When Life Gives You Lemons, Write a Book
I am a huge fan of Amy Metz,, and I was honored when she agreed to write a guest post. If you’re not familiar with her books, it’s something that needs to be put on the top of your “to-do” list! I promise you won’t be disappointed. Simply wonderful!
Without further ado, here’s Amy…
I’m often asked how I got started writing, especially since I didn’t begin until my late forties. The short answer is it was a result of a perfect storm. But like all writers, I like a long story. So grab some sweet tea and I’ll tell you how my perfect storm was formed.
First, I love living in the South. The tight-knit families, the feeling of community, the friendliness of the people, and the colorful characters are just some of the things, I think, that make the South so special. I love writing all those aspects of life into my books.
There is not one distinct accent of a Southerner and certainly not all Southerners have one, but in my head, I hear my characters (who live in Tennessee) talking with an inflection that’s as country as cornflakes. “How are you” becomes “Hireyew?” “Jeet yet?” means “Did you eat yet?” An “hour” is an “ahr.” Nascar is popular, but someone could also be talking about a “nice car.”
And then there is the southern-speak. I love the idioms or expressions, and I use so many of them in my Goose Pimple Junction series, some people started calling them “goosepimpleisms.” Southern-speak is nothing other than saying something simple in a colorful way. Some would answer the question “How are you?” with “Fine.” But “If I were doing any better, I’d have to hire someone to help me enjoy it,” not only is more colorful, it leaves no question as to the wellness of the individual. If your mother warns you not to do something or she’ll “be on you like white on rice,” you’d best be minding your mama. It can be hot out, or it can be so hot you “could pull a baked potato out of the ground.” Now that’s hot! Sometimes I’m busy, but sometimes I’m “busier than a moth in a mitten.” You could call someone ugly, or even better, you could say, “She looks like she made an ugly pie and ate every slice.” I could go on, but you get the point. Southerners are colorful characters and I love writing about them.
I grew up hearing stories about my ancestors and two to those stories included murders, one of which was never solved. It saddened and fascinated me that a man in his thirties with a wife and four children could be found dead in his car on the side of the road just outside a small town and the killer was never caught. I remember thinking as a little girl that someone ought to write a book about it. I never dreamed it would be me, but it was – it just took me forty plus years.
Six years ago, my mother was diagnosed with dementia and I became her caretaker. I needed an escape from real life. I needed to laugh. And I really wanted to tell the story of my father’s uncle who was murdered in 1935. So I began writing and the characters took over. When I was done, I had written Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction. And I kept writing.
So, that’s my perfect storm and the long answer to “How did you get started writing?” I combined my love for a good Southern phrase and my love for colorful characters and my love for small-town Southern life with a real-life murder that I wanted to solve (at least fictionally), and a real life I wanted to escape. These days my real life is better, but I love spending time in Goose Pimple Junction with my characters. The town is one in which I want to live, and the characters are the kind of people I want as friends and neighbors. To use a goosepimpleism, life in Goose Pimple Junction is better than dew right off a honeysuckle. I’d be pleased if you stopped in a spell.
About Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction
When Tess Tremaine starts a new life in the colorful town of Goose Pimple Junction, curiosity leads her to look into a seventy-five-year-old murder. Suddenly she’s learning the foreign language of southern speak, resisting her attraction to local celebrity Jackson Wright, and dealing with more mayhem than she can handle.
A bank robbery, murder, and family tragedy from the 1930s are pieces of the mystery that Tess attempts to solve. As she gets close to the truth, she encounters danger, mystery, a lot of southern charm, and a new temptation for which she’s not sure she’s ready.
About Heroes & Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction
Goose Pimple Junction is just recovering from a kidnapping and a murder, its first major crimes in years, when trouble begins anew. Life is turned upside down in the quirky little Southern town with the arrival of several shifty hooligans: A philandering husband intent on getting his wife back, another murderer loose in town, a stalker intent on frightening Martha Maye, and a thief who’s stealing the town blind of their pumpkins, pies, and peace. Together, they’re scaring the living daylights out of the residents and keeping the new police chief busier than a set of jumper cables at a redneck picnic. Suddenly, he has his hands full trying to apprehend a killer, stop a stalker, and fight his feelings for the damsel in distress.
About the author
Amy Metz is the mother of two sons and a daughter-in-law, who, if they were books, would be bestsellers. Amy is a former first grade teacher, professional volunteer, and full-time mother. Her debut novel, Murder & Mayhem In Goose Pimple Junction, is the first in a humorous southern mystery series, and Heroes & Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction is book 2. Amy’s passions are writing, photography, reading, and her children and granddogs. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky.