A Conversation with Eloise Brightly

A web of half-truths and outright deceptions keep Daisy in the dark. Will she end up lost, or can she find the truth? #DonutsDeceptionandDeath #ParadiseBeachCozyMystery by #EloiseBrightly

What inspired the idea for your book? 

I live in a beach town that isn’t anywhere near as quaint as Paradise Shores, but it does provide me with inspiration. People can be quirky in small towns and their antics can show a darker side sometimes.

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

A secondary character owns a landscaping company and has a greenhouse on their property. They took in a corpse flower the owner didn’t want after they realized how bad it smelled. I went looking for information on the corpse flower and found it smells worse in the middle of the night. If you’re in a large greenhouse, the smell won’t be so bad. However, if you are in a small space, it will dominate the scent. The corpse flower isn’t a carnivorous plant. Instead it attracts bugs to spread it’s pollen. I don’t think I would want one of these plants in my home or on my property, however they are very striking.

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

Since Daisy is an excellent baker, we would probably spend time baking treats then testing them to see which ones we like best.

What does it mean to you to be called an author? 

I grew up reading every day. I was the kid that hid under the covers with a flashlight after bedtime so I could read more. I love delving into a new story, learning about the places and people, and being excited to crack open a new story. Being able to create worlds and bring joy to others is amazing.

What comes first for you — the plot or the characters? 

They both develop almost at the same time. The character demands a certain plot and the plot demands a certain type of character. They come to be at almost the same time so I can’t really tell what comes first.

How do you define success as an author? 

Having one person write to me to say they enjoyed the book. As long as I can make one person smile or laugh, or think deeper about a subject, then I’ve done what I’ve set out to do.

How do you avoid or defeat writer’s block? 

Coffee and chocolate. If I’m stuck, I grab a mug of coffee and then sit down and read over what I’ve written. If the coffee doesn’t help, I get some chocolate.

Do you have any quirky writing rituals? 

I write in the morning, so coffee is a must. I can’t write with music on unless I’m wearing earbuds. If the music is filling the room, it’s distracting.

What difference do you see between a writer and an author? 

I’m not sure I see a difference. If they are writing fiction, both create stories and worlds people love.

As an author what do you think makes a good story? 

The characters and their lives. If I don’t care about what happens to a character, I most likely won’t want to finish a book.

Who is your audience? 

People who love a good cozy mystery. My books focus on a murder, but the violence isn’t on the page. Readers also won’t find foul language or sexy time on the pages of my books. Basically anyone who wants a good mystery with characters I hope they love.

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

I grew up reading Lilian Jackson Braun. I loved her stories and I do think I’ve been heavily influenced by her books.

What was the defining moment that made you say to yourself, “Today, I am going to write a book that I will publish.”? 

I was reading a mystery book and a story kept coming to me. I think it took time to make the decision to publish, but I remember the first time I sat down and started writing. It was so much fun I wanted to keep going.

What is the first book that you remember reading? 

Honestly, the Dick and Jane books and The Poky Little Puppy books. The first big book I remember reading was Black Beauty. I was young when I read Black Beauty, so young I don’t remember when I read it. I do remember reading the Hobbit at some point. Then the books blend together because I spent hours reading as a child.

What are you reading now? 

I’m reading Nora Roberts Hidden Star

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

One of my hobbies is playing mini golf. I’m not sure if mini golf will show up in a book, but with as much as I play, it just might.

If you could have lunch with 3 authors (past or present) who would they be and what do you think you would all talk about during lunch? 

Mark Twain, Jane Austen, and Mary Shelley. I’m not sure I would get a word in edgewise, but it would be so much fun to listen to them tell stories and argue about those stories.

If you had a secret room that opened by pulling a book on a shelf, what book would you choose? 

The Time Traveler’s Wife.

What would your dream library look like?

 I’m a huge Doctor Who fan so it would be the library in Silence in the Library episode. For those who haven’t watched, the entire planet was a library with every book ever written in all languages and from all planets.

If you had your own talk show, what would the topic be and who would be your first guest(s)? 

If I could have come up with the idea of Hot Ones, where the host feeds people extremely hot wings while asking hot questions, that’s what I would like to do but for the book world. It would be interesting to have authors in the hot seat.

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

Daisy would be played by Emma Watson and George Clooney but we’d have to have a time machine for Mr. Clooney so he would be around the same age as Emma Watson.

Name three fun facts about you or your work. 

I love dogs, I enjoy watching slow pitch softball games, and I can’t sleep without earplugs in.

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

J.R.R. Tolkien. I would love to travel current England and Europe with him to see what he thought of the world. He had such an interesting insight into life I think it would be enlightening to chat with him.

What is something you can do better than anyone else you know? 

I can fold a fitted sheet and make it look like a regular sheet.

If you knew you could not fail, what would you do? 

Climb Mount Everest and then climb back down. I added getting back down because both are too dangerous for my blood.

Daisy Elliot doesn’t expect to end up embroiled in a murder mystery. She’s the owner of a bed & breakfast just minutes from the beach, but her neighbor opened a new B&B and used Daisy’s business name as her own. Daisy believes kindness and talking can solve everything. She’s ready to brew up a cup of tea and sit down to discuss the problem…until her neighbor ends up murdered.

With the spotlight on Daisy, she needs to solve this crime, or she’ll end up behind bars. Pure grit and determination lead Daisy to focus on those closest to the victim. But when Daisy gets too close, the perpetrator lashes out, putting Daisy in harm’s way.

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/2S6nCrR

Eloise Brightly loves cozy mysteries. Crime fiction is her favorite. She enjoys figuring out whodunit while curled up before a roaring fire with a mug of hot cocoa. She lives on the eastern seaboard and combs the beaches while watching dolphins play, searching for inspiration for another mystery series.


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