Interview: Becky Clark

Please welcome new Mysterista Becky Clark, author of Banana Bamboozle, Marshmallow Mayhem, and other books.

What’s your idea of a perfect day?
One where the dog doesn’t barf, the phone doesn’t ring, and I magically fulfill all the tasks on my Marshmallow Mayhem coverto-do list early enough in the day so that I can create a thrilling dinner for my husband which fricasees (or simmers or bakes or does whatever a thrilling dinner might do) while we open an expensive bottle of wine and carry on a scintillating and wide-ranging conversation that has nothing to do with children, bills, or dog barf. A girl can dream, can’t she?

Do you have a signature accessory, color, fragrance, phrase/expression, or meal?
Hmm. I have this vertical line on my forehead my three children know as my “what the hell were you thinking” wrinkle. Does that count?

Which books/authors inspired or influenced you the most?
Nancy Drew books turned me into an avid mystery reader and I was crushed —crushed— to learn that Carolyn Keene wasn’t a real person. Now, as an author, I would kill for a gig like that. My, how the worm turns, eh?

Do you listen to music when you write?
No, I need absolute silence when I write. But I do stop every hour or so and flail around to my “Becky’s Dance Party” playlist. Often while I hula hoop. It’s a sight to behold, I’m sure.

If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?
This question is kind of a ringer, because my latest book is Marshmallow Mayhem where s’mores play a part. So I must say it would be a full-size Hershey bar. Solid until you dig into it, at which time it becomes soft and gooey and your very best friend. And you crave more. But it never makes you fat. And the price is appealing.

What made you interested in writing this particular story?
I’m drawn to stories where people are just going on about their lives then BLAMMO, they get tossed into some kind of chaos. They’re the ultimate reluctant heroes and want nothing more than to return to their previous, boring lives. I like the idea of “what ifs” in real life as well as fiction.

What themes do you regularly (re)visit in your writing?
Themes?? What is this, school?

Tell us about your main character.
In both Banana Bamboozle and Marshmallow Mayhem, 50-something Cassidy Dunne takes center stage. She’s a secret sugar addict who still has booty calls with her ex-husband even though they were only married for about ten minutes way back when. (It’s just so much easier than dating!) She’s joined in her escapades and witty repartee by her best friend from college, Dan Diehl, hence the “Dunne Diehl Novels.”

Describe your protagonist as a mash-up of three famous people or characters.
Well, I’m not famous, but Cass certainly has a liberal dose of The Becky. She’s perhaps sprinkled with a soupçon of Stephanie Plum, and maybe a squeeze of Jamie Lee Curtis.

If you could host a mystery-author dinner party, who are the six writers (living or otherwise) you’d include?
Janet Evanovich, Gretchen Archer who I just discovered, GK Chesterton, Dorothy Parker, and Carl Hiaasen, because they all seem like they’d be a hoot, and Richard Castle because c’mon.

I’m actually quite lucky in that I’m involved in both the Pikes Peak Writers Conference and Left Coast Crime so I get to meet fascinating and delightful mystery authors on a regular basis. It makes up for the low pay writers are subjected to. Mostly.

What’s next for you?
I just finished the first draft of the first book of a new series. Charlemagne Russo is, coincidentally, a mid-list mystery writer surrounded by quirky characters who finds her life thrust into chaos … but you might already have gleaned that!

I’m also plotting some mysteries for young readers that will have some fun, adventure, and perhaps a bit of magic and crossword puzzles.

***

Becky Clark is the seventh of eight kids, which explains both her insatiable need for attention and her atrocious table manners. She likes to read funny books so it felt natural to write them, too. Her newest titles are Banana Bamboozle and Marshmallow Mayhem. She surrounds herself with quirky people and pets who end up as characters in her books. Ordinary people who are thrust into chaos, usually involving murder, are her favorite characters to write. Find out Becky’s least favorite words and subscribe to her newsletter to win cool stuff, at http://beckyclarkbooks.com/

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14 thoughts on “Interview: Becky Clark”

  1. Becky is my friend. I knew I would love and smile and smirk and laugh out loud at her interview. I wasn’t disappointed.

    Mysterista followers are gonna get their money’s worth out of this girl, I’m tellin’ ya. Oh wait, it’s free. But you know what I mean.

    By the way, Becky, I LOVE your perfect day.

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  2. Wasn’t that awful, I mean about Carolyn Keene. So glad that they bamboozled someone else besides me. Do you think Nancy knows? Hum….. Your books sound delightful. Just the thing to curl up with in front of the fire. I’m looking forward to some fun, laugh out loud, reads! Dunne Diehl–who could resist.

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  3. I was bamboozled about Carolyn Keene, too. When I found out, I really just didn’t understand how it all worked, but I guess I was young enough to go with it. I love the sound of humor in your voice and I look forward to reading more of your stuff.

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  4. Welcome, Becky! Your book sounds awesome, and you have such a wonderful sense of humor–I found myself chuckling multiple times during your interview! And now I want Hershey chocolate 😉

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  5. Happy that you’re here, Becky! This interview is so funny, and I am excited to read your new mystery series. Btw, I have three “what were you thinking” wrinkles on my forehead. I didn’t know that’s what they were called but now I do, so thank you.

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  6. Welcome Becky. I am a reader, not a writer, but I love learning about what and how writers think.

    I was (and still am) an avid “Nancy Drew fan as well. The “story” behind Carolyn Keene is as intriguing as a mystery itself. I am originally from Ohio and somehow as a child I intrinsically knew about with the writer from the Toledo Blade who wrote many of the Nancy Drew books. Some of the “backstory” books about Nancy and the publishing industry are very interesting to a reader who does not have to deal with publishing and editors all the time.

    I found it exciting that a woman could have multiple identities — mother, newspaper reporter, and mystery writer. I was drawn to Nancy Drew because there were not many books with “girls” who actually did stuff instead of just sitting around.

    This “search” for strong female characters has followed me into “adulthood” as well. (That’s considering that I may not have completely grown up even now.) I read all sorts of books, but I specifically look for books with smart, real, female characters (they don’t have to be the main character either) and books written by women (no matter the characters). I’ll be sure to look for yours.

    Oh, and everything goes better with chocolate, just so you know.

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  7. Ah, you guys are too sweet. Thanks for the warm welcome. I’m very much looking forward to my new Mysterista gig!

    Peg … I was emulating what I expected were YOUR perfect days. Now I have nothing to aspire to. Pish.

    Kait … so glad you got the ‘Dunne Diehl’ joke. Not everyone does. Clearly, you’re very clever and have excellent taste.

    Mary … I see what you did there. ;-D

    Kimberly … the thing that makes a reluctant hero so fascinating is that we all would fit into that group. I mean, seriously, who has time to be a hero??

    Kate … don’t go for the Hersheys unless there are s’mores within easy reach. In the same way you could take any ‘ol Uber, but when it’s time to buy, go for the Porsche.

    Stick with me, Cynthia … I’ll help you name all your body parts.

    Hey, 3 … be careful what you wish for. Learning how writers think is probably on par with learning how sausage is made. And, I absolutely agree, Nancy Drew was a great role model AND she drove a sporty little car!

    Keenan … if you keep that up, you’ll find that I have dubbed thee my new bestie. Run while there’s still time.

    Lives going BLAMMO is indeed great fun, Sue, as long as it isn’t yours!

    Now, if I wasn’t so lazy, I’d go back in and fix all the times ‘marshmallow’ is misspelled. Ay caramba. Hey, I know! Let’s pretend it was a test. Did you pass?

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