September 18, 2016

Molly MacRae - 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 Molly MacRae

About the author:
The Boston Globe says Molly MacRae writes “murder with a dose of drollery.” Molly is the author of the award-winning Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries from NAL/Penguin and the stand-alone mystery novels Lawn Order and Wilder Rumors. Plaid and Plagiarism, the first book in her new Highland Bookshop Mysteries, will be out in December. Molly’s short stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine since 1990 and she is a winner of the Sherwood Anderson Award for Short Fiction. After twenty years in upper east Tennessee, Molly and her family live in Champaign where she connects children with books at the Champaign Public Library.

Where to follow the author:
Molly writes for Killer Characters on the 23rd of each month. Here is the link: Killer Characters
Molly also writes for Vintage Cookbooks and Crafts on the first Monday of each month. Here is the link: Vintage Cookbooks & Crafts

Haunted Yarn Shop Series
Kath Rutledge, a textile preservationist, inheriting her grandmother’s wool shop, along with a depressed ghost, in fictional Blue Plum, Tennessee, in the Haunted Yarn Shop series

When did your love of writing begin?
When I learned to read. I loved hearing stories and being read to, but when I learned to read the lightbulb came on.

What made you chose this genre?
It’s a natural fit. I love reading traditional/cozy mysteries. I like being entertained.

Do you have a scheduled writing time, place and/or routine?
I get up at 5:00 a.m. and write until breakfast and time for the day job. I write on my lunch hour. I write after supper up until it’s time for bed. I’m a cram-it-into-every-nook-and-cranny kind of writer.

What do you do to get over writer's block?
Fear of missing a deadline is tremendous incentive for not falling prey to writer’s block. I help myself along, though, by quitting for the day in the middle of a situation. That gives me a jumping in spot to get going the next morning. If I really get stuck, I ask one of my characters to write me a letter and let me know what’s going on.

What was it like to get y our first publishing contract?
Almost, almost as exciting as the birth of our first child. Absolutely fantastic!

How has the publishing/writing world changed since you first started writing?
Computers were rare. Bookstores were plentiful. The Internet didn’t exist. Manuscripts were typed and mailed. We used carbon paper.

You write about strong female characters. Are they modeled after anyone?
They aren’t modeled after anyone in particular. They’re the way I’d like to be, but I’m kind of a wuss.

When you are not writing what do you like to do?

Read, cook, read, walk, read.

Do you have any advice for beginning authors?
Read widely, write regularly, revise your work, and persevere.

Do you have a favorite author or book you would like to recommend to your readers?
I have too many favorites! I read a lot of kids’ mysteries for work, though (I’m in the children’s department at the public library), and some of them are just so good. Here’s one I particularly liked this year – Woof by Spencer Quinn. Written for a 4th-6th grade audience, with a likeable girl protagonist (but told from her dog’s point of view), Woof is smart and completely entertaining.

Please tell us five random things about yourself
I like running up stairs. 
I love cheese and chocolate. 
Almost everything I’ve had published I wrote with a cat sitting on my lap (sadly, we are catless, now, for the first time in almost forty years). 
I always wear an apron when I cook. 
I studied British prehistory at Edinburgh University in Scotland.

Highland Bookshop Series:

What did I learn about this author:
I discovered that she is a fan of mysteries just like the rest of us. She is also an avid reader. Also Molly is a children's librarian as her day job and writes whenever she gets the chance. She recommended a book Woof by Spencer Quinn that I am going to get my niece to try out. I thought it was interesting that she studied British prehistory in Scotland. What did you learn or find interesting?

Stay tuned for the next author. 


  1. Thank you for having me on your blog, Angela! What did I learn about you? That you are an incredibly kind and helpful fan of cozy mysteries. Many thanks!

  2. I enjoyed this blog. Molly MacRae is an awesome author.

  3. I enjoyed getting to know Molly MacRae. I haven't read any of her books but will definitely check them out.

    1. Thanks, Chris! I hope you like reading them as much as I do writing them.