Hello Readers! I’m happy to welcome Hannah R. Kurz, author of Prove It: Murder In The Mix, on Books Teacup and Reviews to talk about what inspired Prove It: Murder In The Mix. It is cozy mystery, first in A Likable Daisy Mystery series released on September 30, 2020. Please check out the guest post and more about book in this post.
What Inspired Prove It: Murder In The Mix
“It was a dark and stormy night…” or so we typed. For my 30th birthday my husband presented me with a vintage Smith & Corona typewriter, and busy parents of two toddlers that we were – eager to find a new hobby that didn’t make much noise or require a babysitter – we invented a game called typewriter popcorn.
The previous nine months I had spent dabbling in writing. I posted every week or so on my own blog about parenting or cooking and submitted roughly one article a month in hopes of being published. This was mostly in small print publications, discussing the intersectionality of motherhood, mental health, and spirituality, which is just a fancy way to say that I discussed my personal experiences in Christian magazines. The typewriter represented my aspirations of doing more.
We plugged away one sentence at a time, taking turns controlling the spontaneous narrative that flowed from two sets of hands. We played this game for several nights, almost always drifting into the mystery genre. At some point, my husband suggested I challenge myself to write a full-length novel.
Back in high school I had started but never finished two different fantasy stories. My younger sister, the only person I had dared let read my work, was sorely disappointed that I didn’t complete them. I also mentioned my hobby to two of my English teachers, who encouraged me to keep going, but I eventually lost steam. When I ran out of inspiration, I had no rough draft or even a skeleton outline to guide me.
Many years later, I had a husband who encouraged me, performed research for me, pushed me to write daily, taught me to “polish the turd,” that is, accept that a first draft will be terrible and edit it into something better, and created space for me to write, entertaining our kids on weekday nights and weekends, because he so strongly believed I could write something good.
Our typewriter popcorn sessions convinced me that a cozy mystery, probably my favorite genre, would be the best place to start. I had two different premises, one that pulled from my experience as a foreign exchange student in Beijing and another that drew from my current circumstances, being a mom. The second appealed to my husband more, so I kept at it.
It took me almost a whole month to write and rewrite the first chapter. The rest of the first draft was a whirlwind, and just another month later I rang in the New Year with a complete, though deeply flawed, manuscript. I spent the following four months adding scenes, revising dialogue, and probing friends and family who might be interested in becoming beta readers.
Mind you, this whole time I was MASSIVELY sleep deprived. My darling second daughter didn’t start sleeping through the night until she was almost two. This was after I went through beta reader feedback and edits. The extent to which my sleeplessness and admiration of showers are reflected in the novel may be directly attributed to this period of life.
Other themes and ideas emerged that also took inspiration from life experiences, both mine and my husband’s. He once lived above a bakery. I moved to Western NY for love. We both studied Chinese. I gave some characters my vices and infused my love of food throughout the narrative. However, some things, of course, were the product of my imagination.
I cannot draw. There is no possible future for me as a graphic designer. My in-laws are wonderful. I couldn’t have married into a lovelier or more supportive family. I’ve never killed anyone or solved a murder mystery, though I once completed some archival research for a historic cold case and interned with a three-letter government agency. That was fun.
Throughout the process, my kids also motivated and inspired me. I have a store of anecdotes that I plan to drop in subsequent books, and I hope my girls can one day be proud of what their mom accomplished. Parents are everyday superheroes and super sleuths, and I had so much fun creating a character who reflects that. If I were a child, where would I hide this, is a question I ask myself regularly only now I’ve also learned to put myself in the shoes of a cozy killer.
In the end, Prove It: Murder In The Mix is a blend of drama and mystery. It testifies to the craziness of new motherhood and the complexity of familial relationships with a thrilling resolution, and I hope readers enjoy it.
Prove It: Murder In The Mix (A Likable Daisy Mystery Book 1)
Publication Date : September 30th 2020
Genre : Cozy Mystery
When a tragic mixer mishap results in the closing of a beloved bakery, new mom and upstairs neighbor Stephanie Wu is sure of two things: One, she misses their cappuccinos. And two, it was no accident. But time is running out for the sleep-deprived sleuth. Can she solve the murder and figure out pumping before her maternity leave is up? With a baby at her breast and a killer at her back, life and living above The Likable Daisy will never be the same again.
A longtime lover of cozy mysteries, Hannah decided one day to indulge in the fantasy of killing off her own fictional characters. As it turns out, it’s really fun. Her first book Prove It: Murder In The Mix is the premier novel in A Likable Daisy Mystery Series. When not axing imaginary people in cold blood, she’s usually busy taking care of her two delightful daughters or indulging in another favorite pastime, baking.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Let me know in comments what do you think about this guest post, if you have read this book or going to add to TBR.
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