Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction
Goose Pimple Junction Mysteries Book 1
by Amy Metz
Genre: Cozy Mystery
A bank robbery, murder, and family tragedy from the 1930s are pieces of the mystery that Tess attempts to solve. As she gets close to the truth, she encounters danger, mystery, a lot of southern charm, and a new temptation for which she’s not sure she’s ready.
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Heroes & Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction
Goose Pimple Junction Mysteries Book 2
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Short & Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction
Goose Pimple Junction Mysteries Book 3
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Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction
Goose Pimple Junction Mysteries Book 4
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As an introverted introvert, I hate crowds, so I grocery shop after 10:00 pm. The only time I hate doing that is in the winter when it’s really cold.
Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!
Last April, I had brain surgery–twice. I’d had headaches for about two weeks that turned out to be blood clots completely filling my venous sinus cavity and cutting off the blood vessels. I had emergency surgery, then proceeded to have two strokes and another surgery. I had about a month of rehab and family babying me, and about six-seven months of recuperation. I could do with a less interesting year.
What are some of your pet peeves?
Oh, there are so many. Mean people; People who tell me they’ve been meaning to read my book, but . . . ; Tailgaters, and I don’t mean the football fan kind; Wintertime; Misuse of the words “me” and “I”; Confusion of the words “to,” “two,” and “too;” Misusage of “your” and you’re;” When people put two spaces after a period; Calories; Critical people; Pessimistic people . . . man, I could be here all day . . .
Where were you born/grew up at?
I was born in Owensboro, Kentucky but moved to Louisville just before first grade. I’ve lived in Louisville pretty much ever since then, except for four years of college and two years after that. But always in Kentucky.
Who is your hero and why?
My hero is Tom because he is always there for me and would do anything for me. You don’t find that often. And he found the Indiana Popcorn that I like so much and is so hard to find.
What are you passionate about these days?
My kids. Tom. Politics.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Netflix and needlepoint! I’m addicted to the two. And they must be done together.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Mom, writer, introvert, Netflix-watching needlepointer.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I started writing in 2009, but I don’t think I called myself a writer until after my first book was published in 2012.
Do you have a favorite movie?
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
All of them! I have had readers tell me they would love to see the GPJ books in movie form, and recently I even had a man tell me that in an email (it’s usually women). Some think the books would be perfect for the Hallmark channel. Hallmark, are you listening?
What inspired you to write the first book in the series?
Family history. My father’s uncle was murdered in 1935, and I grew up hearing the stories about him. It always made me sad that his murder was never solved, so I solved it fictionally. Also, I wrote the first book at a time when I needed to laugh, which is why I made it a humorous mystery.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
I didn’t come up with them, they came up to me, sat down, and started talking. It probably began when I first visited the real Goose Pimple Junction (Virginia) in 1985. The name stuck with me, and when I thought about writing the first book, I knew which town I wanted it to be set in. With a town like Goose Pimple Junction, the residents needed to be a little . . . colorful. They’ve been talking to me ever since.
Where did you come up with the names in the books?
I think names are hugely important. Some of the names come to me instantly, but I also keep a running list of interesting names, and when I’m stuck I refer to it. The South is full of nicknames, family names, two-word names–the possibilities are endless. And it’s so much fun to find the right name for a character.
What do you enjoy most about writing this series?
I love having the characters in my head. They are a fun bunch of people who make me laugh. Through them, I get to do and say things I would love to do and say in real life but never would. I also love “living” in Goose Pimple Junction. It’s an idyllic little community with whacky residents who are fun to know. I also like exacting revenge on people who anger me in real life. <evil laugh>
How did you come up with the title of your first novel?
I originally titled it simply Goose Pimple Junction. Some of the readers in an online critique group I belonged to at the time said it needed more, so I added Murder & Mayhem. I wish I had known how many other books begin with Murder & Mayhem in their title, but I think it aptly describes what the book is about.
Who designed your book covers?
I am blessed to have found four fantastic artists for my covers. I commissioned Karen Mathison Schmidt (http://www.edgewoodfineart.com/) to do the front and back covers of book 1, and I think she perfectly captured the GPJ in my head.
For book 2, I was searching for Southern homes online and found a painting that looked like the house in my mind where the main character lived. John Charles Gibbs (www.gibbsgallery.com) agreed to sell me the rights to use it for the cover, and he even added a chalk outline in the yard and a pumpkin on the porch to match what was happening in the book.
For book 3, I found a painting of a Basset Hound that was exactly like the Ezzie in my head, the Basset that’s in all the books. I thought using a dog on the cover for a play on words (Short & Tall Tales/tails) would be fun, and Anne Rackley Berenbrok
(https://www.etsy.com/shop/AllCreaturesStudio?ref=l2-shopheader-name) sold me the rights to use it.
And for book 4, I can’t remember how I found it, but I was searching online for something and came across "Emerico" Imre Tóth’s (https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/emerico-toth.html) “Rainy Day” picture. It was perfect for what I was writing in the book, and he sold me the rights to use it.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
First, I’d take Louetta to lunch at Slick & Junebug’s Diner and then I’d spend the afternoon cooking with Louetta. After dinner, I’d go to her bookstore and while away the night reading and perusing through books.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
They’re all figments of my imagination, although some may have some characteristics of people I know. Only the biker character, “Tank,” in book 1 is an actual person–at least physically. We were on vacation, and I was sitting in the car at a rest stop when this biker dude walked right past me. He was so unique and off the wall, I knew he was one of my characters. I guess there are a few others who have been based on real people–people who have made me mad, so I exacted fictional revenge and killed them off.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
They definitely hijack the story. I don’t know how many times I’ve thought I knew where the story was going, only to be corrected by the characters.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
I find the best way to convince someone to read a book is by word of mouth. So out of the mouth of a few reviewers, here are some reasons you should read the GPJ series:
“To say I enjoyed Ms. Metz work would be an understatement, I relished it, adored it, want to marry it. The writing was exceptional, easy to follow, highly entertaining, and extremely clever. It was not only funny, but intelligent and suspenseful.”
“…transported to a small southern town filled with southern hospitality, charm and characters…”
“Some creative characters that you completely fall in love with.”
“Murder & Mayhem In Goose Pimple Junction is a characterization clinic!”
"A good old-fashioned mystery, a great romance, a fun book and it will leave you with a smile on your face."
“Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction is charming, fun, well-written, and loaded with delicious personality . . . ”
“Intricacy, humor and word play continue Amy Metz's signature style in this second of her Goose Pimple series. Memorable characters, some new, some familiar, run riot through town creating chaos, disaster and hilarity. This book contains many "Listen to this" moments and two very well written mysteries. Nothing is hidden, the clues are right out there. Enjoy, and be careful drinking while you read. You could be snorting soda out your nose.”
Have you written any other books that are not published?
I have written parts of two other books. One is a thriller about a serial killer in Alabama, and the other is a chick lit book set in South Carolina. I work on them periodically, but haven’t finished them yet. I also have a manuscript written about my mother’s ordeal with dementia. It’s actually the reason I started writing. I needed to vent about what was happening, and writing about it was a great outlet.
What are your top 10 favorite authors?
Robert B. Parker, Chris Knopf, David Rosenfelt, Michael Lee West, Nelson DeMille, Michael Connelly, John Sandford, Laura Lippman, Rick Bragg, A.A. Milne.
How long have you been writing?
I’m a late bloomer. I started writing in 2009–when I was 48.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
I love mysteries. Humorous mysteries are even better.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise?
Definitely silence. I probably have ADD, which means I can only do one thing at a time. If anything else is going on, I get distracted.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
I have two other books not in the Goose Pimple Junction series that I go to from time to time. But for the most part, I write one book at a time.
If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?
Harry Potter! I would love to have J.K. Rowling’s imagination and writing prowess. And royalties.
Pen or type writer or computer?
Laptop computer. It has Scrivener software, access to the Internet for any research I may need to do, plus a dictionary and thesaurus, and for coffee breaks it has easy access to email, Facebook, Twitter, and if I really want to waste time–Pinterest.
What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?
Trying to deal with life is what made me start writing. I thought it would be therapeutic to write about what I was going through with my mother after she was diagnosed with dementia. Writing about life was a great outlet, but it also was like living it twice–once in real life and then again on paper–so I started writing a humorous mystery to escape from real life. It was the right decision for me.
A day in the life of the author?
Wake up and check email, Facebook, and Twitter. Go to the last chapter written and write some more. If that doesn’t work, go back through other chapters and rewrite/edit/proofread. Check Facebook and Twitter. Eat lunch. Write some more. Check Facebook and Twitter. Work on the blog. Try to write some more. Check Facebook and Twitter. Eat a snack. Try to write/edit/rewrite. Check Facebook and Twitter. If it’s not winter, throw in a walk or two somewhere in the day.
Advice you would give new authors?
Write the first draft and set it aside for a few weeks or even months. Go back with fresh eyes and rewrite. When you’ve done all the rewriting you can stand, get some Beta readers to critique your work. Take their suggestions to heart, especially if more than one person suggests the same thing. Realize that not everyone is going to love your work, but there will be enough who will to make it worth it.
What makes a good story?
Characters and plot. Relationships, personalities, conflict, drama, humor, surprises, and an ending you didn’t see coming.
What are you currently reading?
I just finished Chris Knopf’s Tango Down, number 7 in his Sam Acquillo series. And I am beginning Deep Freeze, book 10, in John Sandford’s Virgil Flowers series. Both are some of my favorite characters and series.
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
I generally start writing and see where the characters take me. Somewhere toward the middle of the book, I may make a fluid outline–fluid because the characters will sometimes make an outline null and void. But often an outline is helpful to see how to get to the end.
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