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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Death Makes the Cut - Janice Hamrick

 Janice Hamrick has stopped by today to tell us a little about her new cozy mystery

Tell us a little about Death Makes the Cut
 DEATH MAKES THE CUT is the second novel in the Jocelyn Shore mystery series and follow-up to the award-winning DEATH ON TOUR

When a friend is found dead of an apparent heart attack on the first day of school, Texas high school teacher Jocelyn Shore must put aside her own grief to assist his students, even if it means agreeing to fill in as tennis coach. With luck, a replacement will soon be found, and she’ll have time to sort out her fragile long-distance relationship with Alan Stratton. But Coach Fred’s death was no heart attack, and when the police find planted evidence of drugs in his desk, Jocelyn must act quickly to clear Fred’s good name.

Asking questions at Bonham High isn’t as simple as it seems, however, especially when Jocelyn’s new duties as tennis coach put her at odds with both teachers and parents. To complicate matters, her cousin Kyla has been charged with carrying a concealed weapon, a movie crew is filming on campus, and the all too interesting Detective Gallagher keeps turning up at inopportune times with questions of his own. A chance encounter, a word from a friend, and a sealed letter from a dead man combine to throw Jocelyn directly into the path of a ruthless killer.

Which authors inspire you?
My favorite classic authors are Agatha Christie, Ellis Peters, and Dick Francis. I admire Christie’s plotting, Peters’ developed characters, and Francis’ amazing pacing. Since I’ve been writing, I’ve discovered other wonderful mystery writers such as Craig Johnson, Stephanie Pintoff, and Douglas Corleone.  I read a lot of non-mystery fiction as well and I’ve even been known to pick up the occasional bit of non-fiction.

What are you working on next?
I’m currently wrapping up work on the third Jocelyn Shore novel, DEATH RIDES AGAIN. In it, Jocelyn travels to her uncle’s ranch in Sand Creek, Texas, for Thanksgiving, only to find that even small towns aren’t safe from money launderers, drug dealers, or murderers.

 Tell us a little about you
I’ve been a writer my entire life, from the time I could pick up a crayon. It’s my childhood dream.  I was born in Oklahoma City, grew up just outside Kansas City, Kansas, and graduated from KU with honors in English. After graduating, I moved to Austin, Texas, and became a technical writer for a software company. I’ve got two daughters, three dogs, and a cat. I wrote my first mystery after traveling to Egypt.

What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Write!  Every day, even if it’s only a sentence. The best tip I ever had was to set a weekly word count and to commit to making that count no matter what. That kind of goal means that you can’t write just when the mood hits you – it means you’re serious and it means that you will eventually finish something. Finishing is probably the hardest thing for an aspiring author. You’re always second guessing yourself, worrying that your words aren’t “good enough.”  You just need to write, to finish, and to remember that the next novel is always waiting.

What's your favorite season/weather?
I love all the seasons…Texas seasons, that is.  Which means a week of winter, a long spring, a long fall, and an even longer summer. I’ve never been big on cold weather for extended periods of time.

 Who do you imagine is your reader?
My readers are smart, fun, and have a great sense of humor. They appreciate the discrepancies between what is and what should be, they like varied characters, and they appreciate the interplay between different types of people.

Where is Death on Tour available?
DEATH ON TOUR and DEATH MAKES THE CUT are both available in print and in e-reader format at all major bookstores. 

How can readers find out more about you?
Visit my website at www.janicehamrick.com, follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/janice.hamrick.author, and follow me on Twitter at @JaniceHamrick. 

Thanks for stopping by, Janice. My favorite Texas "season" is the the three days we get for spring!

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