Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to host Clea Simon on our Author Spotlight blog. Clea visited us last fall during our Cat Mystery event. She is a former (and still occasional) journalist who now writes mysteries—happy to make things up.
Thank you for joining us, Clea! For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write? What can readers expect from your work?
I write traditional mysteries – amateur sleuth, not too bloody – of the cozy (but not cutesy) variety. Somehow, all of which end up having cats in them, whether I started out that way or not. Cats are an important part of my life, and all the animals in my books are based on real animals (whether they talk or not!). I try to give readers some actual, real useful animal info too!
What kind of research went into writing this book? What is your favorite research story? What cool facts and findings didn’t make it into the book, but you loved discovering?
Well, I’m now writing the next Pru Marlowe pet noir and it has rabbits in it. There are bunnies in my yard and I love watching them. Believe it or not, they DON’T eat my garden- they love the dandelions! So there go any plans I had for lawn upkeep. I’ve been reading a lot about their behavior. Did you know that wild bunnies are an entirely different species from the domestic ones we usually keep as pets?
What character did you love or hate the most while writing? And why?
Oh, that’s like asking who my favorite child is! Right now, I have two series heroines: Pru Marlowe, a tough-girl animal psychic, and Dulcie Schwartz, a very smart but not very worldly graduate student. I adore them both. I think they are both exaggerated parts of me. I’m not as tough as Pru, though I would like to be. And I’m neither as smart nor as scholarly as Dulcie, though maybe I’m a little more worldly wise.
I am drawn to characters, and traditional mysteries are really books about characters. I love series because I can continue to spend time with these characters and, as a writer, let them grow and develop. I think that’s what draws readers, too.
What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?
Do it. Every day. The ability to write is a muscle that grows stronger with repeated workouts. Oh, and revise. If you write and don’t revise, you’re not writing for an audience – you’re simply journaling. Half of what you think is on the page is probably still in your head…
How important has the New England setting been to your writing?
Very. Both my current series are set in New England. Pru lives in Western Mass. And Dulcie goes to school in Cambridge.
Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)
How about this? You can find out about my books at my website, http://www.cleasimon.com or on Facebook or Twitter @Clea_Simon – but you should order them from Annie’s Book Stop!
How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?
I have a Facebook page – Clea Simon Author at https://www.facebook.com/clea.simon.author -and am also on Twitter @Clea_Simon