First, thanks for inviting me back. It’s been a long time! The last time I was here back in 2013, my agent was submitting In Spite of Murder (my police secretary novel) and I was working on a proposal for a cozy series for her to submit. ISoM didn’t sell (boo), but my proposal for the Brewing Trouble series was accepted, and the first, To Brew Or Not To Brew was just released on December 1st. So far, it’s been received very well and has even been nominated for a 2015 Reviewers’ Choice award for best amateur sleuth by Romantic Times. Woo-hoo!
As you can tell, publishing moves at a glacial pace. When I went back to read my previous guest blog, I couldn’t believe it had been over two years ago that I worked on the proposal for TBorNTB (like my acronyms?). When my agent called me back in January of 2014 to tell me Berkley liked the proposal, publication seemed so far away. I have to say that although publishing moves slowly, the time has passed quickly and I can’t believe I actually have a book on the shelves, book two with my editor, and writing the third in the series already.
I know your theme for this month is “gathering,” but last month’s theme, “community” really resonates with me. Come to think of it though, they kind of go hand in hand. You can’t have a gathering without some kind of community. Right?
The writing community, especially the mystery writing community, is like no other. There seems to be very little jealousy among writers. There may be a touch of envy when another writer gets a book deal, but it’s short-lived because we’re truly happy for him/her. We know what the struggle is like. We know what it’s like to get fifty or more rejections. And we know what it feels like to have someone love something we wrote.
And there’s nothing better than gathering with that community of writers. Mary will agree when I say that our local Sisters in Crime group is awesome (at least she’d better agree—she’s our president). Some of our gatherings are legendary. At Nancy Martin’s recent launch party at Mystery Lovers Bookshop for Miss Ruffles Inherits Everything, she had a life-size cardboard cutout of a half-dressed cowboy. Yeah, he was a big hit. I have a tough act to follow, but I’m bringing beer to my launch party.
Not quite the same, I know, but I work with what I’ve got.
Joyce Tremel was a police secretary for ten years and more than once envisioned the demise of certain co-workers, but settled on writing as a way to keep herself out of jail. Her flash fiction has appeared in Mysterical-e, and her non-fiction has been published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police magazine. Her debut novel, To Brew or Not to Brew has been nominated for a 2015 Reviewers’ Choice Award for best amateur sleuth by Romantic Times. The second book in the series, tentatively titled Tangled up in Brew, will be released late next year.
About To Brew or Not to Brew…
A BREWMASTER WITH A HEAD FOR SLEUTHING
The Allegheny Brew House is a dream come true for Maxine “Max” O’Hara, who went all the way to Germany for her brewmaster certification, and is now preparing to open her own craft brew pub in a newly revitalized section of Pittsburgh. But before she can start pouring stouts and lagers to thirsty throngs, there’s trouble on tap. Suspicious acts of sabotage culminate in Max finding her assistant brewmaster and chef Kurt Schmidt strangled in one of the vats.
Between rescuing a stray gray tabby she names Hops and considering a handsome ex hockey player as her new chef, Max doesn’t have a lot of time to solve a murder. But with a homicide detective for a dad, she comes to criminal investigation naturally. And if someone is desperate enough to kill to stop her from opening, Max needs to act fast—before her brand-new brew biz totally tanks…