Judi Lynn, friend and critique partner, is offering a free chapter of her Muddy River Mystery series today. Since she has generously and repeatedly offered her blog for guest postings for my works, it’s time to repay, and I do so happily.
Muddy River is atmospheric, sometimes grizzly, and full of juicy characters, most especially her H&H, both wicked scary with magical powers. Neither of them mess around when it comes to kicking the butts of the baddies.
Something that has always fascinated me is Judi’s mind. She comes up with some creepy stuff. The contrast to what she puts on the page and what she’s like to be around and have as a friend bears no resemblance. I suppose it’s the same with acting—one doesn’t have to be a murderer to portray a serial killer. Although, I couldn’t look at Mark Harmon for years after he did the Ted Bundy thing. (Insert shiver here.) Time to pick Judi’s brain:
Hope my brain comes up with some decent answers.Great questions, BTW. Thanks for inviting me to your blog! I love urban fantasy AND mysteries, so decided to try to combine them in my Muddy River series.
What is it about magic that draws you to write and read about the genre?
Wow, that’s a good question. I guess it’s because I always thought that if you had a lot of power, you could do great things. What I didn’t think about is that, if you have a lot of power and WANT to do great things, someone else has power and uses it for his/her own gain, his own evil purposes. So then, power just ups the ante between a battle for good vs. evil. I also am drawn to the idea that humans—us—are afraid of anything that’s different from us. So that when we are afraid or uncertain, we might become the greatest evil of all.
What about mystery? How old were you when you started reading it?
I didn’t get hooked on mysteries until I found Agatha Christie in high school. I never read Nancy Drew or mysteries for younger readers. Still haven’t. I got hooked on James Fenimore Cooper, James Hilton, and Jane Austen. But once I found Agatha, I loved how her mind worked. Then I got hooked on Sherlock Holmes. I wish I could say I’d read some Dorothy Sayers—only one—but I went from Agatha to Nancy Pickard, M. C. Beaton, Carolyn Hart, and Sharyn McCrumb.
What excites you about characters and plots?
I love a good who-dunnit and why. But lots of books have a KIND of mystery in them—an unanswered question to figure out—besides mysteries. I prefer to follow characters whom I respect and admire. It makes it easier for me to root for them to succeed. That said, I’ve been known to enjoy a sort of anti-hero occasionally, like Jorg from Prince of Thorns. He’s the protagonist, and he’s twisted, but everyone else in the time period comes off as MORE twisted, so it’s a matter of degrees. Jorg seems more noble than anyone around him. As for plots, because I’m a mystery fan, I really notice them. I don’t mind slow starts. Let’s face it. That’s part of writing a cozy. But I want to know the book’s big question, and then I want everything to eventually move to the answer to that question at the end. And if you’ve introduced a subplot and forgotten it along the way, that’s a big problem for me.
What makes you impatient with a story that is enough for you to set it aside, unfinished?
I’m pretty patient with fellow writers, but lately, I’ve reached the point that if a story doesn’t hold my interest, I delete it from my Kindle and move on. I used to feel that I had to finish every book I started. No more. I’ve found more mistakes in books than I used to, but when they mount up to too many, I’m done. And if it feels like the book isn’t going anywhere, that the author padded it to reach a word count, I’m annoyed, too. And then, in all honesty, I can buy a perfectly good book that just isn’t what I like and quit reading it, even though I know LOTS of other readers will love it. We all have different tastes.
Your blogs often speak to what you like to read now. What did you like to read as a child?
Oh, boy. I have to admit, my sisters remember all kinds of things about growing up. I don’t. I mostly remember teachers I loved, but very few books. I read a really thick, really big book about a pigeon in third grade. I know, that doesn’t sound exciting, but it was to me. I raised pigeons when I was young—homing pigeons and racers. And this poor pigeon was a homing pigeon who was let loose far from home and had to survive hawks and hunger before he made it back to his owner. Okay, not many people would buy that today, but it’s stayed with me this long. I went through a short biography stage and Zane Grey. For years, I wanted to grow up and be a pioneer. Oh, Laura Ingalls Wilder probably contributed to that. I loved her books. And Charlotte’s Web. And books about a mouse who was adopted into a family—Stuart Little?? I can’t think of anything else right now. Oh, in high school, I went through a Georgette Heyer phase, too—part of why I love your Regency Romances written as Julia Donner😊
What are you working on now?
I just turned in my sixth Jazzi Zanders mystery, and now, I’m plotting the 7thbook in the series and bouncing back and forth between plotting a new Lux Mystery—something new I’m trying.
Got a link?
Here’s my Social Media:
My webpage: https://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/
Author Bookbub page:
As Judi Lynn: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/judi-lynn
As Judith Post: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/judith-post
author Facebook page:
And for Tattoos And Portents:
Thanks for coming to my blog! I thought I knew a lot about you and learned more today!!!
M.L Rigdon (aka Julia Donner)
Follow on Twitter @RigdonML