I’m Dee-lighted to give you a chance to know Julie Mulhern, author of Cold as Ice. Welcome, Julie.
What’s the story behind your book title?
Have you ever heard a song on the radio and been transported back to a moment in your past? First kiss? All I need do is hear “Black Coffee in Bed” by Squeeze and I’m there. “The Year of the Cat” makes me think of Susan Cooper’s wonderful children’s books—the song was on the radio A LOT the year I read them.
Writing a mystery series set in the 70s, it seemed only natural to incorporate 70s music. “Cold as Ice” was released in 1977 and seemed like the perfect title for a book in which someone is murdered by being locked in a freezer.
I totally get that! For me, “Black Coffee in Bed” happens to be evocative of a specific moment in my life, and I often feel that I could get an entire novel out of “On Every Street.”
What’s the basic plot of your book or series?
I try so hard not to be repetitive but I do write murder mysteries. In each book, someone is murdered. In each book, my unlucky heroine, Ellison Russell, finds a body (or two) (or three). In each book, Ellison’s mother, Frances Walford, bemoans her daughter’s propensity for finding bodies. And, in each book, Ellison unmasks a killer.
Along the way, Ellison has juggled two suitors (she’s down to one), a teenage daughter (with all the angst and fun that goes with that age), and a coffee addiction (and who says writers don’t put parts of themselves into their characters?).
Which is your favorite character and why?
Mr. Coffee, because I’m a sucker for the strong, silent type. And coffee. I’m a sucker for coffee.
Oh, me too. If Mother Nature hadn’t invented coffee, I would have had to.
Have you used any real events or places as inspiration for your writing?
I write the Country Club Murders and in Kansas City, Missouri, where my series is set, there is a Country Club District. Ellison makes frequent trips to the Country Club Plaza. She runs her dog in Loose Park (which used to be a country club golf course). And, she visits real hotels, restaurants, and theaters.
In Clouds in my Coffee there is a scene with a mouse. It might be the funniest scene I’ve ever written and it happened. Sure, I changed a few things but the basic story came from a manager who saw the mouse leap at a patron. It was too good a story not to use.
In Cold as Ice, Ellison’s daughter, Grace, has a party that gets out of control. That too was inspired by actual events (giving you the stink-eye, youngest daughter).
What are you working on now?
Right now I am working on book seven of the Country Club Murders—almost done. The book is at the stage where I’m not sure if it’s the best thing I’ve ever written or absolute drivel.
After that, I’ll be finishing up a short story told from Ellison’s housekeeper Aggie’s point of view.
When the short story is complete, I have an idea for a new series I’d like to play with for a few months before I start work on the eighth Country Club Murder.
Ah, the First Draft Terrors. I know them well.
What do you do when you have writers’ block?
If I am stuck (and sometimes if I’m not stuck), I write long hand. The act of putting pen to paper usually gets the creative juices flowing.
These days I do almost all my first-draft writing in longhand. Sometime ago I read about a study showing that writing longhand forms different connections in the brain than keyboarding does. Works for me.
Favorite food: Toast (I mean it) and coffee.
Silliest saying: I don’t think I have one.
Best holiday spot: Anywhere as long as my family is there.
Favorite song at the moment: I listen to a lot of seventies music. A lot. And jazz. Recently I had the station set on Sirius jazz and heard “Forest Flower Sunrise/Sunset” by Charles Lloyd. I arrived at my destination, sat in my car, and listened to every note. Together, “Sunrise” and “Sunset” are eighteen minutes long—so I sat for while. Right now, they’re my favorites.
With writing, are you a plotter or (seat-of-your) pantser? Is both a viable answer? I like to know where I’m going but I don’t require a road map to get there.
Number one thing to do on your bucket list: I don’t have a bucket list but it is so tempting to say I’d like to spend a summer writing in an Irish cottage, or spend a year in Paris, or climb some mountain. Maybe something more exotic (my children say I’m boring) like sail across the Pacific or follow the Nile to its source (neither of which is remotely appealing to me). I think I’ll go with the Irish cottage.
Webpage – www.juliemulhernauthor.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/JulieKMulhern
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
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Be sure to visit these other stops on the tour for spotlights, guests posts, reviews and more.
October 16 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT
October 16 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
October 17 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
October 17 – Blogger Nicole Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 18 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
October 18 – Books Direct – GUEST POST
October 18 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW
October 19 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 19 – Maureen’s Musings – GUEST POST
October 20 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW
October 20 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT
October 21 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
October 22 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
October 23 – Dee-Scoveries – INTERVIEW (you are here!)
October 23 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
October 24 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW
October 25 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
October 25 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 26 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
October 26 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
October 27 – Varietats – REVIEW
October 28 – My Funny View of Life – REVIEW
October 29 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
Thanks, author Kasper Beaumont. I so enjoyed when you interviewed me that I borrowed the questions for this interview with Julie.