Friday, October 19, 2012

Interview with Mystery Writer Dorothy Francis by Jacqueline Seewald

Note: the winner of a copy of my novel DEATH LEGACY was selected and the book was mailed. Thank all of you for leaving such thoughtful comments on the blog. For those who did not win, the novel can be requested at hundreds of local libraries. I also plan to do more book giveaways.

And now let me introduce our guest author, veteran writer Dorothy Francis, whose novels are already well-known to many readers. Dorothy’s latest novel and my own Death Legacy were published by Five Star/Gale at the same time, and so I feel a special kinship.

Question: Dorothy, what is the title and genre of your latest novel? 

Answer:    DAIQUIRI DOCK MURDER is the title of my latest cozy mystery novel.  I like cozy novels because they have few four-letter words.  The word daiquiri came from research that told me the drink, daiquiri, was invented in Cuba and that a beach there is named after the drink.  For some reason that fascinated me.

Question:   What inspired this novel? How did it come about?

Answer: When my husband and I started spending winters in the Florida Keys, I felt as if I might have been born there in another life.  Much of my research came from looking out my window.  I started with a heroine who wanted to write a novel and life overtook her while she was making other plans.  The strong Cuban influence drew me to write about Cuban characters.  I'd never known people like these before.  They picked our coconuts (with our permission) and they searched the sea bottom for sponges.  And they ran for prestigious offices in city government.

 Question:  Could you tell us a little bit about the heroine and/or hero of your latest novel?

Answer:     Herione Rafa Blue grew up in a family that owned a luxury hotel in paradise (the local name for Key West.)  As a young girl she ran away from home to Miami and fell in with 'evil companions.'  She lived in the islands with a grandmother until the scandal died down.  She went abroad to college, returned to Key West to work as a columnist for the local newspaper where she met and fell in love with a shrimper living on his shrimp boat.  She wouldn't tell him she loved him until she revealed her runaway scandal, fearing he would leave her.  You'll have to read DAIQUIRI DOCK MURDER to learn what happened to her and who murdered her Cuban friend and also threatened her life.

Question:   Can you tell us about some of your other published novels?

Answer:  DAIQUIRI DOCK MURDER is the 6th book in my Key West Mystery series.  The first 5 have Key West settings with various characters.  In Key West there are a lot of characters to choose from.  The first 4 of these novels (CONCH SHELL MURDER,  PIER PRESSURE, COLD CASE KILLER, and EDEN PALMS MURDER)  can be found on Amazon/Kindle books. 
 Before writing this series, I wrote children's novels because I loved to read as a child and wanted to please other children.  I have a total of around 75 published books--both adult and juvenile, most fiction with a few nonfiction

(Seventy-five published books! Dorothy, that’s quite an accomplishment!)

Question:   What are you working on now?

Answer:  I'm thinking about a new mystery novel, perhaps with a Midwest setting.

Question:   What made you start writing?

Answer: I graduated from University of Kansas with a bachelor's degree in music and a major in trumpet.  I worked for a while playing in a women's traveling dance band.  Then I got a job teaching middle grade music in Orange County, California.  After that I was married, and began raising a family. Being a stay-at-home mom, I began learning to write, to submit my work to publishers, and to sign contracts for short stories and books.

Question:   What advice would you offer to those who are currently writing novels?

Answer:  Write.  Write.  Write.  Read.  Read.  Read.  And don't give up your day job.

Question:  Where and when will readers be able to find DAIQUIRI DOCK MURDER?

Answer:  It can be found in bookstores wherever fine books are sold, in public libraries, or on Amazon and B&N. For more information about my writing, see my website at 

Thank you for letting me appear on your blog.

My pleasure, Dorothy!


GroupofFour said...

Jacqueline, Great interview. I would have loved to hear from Dorothy about the writing process from her. With 75 books published, she must have some streamlined plan and skill. Thanks for the insight into this author.

Unknown said...

Jacqueline and Dorothy, interesting interview. Dorothy, congrats on 75 books published. Wow. I am in awe. Looking forward to reading the latest in your cozy series.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Christy and Patriot,

Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I believe Dorothy will be coming by later to respond to comments. I'd like to know more about her writing process myself. It really takes me a very long time to write a novel and then I spend just as long rewriting.

Barb Goffman said...

Seventy-five books. Wow!

Anita Page said...

Dorothy and Jacquie, I enjoyed the interview. I've spent time in the Keys and imagine it makes a wonderful setting for a mystery series. Dorothy, best of luck with the new book.

Karen McCullough said...

Visiting the Keys is on my Bucket List. Now I want to go even more. Good interview!

Mary F. Schoenecker said...

I enjoyed hearing about Dorothy's latest book.Like the other commenters I would like to hear more about how she developed the craft. I write cozies also and it takes almost a year from start to finish.
Good interview, Jacquie.

Warren Bull said...

Good interview. 75 books?

Nancy Means Wright said...

Nice interview, Jacquie, with Dorothy.I've long been in awe of Dorothy--ever since I heard her speak at Malice Domestic Conference. Few of us can catch up with her, methinks!

dkchristi said...

I lived in Key West and supervised offices in Marathon and Key Largo. Great memories except for running from hurricanes - great settings for books, though. Enjoyed the interview! author of Ghost Orchid and more - but not 75!!!!

Earl Staggs said...

Always a pleasure, Dorothy, to read about you. Be warned, though. I'm catching up to you with your 75book catalog. I only have 73 more to go.

Best wishes, my friend.

Linda Lovely said...

Nice interview. Even given the shorter length of children's books, 75 published titles is an amazing accomplishment. And I agree with Dorothy that the secret is to WRITE and READ.

Jacqueline Seewald said...


Dorothy e-mailed me to let me know she's read all your wonderful comments but had trouble leaving her own comments here.

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