Today we sit down for a chat with cozy mystery, paranormal, and romance author Misty Simon,who writes the Tallie Graver Mystery series. Misty thinks there’s nothing better in the world than making someone laugh, and she hopes everyone at least snickers in the right places when reading her books. Learn more about Misty and her books at her website.
When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
It happened on a rainy Saturday when I realized I was watching way too much Lifetime TV and took myself to the bookstore where I fell in love all over again with reading and decided to write.
How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
My first novel came out in 2005, about four years after I started writing. I had published in some magazines previous to that, but this was the Big Kahuna!
Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
I’m traditionally published and in a few indie published anthologies.
Where do you write?
At my desk, in my big chair, on the couch, at a café…Really anywhere if the words are flowing.
Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
Oh, good question. It really depends on my mood. Sometimes I’m all about anything Dave Matthews and other times I want Epic battle music. Other times I have to have absolute silence except for my dogs barking.
How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
Pretty much all of my characters come from my life but with modifications, of course, so I don’t’ get in trouble. And my main characters all have a facet of who I am, and then I blow them all up to make it interesting!
Describe your process for naming your character?
I usually run through the alphabet and wait to feel that the first letter is the right one, and then I go to my trusty baby naming book and page through until one speaks to me. Names are so important and really nail the character down for me.
Real settings or fictional towns?
I tend to use real locations and then rename them so I can play with where things are located just in case businesses close or move.
What’s the quirkiest quirk one of your characters has?
Tallie is completely aware of her flaws and owns every single one. She seems to always be in the best and worst place at the same time. Her quirk in this series is more that people either tell her their whole life story or don’t even realize she’s there. She uses that invisibility to the best of her sleuthing abilities.
What’s your quirkiest quirk?
I can’t touch untreated wood. Please don’t ever hand me one of those Dixie cup ice cream things with the wooden paddle or I’ll gag! Not sure why, but it’s so bad that I have to ask dining companions or the wait staff to remove those toothpicks everyone seems to want to put in sandwiches to hold them together.
If you could have written any book (one that someone else has already written,) which one would it be? Why?
Hmmm. If I could have written Discovery of WitchesI would have loved that so much. The imagination and heart in that series is astounding.
Everyone at some point wishes for a do-over. What’s yours?
I have to be honest; I don’t want a do over. I am right here, right now, doing what I love with people I love and everything that I’ve been through has led me to this point. If I changed a single breath ten years ago, things would be different, and I love where I am and what I’m doing too much to not honor that.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
My complete lack of comma knowledge! No matter how many books I read, I still don’t get it right!
You’re stranded on a deserted island. What are your three must-haves?
Music, my husband, and paper and pen (which only counts as one!)
What was the worst job you’ve ever held?
Working in this one doctor’s office where I could not corner the doctor for answers no matter how many traps I set and sprang.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
Belgarathby David Eddings
Ocean or mountains?
Ocean but I don’t like sand
City girl/guy or country girl/guy?
What’s on the horizon for you?
I’ll be starting a new series as Gabby Allan, release dates coming soon. The books are set on Catalina Island off the coast of California and involve golf cart chases and a gift shop owner. My next book to come out will be in Oct. 2020, and it’s the last in the Tallie Graver series, Varnished Without A Trace.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and/or your books?
I adore conversations with people of all walks of life about any number of topics, so if you see me, please don’t hesitate to engage me – I’m the one wearing the vintage 50’s dresses and yes, if you compliment the dress, I guarantee you I’ll say, “Thanks, it has a petticoat!”
A Tallie Gravers Mystery, Book 4
Live and let dust . . .
Now that Tallie Graver’s cleaning business is starting to shine, she’s ready to go squeegee to squeegee against Audra McNeal for a major contract at the Astercromb mansion. Tallie’s not afraid of a little friendly competition from the new cleaner in town. In fact, Tallie likes Audra, though she wonders how her glamorous rival manages to clean house and maintain her fancy manicure. Tallie has her rubber-gloves full staying one step ahead of her nemesis. Until she finds a well-polished hand poking out of a rolled-up carpet, rendering her competition . . . dead.
Though it lands Tallie the big job, there’s nothing tidy about Audra’s death. So between polishing and scrubbing, Tallie’s determined to find the killer. Hopefully the police chief doesn’t mind her cluttering up his investigation with the filthy dealings she discovers. Turns out Audra was not as squeaky clean as she appeared. And confronting her killer could bring Tallie to a very foul end indeed . . .