September 10, 2016

Duffy Brown - Cozy Mystery Author Spotlight and Interview

I am going to be hosting a number of cozy mystery authors on my blog for the next two months. If you have not had the pleasure of enjoying a cozy mystery I encourage you to do so. The cozy mystery industry as a whole is in danger of being lost as the publishers are ending a number of series. Please note that not all series I will be sharing are in danger. There are many that will be continuting on as normal. I just wanted to do my part to make everyone aware of this genre as a whole. 

Today I will be showcasing Duffy Brown

About the author:
Duffy Brown loves anything with a mystery. While others girls dreamed of dating Brad Pitt, Duffy longed to take Sherlock Holmes to the prom. She is a National Bestselling author and conjures up who-done-it stories of her very own for Berkley Prime Crime. She has two series the Consignment Shop Mysteries set in Savannah along with rescue pup Bruce Willis and the Cycle Path Mysteries set on Mackinac Island with judgmental cats Cleveland and Bambino.

Where to follow the author:
Duffy's Website

Consignement Shop Mysteries

When did your love of writing begin?
I came to writing late in life. I read some really bad books, threw them across the room then started making up new endings, then new beginnings, then whole new stories. Finally I had to write them down. I was a closet writer for a long time, not telling my family or fiends. then I started sending out books to NY and getting all these rejection letters back in the mail and had to come clean on what I was doing.

What made you chose this genre?
I used to write romance and even those have a lot of mystery in them as mystery is my true love. I love Savanna and Mackinac Island and every time I visited I thought...Gee this is a great place to kill someone off. I’m telling the truth. It’s what mystery writers do. So that’s how I got the settings then the characters are all about having fun with murder. How do you have fun with murder you ask? I just kill off the people who have it coming. That makes for a great list of suspects and no one’s running around boo-hooing that Peephole Perry...or dead. My books are fun and we laugh and drink martinis and find the bad guys. I just love having fun with mystery so the cozy mystery genre is a perfect fit for me.

Do you have a scheduled writing time, place and/or routine?
I write at my desk in my office. I wish I could take my laptop and go outside and write on the porch but it just doesn’t work for me. I need my comfy place, with the fan on for background noise, in my fave chair etc. I think it takes me a while to feel at home in a space and this has been my writing space for years. It’s usually a total mess with books and papers and behind my desk are notes taped to the wall so I don’t forget things that need be done. My answer to “calendar” on most peoples’ iPhones. LOL I’m truly old school that way.

What do you do to get over writer's block?

Just write through it. I think Nora Roberts is the one who said…The only thing I can’t fix is a blank page. Yeah, just keep on writing and see where it takes you. You can always fix it later on but usually there is something you’ll keep and it takes you to the next point and keeps you from freezing up.

What was it like to get your first publishing contract?
Happened nearly 25 years ago. I can still remember the day. I’d written for nine years before getting published so the feeling was relief. I published with Harlequin, a really sweet gig. People ask me how did I keep going and mostly it was that I had so much of my life in trying to get published I couldn’t just quit. LOL

How has the publishing/writing world changed since you first started writing?
Oh, lordy! When I got published 25 years ago the only way was with a NY publisher. I think there were nearly thirty then. Now there are four and so many very successful and talented authors are indy published. It has given voice to many books that would never have been picked up by NY. Amazon was/is a truly game-change and it’s for the better…IMHO.

You write about strong female characters. Are they modeled after anyone?
Who wants to read about a sniveling woman who cannot save herself and needs a man? I’m not saying men aren’t great ‘cause they are and in the books can help with the saving just as the woman characters help out the hero. I have three daughters and raised them with the idea they can do anything except father children. I think that’s the take with most modern women, we are not waiting around for someone to swoop in and save the day. We do the saving and it’s so much fun in books and in life!

When you are not writing what do you like to do?
I love good fun movies and shows and watch them to unwind. Gilmore Girls, Miss Fisher’s mysteries, Psyche, Midsommer Mysteries are some of my faves. They are light and cleaver and the dialogue is fantastic. I garden and love my flowers and I have for kids and two grandkids who I adore and spend tons of time with. If I really get away it’s to the mountains. We have incredible National Parks in the US and they are amazing. Glacier National Park is as close to heaven as we get on this Earth. Go!

Do you have any advice for beginning authors?

Don’t do critique groups, they kill your creativity and your voice. Tell your story your way. Don’t get swept up in attending conferences etc, take the time to write! Sit your butt in the chair and do the work. Don’t give up. Writing is tough business and if you want to get published you keep going till you do

Do you have a favorite author or book you would like to recommend to your readers?
There are a ton of how-to books out there and info online that will help you organize your thoughts and your story. Take what works for you and toss the rest. Do not think there is any one way of writing and don’t get overwhelmed with all the info. Read a little and write a lot. Figure out what works for you.

Please tell us five random things about yourself

-Guilty pleasure is eating peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon, or finger.
-I think Snickers is a gift from the gods.
-Everyone should take in a rescue animal.
-Anyone who mistreats an animal should rot in hell for all eternity (and I really mean that)
-I have met the most amazing people though writing. It is the single best thing about what I do

Cycle Path Mysteries

What I learned about this author:
I learned that Duffy loves her peanut butter but who does not right. One of her favorite show is Gilmore Girls. Also Duffy advises not to use critique groupls when starting to write which is a good piece of advice. I also learned she wrote secretly for a number of years before she decided it was time to tell anyone. What did you learn or find interesting?

Stay tuned for the next author to be spotlighted. 


  1. That's interesting about the critique groups because I have wondered about that as I write if it would help or hurt...good interview..

    1. Hi, Marilyn. IMO critique groups are great for brainstorming and chatting but tell your story your way...just may two cents. Best of luck. Hugs, Duffy

  2. Thank for having me at A Holland Reads. Loved doing the interview. Thanks tons for thinking of me. Hugs, Duffy