Writing Thrillers on Trains, Visual Story Ideas, and Kidnapping Plots with Rachel Amphlett

Podcast episode 28Thriller author Rachel Amphlett grew up reading thrillers. She mentions both Dick Francis (perhaps my all-time favorite mystery author) and Enid Blyton in our chat; those were two authors who introduced me to the world of mysteries as a young person as well.

I asked Rachel about writing in a genre that is predominantly occupied by men, but like JF Penn, she doesn’t let that phase or stop her. Her Dan Taylor series concerns a former British soldier struggling with PTSD, as well as an injury received during a run-in with an IED.

You can find out more about Rachel and all her books on her website RachelAmphlett.com. And as with so many of my guests, Rachel has a book – and two book extracts – available for free. You can find that on her website.

Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on iTunes. And listen on Stitcher.

You can also click here to watch the interview on YouTube.

Transcript of Interview with Rachel Amphlett

Alexandra: Hi, mystery readers, I’m Alexandra Amor. This is “It’s a Mystery” podcast and I’m here today with Rachel Amphlett. Hi, Rachel.

Rachel: Hi.

Alexandra: How are you?

Rachel: Good, thanks, and thanks for having me on the show.

Alexandra: Oh, you’re so welcome. It’s great to have you here. Let me introduce you to our listeners.

RachelAmphlettBefore moving to Australia in 2005, Rachel Amphlett lived in the UK and helped run a pub, played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a subeditor and editorial assistant. Her thrillers appeal to a worldwide audience and have been compared to Robert Ludlum, Michael Crichton, and Clive Cussler.

Thank you so much for being here with me today, Rachel. The thing that I found so intriguing about your books, or one of the things, is that you’re a woman writing in a man’s world. We mentioned J.F. Penn just before we started recording and the conspiracy theory-thriller genre really is dominated by men.

Can you talk a little bit about that? What drew you to this genre?

Keep reading →

Interview with Romantic Mystery author Jane Firebaugh

Introduction

JaneFirebaughToday I’ve got a very special interview for mystery lovers – with Jane Firebaugh, author of the White Mountains Romantic Mysteries.

Jane was born and raised in eastern Tennessee. She grew up with an insatiable appetite for books of all genres. As she grew older, that desire continued and finally developed into a love of writing.

She says her books are a bit of a mix between cozy mysteries and romantic suspense. You’ll find them to be fairly cozy, with no profanity, overt sex or obvious gore, yet there is a bit more romance and suspense than you normally see in a cozy mystery.

When Jane is not in front of a computer writing, she can usually be found hiking with my dogs in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during temperate weather seasons, skiing there during cold ones or occasionally melting in the Florida sun.

You can find Jane on her website at Jane-Firebaugh.com
She is also on Twitter, and Facebook.

The first book in Jane’s White Mountains series is Antiques and Avarice. The second is Old Crimes and Nursery Rhymes.

(FYI, no audio or video with this interview.)

Interview with Jane Firebaugh

Alexandra: Tell us about the main character in your White Mountain romantic mysteries, Olivia McKenna. What is her background? What does she care about? How does she end up embroiled in murders?

Keep reading →

Scottish Castles, Casanova and Island Mysteries with Myra Duffy

Introduction

Podcast episode 18Myra Duffy has the loveliest Scottish accent. I could have listened to her all day long. Not only is she a pleasure to listen to, she’s got loads to share about the Scottish island where her cozy mysteries are set.

The Isle of Bute is off the west coast of Scotland, known for its architecture, its long sandy beaches, and, when Myra’s around, the odd fictional murder. 😉 Coincidentally, a few days before I talked to Myra, there was the confirmation of the authentication of one of Shakespeare’s folios that is in the possession of a museum on the island. In this interview Myra brings us up to speed about what’s happening with that fascinating piece of history, and shares lots more about the Isle of Bute and the mysteries she sets there.

You can find out more about Myra and her books at MyraDuffyWriter.com.
She is also on Twitter and Facebook.

Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on iTunes. And listen on Stitcher.

You can also click here to watch the interview on YouTube.

Transcription of Interview with Myra Duffy

Alexandra: Hi, Mystery Readers. I’m Alexandra Amor. This is “It’s a Mystery Podcast”. I’m here today with Myra Duffy. Hi, Myra.

Myra: Hi there, Alexandra.

Alexandra: How are you?

Myra: I’m very well today, thank you.

Alexandra: Good. Looks like a nice, sunny day there today.

Myra: Yes, at last, after a long, hard winter.

Alexandra: Yes, I guess it’s great.

Myra: A wet winter.

Alexandra: Was it white?

Myra: Oh, wet, very wet. We get a lot of rain in the west coast of Scotland.

Alexandra: I guess so. I’m on the west coast of Canada, and we get a lot of rain, too, so very similar climates, I think.

Myra: Exactly.

Alexandra: Let me introduce our listeners to you.

MyraDuffyMyra Duffy is the published author of non-fiction, but she has been writing fiction for as long as she can remember, winning a national writing competition when she was 13. In the past few years, she has turned to a life of crime, fictional crime that is. She has won a number of competitions, and had short stories published in various magazines, but prefers writing novels, most notably the very successful series of cozy crime mystery novels set on the island of Bute, just off the west coast of Scotland.

And that’s what we’re gonna talk about mostly today. Just before we jumped online, we were chatting about a very current event that’s going to be woven into your newest book.

Let’s start at the beginning, perhaps, and maybe you could tell us a bit about Alison, your main character. Alison Cameron. Alison Cameron, so tell us a bit about her. She’s a writer?

Keep reading →

Police Procedurals, Profilers and Private Investigators with A.D. Davies

Introduction

Podcast episode 15Author A.D. (Antony) Davies is clearly a man who likes to explore characters and their motivation. He had three different types of mystery novels available and we talk about them all today: A police procedural series with a female serial killer profiler as the main character; a wealthy private investigator; and a stand-alone mystery involving a cult in Nevada and a cop with a deep faith.

You can find out more about A.D. and his books at ADDAvies.com.
He’s also on Twitter.

Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on iTunes. And listen on Stitcher.

You can also watch the interview on YouTube, if you prefer.

Transcript of Interview with A.D. Davies

Alexandra: Hi, mystery readers. I’m Alexandra Amor, this is It’s A Mystery podcast and I’m here today with A.D. Davies. Hi, Antony.

Antony: Hello.

Alexandra: How are you?

Antony: I’m good, thank you.

Alexandra: On a Sunday afternoon in…I forget where you live.

Antony: Staffordshire in the United Kingdom.

Alexandra: Staffordshire. Yeah, I knew the U.K. I chad West Yorkshire in my head but that’s where you were raised.

Antony: That’s right. Yeah. That’s where I’m from originally and it seems to be where I’ve put a few of my books.

Alexandra: All right. Well, I have a ton of questions because you’ve got three different series, sort of, that I want to ask you about. So let me introduce you to our listeners.

AD DaviesA.D. Davies grew up in Leeds, West Yorkshire. In high school his ambition was to be a writer of horror novels although in adult life he became an avid fan of crime fiction. After a long stint in an unsatisfying job, and we’ve all had those, he attended the University of Leeds where he attained a degree in creative writing. Shortly after graduation he moved to the midlands to marry the love of his life. A.D. Davies is well-traveled, his favorite destinations being New Zealand and Vietnam which have influenced his writing immensely.

For now, however, globetrotting is taking a back seat to raising his two children and writing. Although he hopes one day to combine all three.

Let’s start maybe talking about this stand-alone mystery novel and then maybe we can talk about the two series that you have.

Keep reading →

Hat Creek Ranch – Book Research

Molly and Dolly, pulling the stagecoach
Molly and Dolly, pulling the stagecoach
One of the things that is the most fun about writing books is doing research. There’s book research, which, for me at least, is so-so fun. There’s online research which is slightly more fun.

And then there’s riding on a stagecoach research.

Come on! SO fun.

In the summer of 2014 I spent a day at Hat Creek Ranch, which is near Cache Creek in central British Columbia. I’m writing a series of mystery novels set in 1890, so becoming familiar with life in that time is important to me. The shot above was taken from the driver’s seat of a stagecoach. I took dozens of photos that day and absorbed as much information as I could about life in BC’s interior in the late 19th century.

On my list for my next research trips are:

In the meantime here are some other photos from my trip to Hat Creek Ranch.
IMG_0659IMG_0656IMG_0663watering trough pump