Welcome, Lorna and Larry Collins, writers of the Agapé Jones mystery series, which came about when asked the question "What if?" Try your hand at the trivia questions below (your answers don't HAVE to be correct) and get your name in the hat for a book giveaway.
How were we inspired to write
mysteries? Actually, we never intended to write in that form. Mysteries are
hard! By definition, they contain multiple characters as suspects. All must
have motive and opportunity. Add to those, one or more victims and the
protagonist who solves the cases. All characters must have complete story arcs,
and all story threads must be resolved. This is MUCH harder than other forms if
they’re done well.
After our first book, 31
Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park in 2005, we decided to
attend the Maui Writers Conference. We attended a presentation called “So
you’ve published your first book. Now what?” The first question the presenter
asked was, “What’s your next book. Your first one is now out of your hands, so
you should be working on the next one.”
I was already working on a romance
novel (still unfinished), but Larry had no ‘next book’.
At the end of that presentation, an
announcement was made that the poet had fallen on the stairs and his classes
would be cancelled. So Larry asked himself, “What if the poet was found dead at
the bottom of the stairs?” We’d already met quite a few other authors, some of
whom were really characters. He figured they’d make great suspects.
The next day was our anniversary,
so we dressed in Hawaiian wear and wore leis since we were going out to dinner
later on. As we headed for a workshop, we ran across a gentleman we’d seen
around the conference. He stopped us saying that we looked very nice. We spoke
with him for about ten minutes. As we walked away, I said to Larry, “We have to
write that guy!” He became Agapé Jones, our protagonist. And our first
mystery, Murder . . . They Wrote
The real gentleman (who has since
become a precious friend) is named ‘Love Smith’. I’d really have liked to have
used his name, but since he’s a real person, we couldn’t. Instead, we used the Greek word for
love and ‘Jones’ in place of ‘Smith’.
We hadn’t intended to write a
second mystery, but Agapé refused to stay in retirement. So he became a special
investigator in Murder in Paradise.
This book was a finalist for the 2012 EPIC
eBook Award for mystery.
Now he’s clamoring to get involved in
another case, so we’re doing the research for Murder on Maui
sometime next year. And there are a couple more stories he wants us to tell.
Hope you’ll enjoy our cozy mysteries,
especially our retired NYPD detective, Agapé Jones.
Here are a few questions about our
When did Agapé first want to live in
Why was he forced to retire from the NYPD??
What souvenirs of his years on the force does he carry with him?
Who does he consult about his cases?