Author Interview

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Amy Metz when not actively engaged in writing or spending time with her family can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in her hands.

Murder, Mayhem and Mystery sounds exciting!

Thanks, Stevie. You’ll find all three—murder, mayhem, and myster– in this book. And more!

What made you decide to go with humorous mystery/ What inspired this series?

There are several reasons for it being a humorous mystery. The first reason is I love to laugh.  The second is that before I started this book, I was writing one about my mother who has dementia. Dealing with her and writing about it was so depressing I needed an escape, so I started writing Murder & Mayhem. I needed the humor to keep me going.

Real life events inspired this first book in the series. As a child, I heard accounts of the bank robbery and murders, and I remember thinking someone should write a book about them. I think the tragedy of it all and the unsolved murder makes it a compelling story.  Once I started writing it, the characters got in my head, and I didn’t want to say goodbye to them, so Goose Pimple Junction is now a series.

How long did it take you to finish Murder & Mayhem In Goose Pimple Junction from start to first draft to revisions?

That’s hard to say because I work on more than one book at a time. When I get writer’s block with one story, I switch to another and keep writing. It usually works. But I first started this book in the fall of 2009, working on and off on it until I submitted it to Iconic Publishing in May or June of 2011.

So what made you decide to go with small publisher Iconic Publishing?

Jano Donnachaidh, the president of Iconic, posted a notice on a writers’ site of which I was a member, saying they were accepting submissions. It was good timing—I’d just finished the first GPJ, so I submitted the manuscript. I was really grateful that he believed in my book enough to offer to publish it.

Do you have a silly or frustrating story about your writing process while creating this book?

Naomi Watts

I’ve had a few silly and frustrating comments about the title of the book. When I started writing it, I knew I wanted it to be humorous, and I knew I wanted a title to reflect that. I’d visited Goose Pimple Junction, Virginia about twenty-five years ago, and never forgot the name. So I came up with that part of the title first, and the Murder & Mayhem came along when someone suggested I needed something in the title to reflect the murder mystery part of the story. But I’ve had one person tell me I absolutely should change the name, because she thought people would get it confused with the Goosebumps series for kids. And another person said I should change it to Goose Bump Junction—he thought it sounded better. But in my mind it was Goose Pimple Junction from the get-go, and I had no intention of changing it.

Image Credit: J. Michael Arnoldi/PR Photos

If you were to cast Tess and Jack with any actor/actress of your choosing who would they be?

Naomi Watts would be Tess (when her hair’s strawberry blond,) and Kevin Costner would be Jackson. In the beginning of the book, Tess is a little effusive in her thoughts about Jack. Someone once asked me how Tess could be so ga-ga over Jack. He said there was no way a man over fifty would be that good looking. I just looked at him and said, “Honey, have you seen Kevin Costner?”

Do you have any advice for other authors out there?

I think joining a critique group, either locally or online, is one of the best things an author can do. You need an objective opinion on how to make your manuscript better. But don’t let anyone talk you out of writing it the way you want. Someone told me if one person pointed out a particular thing, you should consider it. If two or more people point out the same thing, you should probably change it. I guess what I’m saying is, seek advice but stick with your gut.


The prologue’s first sentence is: “Exhaust billowed into the air as the black 1934
Ford Tudor idled by the side of the road on a bitterly cold December evening.

The first chapter starts with: “You are dumber ‘n a soup sandwich, Earl.

Eerie vehicle roaming off the side of the road… Murder may be a foot ladies and gents. The bitter cold sets the tone for a not so perfect evening. And in the first chapter you get a little taste of southern humor, who wants a soggy soup sandwich? Don’t miss out on this full of life mystery coming out this August!

Book cover art by Karen Schmidt