If you love horses and wine, you’ll be happy to discover Michele Scott‘s “Wine and Equestrian” mystery series. And if you don’t like any of these, you’ll just have fun reading romance mysteries!
Hi Michele! Nice to welcome you on “Veronika asks”! Could you please tell us a few words about you…
About me? Hmmm. I’m first of all a mom and wife. Family comes first in my life. Then, I am a writer, and have known since I was a child that I wanted to be a writer. I write everyday, pick up kids, help with homework and pick up my constantly messy house. I’m also completely disorganized but am working hard on that! I love to read, write (duh) dance, cook, sing, and just be silly. My kids hate that silly part or at least they act like they do.
If you had to describe yourself with three words…
Passionate, Playful, Kind
You’re Aries, aren’t you? I heard they’re adventurous, enthusiastic but quite impulsive. Are you a typical Aries?
Oh yeah. That pretty much describes me to a tee. The impulsive part can bite me in the rear sometimes, but I’m never boring. Scatterbrained and all that other stuff you mentioned–totally; boring–nah.
Now, let’s talk a bit about your “Wine Lover’s Series”, which includes “Murder uncorked” and “Murder by the glass”…
The Wine Lover’s Mystery Series is about my heroine Nikki sands who takes a job at a Napa Valley Winery. Nikki has a knack for coming across dead people. She also has some serious issues in her love life (torn between two men–rough!). In the chapters where Nikki goes out for a meal or makes one, I’ve included recipes and wine pairings (for those of you under 21, please, please don’t pair the recipes with the wine–LOL). Think if this series as Murder mysteries set on a vineyard with a group of nutty characters who cause Nikki many headaches, combined with recipes and there you have it. They’re being coined as comedic mysteries, and the debut book MURDER UNCORKED was nominated as a best first mystery by Romantic Times Magazine. They’re a bit of humor, rmance and plenty of mystery.
The debut novel of the “Equine Mystery Series”, “Saddled with Trouble”, will be released in November 2006. Could you tell us more about the novel?
This series has been fun and interesting for me to work on. It deals with my heroine Michaela Bancroft who trains horses, and unlike Nikki who jumps into solving a mystery, Michaela is more of a reluctant snoop. She is far more cautious than Nikki, and she has a strong connection to her animals. In Saddled, Michaela finds her Uncle Lou stabbed to death by a pitchfork in his prize stallion’s stall. Michaela is led on a wild goose chase as she tries to uncover the killer who could be anyone from her ex-husband to his rodeo queen girlfriend, even her best friend and dad are suspects in this book. If anyone would llike to see the book trailer (video) for Saddled please go to myspace at wineauthor and click on videos. I also give a short interview on a separate video there. Oh, and as with the wine series, Michaela has her own problems in the romance department.
Why this passion for horses and wine?
I grew up riding. I have always loved horses. It’s in my blood. My dad is an old time cowboy in many ways and so was his dad, so it’s a part of who I am today. Wine–hmm-well, I worked in the industry for some time and discovered that drinking a good glass of wine reaches further than simply drinking it. Making wine is akin to the creative process of writing and I love that. It takes years to cultivate good grapes and years more to find the right blend and allow the wine to age in casks. There is so much that goes into just making one bottle of wine and I find that world fascinating. Plus, the wine country is ripe with intrigue, romance and all the elements that can make a good story.
There are so many fabulous cooking recipes on your website… do you like cooking?
I LOVE to cook. Hate to clean, but love to cook. I cook every night and we have a big family, so there is a lot that goes into my dinners each day. My grandma was a fabulous cook and she taught me a lot. I also love to flip through cookbooks and see what flavors go with what. That kind of thing. Yeah, cooking is cool. It’s almost meditative for me.
How do you work (where, when…)? How do you react to the writer’s block?
I get the kids off to school, answer e-mails and handle anything business wise, then I sit my boody in the chair and don’t quit until I’ve done at least ten pages. As far as writer’s block–I tell myself that I do not invite it into my life and only allow creative thoughts to flow through me! If, I do stumble a bit, I go for a walk and that typically gets the juices going again. I think writer’s block is simply a symptom that something outside of your writing needs to be addressed in your life. Maybe it’s God, or yourself telling you that it’s time to take care of internal business before the muse makes another visit.
I read on your website that before being published, you spent ten years full of writing conferences and rejections… how did you get over it? How did you finally manage to publish your first novel?
How did I get over rejection? Well, crying does not work, and neither does depression. The only thing that I found during those years was to tell the agent rejecting me (in my mind of course) that they were fools and would be sorry when I hit the besteller list! (Do not ever do this to their face or by phone or even write a letter. This must be an imaginary thing you do for yourself). I published by constantly writing and submitting. I knew and know in my heart that writing is my purpose and once you know that, giving up is never an option. Just keep throwing it against the wall until it sticks!
What do you like in writing mysteries?
The puzzle. Actually what I like most about writing is exploring the human psyche and watching a character grow, seeing where they’ve been and watching them wind up somewhere else. That is what I love about writing.
How do you imagine your reader? You know, when you say “there is somewhere somebody reading my book right now”… who do you picture?
I picture a young woman, cozied up on her couch maybe with a cat or dog next to her. Maybe with a glass of wine and some cheese and bread or hot chocolate for the non-drinkers or under 21 crowd. I picture a woman who likes to watch Grey’s Anatomy, Sex and The City and Friends. I picture someone who likes to laugh, hang out with friends, and who is just a fun person to be around. Oh, and by the way–you do not have to be a drinker or wino or horse person to enjoy these books! There is far more to them than that.
Who are your favorite authors?
That is so tough. I love tons of authors. Okay, let’s see–Paulo Coehlo. Isabelle Allende, Nancy Martin, Karen MacInerney, Sandra Brown, Kate White, Susan McBride, James Patterson, Iris Johanson, Sara Stroehmyer. Wow! This is hard. There are so many. Just know that I pretty much love and read anything mystery, romantic suspense, chick lit, spiritual, comedic, romance, thriller and those cookbooks! And, it’s not often I think–“Oh that sucked.” And, if I do think it, I am a firm believer in keeping that to myself. I know what a struggle it is as a writer, and who am I to make a judgment on someone else’s work? Just because I may not like something, does not mean that you won’t.
Could you tell us more about your upcoming projects?
Well, I want to do a romantic thriller set around the US Equestrian Olympic team. I also have a family saga (think Traffic meets The Godfather) that I LOVE but haven’t sold. And, I have an idea for a series that I’m also working on dealing with pyschic spies. I am pretty certain there will be more books coming up in the wine lover’s and horse series, too.
Would you like to add something, Michele?
For writers–live your writing with a major sense of passion, stay persistent, know that this is your purpose and do not step out of that, be patient–God (life) has a way of understanding timing better than we do, and have sense of peace that you are always doing the best you can at the time you are in.
And now the nothing-to-do-with-books question: you’ve just found 100 $ in your pocket, how will you use the money?
Well, there is a book I want right now–The Tao de Ching. My kids want this Dance Revolution thingy. I’d get that, and then I’d grab a good lunch (maybe some Mexican food) and buy one of the homeless people down the street some lunch, too.
“Tea or Coffee?”
Saturday night. Going out or reading a book ? Read a book, unless it’s out to dinner with my husband and no kids.
Holidays. Beach or Mountains ? BEACH
Country or City ? Tough. I love both. It depends on the mood. Today, I’d say country.
Watching a movie. Comedy or Drama (or something else ?) ? Comedy
Shy or Easy-going ? I can be both. I guess easy-going most of the time.
Serious or Funny ? I’d like to think funny
Traveler or not ? Love to travel, but have no time. Some day!
Sporty or not ? Sporty
The leader or not ? Leader sometimes, but know when it’s too much of a hassle because someone else feels the need to lead.
TV show: Grey’s Anatomy (used to be Alias)
Movie : The Mexican (I know that sounds strange–but there is a line in there that Brad Pitt says that cracks me and my husband up everytime we watch it. I can’t repeat it here).
Book : Non-Fiction–The Power of Intention, Fiction–Okay, this book sticks in my head a lot. Don’t know if it’s my favorite but I did love it “French Kiss,” by Sandra Brown. Oh yeah and Tuesdays With Morrie–brilliant, and The Alchemist! Sorry, I could go on. I can’t just pick one. I also LOVE Like Water For Chocolate.
Music : 80’s
Food : Mexican
City : My hometown is San Diego, but I love Wailea, Maui, Sonoma and Napa are amazing as well.
Favourite place to write: A cottage at the Glen Ellen Inn in Sonoma, but usually I am in my office at home.
Quote or motto : “True imagination is not fanciful daydreaming; it is fire from heaven.” Ernest Holmes
Thank you, Michele!
You can visit Michele’s website http://www.michelescott.com