Tea with Susan Boles
Today I’m sitting down with Susan Boles, author of the Lily Gayle Lambert mystery series. Death of a Wolfman, the first in the series, is fun, fast-paced, and will pull you in with characters that are lovable and lifelike. In our chat, Susan reveals where she gets her plot ideas, her favorite fictional characters, and her love for Agatha Christie. Thanks for stopping by, Susan!
When did you first discover your love of mystery?
When I was in junior high school I discovered Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and Trixie Belden. I fell in love with mysteries at that point and added Agatha Christie and many others to the mix over the years.
When did you decide to write your first book and what made you go for it?
I started writing poetry and short stories in junior high school. I wanted to be a published author more than anything, but I didn’t actually write my first book until many many years later. I reached a point in my life where I didn’t want to someday be eighty years old and never tried to write that book.
Are there any special rituals you have or places you go that inspire your writing?
I don’t actually have any particular rituals, but I do enjoy drinking sweet tea while I thinking over scenes. Hot tea in the winter and cold tea in the summer. I write mostly on my computer at my desk at home. But sometimes, especially in the spring, I get the urge to be outside and I go old school with a legal pad and pen while sitting in my backyard swing.
Where do your plot ideas come from?
My plot ideas come from anything that happens to catch my imagination. The plot for Death of a Wolfman (Book 1 in the Lily Gayle Lambert series) actually came from an old episode of CSI. The plot in Cherry Cake and a Cadaver came from a friend who is a descendent of a Latvian refugee and the plot for Death at the Midnight Dragonfly came from the son of a friend who proposed a storyline that I didn’t actually use as he told it to me, but it gave me the idea for the sleep study storyline in that book. The next book in the series, due out at the end of March was inspired by the chorus of an old early eighties rock song.
What are you reading now?
I’m currently reading Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. I first read it ten years ago when it was released. It’s been one I’ve read several times over the years. I love the magic and family ties and small town of the story. The Lily Gayle Lambert series is set in a small town and this book resonates with me from my own small town experiences.
What’s in your TBR pile?
Oh my. It’ huge!! Of Murder and Men by Lynn Cahoon; A Dead Sister by Anna Celeste Burke; Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate; The Burial Hour by Jeffery Deaver…..the list goes on.
Who is your favorite detective character (book, tv, or movie) and why?
I can’t seem to choose just one. I love a lot of different characters and each one for a different reason. Nancy Drew & Trixie Belden because they were the first girls to show me that girls can be crime solvers. Miss Marple because she showed me even small town have secrets. Phryne Fisher because she’s so outrageous.
Who is your favorite mystery author and why?
I have a LOT of favorite mystery authors from just about every subgenre of mystery writers. But if I was stranded on a desert island and could only have books by one mystery author it would be Agatha Christie. She is such a master of deception.
Any advice for aspiring writers?
Read widely. Write. Every. Day. Writing is like so many talents. You have to do it regularly.
What would we find in your mug first thing in the morning? Tea? Coffee? Something else?
Hot tea this time of year. I’ve been a Lipton girl my whole life but recently discovered Harney & Sons tea and am loving several of their flavors. Soho, Paris, Tower of London. The names make me feel like I’m traveling and the flavors are absolutely delicious.
Where do you like to spend time with a good book?
Mostly in my recliner with my feet up and a cup of hot tea or a glass of cold sweet tea on the table next to me.
If you were given an entirely free day, no responsibility or tasks, what would you spend the day doing?
At a lake or on the beach. I’m drawn to water. I could watch it endlessly. And, of course, I’d have a book to enjoy while I was basking in the sun beside (or on) the water.
Any guilty pleasures?
Biscoff in a jar is my kryptonite. I rarely buy it because if it’s in my house I will scarf it down in a day or two. The BIG jar. No kidding.
Tell us about an item on your bucket list.
To have the time to travel all over England, Ireland and Scotland looking at old records and visiting historic places. My ancestors came from those countries back in the late seventeen hundreds and early eighteen hundreds. I’d love to find some records to indicate specifically where in those countries.
Susan Boles is a graduate of McNairy Central High School in Selmer, TN and Lambuth University in Jackson, TN, Susan is now a resident of Olive Branch, MS. A lifelong love of Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie drew her to writing cozy mysteries. She’s the author of the Lily Gayle Lambert Mysteries set in the fictitious town of Mercy, Mississippi.
Get your copy of Death of a Wolfman right here and make friends with Lily Gayle Lambert.