“Thank you for joining us today Jan.”
“Thank you for having me.”
Q. “I’m going to dive right in and ask. What prompted your writing journey as an older adult?”
A. “That old saying, ‘Write what you know.’ I had years of training and experience in funeral directorship. I sat at my desk one day and started to write a book about a young woman who inherited her uncle’s funeral home. To my surprise, this laid the groundwork for a cozy mystery series of four books.”
Q. “How would you define a cozy mystery?”
A. “Cozies” as these books are called, have an amateur sleuth who is often pulled unwittingly into a murder mystery. There is no bad language, violence or sexual content in these stories. Often the locale is a quaint little town, possibly by the seaside or lake, with a cast of memorable characters. The television series, “Murder She Wrote,” was early writing of this nature.”
Q. “How did the “Cozy” emerge as a popular sub genre?”
A. “Cozy readers are looking for a satisfying read that poses a problem, like a dead body. Through a clever investigation, the culprit is found and the case is solved.These books usually come in a series.”
Q. “I’ve heard that self publishing has been the cozy writers’ best friend. What are your thoughts?”
A. “The rise of independent/self published books have opened doors for a surge of would be authors. All that’s required is a desire to write a book, get it edited, proofread, formatted and printed with an eye-catching cover of the writer’s choosing. If amateur writers can’t do all this, and many don’t have those skills, they can hire the services of a professional, but it is expensive. As an author, you know that Amazon paved the way for indie authors to get their ebooks and paperbacks into the hands of readers all over the world.”
Q. “Your first book, “The Making Of A Funeral Director,” was a memoir. In it you recounted the challenges a mature female student faced in that industry. How have times changed since you graduated from Humber College 30 years ago?
A. “There are definitely more female funeral directors today. There are now four licenced levels of funeral service. Class One directors do the embalming. Class Two directors do not embalm. The other positions are Transfer Service and Funeral PrePlanner. Cremations have surpassed burials since the 1990s.”
Q. “Last year your novel,“Fading Expectations” was published. The story is based upon your own experiences raising children with special needs in the 1970s and 1980s. What message did you want to convey in that book?
A. “Raising children with special needs is a full-time job which often falls on the mother’s shoulders. It’s heart-breaking at times when your child does not meet developmental milestones, is frequently hospitalized and there’s limited support. Feelings of inadequacy haunted the character Joyce, as she struggled with innumerable appointments with professionals such as medical providers, therapists, advocates and school personnel, leading her to eventually pull her son from school.”
Q. “Your newest series, “SAM (Suddenly A Millionaire”) was written during the pandemic. It follows a senior woman who finds herself the lottery winner of $53,000,000. What moved you into such a different genre from your previous books?”
A. “I needed to write something light for a change.” 🙂
Q. “When you’re not writing, what else do you like to do?”
A. “I love getting together with friends for coffee and good conversation. Walking keeps me active and when I want to relax, my kittybrat, Vegas is more than ready to cuddle.”
Q. “Speaking of coffee chats, if you could have one with anyone famous, who would that be and why?”
A. “Well, I have to say, Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister of Canada. I believe she is a role model for women. The other person would be Caimh McDonnell, an Irish novelist who primarily writes comic crime fiction.”
“I’m looking forward to reading what Sam’s going to do with all that money, Jan. Thanks again for sharing with us.”
“My pleasure Judith.”
Check out Jan’s profile on Goodreads. Her books are available on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, etc.