Today I am happy to visit with P.J. MacLayne, author of the Oak Grove Mysteries.
Her Ladyship's Ring (Oak Grove Mysteries Book 2) released on April 5, 2015.
Please join me in welcoming P.J.
A: I started writing poetry in high school, oh-so-many years ago. I had some moderate success publishing in small literary magazines. A few years ago, I went through a dry spell when the words didn’t flow, much to my dismay.
But then a story started forming in my brain, one that I couldn’t shape into a poem. It wouldn’t let go. About the same time, I heard about National Novel Writer Month, where you try to write 50,000 words during the month of November, and thought it sounded like fun. I decided to give it a try.
I didn’t “win” that year, ending up at 49000 words, but I got hooked. I’ve been writing novels ever since. I’ve only published three so far, but there a couple of the early ones I think hold promise. I may go back to them some time in the future and see what I can do with them.
Q: Where do you get the inspiration for your books?
A: Most of my books start as bits and pieces of dreams. Admittedly, I have some weird dreams. I rarely remember a dream from start to finish, but sometimes they provide me with the seeds I need to start writing. Then I let my characters take over and tell me their stories. Sometimes I feel more like I’m transcribing than writing.
Q: Which of your characters is your favorite?
A: I’m really fond of Harmony Duprie, the main character in my Oak Grove Mysteries. She’s such a quirky character, and lots of fun to write. In fact, The Marquesa’s Necklace, the first of her books, was originally going to be a stand-alone book. But before I finished writing it, I knew there was going to be more than one. The second book, Her Ladyship’s Ring, was released in mid-April, and I’m working on a third. I’m not sure how many books the series will end up being.
Q: Now for something a little different—if you could have a super-hero skill for just one day, what would it be?
A: I think I’d like to be able to heal people. Although modern medicine has made many advances, there are lots of conditions that aren’t fully understood and there’s no cure for. Wouldn’t it be great to give the people suffering from these conditions some relief, even if it was only temporary?
Her Ladyship’s Ring
Harmony Duprie is back, and so is trouble in Oak Grove.
When a man is murdered in the back yard of the old Victorian house she is remodeling, Harmony is determined to locate his next-of-kin so he can be put to rest properly. But with her ex-boyfriend Jake out of prison, back in town and one of the suspects in the murder, she takes on the challenge of solving the crime.
With Eli, her current love interest, in Florida and Jake close by, old emotions come back to haunt her. Can Harmony clear Jake's name and solve the mystery of her own heart?
The first thing I noticed when walking into my apartment was the afghan I kept on the back of the recliner. It was on the floor and hadn't been like that when I left. “So who's been sitting in my chair?” I asked. “Eli?” I called hopefully to no response.
Then I noticed the dirty dishes in my kitchen sink. “So who's been eating my porridge?” I whispered to myself. Surely a thief wouldn't have stopped to make himself a sandwich.
I tip-toed down the hallway, holding my breath. The bathroom was empty, but my bedroom door was partially closed. I carefully pushed it open and peeked inside. A familiar head nestled on my pillow. “So that's who's been sleeping in my bed.”
Born and raised among the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, P.J. MacLayne still finds inspiration for her books in that landscapes. She is a computer geek by day and a writer by night who currently lives in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. When she's not in front of a computer screen, she might be found exploring the back roads of the nearby national forests and parks.