Please welcome Alice Loweecey, author of the Giulia Driscoll mysteries and other works.
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
Homemade blueberry-lemon muffins and Seattle’s Best No. 5 in the morning. Then cleaning one room or a doing a load of laundry. Starting a day off with a piece of the never-ending housework makes me feel like I deserve the rest of the day for myself! Then writing some, reading some, taking a walk with my husband at the end of the day, and a good (or really bad) horror movie before bed. This kind of day hits all the high notes.
Do you have a signature accessory, color, fragrance, phrase/expression, or meal?
The fascinator! Everyone knows me by my fascinators. (Shout out to Chiki Bird Hat Studio on Etsy for feeding my fascinator addiction.) When I turned 50 I decided that I was going to wear what made me happy. Thus began my fascinator collection.
Which books/authors inspired or influenced you the most?
HP Lovecraft and Patricia Wentworth. It’d be hard to find two more wildly different authors! My first love is horror, and I do write horror under the pen name Kate Morgan. Wentworth’s many books all have mystery with a touch of romance. She’s who I held up as a model when I started to write my Giulia Driscoll series.
Do you listen to music when you write?
Yes. It changes depending on the book I’m writing. Sometimes I listen to opera, sometimes Bach, sometimes Swedish death metal. The only rule is it can’t be in a language I understand. Otherwise lyrics start to invade my dialogue.
If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?
Hahaha! It totally would be 100% organic with bits of bacon for crunch. Nun but the Brave takes place partly in a Doomsday Prepper compound where they grow everything they need, including bacon on the hoof.
What made you interested in writing this particular story?
I’d come upon Doomsday Prepper and Tiny House articles while surfing the web, and an idea combining these started rolling around in my head. Then a friend posted a picture of herself in her fantastic Halloween costume and the bones of the story came together in a single, creepy, climactic moment.
What themes do you regularly (re)visit in your writing?
Family, the good and the bad. Also finding the strength within yourself to do what you have to do.
Tell us about your main character.
Giulia Driscoll is a former nun (like me) who discovered a new calling as a private detective (not like me). She’s much less stuffy now that she’s more comfortable with the PI business, and she’s an extremely capable business owner. She’s not afraid to jump into the unknown—that’s what jumping the wall is when you leave the convent, because the outside world has moved on without you and is largely “Here Be Dragons” territory. Her current leap is pregnancy, and it’s come with her own personal cross to bear: limits on caffeine. Giulia wants coffee!
Describe your protagonist as a mash-up of three famous people or characters.
Hmm. Alton Brown, Mrs. Emma Peel, and Miss Silver.
If you could host a mystery-author dinner party, who are the six writers (living or otherwise) you’d include?
Ooh, I love these questions. I’ll be good and not sneak in a horror writer.
Patricia Wentworth, Takeshi Obata (the author of the Death Note manga), Sara Paretsky, Di Renjie (the real-life inspiration for van Gulik’s Detective Dee series), C. S. Harris, and Remington Steele.
What’s next for you?
Staking Cinderella from my alter-ego Kate Morgan. It’s a mystery/horror mashup coming soon from Strigidae Publishing. After that, the next Giulia Driscoll mystery! The Clock Strikes Nun arrives May 2017. Giulia’s career takes a turn for the paranormal in the next three books. After the “haunted” lighthouse B&B in Second to Nun, people think she’s the new ghost whisperer.
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).
Twitter, etc.): https://twitter.com/AliceLoweecey