Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Author Interview with Amy Metz

Today, I'm excited to be interviewing the author behind the wonderful Goose Pimple Junction Mystery series - Amy Metz. Amy is releasing the fourth book in that series, Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction on May 15 (available for pre-order now here) and was kind enough to stop by my blog for an interview ahead of its publication. Amy also runs the very popular A Blue Million Books, a great resource for readers and Indie authors alike. 

MM: I’m excited for this upcoming installment in the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series, Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction. What can readers expect from the fourth book in
the series?

AM: Two strong women! Even though this book is titled Rogues & Rascals (and there are plenty of those), its main characters are two women. Both women’s unhappy predicaments are thanks to men (the rogues), but Caledonia and Wynona learn just how strong they can be on their own.

For someone who’s never been there, how would you describe Goose Pimple Junction?
Goose Pimple Junction is a combination of a few real life small towns and my imagination. It’s a close-knit community with wacky characters in a beautiful, clean Southern town. I hope it’s a place readers would like to visit or live.

I love how the town is really the main character of the series and that you jump around to a variety of memorable characters throughout the books. What made you decide to write the series that way?
Jack and Tess were the main characters in book 1, but circumstances forced them into becoming amateur sleuths. I didn’t think it was plausible to have something happen to them in each book that made them have to solve a mystery. So I decided it would be fun to concentrate on a new character with a new problem in each book. The same core characters are in each book, but the main characters are different. In this fourth book, I started out with Caledonia as the only main character. Wynona forced her way in.

Who is your favorite character in the series and why?

My favorite one to write was Tank Marshall in book 1. Maybe because he was the total opposite of who I am. He was a biker type; rough and gruff; bad-tempered; brusque; surly, with no sense of humor. But I killed him off. The other characters are hoping I don’t have a new favorite!

What’s your favorite part of the writing process?

I love the second stage—the one right after the rough draft is finished. I love going back and adding layers, making the characters come alive, adding details, and really living in the story.

Your books have such snappy, entertaining dialogue. What do you think the secret is to writing good dialogue?
Thank you! I think a writer has to really be in the scene. You have to be each character, which is why I like layering. It also helps to read the dialogue out loud.

What’s your process when you write a book? Do you outline?
No, I pretty much wing it. No matter how much I try to plan ahead, my characters always surprise me. I may plan for this, this, and this to happen, but I let it play out as I go, which often ends up changing my plans.

To you, what makes a good mystery?
I love mysteries with great characters and a problem that cannot be solved easily. I love it when the “bad guy” is a total surprise.

Me too! You sometimes ask other authors on your wonderful blog whether they consider characters or plot to be more important. What are your thoughts on this?

I don’t think you can have a good plot without great characters. The reader has to care about them to want to read the story. You could have a really intriguing mystery, but without a character with depth, who cares? Liking, admiring, or identifying with a character is the reason a reader becomes invested in a story, in my opinion.

Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what kind?
I don’t. I need a quiet surrounding to be able to write. Although music often helps me through writer’s block. Letting my mind wander while listening to music has helped me many times when I was stuck. And it can be music of any kind. I remember driving a car full of teenagers with 80s music on and having a breakthrough with Heroes & Hooligans. But an orchestra concert with classical music helped me out with Rogues & Rascals.

What’s your favorite part of being an Indie author?

I love having total control. I’m not on someone else’s timeline. I can choose a title and cover that I feel reflects the story. I’m able to keep track of sales. I can change the price when I want. I’m able to hire someone to help me in areas that are not my expertise—formatting, for example—but I can make all the decisions. Does that make me a control freak? Hmmm . . .

How did you transition from being a teacher to being a cozy mystery author?
Well, I really transitioned from being a teacher to being a mom to being an author. I stopped teaching when Jake, my first son was born. I just couldn’t imagine being anywhere but where he was. I was actually getting ready to go back to teaching when I found out I was pregnant with Michael, my second son. Being a mom was my dream job, and I was fortunate to be able to stay home with my boys. But as they grew up, I had more time. I started writing when Jake was in college and Michael was in the eighth grade. When they weren’t home, I wrote. When I was in the car waiting for Michael after school, or at a music lesson, or a doctor’s appointment, I was writing on my laptop. I was able to write at night when Mike was doing homework or after he went to sleep. Now that he’s in college, I treat writing more like a full-time job. It was a smooth transition, and now I have my second dream job.

What authors have inspired you and why?
I really think every author whose books I’ve read has influenced me. Just before I started writing, I had a severe addiction to reading. I think that addiction and all those books and all those authors helped me become a writer.

Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?
First of all, I’d like to thank readers for reading my work. I am truly grateful when someone spends time reading what I wrote. And when I get a good review or a message from someone telling me they liked a book, it makes my day.

On the other hand, I’ve had some reviewers say my books are an insult to Southerners. To them I want to say that is not my intention. I want my characters to feel like real people, but I want readers to remember Goose Pimple Junction is a fictional town. I am not suggesting it’s a typical Southern town or that Southerners talk like Goose Pimple Junctionians. (I just made that term up!) In the first couple of books, I used a lot of “goosepimpleisms” or southern phrases. I overdid them because that was the quirkiness of the town. No, real people don’t talk like that—which was my point. These are unique characters. I also think there’s a stereotype that a Southern accent makes you sound dumb. I love accents of all kinds, but particularly a Southern accent, which is probably why I chose to put my town in the South. Two of my favorite small towns to visit are Fairhope, Alabama and Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Both towns were inspiration for Goose Pimple Junction, and while I think both towns are comparable in their charm, I don’t think one town is smarter or dumber than the other, and neither one is Goose Pimple Junction. One of these places is not like the others! GPJ is fictional. I use accents to enhance my characters, not detract from them. Thank you for giving me a chance to say that!

Thanks for stopping by my blog, Amy!
Thank you so much for having me, Meg!

About the book:
Like any good Southern belle, Caledonia Culpepper was raised by her mama to be gracious, charming, witty, and above all, a devoted mother and loving wife, so she's baffled when her marriage falls apart.

Wynona Baxter is a master of disguise but is often a ditzy airhead. A hit woman wannabe, when she's hired for her first job in Goose Pimple Junction and things don't go as planned, she's forced to resort to Plan A. She'll also need Plan B and C.

Crooked lawyers, restless husbands, a teenaged hoodlum – it seems there are rogues and rascals everywhere you look in Goose Pimple Junction.

When Caledonia and Wynona's paths cross, they prove there isn't a rogue or a rascal who can keep a good woman down. Mama always said there would be days like this . . .

About the author:

Amy Metz is the author of the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. She is a former first grade teacher and the mother of two sons. When not writing, enjoying her family, or surfing Pinterest, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in one hand and a glass of sweet tea in the other. Amy lives in Louisville, Kentucky and loves a good Southern phrase.

Author links:
Amazon author page:
Buy link: Amazon:


  1. Thank you so much for your hospitality, Meg!

  2. Yay, this was a fantastic interview, Amy and Meg! Amy, I loved reading about your writing process, as well as how you came to be an Indie author. Awesome!