Reading Crepe Factor I was whisked away to the holiday winter market and was enjoying myself right away, as if I was one of the girls, then a particularly horrifying experience for the reader and the girls as they witness the last few moments of a mans life! Springing into action and against her better judgment Carmela is torn between interfering and putting her relationship with her boyfriend on the line to help out an old flame with lots to gain. This was a very interesting mystery and a great addition to the series.
The holidays are a busy time for scrapbook shop owner Carmela Bertrand—but not so hectic that she doesn’t have time to enjoy browsing the booths at the Winter Market with her best friend Ava. The last thing the ladies expect to see is a lurching man stabbed by a serving fork, dying in front of them.
The victim is loathed restaurant critic Martin Lash, who posted his scathing reviews on the Glutton for Punishment website. And the prime suspect is New Orleans restauranteur Quigg Brevard—who was seen giving the critic a tongue-lashing minutes before someone stuck a fork in him. An old flame of Carmela, Quigg asks for her help, which does not please her current beau, Detective Edgar Babcock, to say the least.
Before her relationship is the next victim, Carmela needs to find a murderer who had no reservations about punishing the culinary curmudgeon...
KMOT: What was the collaborative process like?
TFM: Collaborative writing is stimulating because you always have a buddy to help move the work along. Laura Childs is the team leader because the Scrapbooking series is hers. I am fortunate that Laura has a clear vision and direction for each book. Once the process starts we email chapters back and forth. If I have missed a step, Laura is quick to pick it up and make a suggestion. I will confess that in the writing CREPE FACTOR, I became enamored with pinwheels, and I decided to have one of Carmela’s classes make large pinwheels. Laura vetoed it as too simple a project for the class and for the readers. But I am planning on making red and green pinwheels this Christmas with my grandkids, so the idea was not lost!
KMOT: How does the collaborative writing process work?
TFM: I think every writing team has their own unique process. In our case, Laura Childs writes a long and detailed outline (running about one hundred typewritten pages). Besides delineating the plot line, Laura’s outlines include descriptions of people, places and things, snippets of dialogue, ideas for crafts, etc. I take her outline and flesh it out into novel form and then Laura does a substantial re-write so that the voice of the story is not altered by my participation.
KMOT: What do you think makes the series such a popular one? It is clearly more than a scrapbooking mystery!
TFM: I agree it is so much more. There are lots of themes in the series: mystery, scrapbook crafts, friendship, romance and let’s not forget the backdrop of the fascinating city of New Orleans and the naturally beautiful surrounding waterways and bayous. As an extra treat, Carmela Bertrand, owner of the Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter, and her friends enjoy food, lots of food in the best restaurants and in quirky little places. It is New Orleans, after all.
KMOT:What do you think it is that makes Carmela such a strong character?
TFM: Laura has always referred to this series as a cozy-with-an-edge. And I think Carmela’s personality proves that to be correct. We have to look at Carmela’s history to find how her nuggets of strength grew. She was married to Shamus for a while and his wealthy, upscale family, especially his domineering mother, pushed Carmela to conform and by her very nature, Carmela pushed back. Then when Carmela discovered that Shamus was a philanderer, she tossed him and struck out on her own. The fact that she opened and runs a successful business and has formed and sustained many close personal relationships, while solving a murder or two (or a dozen!) proves she is true to her own personality in spite of any adversity that came her way.
KMOT: What do you want fans of the series to know?
TFM: I would like the readers to know that both Laura and I are immensely grateful for the love and support they show to Carmela, Ava, Babcock and all the characters that populate the series. In return our goal is to produce enthralling scrapbooking stories for many years to come.
To order your own copy of Crepe Factor from Amazon please click here.
To learn more about Terrie Farley Moran please click here.
To learn more about Laura Child's and this series please click here.
Thank you all for joining me here today for a cup of tea and a cozy mystery review. Also much thanks to Terrie for joining me here today and allowing me to share a bit about the writing process with my readers.