry Cove Mysteries.
On her blog, The Farmer’s Daughter, Shelby McDonald is growing her audience as she posts recipes, gardening tips, and her experiences raising two kids and running Love Blossom Farm in the small western Michigan town of Lovett.
Working the farm is demanding but peaceful—until that peace is shattered when the minister’s wife is murdered on Shelby’s property during a fund-raiser for a local church. But the manure really hits the fan when Shelby’s good friend veterinarian Kelly Thacker emerges as the prime suspect. Shelby decides to dig in and find the murderer by herself. As more suspects crop up, she’ll have to move fast—before someone else buys the farm. . . .
INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES
Shelby McDonald has a farm, ee-I-ee-I-o, 🙂 and she also has a blog, The Farmer’s Daughter, where she posts about her life along with recipes and gardening advice and tips and also about this murder investigation she finds herself in the middle of. I liked it because in a way it is like she is talking directly to us readers, but she scares me a bit because she shares way more than we bloggers are cautioned about, like her children and her suspicions regarding a murderer still on the loose. Thankfully the only murders I post about on my blog are fictional.
Shelby’s hosts a church potluck/fundraiser on her Love Blossom Farm but as things are wrapping up she finds Prudence, the minister’s wife dead. She quickly realizes there was a killer on her property and it could be someone she knows quite well. Many suspect seeds are planted in her mind by her own observations and things her friends have said. Will she by able to harvest the right one before someone else is pushing up carrots?
This is an outstanding start for this series.
Shelby comes across realistically dealing with her farm and the produce and products she sells. She is also dealing with 2 children, a adventurous boy and an about to be thirteen year old daughter whose favorite word is “fine”. I remember those days and with 2 daughters I survived that phase twice. She is super friendly to everyone and has a lot going on in her life.
The Love Blossom Farm located just outside Lovett, Michigan sounds like a place I would not only love to visit but love to live. Years ago, it was a dream to live on a farm, not with cows or pigs etc. but growing fruits and veggies and having a few chickens with plenty of wide open spaces for children to play and dogs and cats to roam, much like Shelby’s. It just never worked out for me so these fictional visits will have to do for me.
Peg Cochran also gives us a fruitful mystery where the suspects seem to be multiplying. Before she can eliminate one, something sends her mind toward a different person. There was one clue that stuck in my mind but I just couldn’t seem to make it fit until Shelby and I shared that “a-ha moment”.
This story was a delightful read. The mystery kept me guessing and the characters were fantastically written. Shelby being a blogger like me was a bonus. She recommends food and recipes and I review and recommend books that usually include food and recipes. 🙂
Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.
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Contest Will End October 5, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST
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and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.
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.”