Molly is doing a wonderful giveaway: There will be 3 winners so you must leave a comment and email!!
copy of one of the Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries (winner’s choice), a copy of Learn to Knit (published by Leisure Arts) and a copy of Learn to Crochet (published by Leisure Arts.)
Small Towns – Writing What I know and Love
What is it about small towns and cozy mysteries? Why do they seem to go together like porch swings and iced tea? Like cats and warm laps? Like arsenic and old lace? Is it because a small town is the perfect place for committing murder? I think so. Small towns give us everything we’ll find in big cities – all the treachery and villainy – but they give it to us on a more personal, manageable, scale.
Small towns make great playgrounds for writers. It’s fun creating characters and putting them in uncomfortable shoes and even less comfortable situations, building shops and houses and furnishing them either well or outrageously, sampling everything in the bakery without gaining an ounce, publishing newspapers and building roads – and doing all of that with the magical taps of a keyboard. It absolutely tickles me when readers say that Blue Plum, Tennessee, the town in my Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries, feels so real they’d like to crawl right into it and stay.
Blue Plum is made out of bits and pieces from my favorite small towns. Most of the pieces come from Jonesborough, Tennessee’s oldest town and a place dear to my heart. I was director of the history museum there for seven years and came to know the town’s history and stories and the people who loved them and preserved them. If you ever visit Jonesborough (and I highly recommend that you do) some of the places you’ll recognize are the courthouse, the row house where I put the Weaver’s Cat, and the café that I reimagined and renamed Mel’s on Main. When you do visit Jonesborough, stop at the Main Street Café for lunch. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
If you’d like to see how I picture Blue Plum, take a look at my Pinterest boards. You’ll see the mountains, the streetscape, Mel’s café, and the Holston Homeplace Living History Farm. And, of course, you’ll see the Weaver’s Cat. You’ll see some of the baby hats that members of TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Fiber) are knitting for their 1,000 hat challenge and the mannequin with its outfits. You can browse the shop’s reference library and find classes to take—haven’t you always wanted to knit a sock monkey or make a pair of shark mittens? And you’ll see examples of lace more substantial than Geneva the ghost.
Blue Plum isn’t idyllic. No small town is a utopia or an Eden. People, and life in general, tend to interfere. Death—murder—happens. Murders do seem to happen more often in the small towns of cozy mysteries, but that’s okay, because cozy mysteries give us—writers and readers—the chance to set things right in a way that doesn’t always happen in the real world. And isn’t that the best of worlds?
Watch for Plagued by Quilt, book 4 in the Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries, coming in November 2014 and available now for pre-order.
The Boston Globe says Molly MacRae writes “murder with a dose of drollery.” She’s the author of the award-winning Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries, published by Penguin/NAL. Molly’s short stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine since 1990. After twenty years in northeast Tennessee, Molly lives with her family in Champaign, Illinois.
You can find out more about Molly at www.mollymacrae.com. You can find her blogging on the first Monday of each month at www.amyalessio.com and on the 23rd of each month at www.killercharacters.com.
Here is the prize :
Here is the prize :