I’m so excited to be a stop on the blog tour for author Susan Boles and her new release Death Said The Gypsy Queen. This is the fourth book in her A Lily Gayle Lambert Mystery series. I have read all of the books in this series and they were all excellent.
Death said the Gypsy Queen: A Lily Gayle Lambert Mystery
4th in Series
Argent Ocean Publishing
Number of Pages – 210
“Beware the sign of the vampire blood,” said the fortune teller. “It brings madness and turmoil.”
Lily Gayle knows what that means, but, for the life of her, can’t figure out how the fortune teller does. A quick road trip with Dixie. An unplanned stop at a roadside park. And, an hour later a dead body. Lily Gayle, Dixie and Miss Edna find themselves knee deep in another homicide investigation when the local vet assistant turns up dead behind an outbuilding at the farmers market.
Lily Gayle believes the words of the fortune teller will have a major impact on the investigation but can’t bring herself to tell the other ladies. To reveal what she believes the words mean might bring trouble to another old friend. And would betray a trust. Only Ben knows and he, as usual, advises Lily Gayle to stay out of his investigation – which she isn’t about to do.
When the secret is revealed, the townspeople go mad and the fortune tellers words come true. Can Lily Gayle, Dixie and Miss Edna solve the murder before more people are harmed?
Susan is the award-winning author of the Lily Gayle Lambert Mystery Series and a contributing author to the Brotherhood Protectors World.
A lifelong long love of all things mysterious led Susan to write cozy mysteries. Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden were the first to show her that girls can be crime solvers. Agatha Christie showed her that even small towns have big secrets. And Phryne Fisher showed her lady detectives can be outrageously individual. She lives in Mississippi with her rescue mini dachshund, Lucy, and her rescue cat of no particular breed, Zimba. She currently writes the Lily Gayle Lambert mystery series set in the fictional town of Mercy, Mississippi featuring a multi-generational cast of female sleuths and romantic suspense in the Brotherhood Protectors Kindle World.
Susan writes mysteries and set in the big city of Memphis, TN and the fictional small town of Mercy, Mississippi.
When did you know that you wanted to be an author? What things, if any, influenced that decision?
I knew I wanted to be an author when I was in sixth grade. I was writing short stories at that time. And added poetry to the mix when I got to high school.
With so many cozies being written today, what makes your books stand out from the crowd?
I try to incorporate southern mannerisms and speech into my books to make them more true to the area where the stories take place As an indie author I can do thing that traditional publishing houses would never allow.
Do you work from an outline or plot or do you just see where the characters take you?
I used to work from the ‘seat-of-my-pants’ but that can be very hard when you write a series and also book that require clues to be sprinkled throughout them. No one wants to get to the end of a book and feel cheated because there weren’t clues throughout the book that led to the killer at the end. The trick is to sprinkle in the clues without giving away the killer too soon. So now, I do a chapter-by-chapter outline of a few sentences to let me know what needs to go in that chapter.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you do anything special to get those reviews?
I sometimes read my reviews. But I haven’t responded to any of them. I think it’s a good idea to get a sense of what people like and don’t like about the books for reference, but no author can please every reader, so there will be good and bad reviews. I have a small review group that reviews all of my books soon after release. Other reviews are left by readers I don’t know. But I give the same amount of consideration to what it said whether I know the reader or not.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
To get serious about writing far sooner than I did. I let a lot of things get in the way that shouldn’t have and now I’m working to build up my books to a place where I may be able to write full time.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in someone buying your book(s)? Who designs your book covers?
I believe covers play a big part in getting a reader’s attention. I know I always pick up a book with an interesting cover and read the back copy. I have a fabulous cover designer. We put our heads together for each book. So I try to make sure mine are unique and eye-catching. I tell my designer my vision for what I think it should look like and she pulls together something wonderful for each one. Big kudos to her. Her name is Sheri McGathy.
Please give us an insight into your main characters. What do you think makes them special?
The main character in my series is Lily Gayle Lambert. She’s late forties, a native of the small town where she’s living and has ties to everyone in it. She’s been back in town for eight years. She moved back after the death of her husband. She’s pulled together two talents to make a living for herself. She does genealogical research and she makes costumes for people who are re-enactors and renaissance faire participants. Or anyone who wants an outfit from another era. These are two jobs she can do from her home in an online capacity. She’s rebuilding her life in the place she couldn’t wait to leave after high school. She’s come to appreciate all the things she hated when she was growing up. The close -knit community. The kinship. The small town knowledge of everyone’s past. When her world got pulled out from under her, she came back to the place she knew best.
What have you learned about yourselves since becoming an author?
I’ve learned that writings books is far more involved that actually writing the book. You also have to have a great cover and a great blurb. You also have to make sure it’s formatted correctly. And you have to be pretty good at marketing. No one is going to market for you. So there are things you learn to do yourself and things you find someone who’s great at to do for you.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I write part-time. Evenings and weekends.
What do your plans for future projects include?
I’m working on another Lily Gayle Lambert mystery for next spring. I’m also working on my next romantic suspense in the Brotherhood Protectors World. The romantic suspense books are also set in Mercy, Mississippi and have some cross-over characters and they have more romance in them that the Lily Gayle books. I have another mystery series that I’m working out the details on, but it’s not ready to actually begin writing yet.
What do you think the hardest part of writing is? What is the easiest?
The hardest part of writing is all of the words. LOL. Really. I can see my books in my head like a movie, but when it comes to getting them down on paper, it can be hard to get all the words in place. For me, the easiest part is coming up with ideas. I have so many of them! I keep them in a notebook so I won’t forget about them. That way, I don’t lose a great idea.
What type of books do you like to read?
I love to read mysteries! And also thrillers. Another favorite is historical. It can be romance or women’s fiction. Who are some of your favorite authors? Agatha Christie. Victoria Holt. Phyllis Whitney. Those ladies are the ones who got me started on mysteries and suspense after the Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew books I read first. Current writers I love are Patricia Cornwell and Peter Robinson for thrillers. Along with J.T. Ellision. In cozies, I really enjoy Kathi Daley, Tonya Kappes, Vicki Fee and a whole slew of other cozy writers. I also really enjoy Shelley Adina’s steampunk books even though I’m not a huge fan of the genre.
What is the one thing you would like your readers to know about you?
I work very hard to write books that I would love to read in the hopes that other readers will love them too.
Do you have anything specific you would like to say to your readers?
I appreciate each and every person who reads my books. Y’all are the reason I’m writing them. To create something that people enjoy.
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Susan-Boles/e/B01D90M65O
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