Better Than Nun
(A Giulia Driscoll Mystery)
by Alice Loweecey
Welcome back to Escape With Dollycas.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
—I’m your typical Italian mom: I cook almost everything from scratch, feed my sons with their favorite goodies when they visit, and yes, I make sauce. I will share any recipe with anyone who asks. I don’t understand people who won’t share recipes. Good food is better when shared!
What are three things most people don’t know about you?
—I like dogs only when they belong to other people.
—I once gave 5 dozen slugs a happy death when I set out 3 pie plates of beer in my garden. They were drowned in beer the next morning. (I have a large veg garden. Slugs are the enemy.)
—I once crocheted amigurumi of the entire cast of Firefly as a wedding present for a friend.
What is the first book you remember reading?
—Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag. I still love this book.
What are you reading now?
—The Elder Sister-Like One vols. 1-3, by Pochi Iida. It’s one of the best mangas I’ve read in years by one of the few authors who took a god from Lovecraft’s pantheon and made it their own. So much fun.
What books have most inspired you?
—The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet, by Eleanor Cameron
—Patricia Wentworth’s Miss Silver series
—Lord of the Rings
—“The Colour out of Space,” by HP Lovecraft
All for both the same reason and different reasons. The same: all the MCs moved me deeply and the plots made me reread the books more than once. The different: Mushroom Planet was written when male MCs had the exciting adventures in kids’ books, and I had to get my adventure where I could. LotR for much the same reason. “Colour” because it scared me in broad daylight and still gives me shivers when I reread it. Miss Silver: Wentworth writes light mysteries with a touch of romance. When I started to write mysteries, her style was my inspiration.
What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?
Back when I was querying my first book (The Redeemers, published in 2015 under my pen name Kate Morgan with Dark Recesses Press), part of my query letter mentioned I used to be a nun. The agent rejected Redeemers but mentioned how he’d like to see a book with a crime-fighting ex-nun. I dismissed the idea because “I’m a horror writer.” But the idea kept nagging me, and within the year I’d written Force of Habit. I sent the first 3 chapters to that agent—and he rejected it. You have to laugh. I eventually found an agent who sold the book as a 3-book deal in 2010 to Midnight Ink.
Do you have a special place you like to write?
—Outside on our deck by our koi pond. The waterfall is soothing, the frogs and birds carry on conversations. It’s an escape. Of course, since I live in Buffalo, I have to grab every moment I can out there before the snow hits.
Where do the ideas for your books come from?
—Everywhere. Everything is fodder for a story. The idea for the MacGuffin in Better than Nun came from a morning conversation at the Malice Domestic conference a few years ago. The ideas for others came from dreams (and nightmares). My brain is a strange place.
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?
—Carving out time. I work full-time and take care of my house. Sometimes it’s difficult to get creative after a long day. But deadlines aren’t forgiving, so I power through.
What do you think makes a good story?
—A compelling main character. I’ll read almost any genre if the writer makes me root for the MC. Worldbuilding, research, plot, secondary characters—they’re all important, but a main character who grabs me is essential.
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?
—Ana, the narrator of a book I haven’t yet found a home for. She’s strong-willed, likes to knit, and is all about family. Naturally, I throw her into a sink-or-swim situation completely outside anything she’s experienced. Writers are evil.
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?
—Perhaps it’s how Giulia handles sleuthing with ghosts. She’s always practical, so when she discovered ghosts were real, and they wanted her to help them solve their murders, she chose to create a new dimension to her detective agency. Kids need college funds. Giulia is all about justice—and paying the bills—so any ghost wanting her help has to have humans who can meet her fee schedule.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
—I’m writing the book I’ve been wanting to write for years. Now that I’ve had a dozen books published I figure I have the chops. It’s a retelling of the Oresteia set in a modern-day traveling carnival. Some people think ancient Greek drama is boring. Not on your life! This book has drugs, sex, murder, backstabbing business deals, and possibly the most dysfunctional family in the literary world. I’m having a ball writing it. I also get to go to carnivals again in the name of research. Whee!
Thank you, Alice, for visiting today!
Keep reading to learn about Alice’s new book!
Better Than Nun (A Giulia Driscoll Mystery)
6th in Series
Henery Press (May 21, 2019)
Hardcover: 284 pages
Paperback: 284 pages
Digital ASIN: B07P687GDG
Ghosts for Mardi Gras!
Giulia Driscoll used to say running a detective agency was the busiest job she’d ever had. Then the ghosts showed up, and she figured now she’s the busiest ever. This of course challenged the Universe to say, “Hold my beer.”
Today she’s running the agency, sleuthing on behalf of the ghosts, and being the mother of a two-month-old. At last she understands those 5-Hour Energy commercials.
The Universe then dropped two clients in her lap for Mardi Gras: a family greedy to find hidden money and the son of her least-favorite person, Ken Kanning of The Scoop. The positive: a date night! The not-so-positive: it’s a working date night. Driscoll Investigations is joining the big Mardi Gras costume charity gala to search for potential thieves. Kanning Junior will be at the party showing off his tame ghost.
The Scoop, a few hundred drunk revelers, a mercenary family, and a ghost who isn’t as tame as the kid thinks. What could possibly go wrong?
Did someone just hear the Universe say, “Hold my beer”?
More About the Author
Alice Loweecey is a baker of brownies and tormenter of characters, Alice Loweecey recently celebrated her thirtieth year outside the convent. She grew up watching Hammer horror films and Scooby-Doo mysteries, which explains a whole lot. When she’s not creating trouble for her sleuth Giulia Driscoll or inspiring nightmares as her alter-ego Kate Morgan, she can be found growing her own vegetables (in summer) and cooking with them (the rest of the year).
Goodreads: Alice Loweecey
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