Friday, September 30, 2011

Dishing it up with Amy Corwin...

Today I have the pleasure of dishing it up with Amy Corwin. Amy is a charter member of the Romance Writers of America and recently joined Mystery Writers of America. She has been writing for the last ten years and managing a career as an enterprise systems administrator in the computer industry. She writes Regencies, historicals, mysteries, and contemporary paranormals. To be truthful, most of her books include a bit of murder and mayhem since she discovered that killing off at least one character is a highly effective way to make the remaining ones toe the plot line.

Amy’s books include the two Regency romances, SMUGGLED ROSE, and LOVE, THE CRITIC; three Regency romantic mysteries, I BID ONE AMERICAN, THE BRICKLAYER’S HELPER, and THE NECKLACE; and her first paranormal, VAMPIRE PROTECTOR.

Join her and discover that every good mystery has a touch of romance.

JET: Can you tell us about A Rose before Dying?

Amy: “A Rose Before Dying” was such a thrill for me to write. I have been researching and growing old garden roses since 1998 and when I got the idea for the book, I was so excited I couldn’t wait to write it. I had already developed the idea of a Regency inquiry agency called Second Sons, run by Knighton Gaunt. I wanted to have the freedom to introduce other characters, but still have a connection between the stories. In “A Rose Before Dying” Charles Vance picks up the threads of an investigation when his uncle, Sir Edward, is implicated in a murder. The clues are roses and Charles is thrust into the role of detective to clear his uncle’s name and stop the next killing when the murderer sends another rose as a warning that he’s not quite done, yet.

For those interested, here is a brief blurb about the book.

Only Sir Edward had the motive, the opportunity, and a garden full of the roses sent to each victim before their death.

The first victim was Sir Edward's ex-mistress, a woman who threw him over for a younger man. After receiving a mysterious rose, she dies while alone with Sir Edward. Then a second rose is delivered and a deadly game commences, where roses are the only clues to save the next victim.

However, Charles Vance, Earl of Castlemoor, refuses to believe his uncle, Sir Edward, could commit the murders, even when the renowned head of the Second Sons Inquiry Agency warns him there may be some truth behind the rumors. “The roses are Sir Edward's attempt to cast suspicion elsewhere.” “Misdirection.” Or so the whispers say.

Convinced he can prove his uncle's innocence, Vance enlists the aide of notable rosarian, Ariadne Wellfleet, little realizing his actions will involve the Wellfleet household in the killer's game.

Before the week is out, Charles receives another rose.

And someone else is missing.

JET: What drew you to paranormal romance and contemporary and historical mysteries?

Amy: I love them. They make me happy and provide challenges to me as a writer that I still find exciting. I think reading Barbara Michaels and Georgette Heyer really solidified my goals for me. I want to be like them. With perhaps a soupcon of H.H. Munro’s dry wit thrown in.

JET: What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication?

Amy: Figuring out what I wanted to write, and how to write it. For years, I tried to fit the mold of “Romance Writer”. I wanted to be a “Romance Writer” because I was intimidated by the thought of trying to write a mystery. But my heart was in the mystery genre and it wasn’t until I finally decided to move firmly into that genre that I found success.

You must follow your heart, even if the path ahead terrifies you.

JET: What was your favorite moment in the journey?

Amy: Oddly enough, it wasn’t what most folks describe. It wasn’t “the call” or signing my first contract. It was finding a critique group of women who were just as driven as I was to succeed. They were warm, welcoming, and gave generously of their time and support. So here’s to: Charlotte Featherstone, Kristina Cook, and Monica Burns. They are all wonderful authors and their success is well-deserved.

JET: Which authors had the most influence over you growing up?

Amy: Barbara Michaels, Georgette Heyer, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Andre Norton, H.H. Munro…the list goes on and on. I haunted the library and a used bookstore that sold books for the phenomenal price of 25 cents. I’m afraid my reading habits didn’t do my favorite authors much good, but it let me enjoy a huge variety of books that I could never have done otherwise.

JET: When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?

Amy: I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I wrote my first story when I was seven. It just took me a while to get a grip on it and actually get published.

JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered?

Amy: One year, I ordered close to 100 old garden roses. That was insane and I’m currently reaping what I sowed in trying to keep a garden that is far too large under control.  At least the weeds are prospering. But my interest in the history of roses led to “A Rose Before Dying” so while my back may ache, I can’t regret it.

JET: Of all the novels and stories you’ve written - which one is your favorite? Why?

Amy: “The Vital Principle” because it’s truest to my internal voice. It’s a mystery, but there are tiny flashes of humor and a hint of romance with more to come. I loved Pru and Knighton and am currently working on their next story. I think these two characters resonate with me because they reflect my own internal conflict. Pru believes in shades of gray and the concept that there are many “truths” depending upon your perspective. Knighton believes there is one, universal truth. I’m torn between the two perspectives and the interplay of these two characters lets me explore this moral argument.

JET: Any advice for the novices out there?

Amy: Write. And then listen. Nothing you write is perfect. Be willing to listen to suggestions, complaints, and editors. They may not be right on target with their comments, but give them a chance. They might spark that change in your manuscript that will turn a good book into a brilliant one.

JET: All right - now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten. . . starting with: Paper or Plastic?

Amy: China. It’s reusable. LOL

JET: Steak or Tofu?

Amy: Steak. I’m allergic to soy beans.

JET: Beach or Mountains?

Amy: Both.  Totally depends upon my mood.

JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?

Amy: Alternative.  Okay, I’m weird, but…I am what I am.

JET: Leather or Lace?

Amy: Lace.

JET: Angels or Demons?

Amy: Humans. Definitely humans. The others present too many existential dilemmas.

JET: Paper or Digital?

Amy: Digital.

JET: Silent Film Classics or Cheesy B Rated Horror?

Amy: Both. I love “The Sheik” but I also adore anything coming out of Hammer Studios that features Christopher Lee and Barbara Steele. I love dear Barbara.

JET: Twilight or True Blood?

Amy: Huh? How about the original Dark Shadows? 

JET: Coffee or Tea?

Amy: Both. Coffee in the morning. Iced Earl Grey in the afternoon. Ta.

JET: Thank you for indulging me. Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you're working on now? What's next?

Amy: I’m desperately working on a novella for the holidays, Christmas Spirit. It’s only taken me two years to write it, LOL. By the time you read this, it should be in the claws—er, hands—of an editor. I’ve just submitted “A Fall of Silver” to my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, and I’m praying they like the submission. It’s a paranormal romance and is a lot more hard-edged than most of my other books. Wish me luck!

JET: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog. Folks, you can find out more about Amy Corwin and her work at the following places:

Author website:





Amazon Author Central:

Join me next week when I have Stephanie Campbell and Christine Butler on tap in addition to the list of October releases to watch for. 
Until then,

1 comment:

Sherry Gloag said...

Great interview ladies, and best of luck with A Fall of Silver, Amy. :-) It sounds familiar! LOL