INTERVIEW: Anna Gerard, Author of PEACHES and SCHEMES Plus Giveaway!

PEACHES AND SCHEMES BANNER 820Today we welcome New York Times Bestselling and multi-genre author, Diane A.S. Stuckart aka Anna GerardAli Brandon, and Alexa Smart to answer a few interview questions for us.

Welcome to all of your multiple personalities!

What drives your story forward in your books the most, the characters or the plot, or do you feel they are intertwined? 

While they are intertwined, characters rather than plot drive the story in my cozy mysteries. I do try to come up with an engaging mystery to solve, but my goal is not to stump the reader (though if I do, yay!). Instead, I want to give them an entertaining story journey that brings laughter, concern, and sometimes even tears, but that ends satisfactorily and leaves them eagerly awaiting the next book.

If you were a character in one of your books, which would you be? The hero/heroine, mentor, villain, love interest, etc.? 

Of course, I would be the heroine…but I suspect I might make for a nasty villain, mostly because no one would suspect me.

Do people you know end up as characters in your book? Be honest…

I borrow names from friends and relatives and random strangers all the time, but I rarely base any character on someone I know in real life. One exception is my florist, John Klingel, in PEACHES AND SCHEMES. He shares a name, career, and physical appearance with a friend of mine.

If you could meet a literary character, who would you most like to meet? 

Sherlock Holmes, of course.

Was there something in your first edit that didn’t make it in the final copy? 

Actually, this book made it to the finish line with very few changes. That’s not to say that subplots haven’t been lopped off previous books. In the second Georgia B&B mystery, PEACHY SCREAM, my subplot about the Shakespeare authorship question was cut for time and space.

What do you do to prepare your mind to write? To get into the mind of your characters? 

I look at the calendar, see that my deadline is in three weeks and I’m only halfway through the book, and I’m way motivated!

What book as a child/adolescent most influenced you as a writer? 

As a teen, I devoured Gothic romances, which subgenre still echoes just a bit in my current writing.

How much research went into your last book? 

I had to brush up on both floral arranging techniques and lower limb amputation. If I got anything wrong, I’m sure my readers will let me know.

What’s one of the most important things you’d like your readers to know about you? What defines you most as an author? 

Awards and money are great, but nothing brings me great happiness than a letter or email from a reader who takes the time to let me know just how much they enjoyed a particular character or book.

What is one thing about you that may surprise your readers? 

I have three tattoos. I’d get more but the hubster doesn’t really like them.

Can you tell us what prompted you to write your latest release? 

A wedding, like a death, is both an ending and a beginning. Most people have strong feelings about both, so what better backdrop to use for murder?

What’s next for you? What are you working on now? 

I’m catching up on some side projects, including a cat fantasy series I intend to self-publish.

These were great answers, Diane/Anna/Ali/Alexa! Thanks for stopping by and we hope you’ll stop by again soon!

About The Book

A Georgia B&B Mystery: Book 3
Publication Date: May 11, 2021

Peaches and SchemesIn Anna Gerard’s third delightful Georgia B&B mystery, Nina Fleet learns that despite the satin, lace, and buttercream trappings, weddings often prove to be anything but sweet…

Nina Fleet might be new to the innkeeping business, but she’s savvy enough to know that Cymbeline’s tourists aren’t enough to keep her fledgling bed and breakfast going. And so, Nina decides to tap into the destination wedding market by taking a booth at the Veils and Vanities Bridal Expo. The twice-yearly event is sponsored by the town’s two wedding pros: Virgie Hamilton, the sixtysomething owner of Virgie’s Formals, and Roxanna Quarry, a Gen X event planner and Nina’s new friend. But everything goes wrong during the expo’s fashion show, when Roxanna comes tumbling out of an oversized prop wedding cake, strangled to death by her own scarf.

Virgie is arrested for the crime, thanks to Nina’s statement to the police about having overheard the woman accusing her partner of embezzlement. Meanwhile, the situation grows tense with her sometimes nemesis and current tenant, the dashing out-of-work actor Harry Westcott. Harry is concentrating on plugging his most recent side hustle …but he’s not too busy to break the news to Nina that her ex-husband is engaged to be married again.

Certain that Virgie’s only offense is a bad temper, Nina decides to do her own investigating. First, however, she and Harry retrieve Roxanna’s now ownerless dog, planning to foster him until a new home can be found. But local gossip soon convinces Nina that others beside Virgie might have had reason to murder Roxanna. As Nina gets close to the truth, she’s putting her own life at danger. And when Virgie vanishes after being bailed out of jail by an unknown benefactor, Nina fears that if she can’t find the dress shop owner in time, tying the knot will take on a whole new meaning for them both.

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About The AuthorDiane StuckartDIANE A.S. STUCKART began her writing career in the 1990s as the critically acclaimed author of historical romance under the names Alexa Smart and Anna Gerard. She later switched to the mystery genre and is the NYT bestselling author of the Black Cat Bookshop Mysteries (written as Ali Brandon) and the award-winning Leonardo da Vinci historical mysteries. Her Tarot Cats Mystery series launched in 2018 with FOOL’S MOON. Her Georgia B&B Mystery series (also written as Anna Gerard) debuted in 2019 with PEACH CLOBBERED. Kirkus Reviews describes that book as “Filled with Southern charm and enough ditzy characters to keep readers guessing and laughing.” Book 3 in that series, PEACHES AND SCHEMES—her 17th published novel—will be on the shelves May 2021.

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Dayna Lintonhttp://dayagency.com
Dayna is the owner of not only Novels Alive but of Day Agency, a full-service self-publishing agency for independent authors. She has been assisting independent authors to achieve their dreams of becoming published authors for over 15 years. From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors to the first-time author to every author in between. Dayna is a self-professed bibliophile. While dancing has always been her first love, reading came as a very, very close second, with gardening coming in as a close third. Dayna is also the divorced mom of four adult children and a very proud grandma. She is also a web designer, social media specialist, book blogger, and reviewer. She's a long-time Disney lover and a Utah Jazz, Utah Utes, and Dallas Cowboys fan. See Dayna's reviews here: Dayna's Reviews

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