I’m excited to announce I’ll be interviewing other authors debuting their first novel in 2018. We’re all part of a group called Authors ’18 and you can check us out on Facebook, GoodReads and www.authors18.com
These books come from all genres, but I hope you’ll be able to find something interesting (even if it’s not an urban fantasy novel!). And if you’re an author, check out the questions about their writing and publishing process.
Author Name: Pamela Kopfler
Book Title: Better Dead
Book Genre: Mystery/Cozy
Publisher: Kensington Books
Better Dead is a romp of a mystery about a B & B owner who wants a divorce. She gets a funeral and thirty days to solve her not-so-dearly-departed’s murder or she’s stuck with his ghost for life.
A feisty B & B owner believes her cheatin’ husband deserves to choke on his divorce papers and spend eternity roasting in hell after nearly bankrupting her Louisiana bed and breakfast. At least, she’s half-right when he turns up dead, but she’s dead wrong when she accidentally calls him back from the grave. Unfortunately, he has unfinished business. Unless she wants to be stuck with her ghostly ex forever, she has to wedge him through the pearly gates by cleaning up the mess he left behind—a smuggling ring he started behind her back at her B&B. Now she has thirty days to solve her not-so-dearly-departed’s murder or she’s stuck with him for life. Or worse, she may be doing life.
Question: Where did you get the idea?
PK: The inspiration for BETTER DEAD came during a writers’ retreat at Nottoway Plantation in Louisiana. The organizer challenged the authors to write a ghost story in the spirit of Lord Byron’s challenge to Mary Shelly to write a supernatural story at a retreat in 1816. Shelly gave us the classic Frankenstein. Pamela twisted Frankenstein and added a funny bone when she remembered a lament of many women going through divorce. It would have been easier if he’d just died. But what if he did die and he came back as a ghost? That thought sparked the premise for BETTER DEAD.
Question: Tell us about your favorite character.
PK: Ha! Just one? Impossible. Burl, the not-so-dearly-departed, was so much fun to write. I had to keep reminding myself he was dead. Miss Alice almost sat on my shoulder and fed me lines. Of course, Holly’s nose for trouble kept the me busy. Nope. I can’t pick just one.
Question: How long did you take to write Better Dead?
PK: It took seventy-eight days to draft Better Dead. The revision took much longer, but I don’t remember how long. Revision is something that is never really complete.
Question: What kind of research did you do for this book?
PK: Oh, it was grueling…I visited many historic homes that had been converted to beautiful bed and breakfasts, sipped lots of cocktails, and ate some of the best southern style food on earth. Don’t pity me too much though. (Excuse me while I bless my own heart before you do.) Actually, that part of the research was serious fun! Other than that fun B & B research, my family has orders to bleach bit my computer to hide my search history.
Question: What did you remove from this book during the editing process?
PK: I cut ten thousand words. I had a subplot that my editor felt needed to go, and she was right. I hope to add some snips from the editing room floor to my newsletter. I really did cut my darlings.
Question: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
PK: Both. I have a general idea of the whole story and an opening when I put my keys on the keyboard. After I get the opening down, I write a short synopsis just for me. As the pages pile up, sometimes the plot changes because I’ve found a better twist, so I go with that.
Question: Have you ever gotten writer’s block? How do you overcome it?
PK: I think writer’s block is fear and almost every writer has that, even if they don’t admit it. I pull up my Kevlar panties and tell fear to suck it up because no one is going to die if I write a bad page. The power is in my bowed up pinkie finger. Backspace, baby, and that bad page never happened.
Question: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
PK: I have one dusty novel rotting away on my hard drive. I call that one my training wheel novel and it will never make a two-wheel track to publication. I have one women’s fiction complete that I hope to home soon. My work in progress, Downright Dead, is book two of the B & B Mystery series coming later in 2018. Book three, Hog Wild Dead, is a twinkle in my eye.
“Better Dead is written with an incredible Southern twist, as charming as the author herself! Page turning, fun, and filled with suspense–and very unique characters! As the saying goes, a “keeper,” and just the beginning of the series!” – Heather Graham, New York Times Bestselling Author
“Better Dead was impossible to put down—a sassy Southern romp of a read.” – Susan M. Boyer, USA TODAY Bestselling author of the Liz Talbot Mystery series.
“Better Dead is brisk, witty, full of unexpected happenings and wonderfully real characters. Pamela Kopfler has given us a fresh new heroine in bright and funny Holly Davis, deftly mixing homicide and haunting with Louisiana charm.” -Carol J. Perry, Author of The Witch City Mysteries.
About the Author
Pamela Kopfler is a novelist, Southern-fried and sassy. She writes award-winning humorous mysteries with a kick of Southern sass. Her debut novel, BETTER DEAD, is the first in her B & B Spirits mystery series, to be followed by DOWNRIGHT DEAD, and HOG WILD DEAD. (Kensington Books) She is a four-time Golden Heart® finalist and a Daphne du Maurier award winner.
She can stir up a roux, mix a cocktail, and loves swapping stories. Putting words on the page keeps her alligator mouth from overloading her hummingbird heinie in real life. She marks her time on earth by the lives of the dogs she has loved––who often show up in her stories.
Pamela lives in South Louisiana where the spirits are restless, the food is spicy, and the living is divine.
Sign up for her newsletter at pamelakopfler.com ~~ Unique cocktail recipes, finger-licking-good Southern recipes,