Guest Amanda Flower

Edith here, writing away north of Boston. I’m delighted to welcome prolific and talented author palLethal Licorice Amanda Flower to the blog today, with a new mystery out in her Amish Candy Shop series – Lethal Licorice! Take it away, Amanda.

A Tale of Two Feline Editors

Cats and cozy mysteries have been walking paw and page since the genre appeared, and that’s no different for any of my books. All of my cozies have had a cat supporting character to bring some humor and comfort to my fictional characters’ lives. I am also lucky enough to have two felines in my real life to help me write my books. I call them the editors, and my readers who follow me on social media know them well. They are Editors Cheeps and Tummy Flower. Now, Cheeps and Tummy are their nicknames. They are both named after Chronicles of Narnia characters, Reepicheep and Mr. Tumnus, respectively.

cheeps and tummyThese two are my constant companions while I write. In fact, they are sitting with me right now as I write this post. What my readers might not know is, just like the cats in my books, Cheeps and Tummy have two very distinctive personalities. Cheeps is my Velcro cat. He wants to be on my lap or arm or leg constantly. While, Tummy much rather sit near me, but he wants his own space. Cheeps is my gray and white tuxedo cat and the older of the two and is much more timid that Tummy. He doesn’t like strangers and takes some time to warm up to people. However when he decides you are his friend, he’s loyal forever.

Tummy, my black and white tuxedo cat, on the other paw, loves everyone from the moment he sees them. He has been known to make up with plumbers, electricians, and other handymen, who might be only in my house for an hour or two to fix something. Finally, Cheeps loves to go outside and walk in my garden. He loves to roll in the grass and smell the flowers. Oddly, Tummy, the more outgoing of the two, is afraid to go outdoors.

Even though they are both tuxedo cats living in the same home, they are very different from each other. Seeing my own cats’ behaviors and personalities is why I love reading and writing about cats in mysteries so much. Just like all the best amateur detectives each cat is unique. I have a cat in every book I write, including Lethal Licorice, the second novel in the Amish Candy Shop Mysteries, releasing at the end of this month.

Follow Editors Cheeps and Tummy on Instagram here: Amanda Flower-50 (2)https://www.instagram.com/amandaflowerauthor/

Amanda Flower, a national bestselling and Agatha Award winning mystery author. She also writes mysteries as USA Today bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is librarian in Northeast Ohio. Follow Amanda on Social Media at: Facebook Twitter Instagram

Readers: Which animal buddies help you in your work? Tell us about animal personalities you know and love.

 

A Wicked Welcome to Amanda Flower

By Julie, grateful for the balmy 40 degree days this week.

Friends, I’m thrilled to welcome Amanda Flower to the blog today! Amanda is a wonderful writer, and a really lovely person. She is also very prolific–tis the season for that! Thanks for visiting the blog Amanda!

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Winter Writing
By Amanda Flower

Growing up in Ohio, I loved winter as a child. I loved it because of sledding, snowmen, hot chocolate, and snow days. Who doesn’t love snow days? However as I got older, winter lost some of its appeal. I still love sledding, snowmen, hot chocolate, and snow days, but I don’t have the time for them like I did when I was a kid. To make matters worse, the library where I work only closes in case of a snowpocalypse. Snowpocalypses are a lot rarer than the Weather Channel would have you believe.editors2

However even though winter doesn’t bring me the same level of joy as it had when I was a child, it still has some perks. Namely, it gives me some time, and time is something I desperately need. It’s usually in the winter that I write the most and am the most prolific. That’s because I’m stuck inside. Trust me, my preference is to be outside. Always. But blustery winter forces me indoors where I can concentrate on my writing with fewer distractions. My books are my escape where I can write stories away from the cold and darkness. Stories that are set in faraway places or places just down the road.

This year, the time the winter season allows me is a very good thing because I’m under contract to write four novels in 2017. Two of which are due in early spring, which translates into writing two novels start to finish by the end of March. No, neither or done yet. One is started, the other is just a blurb the publisher bought. One is for Kensington as editors1part of The Amish Candy Mystery Series, and one is for Crooked Lane in the Forgotten Garden Mystery Series. The Amish Candy Mysteries are set in an Amish community in my home state of Ohio. The Forgotten Garden Mysteries are set in a magical garden in Scotland. Both are cozies but on opposite ends of the subgenre, and that’s how I like it. I’ve discovered that I like writing series that are worlds apart from each other. I told my agent once, “I’ll write whatever you want, set where you want, starring whoever you want, but let it be a mystery. That’s all I ask.” So far, she’s been able to do that for me.

Thankfully, through all the writing, rewriting, and rewriting some more, I have my trusty editors Cheeps and Tummy at my side. My two feline friends are my go-to guys for comic relief and snuggles when I feel like the deadlines are closing in, which happens about once a week. I’m going to need their support to get through this year. That’s for certain.

prosandconsSo it’s time to break out the yoga pants and the hoodie (AKA author uniform), the chocolate, enough coffee to sink and ocean liner, and get to work. These books aren’t going to write themselves. May you have a productive winter too. Spring will be here before you know it.

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Amanda Flower, a national bestselling and Agatha Award winning mystery author. She also writes mysteries as USA Today bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is librarian in Northeast Ohio. Her latest novel is PROSE AND CONS. Follow Amanda on Social Media at: Facebook Twitter Instagram