Welcome, Abby. Let’s get started, shall we?
Today Abby McCree is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about Death by Intermission, the latest novel in the Abby McCree mystery series.
Tell us about the novel that you live inside. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too.
My name is Abby McCree, and I’m the amateur sleuth in my own cozy series, The Abby McCree Mysteries by Alexis Morgan. The series begins shortly after I moved into the Victorian house I inherited from my favorite aunt. I’d recently gone through a divorce and sold my half of our business to my ex-husband. Moving to Snowberry Creek in Washington State offered me a new start and a chance to figure out what should come next in my life. There were a few surprises along the way. For example, I didn’t expect the house to come with a ninety-five pound mastiff roommate or a handsome tenant in the small mother-in-law house on the back of the property. Along with the other people I’ve met in town, Zeke and Tripp Blackston have made my new life quite an adventure. Sadly, so have the murders I’ve come across along the way.
Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too?
While the author might have come up with the basic premise of the series, I’ve definitely had quite a lot of influence on how the stories have played out. For example, Alexis had no idea how much I love to bake—especially when I’m stressed—and that I keep the freezer stocked with cookies of all kinds to share with my friends and sometimes with total strangers! Alexis definitely knew I grew up living with my mother after she and my dad got divorced. However, she didn’t know what my current relationship with my mom was like. It also came as a surprise to her that I’m quite the pool shark!
How did you evolve as the main character?
When I first moved to Snowberry Creek, I wasn’t sure if it was going to be my permanent home or a temporary stop while I got the house ready to put on the market. As soon as I moved in, my late aunt’s friends bullied me into finishing out my aunt’s term of office as president of the quilting guild. In truth, it was just their way of getting me involved in the happenings in Snowberry Creek, and I have to admit they succeeded big time. Thanks to them, I’ve started putting down roots here in town, making new friends, and finding a new sense of purpose in my life. That’s the upside. The downside is that once you volunteer to help one time, everyone else with a garage sale or committee to run comes calling.
Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them?
First, I’d have to say that I really love Zeke, my canine companion. He might drool and shed like crazy, but his unconditional love means everything to me. My aunt adopted him from a local shelter. As a result, we don’t know much about Zeke’s former life other than it wasn’t good. Seeing life in Snowberry Creek as a chance to start over is something the two of us have in common. Zeke has also helped save my life a time or two, so he’s not only loyal but very brave.
Tripp, my tenant, also plays an important role in my life. He recently left the army after twenty years of serving in the Special Forces. He’s now attending a local university to finish his degree. Funny thing about Tripp—he’s never once told me what his major is and finds all of my guesses to be wildly entertaining. We enjoy each other’s company to the point that sometimes it seems we might be poised at the edge of becoming something more than simply friends. Well, except when I get drawn into another murder investigation that places me in danger. Tripp claims my adventures have taken years off his life. He and the local police chief, also a friend of mine, both consider me a magnet for trouble. While I don’t appreciate them saying that, I can’t actually say they are wrong.
What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?
Snowberry Creek is a small town located in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. No matter which way you look, the surrounding area is beautiful. In addition to the Cascades, one of the volcanoes in the state, Mount Rainier, forms part of the backdrop of the town. There’s also a national forest filled with towering cedars and Douglas firs. The people are friendly and definitely made me feel welcome when I moved to town.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?
DEATH BY INTERMISSION is the fourth book in my series. For the first time readers will meet my mother, Phoebe McCree. Sadly, Mom is with me when I discover a dead body after a movie-in-the-park night event where I was in charge. Things get complicated—and a bit dangerous—after that.
Thank you for answering my questions, Abby, and good luck to you and your author, Alexis Morgan, with Death by Intermission, the latest book in the Abby McCree mystery series.
The novel is available at the following online retailers:
About Alexis Morgan: Alexis is the USA Today bestselling author of over forty-five novels, novellas, and short stories that span a variety of genres: American West historicals (as Pat Pritchard); paranormal and fantasy romances; contemporary romances; and cozy mysteries. A RITA® Award-finalist, Alexis Morgan is a member of RWA and Sisters in Crime. She lives in Washington State.