Monday, February 28, 2011

Murder Mystery Author J. K. Maze discusses her newest novel 'Murder for Kicks'

Scribal Love Welcomes J.K. Maze

Joan K. Maze, writing as J. K. Maze is an author of cozy mysteries and romantic suspense.  Her newest work Murder For Kicks is available from Red Rose Publishing.

What is the name of your latest book?  And how did you come up with the title?

The latest book is Murder For Kicks and I got the idea when watching a rerun of Walker Texas Ranger. I thought it would be fun if my less-than-acrobatically-adept protagonist tried to do this. 

What is this book about?  And what genre is this book in? 

This is book 2 in the Mollie Fenwick series. She, among other things, is psychic and has a vision where she sees a woman being abducted, forced into a car, at a strip mall. She investigates, discovers it's the one she frequents, and that the site is right in front of a martial arts studio. She signs up for a class, together with a senior citizen friend, and discovers the instructor is Jack Wolf, a Native American hunk who appeared in book 1. 

Her reasoning for doing this is to be on site in order to find the abduction vehicle and also to find out who was abducted. She gets into all kinds of trouble and is pursued by a killer. Neither her detective friend, Bartholomew, or Jack Wolf can keep her from sticking to her guns and solving the mystery.

Who is/are the main characters?  And why did you choose them? 

The protagonist is Mollie Fenwick, an artist/part time bus driver for a company serving seniors and the disabled/and an unwilling psychic. 

Bradley Bartholomew, detective with Hamlet Police Department, now a lieutenant. He is her next door neighbor and first met her in book 1 when she discovered a body lying in front of her TV in the living room. This also was a vision. 

Jack Wolf, Native American - artist and man of many talents. He was a walk on in book 1 and refused to leave. 

Henrietta - Mollie's nosy neighbor. She first met Henrietta when Henrietta's cat escaped her apartment because Henrietta had a habit of leaving her door open and failing to understand why the cat couldn't obey the command to stay inside. She's in her 60's and, Mollie discovers, a lot of fun. 

Solutions, Inc. - I have to list this bus company as a character as it is an integral part of the plot. Mollie had applied for the job after her husband's death and was astonished to be hired, especially since she's directionally challenged. 

Jackson - a patrol cop who first appeared in book 1. He and his partner answered the call when Mollie found the body. He becomes a detective in Murder For Kicks and also is the 3rd hero in her life.

What is the coolest or best part about your book?  (Any Favorite scenes, the world-building etc..)

I like the scene where she's tossed into a dolphin tank by the bad guy and rescued by Jackson. 

Do you have a favorite character in the book?  If so, why?

That changes daily, or perhaps hourly. I have lots of fun writing about Mollie, and salivate over the various characteristics of the 3 heroes. Like Mollie, I can't choose between them. 

Is this book part of a series?  If so? What can we expect in future books? 

Yes, it is part of a series, the 2nd one. Also, I am now working on book 3, which is Murder By Spook. This doesn't have to do with ghosts (well, maybe), but with spies, as in CIA. 

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? 


Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

The difficulties of writing a series. It was challenging. Also, writing in first person was a great learning experience. It would take an entire book to list what I learned from it. 

Do you have a publisher?  And if so, why did you choose them?   

Red Rose Publishing. At the time I was looking for a publisher, the original one having closed its doors, I was acquainted with an editor, who suggested I try Red Rose Publishing.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Janet Evanovich

Stephanie Bond

And many many others 

What books are you reading now? 

I'm reading The Vanishing Man, a Lincoln Rhyme story. I'm also beginning to reread the entire Stephanie Plum series and the Haunted Bookshop series, along with a bunch of other books I haven't read, too many to list. 

What are the current writing projects that you are working on?

Murder By Spook, book 3 in the Mollie Fenwick Mystery Series

A Pirate's Heritage - a Viking/Scotland timetravel encompassing the years from 900 to the present.

Widow's Walk - a timetravel thriller/romance set in Northern Minnesota

Deadly Bouquet - book 1 in a series involving a woman who wants to be a cop and is now working for a P.I. The first draft is finished.

I have a couple more on hold, both mysteries. 

Do you write full time?  If not, do you hope to do so one day?

Yes, I write full time, having retired 3 years ago.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

When I was 8 years old my mother taught me how to type on her ancient Smith Corona typewriter, which was so heavy I couldn't pick it up. I typed my first “book” while at the typewriter, sitting in a spooky attic. I later gravitated to music and art, returning to writing several years ago.  

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Yes, adding the senses wasn't easy for me and I still have to work at it. 

Do you have any advice for other writers seeking to get published for the first time? 

Don't ever give up. I once saw a plaque on the wall of a copy room in a hospital. It said, “the successful person is the one who gets up one more time than he falls down.” That's physically impossible, but I get what the writer intended. It took me many years to get published. 

Also, I don't compete with others. I only compete with myself.

Thanks Joan For Dropping By!

You can find J.K. Maze on the web at:

Red Rose Publishing:


Barnes and Noble:


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