JB: "When it's cold out, I like tea and hot chocolate. I suppose my number one drink is also my vice: Diet Coke. Despite the fact that the internet tells me I will die of a thousand diseases from drinking it, I have developed a bit of an addiction."
JB: The process started with a conversation with my agent, Kim. I told her I'd like to write another cozy series, and she took a look at my website and saw that I loved the Gothic romantic fiction of the mid-20th century--she happened to love it, too. She suggested I do something with this, and that's where it all began. I wrote her three chapters, which she edited, asking for changes and refinements. Then she submitted these and Berkley accepted the premise, after which I wrote the next seventeen chapters over a period of about 3-4 months. I wrote it more quickly than other books, though, because I had an idea in my head and I wanted to pound through to the end.
JB: "Mary Stewart, hands down. I even dedicated the book to her, and I hope she is somehow aware of it in heaven. Her romantic suspense novels shaped my imagination; I was the Lena London to her Camilla Graham."
KMOT:How did you choose the setting of Blue Lake, Indiana for your story? Is it based on a true location?
JB: I knew that I wanted a little resort-type town, but I wanted it to be secluded and ot full of tourists. Blue Lake is fictional, because then I can make up any details I want and don't have to worry about upsetting readers with an inaccuracy. But it is based on little towns I've visited in Michigan and Indiana--lakefront towns with delightful little shops and restaurants and filled with local color. My husband and I honeymooned in a town just like this (I don't like planes, so we drove to our honeymoon destination).
JB: I would like readers to know that this really is a book from the heart--from my own beloved reading in my impressionable years--and so they're getting a sense of the true me here. I just finished book three in the series, and I don't know if there will be more, but the story becomes quite complicated. And they should know that I really have fun writing these books.
Thank you Julia for sitting down with us for tea today and for sharing about the writing process for A Dark and Stormy Murder.
Thank you for joining us for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery today, I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org