2) How long have you been writing? Seriously for about 14 years.
4) What drove you to pick up that pen for the first time? The question should really be what drove me to pick up the pen for the last time and never put it down. All my life I wanted to be a writer. I had many false starts but never stuck with it. Finally, about 14 years ago, I realized I was half way through my life and had never truly pursued my dream of being a writer. I made the commitment to it and never looked back.
5) Why did you chose to feature plus size heroines in your novels? Specifically what motivated you to create the Odelia Grey Character? It was a matter of writing what I knew. When I set out to write mystery novels, I thought it would be fun to write an amateur sleuth very much like myself – middle-aged, plus-size, a little cranky – who got into a lot of mischief. Sort of a “what would I do if I found a dead body” kind of thing. I also felt it was a character that was very much under-represented in fiction.
6) Outside of the Odelia Grey series, what other books have you written? I have written two general fiction novels, that will probably never be published. They were the first two books I ever wrote. Then came the Odelia Grey series and now the Ghost of Granny Apples mystery series. I’ve also published two short stories that are in anthologies: Love at Large and Carols and Crimes, Gifts and Grifters.
7) Tell us a little about your latest release Ghost A La Mode, A Granny Apples Mystery. The Ghost of Granny Apples mystery series features the sleuthing team of Granny Apples, the ghost of a pioneer woman from the late 1800’s, and her living great-great-great granddaughter, divorced mom Emma Whitecastle.
In Ghost a la Mode Emma meets Granny and sets out to prove that Granny did not kill her husband, Jacob, and was, in fact, murdered herself. The book takes place almost entirely in Julian, CA, a former Southern California gold rush town, that today is a thriving tourist spot.
In future books, Granny and Emma solve long cold murders of other ghosts.
The Ghost of Granny Apples series can be summarized as Cold Case meets Ghost Whisperer meets Topper.
8) When will the next Odelia Grey book be on our shelves? Can you tell those waiting for their next Odelia Grey fix just a little about her next adventure? The fifth Odelia Grey book will be released the beginning of February 2010 and is entitled Corpse on the Cob. In Corpse on the Cob, Odelia discovers the whereabouts of her long-lost mother and sets out to confront her on why she left when Odelia was 16. When she finally comes face to face with her mother, the woman is kneeling over a dead body in a Massachusetts corn maze.
9) How did you get your first publishing deal? My first publishing deal came after self-publishing the first two Odelia Grey novels. I decided that if I were really serious about being a professional author, then I needed to be traditionally published. I found a new agent and she found me a spot at Midnight Ink. Midnight Ink has contracted with me for a total of 12 Odelia Grey novels and 3 Ghost of Granny Apples novels. Hey, guess I’d better get writing!
10) What made you decide to self-publish? I had an agent for my first two novels, the two that were never published. She thought I should try my hand at mysteries. I wrote Too Big To Miss and my then agent hated it and refused to represent it. I was rather demoralized after some of the things she said to me about it and thought I would “test” the waters with self-publishing the book. It sold quite well, but I still wasn’t sure it wasn’t a fluke, so I self-published the second Odelia, The Curse of the Holy Pail. When it sold even better than Too Big To Miss, I knew I had a good thing and had to take it to the next level. I am very thankful to Midnight Ink for wanting to re-release the first two books in the series so they could reach a wider audience.
11) Are there any other plus size heroines in the works? Not at this time. Although I do have a semi-finished novel with one, but right now it’s taking a back seat to other projects. I also do not want to be pigeon-holed as only being able to write about plus size women. I want to be able to write about everyone, and wouldn’t want other books and heroines to sound like Odelia.
12) What are you reading now? Who are your favorite authors? Currently I am reading Palo Verdes Blue by John Shannon and Veil of Lies by Jeri Westerson. My favorite modern authors are Walter Mosely, Lisa Scottoline, Naomi Hirahara, Diana Gabaldon and Terry McMillan.
13) Do you have any public appearances in the near future? MANY! In September and October I will be traveling San Diego to Bakersfield to Thousand Oaks to Las Vegas and all points in between. Folks should check out the Calendar page on my website to see all the details.
14) How can readers get in contact with you? Do you have a website? My website is http://www.sueannjaffarian.com/ and my blog is http://www.sueannjaffarian.blogspot/.com. I’m also on Twitter and Facebook. And people can write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I put out an e-mail newsletter called Hot Flashes 4-5 times a year. To subscribe, folks should e-mail me and ask to be added.
Mark Your Calendars:
September 26, 2009 - 3:00-4:00 p.m.
Launch Party for Ghost a la Mode
The Mystery Book Store, 1036-C Broxton, Los Angeles, CA
15) What is the one thing you would like all of your readers to know about you? That I love to entertain them. It’s a lot of hard work to write novels that continue to be different and fresh from the previous books, but I do it because I love to bring smiles to my readers’ faces.