Today Merry Grace Wynter is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about Double or Muffin, the latest novel in the Merry Muffin mystery series.
Welcome, Merry. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about the novel that you live inside. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too.
I am Merry Wynter, and I live in the Merry Muffin Mysteries. #7 in the series, Double or Muffin, has just come out on February 23rd, 2021.
Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too?
She thinks she’s in control, but… sometimes things happen. I’ll give you an example; while writing down Double or Muffin (I tell her what to say!) Victoria really thought two people were going to die, but I wasn’t going to let that happen. It’s been happening way too much lately, and I’m just angry enough to put my foot down. Not on my watch, Victoria: not on my watch. So, between me and Becket (the cat) and a couple of friends I won’t mention (read the book!) I made sure it didn’t happen.
She keeps putting me in peril and I always escape, so why shouldn’t others? I can’t say more without spoiling the story!
How did you evolve as the main character?
I’m not going to brag, but I was always going to be the main character. I mean… it’s the Merry Muffin Mysteries. I’m Merry. Who else would it be about? I can’t take all the credit though; I don’t suppose there would even be a series if I hadn’t happened to inherit this magnificent American castle in Western New York State. That and finding bodies (and in the weirdest places to: slumped over in a half bath; in a pretend coffin; at the bottom of a hole on my property!) got me where I am today.
Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them?
There are people who came with me, and people I met when I got here. (‘Here’ being Wynter Castle and the town of Autumn Vale) My friends Pish Lincoln and Shilo Dinnegan came with me, but when I got here I met irascible Doc English who tells me stories of my family, town librarian Hannah who is the very best researcher you could ever find, moody teen Lizzie who makes me laugh unexpectedly, and a host of others. Life (and the books) wouldn’t be the same without them.
And then there’s Virgil Grace… one-time sheriff of our area’s police force, he is now my husband and a private detective. And YUM! He’s hot, if I do say so myself. I am kind of partial to him.
What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?
You mean, my castle? Well, it’s magnificent… or it’s almost magnificent. When I got here (Bran New Death: Merry Muffin Mystery #1) there was peeling wallpaper, dust everywhere, holes in the landscaping… it needed a lot of work. And money! In the three years since I started fixing it up I’ve discovered that this place, with its turret rooms, rose window, Eastlake furniture, magnificent oak double doors and chef’s kitchen is fabulous. And soon, once we open the performing arts center Pish and I are planning… the world will know about it.
Maybe that’s why we keep getting saddled with weird groups of people: the Legion of Horrible Ladies, a ghosthunting crew, and now an opera singing reality show? I mean… come on. It’s been a wild ride so far and doesn’t seem to be letting up.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?
Me? I’m just an average woman trying to move on with my life, and stuff keeps happening. I’m surrounded by wonderful people, though. I do have that handsome new husband, and a big ginger cat who saves the day in the most unexpected way this time around! When the going gets tough – and murder is always tough! – together, we get it taken care of.
Thank you for answering my questions, Merry, and good luck to you and your author, Victoria Hamilton, with Double or Muffin, the latest book in the Merry Muffin mystery series.
The novel is available at the following online retailers:
About Victoria Hamilton: Victoria is the bestselling author of several mystery series including the national bestselling Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries. She does, indeed, collect vintage kitchenware and bake muffins. She drinks tea and coffee on writing days, and wine other times. It doesn’t do to confuse days. She crochets (a little), paints (a little) and reads (a lot). A solitary being, she can be coaxed out of her writing cave for brownies and cat videos.
She started her writing life as Donna Lea Simpson, bestselling author of Regency Romances, paranormal historicals and historical mysteries, and still has a soft spot for the Regency period.
If you Google ‘Victoria Hamilton’, you will find listed first a famous actress who starred as the Queen Mother in the Crown and as Charlotte Brontë in ‘In Search of the Brontës’. That’s not the Victoria who writes mysteries. No, really, it’s not!