Today Jolie Tucker is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about Monkey Bread Business, the latest novel in the Cast Iron Skillet mystery series.
Welcome, Jolie. 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’m Jolie Tucker and currently I’m in my late twenties. My life is too complicated to write it all in one book. She thinks she will be able to do it in twelve to fourteen books. I’m not so sure about that.
First off, my family is the definition of helicopter family—well, the women are—my bio dad isn’t around unless he needs something. The majority of my life has been sheltered growing up in a small village and knowing everyone around me.
There came a day when darkness creeped into our sun rayed little hamlet and it led to my bestie Ava and I having to crack a case wide open to save my grandma. Since then, more crime continues to funnel through (and I DO mean “funnel” through) our town. For a while I thought it was all random, but recently I’ve found that every single crime is connected and there is a mole in our town. All of these people I thought I knew my entire life is now suspects minus a few I’m choosing to trust. There’s a bigger picture and someone is pulling all the strings.
Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too?
I mean, she THINKS she controls everything. You know that sort—Type A (insert eyeroll here) perfectionist who thinks she’s just brilliant. Sometimes she’ll have me saying the most ridiculous things—but the worst part is that I’ve gotten a bit banged and bruised from time to time. So every once in a while, while she sleeps, I have these little subconscious conversations with her. I’m sure she’s not aware of it and even if she were, it’s too important for her to have all the control. So, I let her believe that.
How did you evolve as the main character?
Okay, well, any therapist—and I have a darn good one named Tabitha who has me journal about my feelings—could tell you that she thinks she’s me. Again, trying to live through me sort of thing. I get it, though. If I were her, I’d feel the exact same way!
Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them?
Ava Martinez. No brainer. My bestie since babies in diapers. She and I co-own Cast Iron Creations and recently we’ve both gotten our PI licenses and started a part-time business with it. Too many things were happening and my main squeeze is a detective—but here’s the thing—he’s great at his job but I’m capable of solving cases on my own and taking care of myself. Mick is great. He has MS and we’ve had some recent hurdles when it flares up, but he is supportive of me. I’m a handful and he knows how to handle me. Which basically means leaving me alone when I need it, trusting me, and allowing me to work through my baggage.
What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?
Oy. We have a tiny village that we live in with a city nearby. There’s a new mall being built right smack in the middle of the interstate that connects the city to our village. Lots of farmland was up for sale, then came down, only to go back up again (politics—long story) and now we’re seeing urban sprawl but the urbanites are faced with gentrification. Like I said earlier, there’s a bigger picture at play. I just haven’t figured out who is behind it yet. But Ava and I will—and soon.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?
Even though there is some serious things going on, there is lots of delicious foods we enjoy and plenty of cast iron skillet recipes in the back of each book. Also, LOTS of cats in the series. The writer has eight cats and in the last nineteen years she’s rescued nineteen cats of different ages. Every cat appears on the cover of a book in the series.
Thanks for having me here today.
You’re welcome, Jolie, and thank you for answering my questions. Good luck to you and your author, Jolie Rath, with Monkey Bread Business, the latest book in the Cast Iron Skillet mystery series.
The novel is available online at Amazon
About Jodi Rath: Moving into her second decade working in education, Jodi Rath has decided to begin a life of crime in her Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series. Her passion for both mysteries and education led her to combine the two to create her business MYS ED, where she splits her time between working as an adjunct for Ohio teachers and creating mischief in her fictional writing. She currently resides in a small, cozy village in Ohio with her husband and her nine cats.