As the authors of a mystery series myself and a longtime fan of mystery novels, I have always enjoyed getting the chance to find a new mystery series to read as well as get to learn more about the authors. Today's guest in My Writing Corner is Mary Ann Jacobs, who has a new book that has just been release in her Berkshire Mystery Series.
Welcome, Mary Ann, please tell us a little about yourself.Currently, I am a writer, a retired teacher, and a writing coach.
What was your road to publication?
Don’t Mess with Me never would have been published if it weren’t for the forced isolation caused by Covid. I immersed myself in reading cozy mysteries to ease the loneliness of confinement. I finally decided to get busy and try my hand at a mystery.
I had had poems and essays published and had a pile of rejections for my children’s books so I decided to search out the biggest publisher of cozy mysteries, Berkley.
The editor there was wonderful. She had me do an adverb purge which improved the manuscript. I was so hopeful that they would publish the book, but alas, they were told to not take on any new writers until they cleared their list from Covid. Talk about disappointed! However, my wonderful editor suggested I try The Wild Rose Press and within two days, they asked to read it, and Lea Schizas became my great editor. When I held the published book in my hand, I ran around the house yelling, “It’s real. It’s real.”
My plots emerge after I have written several scenes for my characters and see how those scenes merge into a comprehensive story.
What is your latest book and how did you come up with the idea to write it?
Robin George narrates the story. She is a widow with a young son who moves to the Berkshires after her beloved husband died. Her bookstore, Bookworms, and Sweet Indulgences, her best friend Sadie’s restaurant, become the hubs for Robin’s amateur detective group where they plan how to solve the local crimes and exonerate Billy, the Sheriff’s main suspect.
Will they prove the Sheriff wrong?
And now an excerpt:
The Sheriff, losing his normally calm demeanor, confronted Fergusson, “Are you aware that someone was murdered last night? Not only are we investigating a murder, but we also are looking for a vandal and a robber. I suppose you think a little noise is more important than all that. You are a self-centered so and so,” sputtered the Sheriff.
Shaking, Sheriff Houtman turned around and said to the rest of us, “I’ll get back to all you later. One crime at a time. I better get back to the station and check out this rumor of arson. Let’s hope my deputy has turned up some evidence. Houtman then rushed for the exit.
I thought, “Wow, he really went off on Fergusson. I wonder why. But the Sheriff is a coward to just leave without even a comment about Billy’s interrogation. I’m worried that Houtman has already tried and convicted Billy in his own snap-judgement mind.”
Fergusson shouted at Sheriff Houtman’s fleeing figure. Fuming, Fergusson left the shop, banging the door behind him.
Billy came back with his head down and his hands stuffed in his pockets. Gone was his cocky attitude. Whatever Houtman said to him seemed to have broken his spirit.
“I’m really sorry, Ms. George, that I crashed through your door and made such a commotion,” said a subdued Billy.
Worried, Sadie went to Billy, and they found a secluded corner of the store and sat and talked. At least he seemed to be open to Sadie’s questioning.
I am working on the second mystery in the Berkshire Mystery Series. Many of the characters will return as well as some new interesting ones.
I am also trying to market a children’s book of modern-day fables as well as a book for children on how to write poetry.
Barnes and Noble:
Social Media Contacts:
Amazon Author Page URL: https://Amazon.com/author/maryann_jacobs-1.2
Thank you, Mary Ann, for introducing us to your new series. Any comments or questions?