Genre: Cozy Mystery/Humor
Rachel likes to think she’s inquisitive. Her husband Brian says she’s a snoop. They’ve been married for 15 years, they work together in their home, and she’s approaching the dreaded 40th birthday. This humdrum combination has made their marriage a bit stale.
Maybe that’s why her nosy nature has escalated. She’s gotten it into her head that a house down the road might be used to make adult films. Her clues? The blinds are always drawn, and there are never any garbage cans at the curb. Obviously no one lives in the house. They just use it late at night for porn videos.
As she and Brian look into this mystery, they find that the adrenaline rush of getting caught works as an aphrodisiac as well.
But if her snooping keeps discovering unexpected dirt, it may be the last thing she ever does.
Happy Saturday everyone! I have an interview with Marsha Cornelius to share today, enjoy.
What does a typical writing day for you look like? Describe your perfect writing environment.
Have you seen the cartoon called Family Circus, where the little boy is supposed to go out the front door to tell his dad it is time for dinner? But instead, the boy goes out the back door, chases the dog, climbs a tree, jumps in a pile of leaves, and plays tag with his sister before he finally delivers the message to his dad.
That’s my writing day.
I’ve often felt I need a seat belt on my desk chair to keep me from wandering around the house looking at dusty tabletops, or staring out at a garden choked with weeds. Let’s not get into the forays to the kitchen in search of snacks.
I used to write on a laptop that was not connected to the Internet so I wouldn’t get distracted by email, Facebook, or Twitter, but it died and I’m back on my PC.
I’ve gotten a bit more disciplined over the years, but there is still very little structure to my day.
My ideal writing conditions are silence and solitude. For instance, I cannot listen to music. What if I’m writing a touching love scene and Alanis Morrisette comes on with:
Every time I scratch my nails
Down someone else’s back I hope you feel it
Instrumentals are no good either. If I’m listening to Sojourner by Paul McCandless, I can’t very well write about some bloody massacre, now can I?
Solitude is a bit more challenging since my husband retired. He knows if he hears me typing, he can’t interrupt. But that doesn’t stop him from wandering into the room, standing in front of the picture window, and sighing from boredom.
And I have a very vocal cat. He’s a lot like a child that needs to tell you something the moment you get on the phone. Only the cat is usually complaining that there isn’t enough food in his dish, or it has gotten stale, or he dove into the bowl with such zeal that half the kibble spilled out onto his placemat. (And all cat owners know that a cat will NOT eat food off the floor.)
Tell us about the books you have written.
My book list is as random as my writing day because I write in different genres.
H10N1 – post-apocalyptic thriller about the aftermath of a deadly global pandemic. Two survivors must work together if they hope to find a safe haven.
The Ups and Downs of Being Dead – speculative fiction. A dying man chooses to have his body cryonically-preserved. Now he must ‘wait around’ as a ghost until science figures out how to bring him back.
Losing It All – women’s fiction/drama. A homeless man helps a woman and her two small children get off the streets.
Habits Kick Back – speculative fiction. It’s the future, and people take pills for everything: Concentration, memory enhancement, stress reduction, libido suppression, weight control. A college girl decides to stop taking them all and finds life much more difficult, but certainly more interesting.
A Tale of Moral Corruption – speculative fiction. A reversal of A Handmaid’s Tale. In this book, women run the world and men are in the subservient roles. The men even wear the portable wombs that are growing babies.
Up To No Good – cozy mystery/humor. A busybody suspects her neighbors are making porn videos in their home. She decides to investigate, with hilarious results.
Who is your favorite character from Up To No Good?
Definitely Rachel. Here’s a big surprise – she’s a lot like me.
I try to mind my own business, honest I do. But then I’m walking in the neighborhood and I see Al and Carol are digging up their driveway and I just have to go snoop to see what’s going on.
Folks around here know I’m a busybody, so whenever they want to know what’s happening, they ask me. (‘Hey, what’s Al doing to his driveway?’) And of course, if anyone has a juicy bit of gossip, they’re always sure to tell me. I’m like a walking neighborhood newsletter.
Where did you get the idea for Up To No Good?
There actually is a house a few miles from me that looks suspicious. The blinds are always closed. I never see anyone working in the yard, or a hose dragged out, or garbage cans at the curb. I never see a car in the driveway.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Maybe these people aren’t slobs like me. If they use the hose, they put it away. And they don’t have a garage full of junk so they can park their car inside.
I’m not buying it. For years, I’ve speculated that no one really lives in the house. They just use the house at night to make amateur porn videos.
I worked with a woman once who was ‘dating’ a guy. He bought her fancy lingerie and took her back to his house for sex. But while they were going at it, he would groan and make faces like he was posing for a camera. When she broke her leg at work and had to wear a cast, he dropped her like a hot potato.
On average, how long does it take you to write a book?
I write a book a year. I’m sure I could do it in less time if I had that seat belt. (Refer to the first question above)
What else do you do besides write books?
In the writerly vein, I have organized a monthly literary event called A Novel Idea. I invite six authors to a coffee shop in Canton, Georgia (near where I live.) It’s at night, so guests come to sip wine or coffee, and listen to the writers talk about their work and read a short excerpt. It’s a fun night out, and everyone gets to meet Atlanta’s local authors.
I also teach exercise classes to senior citizens in a fitness program called Silver Sneakers. I started attending classes after my first hip replacement about three years ago. Now I teach the hour-long sessions four times a week. It’s great to get paid for doing what my physical therapist told me to do.
How can people reach you?
Twitter – https://twitter.com/marshacornelius
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard
Website – http://mrcornelius.com
Up To No Good is available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Up-No-Good-Marsha-Cornelius-ebook/dp/B01N1RNHIR