Monday, October 22, 2012

Interview with mystery author Edith Maxwell / Tace Baker

Today's interviewee is friend and mystery author Edith Maxwell. She's talking about her first mystery in her first series written as Tace Baker. It's called Speaking of Murder.

Edith Maxwell is the author of Speaking of Murder (Barking Rain Press, under pseudonym Tace Baker) featuring Quaker linguistics professor Lauren Rousseau. Edith holds a PhD in linguistics and is a member of Amesbury Monthly Meeting of Friends. The book was first runner up in the Linda Howard Award for Excellence contest

Edith also writes the Local Foods Mysteries. A Tine to Live, a Tine to Die introduces organic farmer Cam Flaherty and a colorful Locavore Club (Kensington Publishing, June, 2013).

A mother and technical writer, Edith is a fourth-generation Californian, but lives north of Boston in an antique house with her beau and three cats.

Welcome, Edith. Please tell us about your current release.
Speaking of Murder came out from Barking Rain Press just a month ago. Listening to academic blackmail and small-town intrigues, Quaker Linguistics Professor Lauren Rousseau uses her ear for accents and facility with languages to track down not only her star student's killer but also crimes committed by her department chairwoman.

What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to start a series about a smart young professor who uses her linguistic knowledge to solve crimes. She's got her own set of problems – issues with commitment, for example – but starts to overcomes them as she searches for a killer. I thought also making her a Quaker would add depth and an unusual aspect to her character. And then I followed her around and wrote down what happened.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I'm writing the second book in the Local Foods Mystery series. It opens during a fall Farm-to-Table dinner, and I was lucky enough to attend one at a local farm just last week. Great food in a beautiful setting all in the name of research.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In about third grade. My mother told me I was a good writer and I guess it just stuck. I've written ever since in all kinds of formats - journalism, academic papers, technical documentation – but fiction is what I love to write.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like?  If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Alas, I write technical documentation full time, so fiction gets fit in on weekends, retreats, plane rides, and so on. When I do have a full day available, I get up early and write until about lunchtime, when I usually run out of steam. Staying off the Internet is important on those days. It's hard to find enough time to write the books as well as network and promote, but so far I've managed. I hope to be able to leave the day job sometime in the next few years, though.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
If you had a camera on me at my desk, you would see me doing all kinds of crazy physical things: figuring out logistics of being grabbed or of holding a weapon while also hanging on to something else; scaring myself so I can describe how the throat thickens and the heart thumps; making weird facial expressions, and more. I have to be careful when I'm out writing in a coffee shop or library! 

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I really don't remember. Isn't that strange? I know I aspired to be a teenager. I adored a girl who lived down the street, with her full-skirt dresses and cool shoes. I guess I never thought beyond that.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Having my first book out is a dream come true, and it never would have happened without the help, support, and education I get from my fellow Sisters in Crime, both in person locally and online. What a great group of writer-friends I have gained (including you, Lisa!).

I love hearing from my readers through Twitter and Facebook.

It's great to have you join my blog, Edith. See you soon at New England Crime Bake 2012 mystery conference!

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