Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday spotlight on Cozy Mystery authors .J.C. Eaton. I say authors because, as you will see in their answers to our questions below, J.C. Eaton is actually a couple.
Can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your writing? How would you like us to introduce you?
We are a husband and wife writing team – Ann I. Goldfarb and James E. Clapp, writing as J.C. Eaton. Ann is a retired teacher and former school principal while Jim is a retired carpenter and tasting room manager for a large upstate New York winery. And while it seems unlikely that we’d be writing, Ann spent a decade writing for trade magazines and also authored a number of YA time travel mysteries while Jim did informational brochures for the wine industry. When we left New York State to move to Arizona where snow was optional, we found ourselves immersed in the quirky world of retirees. One of our friends suggested we put our writing talents to use and write a mystery about our local dog park. Needless to say, we did! That’s how the Sophie Kimball Mysteries got started.
Where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester–though they should totally check here first!)
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, AZ, Mostly Books in Tucson, AZ, and your favorite bookseller as well as Kobo, iTunes, Target, and Walmart. We are available in paperback and ebooks.
How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?
For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write? What can readers expect from Railroaded 4 Murder?
We write humorous cozy mysteries with a plethora of quirky characters meant to keep readers laughing and guessing whodunit. We love twists, turns, and total roundabouts! With three series going on (The Sophie Kimball Mysteries, The Wine Trail Mysteries, and The Marcie Rayner Mysteries), we have three unique sleuths who approach solving crimes differently. Our next release, Railroaded 4 Murder, in the Sophie Kimball Mysteries, is set in the retirement community of Sun City West, Arizona, and has the local book club ladies joining forces with reluctant amateur sleuth Sophie (Phee) to catch the real killer of the Sun City West’s model railroad club before his wife is railroaded for the murder.
What draws you to the particular genre or style that you write? What do you think draws readers to these kinds of books?
We absolutely love writing humorous cozies! Life is so difficult these days that people need to sit back and enjoy a good laugh-out-loud book. Since we write the dialogues together, we practice on each other and wind up laughing as well. Escapism has always been popular with readers and cozies offer all of that, plus the adventure and intrigue.
What else can we expect from you in the near future?
We’ll continue our current series but we are working on a paranormal humorous cozy with culinary overtones. We don’t want to give it away but both of us are completely enamored with the new characters we’ve created and the unique plot line to get it started.
While you’re writing, do you prefer music, silence, other? Please elaborate!
Interestingly, we are complete opposites when it comes to writing. Ann must have absolute silence and work from our spare bedroom where our desktop computer is located. Jim, however, can have a complete marching band in front of him and it wouldn’t matter. He can write from a laptop or paper tablet anywhere in the house. (Usually the kitchen or living room). We work separately and then meet to put things together. Here’s when the negotiations come in! Jim’s the plot person who’s responsible for moving the books along while Ann does the descriptions and character development. Both of us construct the dialogues together.
Writers very often have furry or feathered or otherwise non-human companions to “help” them through their work. Do you? What do you have? How do they “help” (or, “not-help”) with your writing?
We wouldn’t exactly call it help. We have four cats and a Chiweenie dog. The cats have been permanently banned from the computer room for the following infractions: chewing on the wires that connect the computer to the modem, disconnecting the wires, sitting on the keyboard and refusing to leave, and…worse of all – pooping on the Strunk and White Elements of Style that Ann uses along with The Chicago Manual of Style. The dog, Streetboy, is allowed in the room but he passes gas, making it quite unbearable at times. FYI – He’s the inspiration for Streetman, the Chiweenie, in the Sophie Kimball Mysteries.
Look for our interview with Ann (One half of J.C. Eaton) on our YouTube Channel! Thanks so much, Ann and Jim, for taking the time to answer all of our questions.