Judy Dailey has an amazing resume. And no, I’m not exaggerating. Read on:
Award-winning author Judy Dailey grew up on an 80-acre organic farm in
Indiana. Now she
lives on a 1,200-square-foot urban farm in , with four chickens, a dog, and
her husband. A graduate of Seattle,
Washington , Judy earned an MBA from
the Bryn Mawr
and a certificate in compost management. She has been a pilot, skydiver,
spelunker, bicyclist, skier, and night-time sailor. She managed a multi-million dollar
grant fund for affordable housing. She handcrafts salami, beer, and ricotta
cheese. But her greatest challenge is eradicating the gray garden slug. Animal, Vegetable, Murder is her first
traditional mystery. You can follow Judy on Facebook or find a recipe for
haggis and eggs at http://www.judydailey.com. University of Washington
Judy, before we begin, I want to congratulate you on the excellent review your mystery novel received from BOOKLIST.
Question: What made you select the title and genre of your novel?
Answer: Animal, Vegetable, Murder is a humorous cozy, but that’s not what I started out to write. After accumulating a stack of dark, edgy, blood-drenched manuscripts in the bottom drawer of my desk—and a slew of rejection slips, I realized the mysteries I enjoy are fast-moving and funny. So I decided to write something I would like to read. Well, duh! I’m embarrassed it took me five years to figure it out.
Question: What inspired this novel? How did it come about?
Answer: After my daughter left home, I quit a pretty nice job to write full time—not a truly brilliant decision. To economize, my husband and I decided to grow as much of our food as we could. We live in the city, so we dug up our whole back yard and planted vegetables. Then
legalized urban chickens. I ordered newborn chicks from a hatchery in Missouri
and ended up with six really cute babies living in a box in my office while I
dealt with the rejection slips for my latest gritty thriller. Then the chicks
turned in to sullen adolescents with an attitude, who flapped out of their box
and pecked the keys off my computer. I decided to move them to our guest
bathroom while my husband built a henhouse. After they had been in the bathroom
about five hours, I checked on them and discovered chicken poop
everywhere—floor, walls, heater vent, toilet seat, and soap holder. At that
very moment my sister, who is a published author, telephoned. I started whining
about rejections, and she offered classic advice, “Write about what you know.”
I said, “Right now, all I know about is chicken poop.” And she said, “Well . .
.?” Thus, Animal, Vegetable, Murder
Question: Could you tell us a little bit about the heroine and/or hero of your latest novel?
Answer: Sunny Day Burnett is 30-years old and a new widow. After growing up in the back of a station wagon with hippie, drug-dealing parents, she yearns to put down roots. She inherited her grandmother’s home in an exclusive
neighborhood where she created an urban farm. Her wealthy neighbors scorn her
vegetables and hate her hens. Then she finds the body of a Mercedes salesman in
a patch of organic Swiss chard. Worse yet, he is clutching a picture that could
rip her life apart.
Question: Can you tell us about some of your other published novels or work?
Answer: Five of my short stories have been published in magazines. My biggest thrill was selling a mystery to Women’s World, but they mixed up the layout and it was published under another person’s name.
Question: What are you working on now?
Answer: The Goat Cried Murder, which is the next book in my Urban Farm series. Sunny Day is a new mom with a big problem—she can’t nurse her infant daughter. She adds a goat to her urban farm so she can feed her baby organic milk. The goat discovers a murdered jogger, and then a masked man tries to strangle Sunny.
Question: What made you start writing?
Answer: I’m one of those people who started writing stories as soon as they could hold a pencil. I am drawn to mysteries because my mother died under mysterious circumstances when I was five-years old. I’m always asking myself what really happened.
Question: What advice would you offer to those who are currently writing novels?
Answer: One of the speakers at Left Coast Crime, whom I greatly admire, said she had written 17 novels before her first one was published. I started feeling like a success because I had written only eight before I sold Animal, Vegetable, Murder. My point is—writers keep writing.
Question: Where and when will readers be able to obtain your novel?
Answer: Animal, Vegetable, Murder is available now from most independent booksellers and, of course, online from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million. People who would like a signed copy can buy one directly from my website at http://www.judydailey.com. The first chapter of Animal, Vegetable, Murder is also posted on my website (http://www.judydailey.com)
Note: Judy is available to respond to comments and questions from readers and fellow authors.