SUMMER OF MYSTERY BLOG TOUR – Disorderly Conduct
Welcome to the “Summer of Mystery Reads” happening July 9th to August 17, 2018, at THE PULP AND MYSTERY SHELF!
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Disorderly Conduct (A Maggie McDonald Mystery)
by Mary Feliz
About the Book
Disorderly Conduct (A Maggie McDonald Mystery)
4th in Series
Lyrical Underground (July 10, 2018)
Print Length: 233 pages
Professional organizer Maggie McDonald manages to balance a fastidious career with friends, family, and a spunky Golden Retriever. But add a fiery murder mystery to the mix, and Maggie wonders if she’s finally found a mess even she can’t tidy up . . .
With a devastating wildfire spreading to Silicon Valley, Maggie preps her family for a rapid evacuation. The heat rises when firefighters discover the body of her best friend Tess Olmos’s athletic husband—whose untimely death was anything but accidental. And as Tess agonizes over the whereabouts of her spouse’s drop-dead gorgeous running mate, she becomes the prime suspect in what’s shaping up to become a double murder case. Determined to set the record straight, Maggie sorts through clues in an investigation more dangerous than the flames approaching her home. But when her own loved ones are threatened, can she catch the meticulous killer before everything falls apart?
About the Author
INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR
What initially got you interested in writing? I’m always up for a challenge, and the prospect of writing a book that would be good enough to be picked up and traditionally published by a New York publisher was the toughest challenge I could imagine.
What genres do you write in? I’m a mystery writer, and Kensington Lyrical markets my books as cozy mysteries. While the books share many of the characteristics of cozy mysteries, they also feature an intelligent mature, married main character who doesn’t bake or do crafts. Instead, she’s a professional organizer who collaborates with family and friends to restore the fabric of her community when murder rips it apart.
What drew you to writing these specific genres? Cozy mysteries traditionally prohibit overt violence and sex. I’ve no interest in writing either one. But I’m also a huge mystery fan myself, and was fascinated by the techniques involved in writing a captivating story that plays fair with readers but also aims to mislead them.
How did you break into the field? Early on, I wrote two books in the YA genre. They focused on early California history, and never found a home, partly because no one knew quite how to position them. I then took a break from writing. When I jumped back in, I decided I wanted to write books that had a easily identified niche. As a mystery fan, that meant mysteries. After writing the first book, and revising it, I still feared it wasn’t quite polished enough to find a home in today’s competitive markets. I hired a freelance editor, who taught me a ton and helped me hone the book so it was closer to my original vision. It was a delightful process that was ultimately successful. In the midst of querying agents, I saw a call for submissions from Kensington. I responded and forgot all about it. I still had about five full submissions out to agents when I got the call from Kensington. Ultimately, after several fantastic conversations with the agents, I decided to leap into the void unagented. The learning curve has been and continues to be steep, but I’m happy with everything Kensington has done to market the books.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works? Once the book is out of my hands, it is up to readers to decide what, if anything, they take away. My goal is to provide an engaging story. One of my primary objectives is to reveal something about the real people in Silicon Valley that is a departure from the portraits painted by Hollywood and television. I want to create characters that seem real, nuanced, and layered. Social issues tend to sneak into my books because they are so complex and create such conflict. But I touch on them only in so far as they advance the story or the characterization. And I don’t come to any conclusions about how to solve social problems. Instead, I provide one portrait of the conflicts those issues create in the life of one person or one community.
What do you find most rewarding about writing? I love it when my characters develop beyond my expectations and the magical feeling when a story starts to gel. It’s difficult, frustrating work to get it to that point, but rush writers get when it works can be addictive.
What do you find most challenging about writing? There’s a point in every story when I fear I’m losing control of all the threads and can’t remember how person A got to point B, or who the Rottweiler-cross belongs to. I describe it as trying to put socks and sneakers on a squirming toddler octopus.
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field? If you need instant gratification, find another way. You’ll need to harness all your persistence, stubbornness, and inner strength to be successful. But those who stick tend to succeed.
What type of books do you enjoy reading? I have eclectic tastes, and read widely in literary fiction, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, mystery, and romantic suspense. I also read nonfiction, but the imagined world is my first love.
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you? I live on Monterey Bay, which is a marine sanctuary with a wealth of natural resources and wildlife second only to the Serengeti. As such, I’ve become an amateur birder and naturalist, but trying to learn all there is to learn about every aspect of the natural world right outside my door is like trying to drink from a firehouse. Last month, my husband and I found a baby elephant seal hiding under our beach stairs out of the wind. We called a rescue organization and quickly read everything we could about elephant seal child rearing. We became attached to him in a very short time. Luckily, we were able to follow his progress through the rescue organizations website, and the little guy is thriving despite his rocky start!
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
Website and blog: www.maryfeliz.com
Mary Feliz writes the Maggie McDonald Mysteries featuring a Silicon Valley professional organizer and her sidekick golden retriever. She’s worked for Fortune 500 firms and mom and pop enterprises competed in whaleboat races and done synchronized swimming. She attends organizing conferences in her character’s stead, but Maggie’s skills leave her in the dust.
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