I interviewed one of my favorite writers, mystery author Sue Ann Jaffarian, for She Writes; click to read her answers to these questions:
1. You write three mystery series (Odelia Gray, Ghost of Granny Apples and Fang-in-Cheek) and hold a full-time paralegal job. How do you juggle writing and having a day job, and keep track of so many protagonists?
2. All three series feature amateur, accidental and/or reluctant detectives, and fall under the category of cozy mysteries. What do you like best about writing cozy mysteries and what drew you to this type of mystery?
3. Your latest book, Murder in Vein, finds waitress and student Madison Rose suddenly at the mercy of some kindhearted vampires who take her in after she’s almost murdered. The book also pokes fun at the vampire craze, featuring people who desperately want to become vampires to the point of committing crimes. What do you think of people who call themselves vampires, and did you do any fun research for this book?
4. Location is very important to each of your series, whether it’s Los Angeles or Julian, California, for Ghost a La Mode or varying locations, like a corn maze, for Odelia Gray, yet it’s something that can get overlooked, especially with such twisting and turning plots you come up with. How do you see the role of place in your books, and do you have a favorite setting of the ones you’ve written about?
5. Odelia Gray is a feisty, plus-size amateur sleuth who’s often forging ahead in her investigations even when she’s been warned by those who love her to lay low. You’ve been lauded for her portrayal of women of size by the likes of actress Camryn Manheim and others. How do Odelia’s size and her personality intersect, and do you see Odelia as a role model?
Also check out her blog, where I got these images from:
Here's my review of her new vampire mystery Murder in Vein: A Fang-in-Cheek Mystery from Amazon:
I'm a fan of Sue Ann Jaffarian's other mystery series, but don't tend to read vampire stories so wasn't sure what I would think, but I loved this whodunnit, which delves into the world of vampires and vampire envy. Madison Rose finds herself shocked to discover that vampires are real, and that she almost died because of them. She goes to live with her new vampire "grandparents," who wind up becoming the only family she has, only to become the target of those who think if they kill her, they are on the fast track to permanent (as opposed to retractable) fangs. Jaffarian sends up vampire envy while introducing a whole new cast of characters, including a vampire council, with her own twist on the genre. She manages to make this a believable world, as she did with Ghost a la Mode, and Madison is an engaging heroine who is by turns wary and curious about the undercover community that takes her in. If you're a Jaffarian fan, you'll definitely want to check this out, and if you're a newcomer to her work, you'll enjoy the sly humor as well as the covens, clubs and coffins that populate Murder in Vein.