by: Amy Metz
Series: Goose Pimple Junction
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release Date: May 15, 2016
Publisher: Southern Ink Press
Like any good Southern belle, Caledonia Culpepper was raised by her mama to be gracious, charming, witty, and above all, a devoted mother and loving wife, so she's baffled when her marriage falls apart.
Wynona Baxter is a master of disguise but is often a ditzy airhead. A hit woman wannabe, when she's hired for her first job in Goose Pimple Junction and things don't go as planned, she's forced to resort to Plan B. She'll also need Plan C and D.
Crooked lawyers, restless husbands, a teenaged hoodlum – it seems there are rogues and rascals everywhere you look in Goose Pimple Junction.
When Caledonia and Wynona's paths cross, they prove there isn't a rogue or a rascal who can keep a good woman down. Mama always said there would be days like this . . .
Hi Amy. Welcome to Read Your Writes Book Reviews. How are you?
I’m great, Kim. Thank you so much for having me here.
You’re the author of the Goose Pimple Junction Mystery Series. The series sounds hilarious, with interesting characters. Please tell me about the series and the loveable/interesting characters found in it.
The series is set in a small southern town. Most of the characters are just a little bit left of center—which is to say they are a little whacky—but loveable, yes! Except for the bad guys, the characters in GPJ books love to laugh and they love each other. They’re good people with big hearts.
How would you describe the small town of Goose Pimple Junction?
As with most small towns, the center of town in GPJ is the town green. Shops make up the four square blocks surrounding the town green. The streets are tree-lined, the sidewalks are clean, and every time you turn around there’s a festival or celebration going on—in and around the town green, of course.
Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction is your third book in the series. Can you tell me about it?
Sure, but just one clarification: it is the third full-length novel in the series, but the fourth book. (I know, a little confusing. Amazon wouldn’t let me list the third book as book 2.5, which it really is.) Short and Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction—published in 2015—is a collection of short stories and one novella.
But I digress . . . Rogues & Rascals features two women as the main characters: Pickle’s mother Caledonia, and Wynona, a wannabe hit woman who’s a little ditzy. As the title suggests, there are a bunch of rogues and rascals in the mix too. Throw in a murder, a divorce, a betrayal, and some shenanigans and you have this fourth (third?) book.
How do you come up with the titles for your books?
I originally titled the first book Goose Pimple Junction, but beta readers said it needed more. I thought murder and mayhem pretty much summed up the plot, so I added that to make Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction. After that, I liked the idea of having “Something & Something in Goose Pimple Junction” for each of the books, and the titles so far have just kind of come to me. I think all of them pretty accurately speak to the plot of each book. I’m not sure which comes first—the plot or the title, but it’s kind of cool how they end up matching.
Who’s your favorite character from the series so far and why?
Honestly, I don’t have a true favorite. That’s one of the things I like about writing: I can be a diverse mix of people. But some characters are more fun to write about. I love Louetta because she says what’s on her mind. She’s the life of the party and usually very wise. Pickle, on the other hand, is fun to write because he’s a little clueless.
What's your writing style like? Do you start out with an idea of how the person is going to die and then figure out who dies and why? Or do you just somehow let the story play out?
Each book has been different. With Murder & Mayhem, the plot was based on a real cold case that I wanted to solve. So I started off knowing the beginning, middle, and end. I let the characters fill in the blanks.
With Heroes & Hooligans, I didn’t really know where I was going when I started writing. I even changed who the killer was after I’d written the first draft. Once again, the characters led me by the hand.
With Rogues & Rascals, I knew who I wanted to kill, and I worked from there! For the most part, I have to let the story play out.
Finish the phrase... A funny thing happened when I set out to write Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction . . .
Ha! Life happened. I got divorced, I moved, my youngest son went away to college, my new house had a natural disaster, and all of that got in the way of writing. The funny thing is, when the dust settled, I had a new bad guy for Rogues & Rascals.
When writing what are your must haves?
My glasses and my laptop are the two essentials! After that, I’d say the Internet, because I use it to look up things as I write; a comfy chair; and sweet tea.
You’re a former first grade teacher (Bless your heart. I know that’s a southern phrase, which is usually bad, but I mean that in the best way possible. I get cold sweats just walking into the Kindergarten/First Grade classroom.) What do you miss about it?
Kids can be just flat out fun to be with. I swear I’m not just saying this in light of my being a writer now . . . My favorite time—both in the classroom and as my sons were growing up—was reading time. I loved having the kids all gathered around and sharing (and experiencing) a book together. It was amazing how even the most disruptive student would calm down and become engrossed in a book. Reading time was a warm and fuzzy time: a haven in the middle of a loud, busy day. You can come to a reading circle feeling stressed out, but you will leave feeling refreshed. That was pretty cool.
Speaking of southern phrases . . . What’s your favorite?
Oh, my, it’s hard to narrow it down! I can remember my father and my grandfather spouting off different ones, and I’ve always loved them. There are two that come to mind when I’m asked this question:
1) Get your straw out of my Kool-Aid. (Which means mind your own business!)
2) If there are tires or testicles, there’s gonna be trouble. (Although I may need to amend that now that I’m dating the sweetest man alive.)
Amy, congratulations on the release of Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me.
Thank you, Kim. I so appreciate your kind hospitality!
Purchase Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction from:
Amy Metz is the author of the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. She is a former first grade teacher and the mother of two sons. When not actively engaged in writing, enjoying her family, or surfing Facebook or Pinterest, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in one hand and a glass of sweet tea in the other. Amy lives in Louisville, Kentucky.
Places to find Amy Metz: