Mystery author Julie Mulhern stops by for an interview today. Learn more about her and her books at her website.
When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was eleven, which was a long time ago.
How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
I was very lucky. I got serious about writing in the summer of 2012. By serious, I mean I took the time to learn the craft of writing and story structure. In 2013, I signed with an agent. In 2014, I sold my first book.
Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
I am traditionally published.
Where do you write?
I write at my kitchen table in the morning before my family wakes up.
Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
Silence is golden. The only sounds I hear when I write are the dog snoring, the birds outside, and the hum of the coffee maker.
How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
Occasionally, a scene in the Country Club Murders will be inspired from something that happened in real life (the mouse in the apple fritters in Clouds in my Coffee is an example) but I make up the murders and the plots. As for characters, someone wiser than I once said that writers create heroes or heroines they’d like to be. I think that’s true about Ellison and me.
Describe your process for naming your character?
My heroine Ellison Russell got her name because she needed to sound like she belonged at a country club and because I’ve always loved the name Ellison.
Real settings or fictional towns?
My books are set in Kansas City. Many of the places Ellison visits are real. Her country club is an amalgamation of three or four clubs in the area.
What’s the quirkiest quirk one of your characters has?
Ellison finds bodies like other people find pennies in parking lots. Often. It’s a problem for her.
What’s your quirkiest quirk?
Everyone at some point wishes for a do-over. What’s yours?
Trying a new colorist without a solid recommendation. My hair had spots. I looked like a leopard (a blonde leopard). Lesson learned – never cheat on your stylist.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Drivers who turn on their left-turn signal AFTER the light has turned green.
You’re stranded on a deserted island. What are your three must-haves?
Coffee, books, and wine.
What was the worst job you’ve ever held?
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
Is this where I go all literary and say something impressive like War and Peace or Madame Bovary? They’re undoubtedly ART and I’ve read them both. But, to me, the purpose of books is to entertain. I want to laugh and smile, maybe wipe a tear. When I read the last page, I want to feel uplifted. The books I re-read? Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre, and The Prince of Tides.
Ocean or mountains?
City girl/guy or country girl/guy?
City girl. There are large bugs in the country. And snakes. I hate snakes. Lord, do I hate snakes.
What’s on the horizon for you?
Right now I’m writing a short story and working on the next Country Club Murder. Book seven (still noodling on the title) will be out next summer.
Cold as Ice
Ellison Russell’s life resembles a rollercoaster ride. And rollercoasters make her ill. Her daughter Grace has a crush on a boy Ellison doesn’t trust, and she’s taken to hosting wild parties when Ellison goes out for the evening. Worse, the bank which represents Grace’s inheritance from her father may be in trouble.
When a meeting with the chef at the country club leads to the discovery of a body, Ellison can’t afford cold feet. She must save the bank, find the killer, and convince Grace (and herself) that powerful women don’t need men to rescue them.