Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?
I’m a psychologist turned author. My favorite books to read are filled with mystery and suspense so I decided to try my hand at writing my own cozy mystery series.
What inspired you to write this book?
I watch this show “Toddlers & Tiaras” and the people on it entertain me so I thought I’d write a book about some pageant people and throw a murder in there.
Please tell us about your latest release.
When a beauty pageant director face plants into her potato salad, former TV witch detective Poppy Parker vows to hunt down her killer.
What is the most interesting thing you have physically done for book related research purposes?
Last year I attended the Writer’s Police Academy in Wisconsin. I learned so much and discovered cheese curds while I was there! My favorite talk was by the medical examiner who said the first thing she did was introduce herself to her patients.
Can you tell readers a little bit about the world building in the book/series? How does this world differ from our normal world?
Poppy is just beginning to learn about the paranormal world she’s a part of. She finds she’s able to communicate with the world of witchcraft through a special “Northern Lights” browser on her computer. One of the best parts for her is that it allows her to connect with her mother who died giving birth to her. That’s a connection that helps fill a hole that’s always been in her heart.
Do any of your characters have similar characteristics of yourself in them and what are they?
I’m probably most like Poppy’s friend Skylar. She’s a sassy girly girl who likes to have fun.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you deal with it?
Not really. I usually have several works in progress so if I run out of ideas for one I just work on another. There’s always something I can write, and before I know it I get “unstuck” on the original manuscript and go back to it.
Do you have any weird writing quirks or rituals?
I watch nature videos while I write. I’m very visual and it inspires me to look up and see a gorgeous sunset on my screen or a windswept desert. The beautiful scenes help put me in a creative frame of mind, and Netflix has several of them in the Moving Arts series. My author friends who live where it gets cold tease me because I watch fireplace videos, but I love those in the winter. It makes me feel cozy and I can pretend it’s cold outside.
Do you write in different genres?
Yes. I was a nonfiction blogger for years and I’ve written over twenty romance books. I also have a medical thriller and a police procedural in the works under the pen name N.D. Hill.
Do you find it difficult to write in multiple genres?
No, it’s actually nice to change it up. I think it helps prevent me from getting burned out.
What are your guilty pleasures in life?
Reality TV and pasta. I love the Housewives and macaroni & cheese!
Other than writing, what are some of your interests, hobbies or passions in life?
We are a big basketball family. My son plays and we travel a lot for his games. I love it to pieces!
What was the last amazing book you read?
You by Caroline Kepnes
Where is your favorite place to read? Do you have a cozy corner or special reading spot?
My bed. When I can get away with it I love staying in my pajamas and reading all day.
What can readers expect next from you?
The next Poppy Parker book is coming this Spring. It’s called Gunshots My Girl.
Where can readers find you on the web?
www.amityallen.com or http://www.facebook.com/AmityAllen/
Would you like to leave readers with a little teaser or excerpt from the book?
Sure. In this scene, Poppy has been pulled over by a handsome police officer and she’d love to be able to use her newfound magic powers to get out of a speeding ticket, but she’s not sure how.
Officer Goodnight appeared at my window again, and when he said, "I'm going to have to write you a ticket," he didn't look nearly as handsome.
"Yes, sir," I groaned.
It was times like these when I really wanted to know if I could harness my supposedly magical powers so I could control his mind. Convince him he just needed to let me off with a warning, but so far I didn't know enough about how to influence other people that way.
Hopefully, that would change if I experimented more. That is, if my aunt could give me some guidance.
Out of nowhere, a splitting pain drove through my head like a spike.
Squinting my eyes, I tried to plant the thought "let her off with a warning" into his brain.
He just looked at me funny. "Ma'am, are you okay?"
"Peachy." I squinted again.
"Okay, so when does this pageant start?"
"In a couple of hours, but we’re supposed to be there early. About ten minutes ago."
He scribbled on a piece of paper then handed it to me. "I'm sure it will still be there when you arrive. Slow it down, all right?"
I gave him a salute before taking the piece of paper.
As the paper passed from his hand to mine, I closed my eyes, concentrated real hard, and gave it one more try.
Poison My Pretty
Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Date of Publication: February 15, 2017
Word Count: 50,000
Cover Artist: Rachel Olson at No Sweat Graphics
As soon as Poppy Parker turns 21, the star of a popular TV show about witch detectives discovers she has supernatural powers off the set as well as on. When the show is canceled, she returns home to figure out how to harness the magic brewing inside her.
Freaked out by these recent paranormal gifts, Poppy just wants to fit in, so when she’s asked to serve as a judge for the annual Bloomin’ Belles youth beauty competition she readily agrees.
But when the pageant’s snooty director drops dead and Poppy’s friend is arrested,
the former TV sleuth sets out to uncover the real killer, only to find…
the business of beauty can be deadly.
Skylar’s twin sister Mads called while I was driving to the convention center. “Are you really going over there? I can’t believe they’re going to continue this pageant.”
“So you heard about the murder?”
“Yeah. Skylar told me last night when she got home. It’s awful.”
“Yes, but you know how it is. The show must go on! Surely you can’t be that surprised.” I was only beginning to understand the importance of these competitions to their participants, and I could picture pageant moms dragging their glitzed-up toddlers over the dead bodies of fallen competitors. The way zombies climbed over each other to get to the top of the pile in movies—only prettier.
“Are they sure it was a murder? She didn’t just have a heart attack or something?” I could hear the anxiety creeping into Mads’ voice, and I didn’t blame her. Our little town was supposed to be safe. Murders didn’t happen here. That was the sort of thing that happened in the city across the bridge, not in our sleepy little bedroom community.
“That’s what they said, Mads, but I don’t think you need to worry. If it was a murder, you can bet it was personal. Certainly not the doin’s of a mad man or a serial killer. If Heather Morgan was murdered, it was by somebody who knew her and had something to gain from her death. This was no a random act of violence.”
About the Author:
Amity grew up reading every mystery she could get her hands on, burning through everything by Agatha Christie in record time and wanting to be Nancy Drew when she grew up. After writing books in other genres for the past few years, she's finally come home to her true love - cozy mysteries.
Amity and her husband live in L.A. (lower Alabama) with a houseful of teenagers and a half dozen pets. Besides books, Amity's favorite things are football, needlepoint, fried shrimp, and sweet tea.
Sign up for Amity’s Book Club: http://eepurl.com/coqgxX