IR– What does it mean to you to be called an author?
DWG– I persevered for a long time with my writing. I got a lot of rejections, but I continued to study, to learn, and to put my work out there. When my work was finally acknowledged and I found a following, it was such a wonderful affirmation of my ability to tell a story. I love to entertain. I’m so lucky I get the chance to do so through the written word.
IR– Can you tell us a bit about the story and its main characters?
DWG– Courtney has thrown a few fairy garden parties—for kids. But if a local socialite is willing to dip into her trust fund for an old sorority sister’s fortieth birthday bash, Courtney will be there with bells on. She enlists her elfin assistant Joss Timberlake to put on the fairy games and her best friend Meaghan Brownie to paint a fairy mural. She hires Brady Cash, the owner of the Hideaway Café, to cater the food. Of course, Fiona, Courtney’s sleuth fairy, accompanies Courtney to all of her appointments.
Courtney is excited because a famous actress, Farrah Lawson, is flying in for the occasion. Courtney knows there’s nothing like a celebrity cameo to raise a business’s profile. Her shop, Open Your Imagination, is in its infancy. She can always use more customers.
Things go awry when the party hostess and her girlfriends head off for an indulgent spa day—which leads to a fateful facial for Farrah, followed by her mysterious death.
With the help of Fiona and her fairy friends, Courtney sets out to dig up the truth behind this puzzling murder.
IR– What inspired the idea for your book?
DWG– The woman who does the audio tapes for the series sent me pictures of her daughter’s fairy garden party, and I fell in love with the idea of doing a party for adults.
IR– Describe yourself in as few words as possible.
DWG– Sassy, driven, energetic, and a perfectionist who wishes she wasn’t (a perfectionist)
IR– Where did you come up with the names in the story?
DWG– Courtney Kelly – because she’s Irish and I love the color Kelly green. Also, I had a girlfriend name Courtney years ago whom I adored.
Meaghan Brownie – well Brownie because, duh, the series is about fairies and pixies and magical creatures.
Joss Timberlake – Joss has a lucky ring to it, doesn’t it? And Timberlake just seemed to fit her. It’s a whimsical name.
I often go through the alphabet and search online sources for first and last names. They have to pair up well in sound and rhythm. It’s like naming babies. LOL
IR– If you were friends with a character in this book, what kinds of things would you do together?
DWG– I think Courtney and I would do a lot of art gallery hopping and wine tasting and maybe she’d give me some tips about photography. She is a wonderfully creative and fun-loving person. And we’d include Meaghan on some of our jaunts. I appreciate how devoted to her mother she is. Plus she undertsands art and she plays the harp. I love harp music. I think I’d have her make some tapes for me to listen to.
IR– What would the title of your autobiography be?
DWG– Believe You Can
IR– How do you define success as an author?
DWG– Continually having a contract with a deadline. ☺ Plus finding a devoted audience. Also having fans reach out and say how much a story or a character or a series affected them.
IR– How do you avoid or defeat writer’s block?
DWG– I put my rear end in a chair and I write. I refuse to believe I can’t fix a story or can’t come up with a new idea. I can always edit whatever I create, so it’s not written in stone. If I’m a little “stuck,” I might write a poem or a thank you note or a blog post. Anything to stir my creative juices. Also I might jump a scene or write an end scene, or tweak a previous chapter. Anything to keep it all moving “forward.”
IR– What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?
DWG– Finish it and then write another. Twain said, “You can’t edit what isn’t written.” No matter what you think about your first book, finish it. That way you can say you did it. You wrote a book. Write “The End.” Remember, it doesn’t have to be submitted anywhere. Your mother doesn’t even need to read it. But you can tell yourself you wrote a book. Now, write the next one. And take classes. Find legitimate BETA readers to give you educated feedback. Join a critique group.
IR– What comes first for you — the plot or the characters?
DWG– I use a variety of tricks to get started. I might try to figure out who was murdered and why. I might create a cast of characters who all have a beef with one person—the victim. Or I might come up with a title and go from there. More often than not, I simply start with “What if…?”
IR– How do you interact with your readers?
DWG– I post often on Facebook. I do live chats on Facebook, too. Those are fun. I do them once a month. I reply to emails. I post pix on Instagram. And when a book releases, I try to do at least one or two live events. These could be in person or on Zoom.
IR– What do you look for in a story as a reader?
DWG– I look for cleverness and tight writing. I really want to work at solving a mystery. I want to be holding my breath when reading a thriller. I want to feel the need to turn the page.
IR– What is the first book that you remember reading?
DWG– I didn’t like reading as a girl. But when I was nine, I got the measles and had to stay home for a week. My mother handed me her set of Nancy Drew novels, and I read all 37 books in one week. I was hooked after that.
IR– What are you reading now?
DWG– I’m reading a suspense and listening to a cozy mystery. Then next month, I’ll switch it up and read a cozy and listen to a suspense. I just finished Krista Davis’s latest Domestic Diva mystery, The Diva Says Cheesecake! I’ve read all the books in the series. Love it. A month ago, I read Gigi Pandian’s new mystery, Under Lock and Skeleton Key, and really enjoyed the locked room aspect of it.
IR– Aside from writing or reading, what are your hobbies or interests?
DWG– I love to garden, bake, and play golf and swim.
IR– What would your dream library look like?
DWG– Every mystery in the world would be in the library, and I’d have read them all! LOL As if. I wish I could speed-read.
IR– If your book were made into a movie, which actors would play your characters?
DWG– Kristin Chenoweth would be great at playing “Fiona” the fairy. Emma Roberts might make a lovely Courtney. She’s plucky and adorable. Elle Fanning would be right, too.
IR– Name three fun facts about you or your work.
DWG– (I’ll give you 6)
*A fairy is a sleuth sidekick.
*There are teas on the weekends at the shop, so recipes are provided at the back of each book.
*I love to fairy garden. I have over 30 in my yard or house.
*I love to edit.
*I love to read my book aloud at the final editing stage.
*I love doing research. In this case, fairy gardening.
IR– If you knew you could not fail, what would you do?
DWG– Solve the climate crisis and make everyone in the world loving and gentle and supportive of one another.
About The Book
The proprietor of a fairy garden and tea shop in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Courtney Kelly has an occasional side gig as a sleuth—with a sprinkling of magical assistance. . . .
Courtney has thrown a few fairy garden parties—for kids. But if a local socialite is willing to dip into her trust fund for an old sorority sister’s fortieth birthday bash, Courtney will be there with bells on. To make the job even more appealing, a famous actress, Farrah Lawson, is flying in for the occasion, and there’s nothing like a celebrity cameo to raise a business’s profile.
Now Courtney has less than two weeks to paint a mural, hang up tinkling windchimes, plan party games, and conjure up all the details. While she works her magic, the hostess and her girlfriends head off for an indulgent spa day—which leads to a fateful facial for Farrah, followed by her mysterious death. Could the kindhearted eyebrow waxer who Farrah berated in public really be the killer, as the police suspect? Courtney thinks otherwise, and with the help of her imaginative sleuth fairy, sets out to dig up the truth behind this puzzling murder . . .
About the Author
Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber is best known for her nationally bestselling Fairy Garden Mysteries, Cookbook Nook Mysteries, and French Bistro Mysteries. As Avery Aames, she penned the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. In addition, Daryl writes the Aspen Adams Novels of Suspense as well as stand-alone suspense. Daryl loves to cook, fairy garden, and read. She has a frisky Goldendoodle who keeps her in line. And she has been known to jump out of a perfectly good airplane and hitch-hike around Ireland alone. You can learn more on her website: httsp://darylwoodgerber.com
GOODREADS BOOK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59120614-a-hint-of-mischief
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