A Conversation with Tracey Drew

Wanted: Cat mum to manage a yarn store, corral two curious cats, all the while being tangled up in murderous mayhem and mystery — Knitted and Knifed: A Humorous & Heartwarming Cozy Mystery (A Knitty Kitties Mystery) by Tracey Drew

What inspired the idea for your book?

I was cruising premade cozy mystery covers and stumbled onto this one. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to write a story that was right in my wheelhouse – cats and yarn!

What was the most surprising thing you learned in writing this book?

While I’m multi-published in contemporary romance, Knitted & Knifed is the first cozy I’ve written. The whole experience was a big learning curve, but I was surprised how much fun I was having doing it. 

If you were friends with a character in this book, what kinds of things would you do together?

Tessa and I would definitely be oohing and ahhing over each other’s yarn stash, drinking coffee and eating some delicious baked goods. I would probably end up spilling my life story to her because she’s the kind of person you just can’t help confiding in.

How do you define success as an author?

When readers contact me to say how much they’ve enjoyed reading my books.

Do you have any quirky writing rituals?

Here’s an outline of my morning writing ritual:

  1. Make coffee (very important) and take into my office.
  2. Sit in comfy recliner with my laptop and open current book I’m writing.
  3. Write one paragraph.
  4. Hear howling outside my office window and spot cat #2 standing on recycling bin to press his nose against glass.
  5. Very carefully move cat #1 who has just settled down for a nap on my legs and open outside door for cat #2.
  6. Cat #1 and Cat #2 get pushy-shovy on who gets to sleep on my lap. Cat #1 wins.
  7. Write another paragraph.
  8. Cat #2 howls to go outside—even though I’ve left the door open for him.
  9. Repeat action #5.
  10. Sit down, write another paragraph, discover coffee has gone cold and now Cat #1 has decided he’d like a second breakfast.
  11. Put both cats outside and go to a local café to write.

That’s pretty much my life Monday to Friday!

What is your all time favorite book or author? Do you think this has influenced your writing?

My all time favorite author is Stephen King. I’ve loved his books since my early teenage years, and he was the inspiration for a truly awful short story I handed in to my English teacher. She must’ve seen something of merit in it as I got an A+ for it. I don’t think I’ve been influenced by his work as an author though, other than wanting to tell gripping stories with compelling characters. A highlight of a roadtrip my husband and I took to the US in 2019, was a ‘Stephen King Tour’ in Bangor, Maine. Someone—who’ll remain nameless—got a bit emotional when she posed for a photograph outside his house.

Aside from writing or reading, what are your hobbies or interests?

As you’d expect from someone who writes about ‘Knitty Kitties’, I love cats and knitting. I’m also a ‘hooker’ too, as crochet is another of my hobbies. I’m not much of a gardener, but I do manage to keep a herb garden alive, and I love going on roadtrips with my husband.

If your book were made into a movie, which actors would play your characters?

Ooh, I’d love Mayim Bialik to play the lead character of Tessa Wakefield! Mayim is smart, cute, warm and naturally funny which is perfect for Tessa. Matt Czuchry has that dangerous edge hiding under a gorgeous outer shell that would suit bar-owner and Tessa’s crush, Oliver Novak. And if it’s not too much to ask, Jason Momoa as Detective Seargent Mana—who’s stoic and handsome and built like a linebacker…sorry, I’ll just wipe the drool off my screen. But more important than the human actors, who to select for the most intelligent, beautiful, and talented feline roles? That might be tricky…

If you went on a road trip with any author, dead or alive, who would it be, and where would you go?

Since I love road trips, I just had to answer this one! I’d love to go on a road trip with Stephen King in a 1958 Plymouth Fury to all the spooky places around the USA – New Orleans here we come!

Knitted and Knifed is a fun cozy romp. Tessa Wakefield is the quintessential cozy protagonist. She is wonderfully human…introspective, sympathetic, and genuine. The author has done a wonderful job of layering her character one relationship at a time. She is the rock that is helping her grandfather mourn his dead wife. She is the big sister who is willing to turn the town upside down to prove that her baby brother isn’t a killer, all the while allowing herself to be honest about his flaws. She is the daughter who accepts her place in her relationship with her mother with a grace that most women would envy and her being secure in her own skin, despite her insecurities when dealing with intimidating peers and potential love interests, give her a level of class not often seen in a cozy. Of course it is her interactions with her grandmother’s cats that keep the story rolling in humor and humility. It takes a special kind of person to understand their place in a cat’s life:

Because I was that kind of inherited by default cat-staff. The kind convinced that cats understand everything we say but choose to react only to the things that interest them. Or benefit them. Or entertain them. Call me insane, but I shot devil eyes at Kit for a moment, waiting for an apology. I got a bored yawn instead.

As Tessa investigates the murder she discovers as much about herself as she does the secrets that thrive in a small town. I love that small towns are small-town-like no matter where in the world they are. The mystery is well written. I did guess whodunnit early on but I dismissed the person, then thought about them again later and was still surprised by the way it ended. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I received an advance review copy for free through Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, and I am leaving this review voluntarily

Wanted: Cat mum to manage a yarn store, corral two curious cats, all the while being tangled up in murderous mayhem and mystery.

A smart woman would dump her cheating ex, move from the city, and give herself a chance for a well-deserved do-over. A smarter woman—smarter than me, anyway—wouldn’t jump out of that same frying pan and return to Cape Discovery, a seaside village where her family is the nuttiest of all the nut-ball residents.

I’m a former high school counselor, middle-child peacemaker, and current curator of lots of squishy/fuzzy goodness at my granddad’s little yarn store. Temporary assistant. Until I decide what to do with the rest my life. There’s only one knotty problem to untangle first. The knife sticking out of the most unpopular man in town, and the police detective trying to pin the murder on the donkey—otherwise known as my younger brother. With a pair mischievous cats determined to be underfoot and a craft group of Serial Knitters and Happy Hookers wanting the inside scoop, a girl could lose her mind. And if the killer has their way, maybe even my life…

Tessa Wakefield has her hands full juggling a cozy craft store, her crazy family, and two men who’d rather poke out their eyes than describe themselves as cute. Which they totally are. Cute, charismatic, and occasionally on her mind when she’s not stumbling over dead bodies and using her newfound sleuthing skills to track down murderers. Lucky she’s an excellent multi-tasker because digging beneath Cape Discovery’s surface can unearth secrets that kill.

buy links: Amazon     Apple Books   Nook      Kobo     Google Play    Smashwords

Tracey Drew lives Down Under with her husband—who’s given up complaining about her yarn addiction–and two madcap tabby cats called Kevin and Alfie. The feline brothers constantly battle with her while she’s trying to write her books by demanding lap-time, but they also provide constant inspiration for her fun & quirky cozy mysteries.

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