Elizabeth Pantley is visiting Ascroft, eh? today to tell us about Shifting and Shenanigans, her first novel in the Magical Mystery Book Club series.
Welcome, Elizabeth. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about your novel. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too.
Thanks for inviting me today! I’m so excited to introduce my new series: The Magical Mystery Book Club. This is the first in hopefully a long line of book club tales.
Who doesn’t love a book club, especially when all the members are fun, quirky, and up for anything? This club happens to be connected to an enchanted library filled with cozy mysteries!
The club finds out pretty quickly that these are no ordinary books. Once the group decides on a book and reads the first page they are whooshed away – right into the book! Since they didn’t know the rules, they didn’t read the blurb, so they don’t know much about the book. This is a paranormal mystery and they are in for a few big surprises.
The pressure is on. In order to get out of the book and back home they must solve the murder mystery.
Where did the idea for the mystery that is central to the story come from?
I’m a voracious reader of cozies, and sometimes I find myself thinking it would be fun to travel to the place described in the book. Once I realized this would be a great theme for a series my mind went crazy! There are at least a dozen story ideas rolling around in my head.
I love paranormal mysteries best. Nothing too out-there extreme, but touches of magic in real-life, small-town settings where I can imagine magical things happening.
Is there a theme or subject that underlies the story? If so, what prompted you to write about it?
I recently took a trip to Colorado and spent some time in a few lovely rural towns. The quaint shops, open spaces, horse pastures, and friendly laid-back lifestyle was perfect for this first book in the series.
How do you create your characters? Do you have favourite ones? If so, why are you partial to them?
I tend to pattern my characters off those I enjoy in movies or TV series. I’ll start with this character in mind as a general blueprint. Once I start writing and the story moves along the characters take over and emerge as a new, different version of the actor in my head at the start of the series. In this book one of the book club members started out as a version of Cameron from Modern Family. I love his honest, excited, over-the-top approach to life. And he always makes me laugh. So, you’ll meet Sebastian, a similar type of guy!
How do you bring to life the place you are writing about?
I choose a real-life location that I’ve visited as a starting point. Then I’ll Google similar places and look at photos. Then I’ll create the world that appears in the book by drawing a map with the main locations. I’ll include photos of scenes, like a party, for example, so that I can bring the scene to life for my reader.
What research do you do to provide background information to help you write the novel?
I tend to research as I go. If a character owns a bakery and is making scones, I’ll do a quick look at the process. Even though the setting is enchanted the more realistic the parts and pieces the easier it is for my reader to be immersed in the story.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about the book?
I had an absolute blast writing this story! The idea of being inside a book created some interesting aspects of the story. The writer of this book likes adjectives, so everything in the downtown appears … more! More color, more friendliness, more charm, more fun!
I’ve just finished writing book two in the series, which takes place on a Hawaiian cruise. Readers can look for a varied and interesting set of locations in the book club series to follow.
I hope you’ll enjoy Shifting and Shenanigans!
Thanks for answering my questions, Elizabeth, and good luck with Shifting and Shenanigans, the first book in Magical Mystery Book Club series.
The novel is available online at Amazon
About Elizabeth Pantley: Elizabeth says that writing the Destiny Falls Mystery and Magic book series is the most fun she’s ever had at work. Fans of the series say her joy is evident through the stories she tells. Elizabeth is also the internationally bestselling author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution and twelve other books for parents. Her books have been published in over twenty languages. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, the beautiful inspiration for the enchanted Destiny Falls world.