Series: Book Three ~
A Witchcraft Mystery series
A Witchcraft Mystery series
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Genre: Paranormal Romance
In Stores June 2011
Read an Excerpt
With her vintage clothing store taking off, Lily Ivory is finding that life in San Francisco suits her just fine. But her ability to sense vibrations from the past, so useful in locating secondhand gems, has landed her in the middle of a new mystery...
Lily gets called away from Aunt Cora's Closet when the police need a witch's take on a strange case. Malachi Zazi was stabbed to death in his apartment, under a ladder, surrounded by the number thirteen, a broken mirror, and a black cat—superstitions that the victim, as head of a rationalist society, was devoted to discrediting.
When the police identify a suspect from the Serpentarian Society, Lily is shocked to learn it's someone she knows. But with bad luck plaguing all its members, she begins to wonder if there's more at work than mere coincidence. And while there aren't many clues from the crime scene, Lily finds evidence of dark witchcraft and a hex on her friend's doorstep. With her friend's safety at stake, Lily is determined to use magic to find the murderer before everyone's luck runs out...
Over the Edge Reviews
HEXES AND HEMLINES
I’m one of those people who talked about writing for a loooong time before I ever did anything about it. I was busy doing a thousand other things, and though I was a huge reader, had never tried my hand at fiction writing. I was running my own decorative painting company, specializing in restoring historic homes, and I started to wonder why I hadn’t seen a protagonist with my job – I was forever on construction sites in the middle of the night, going in and out of mansions and dealing with the soap-opera lives of wealthy San Franciscans…it sure felt like there was a novel in there, somewhere! I finally started writing, just for fun, and sent my first chapters to my sister. She re-wrote it, again just for fun – it became a great “sister project.” But as we continued on and wound up with a full-length manuscript, I realized we might have a real book on our hands.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t part of any writers’ organizations and knew nothing about the industry. I finally attended a writers’ conference, met some editors and agents, learned how to submit a query letter…and landed an agent with that first mystery. It was called Feint of Art, and featured an ex-art forger trying to go straight in San Francisco by painting the walls of the wealthy—the protagonist had my day job ;-) The Art Lover’s series was written under the pen name of Hailey Lind, and there are four books in the series. Then I started with the paranormal mysteries…and now here I am, happily writing full time!
2. What is a typical work day for you?
I used to have a much more impressive answer to this question: when I first started writing, my son was still young, and I was running my own decorative painting business out of my home in the San Francisco Bay Area. So even though I’m not a morning person, I would wake up at four a.m. – I’ll pause here for gasps from readers ;-) – and wrote from four to six, then I exercised, then I woke my son up and got him ready for school, and then I worked on my money-making business. These days I’m spoiled – I’m writing full-time and my son is off at college. I only do the occasional color consultation or portrait painting on the side, so I’m not nearly as crazed (most of the time).
So now I wake up at a reasonable hour –usually around six—brew a strong cup of coffee, and then get down to writing, first thing. I still find that the earliest morning hours are best for my creativity. I usually take a break around eight to check emails, post on Twitter or Facebook, and see what my colleagues and readers are up to. Then I go back to work: either writing original words to reach my word count goal, or editing, or researching. In the afternoon I usually spend time doing social media stuff – writing blogs or interviews or setting up tours or touching base with bookstores, depending on what’s going on and where I’m at with relation to my book releases. There’s also a lot of professional obligations – I used to be president of our Chapter of Sisters in Crime, for instance, and a board member with Mystery Writers of America. I also judge contests, and critique friends’ work, and read manuscripts to offer cover blurbs.
When I’m on a roll—or under deadline-- I’ll write all afternoon and into the evening…and I work through the weekends and holidays, too. I rarely miss a day.
3. For some writers research is a pain they’re forced to endure, and for others it’s their favorite part. What about you?
I love research! I was trained as an anthropologist, so while I spend a lot of time on the internet –and in actual libraries-- doing background reading, what I really love is fieldwork: interviewing homicide detectives, hanging out on construction sites, going to coven meetings, shopping in vintage clothing stores…whatever it takes to get the story right. I never see it as a pain – one of the best things about writing is that I get to do these things, and call it “work”!
4. Are you a creature of habit, needing a routine to write? Or are adaptable to write when and wherever the mood strikes?
I used to be much pickier – and I still love writing at my desk with the oak tree outside and my neighbor’s cat sitting on the ledge, keeping me company. But because of my travel schedule and deadlines, I’m forced to work whenever and wherever I can, so I’ve become more adaptable. When my head’s really in a story, I can write in airports, on a subway, in a hotel lobby…just about anywhere! That’s when I look up at people with a blank look on my face, surprised to see them, feeling like I was just in another world ;-)
5. Do you have any advice for new writers—maybe things that you’ve learned through trial and error?
The biggest two are 1) don’t give up and 2) find your voice, and learn to trust it. Those are both easy to say, very very very hard to actually do. The more I know editors and agents, the more I hear that they’re looking not so much for any particular story, but for a unique voice: that signature, singular way of depicting the world that’s deep down in all of us. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find it, or to trust it. The only way to discover it, as far as I know, is to keep writing. When you’re rejected, write some more. When you’re demoralized, keep on writing.
This is not an easy gig –I firmly believe that no one should become a writer unless they’re really bitten by the bug and can’t help themselves. If you can quit, you should do so, and then go out and find what makes you really happy. But if you’re bitten by the writing bug, you won’t be able to stop. It becomes a passion, and like any passion, it’s frustrating and infuriating a good part of the time….but when it clicks, it’s magic. And that magic is soooo worth it!
6. Other than writing, what do you love to do?
I’m a painter in my heart, and always have been. I have some work up at www.truefauxdesigns.com, if anyone would like to see some samples. Painting gives me time for introspection – and an occasional escape from words ;-) Otherwise, I spend a lot of time with friends – I’m truly lucky to have so many. My son went off to college this year, so I have more time to explore what the Bay Area has to offer: the museums and parks and beautiful surrounds. And I try to stay active – there’s so much solitary sitting involved in writing, that I try to get out with friends and hike during the days…and at night, I really love having drinks with friends in bars, the divier the better ;-)
“HEXES AND HEMLINES”.
In Hexes and Hemlines, Lily Ivory, a natural-born witch, is feeling more settled in her new San Francisco community. In fact, in the opening of Hexes the police have asked Lily to give her opinion on a crime scene that is surrounded by symbols of bad luck: everything from the number 13 to broken mirrors and a black cat. When a friend of hers has a hex left on her doorstep, the case becomes very personal. Meanwhile, we also learn more about Lily’s background, and that of several other characters as well.
8. What was your inspiration for “HEXES AND HEMLINES”? How many books do you see this series possibly having? Do you see yourself writing a spin-off from A Witch Craft Mystery?
The original inspiration for Hexes and Hemlines came from an article I read about Triskaidekaphobia, or the fear of the number thirteen. I started researching the history, and couldn’t stop. Then I heard about a house in San Francisco called the “Black Castle”, an old Victorian that had been painted completely black and was rumored to house devil-worshippers – the leader of that “church” turned out to be a media-savvy guy with a money-making gimmick. So the stories started melding in my head…and I wound up with Hexes and Hemlines.
I’ve just signed on for books 5 and 6 in the Witchcraft Mystery series, so there will be at least six! It’s always hard to look ahead and see how many books will be in a series. There are so many factors, including the state of the industry, in addition to coming up with new ideas. But one of the great things about writing about the world of magic is that you never run out of stories! As to a spin-off…that would be great fun, wouldn’t it? To tell you the truth, it never occurred to me ;-) In addition to the Witchcraft Mysteries I also write the Haunted Home Renovation series, so between the two I’m quite busy at the moment.
Witchcraft Mystery series did you find you had had a favorite character? Did you notice that there was one character over the other that was more intriguing to write than the others?
Lily Ivory, obviously, since she’s the protagonist, has the deepest back story, and we understand a lot of what’s going on in her head. I’ve come to really like her: she’s dealt with a lot of difficulty in her past, and is trying to overcome her loneliness and fear of strangers in order to make friends –which I think is an enduring theme in fiction.
A surprise for me was the character of Sailor, who appeared in the second book, A Cast Off Coven. Sailor is a grumpy, stand-offish, reluctant psychic who gets roped into helping Lily. I really enjoyed him…especially as he started to fill out and become three-dimensional. He has an intriguing backstory, as well, that helps explain why he acts like he does. I find him very entertaining ;-)
HEXES AND HEMLINES did you have a music play list? If yes, would you mind sharing what it was? If No, please tell us why?
Usually I write in silence. It’s just too hard for me to divide my attention, in any way. Occasionally for editing or re-working scenes I’ll play classical music or opera – though opera is getting more difficult since I’m starting to learn the score and start to sing along (even though I don’t speak Italian!) I do, however, have music playing in the background of the rest of my life…a friend just sent me a CD with Doris Day singing Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered, along with a bunch of other songs with witch references…too fun!
10. Juliet where can desperate readers like me connect with you?
I’m on Facebook and Twitter, and I always welcome email through my website, http://www.julietblackwell.net/ . I try to respond to all emails, but sometimes it takes me a while! I always tell people if they don’t hear back from me, they should write again…sometimes emails do get lost. Plus, I especially enjoy posting upcoming events on my Facebook page, so if you’re on FB, stop by my fan page and say hi!
Hexes and Hemlines came out June 7, and should be available at bookstores (and on-line) everywhere! Then, December 6th of this year Dead Bolt, the second in my Haunted Home Renovation series, will be coming out just in time for the holidays. And next June, In a Witch’s Wardrobe, the fourth Witchcraft Mystery, will be coming out. And I’ll just keep on writing!
Juliet thank you so much for dropping by and chatting with Over the Edge readers and myself, it has really been great getting to know you and your work better.
Celebrating the June 7, 2011 Obsidian Mystery by National bestseller, Julet Blackwell "HEXES AND HEMLINES", the third instsallment in Ms. Blackwell's A Witchcraft Mystery series. Over the Edge along with Obsidian Myster will be giving two lucky readers their very own copy. To enter here are a few simple rules.
* +5 Leave a comment
* +5 Leave a comment about
HEXES AND HEMLINES
HEXES AND HEMLINES
* +2 Spread the Word!
* +5 Follow me on Twitter.
* +5 Add me as friend on Facebook.
*+5 Connect with OTE at NING.
* Become a follower of Over the Edge!
(+3 Already a follower--You ROCK! +2 Become a follower.)
Please check out my ROCK'N THE MUSES
new site and enter giveaway!
The giveaway is open to ALL readers and will be running until June 12, 2011. I'll be picking and contacting the winner directly on June 13, 2011.
Please make sure to include your email with your comment.