Guest Interview: Donna Walo Clancy

Wow! Are you in for a treat! This post is an interview with a very talented Cozy Mystery Author Donna Walo Clancy. I have read many of her books and enjoyed them. My favorite of her series is the Shipwreck Cafe. The series is a bit different from most cozy mysteries, as you’ll find out from my questions and Donna’s answers. So, sit back and enjoy the interview.

Tell us a little about yourself; your hobbies, interests, and anything else you might want to share with us. 
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I turned the big 60 this year! Cape Cod is where I call home for now,  and I have three grown children in their mid to late 20’s. I am happily divorced. For many years I was a wedding planner and then a floral arranger. I finally got back into writing eight years ago as my children were older and working on their own.

My dog, Zumiez, is a black and white Papillon and the most spoiled dog on earth. 

I do many types of crafts and love to paint (but I never show anyone but my kids the finished products). I read all the time, many types of genres, and am in the process of starting up a small publishing company, DWC Books, this fall. 

I love yard sales, flea markets, and metal detecting. 

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I would like to ask you about one of your series in particular: The Shipwreck Cafe Mystery series. Why this series?

I think in one of my past lives that I must have been a lighthouse keeper. I have always had a fascination for them and what better subject to write about than something that you enjoy. I also belonged to a paranormal hunters group years ago and have always loved to follow the ghosts.  

You have chosen a great location for the series- is it similar to a special spot you may know?

Living on Cape Cod, I am surrounded by beaches and lighthouses. The stories surrounding sea lore and ghosts are plentiful, so it is easy to draw inspiration from the area. My favorite is Nauset Light which has been moved back from the edge of disaster twice now. The ocean is constantly changing the shoreline and eating it away. The lighthouse still stands with its beam constantly rotating, day and night, shining over the waters of the Atlantic that it has cheated out of its demise.

Your main character is unusual in the Cozy Mystery Genre: it a male character. What was it like to write in a male voice and was it difficult for you?

The first manuscript of Death by Chowder was given to ARC readers, and the repeated comment that I received from them was that Jay cried too much. I had to start thinking like a man instead of a woman and toughen up his character in my writing. But I still wanted Jay to have a soft side for family and animals but not be mushy about it. I still have to go back after I have written a chapter and think about whether a guy would react that way. It is getting easier with each book I write in the series, but it was difficult at the beginning.

You have also included the character of a ghost (I love this!). Did you find any limitations using this character?

Not at all! Ghosts can do anything. They can shimmer in and out and be anywhere at any time. Roland is unique as he has attached himself to the Jay’s family, especially Jay’s mother, Martha. 

He cannot move on as his guilt over a shipwreck that happened at the turn of the twentieth century keeps him at his post on the catwalk of the lighthouse. He is a wonderful character who maintains feelings and actions just like any living human would have. He also has a humorous side, scaring customers at the café when he feels like causing a little havoc.

Tell us what’s next in your writing schedule

My writing schedule is full for the next two years, God willing. I have 20 books laid out ready for writing. There will be additional books in The Shipwreck Cafe series and in The Jelly Shop Mysteries series. I am also starting a new series, Inks. It is set in a tattoo parlor in the small town of Dexter with many interesting and zany characters.

I also have quite a few stand-alone books ready to be written. Daddy’s Last Wish will be out this Christmas, The Book Juggler, a YA book, will be out in January. Mother Earth Murders, Letters in the Rolltop Desk, and the sequel to Keep the Faith, Ellen McGuire, Be Careful What You Wish For, Ellen McGuire will be released in 2020.

I will be writing full time starting in October of this year.

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How can my readers find you and your books?

All my books are on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.
 I am on almost all social pages out there including:

https://www.facebook.com/dwaloclancy

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDonnaWaloClancy/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/267663097515708/

https://www.amazon.com/Walo-Clancy-Donna/e/B00C401RS8?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1565105492&sr=8-1

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/donna-walo-clancy

https://twitter.com/dwaloclancy

I hope you enjoyed reading about one of my favorite writers. It’s always great to find out more about what is going on behind the printed pages, isn’t it?
3D cover MAA#2, ereader  Keep an eye out for my next book in Mrs. Avery’s AdventuresFinal Delivery will be released on August 31, 2019.

Victoria LK Williams

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Write What You Know-Right?

Write what you know – right?

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For years I heard that advice; write what you know. And to some extent, it was good advice. After all, if you know the subject, you are going to be more involved in it. You will know the ins and outs and consequently be more passionate. But it’s also very limiting. How many times can you write about the same thing before you start boring your readers?

My advice is to write what you want to write.
Write what you dream about, what excites you.

There’s no excuse for saying, “I don’t know about that subject.”  With today’s vast sources of information, you can find out about things in ways we never could have before, even 10 years ago. You don’t need to haul around a thick, heavy encyclopedia anymore! All you have to do is click a button and ask your computer, Seri, Alexa, or Google, and the answer is spoken to you like magic.

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And the ever-increasing number of videos now available on YouTube is another excellent source of information. Pick a video and let yourself explore far-away-places you would never have thought of going, or had the financial means to do so.

Have a question about something? It’s easy enough to ask; just get on a social media outlet and find someone knowledgeable in the area. If they don’t know they may be able to point you in the right direction.

And even if you want a hands-on experience, travel is so easy nowadays. Hop on a plane, rent a vehicle, take a cruise, or go for a train ride. These are all possible now, and many trips can be made on a short weekend jaunt.

Use your writing as an outlet for learning new things. Learn about a trade you never knew about, learn about a culture you’ve never been exposed to. Discover the native flora and animals that live in the area you want to write about. Find out about an unsolved crime, a fantastic discovery…the list goes on!

But don’t over helm your reader with facts. Most of what you find in your research should stay in your notes, not in the pages of your book. Pick two or three really interesting or unusual fact that relates to your storyline and use only those. Keep strictly to the facts, or embellish them to fit your story, it’s up to you. But do not make things up. Your readers will know, and may even call you out on it.

 

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Knowledge has never been so easily accessible. Which means if your book isn’t filled with points of interest for your readers to grab hold of and keep their attention, then shame on you. Boring books should be a thing of the past! We have so many avenues of information to draw from to make our books enjoyable.

Now, go, find the facts that will help you create a great book, and have fun learning some new things.

Victoria LK Williams

 

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Currently Available in e-reader and print formats