"All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality -- the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape."
--Author Christopher Benson



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

COZY WEDNESDAY - With Author... I am so confused...(Giveaway too!!)

Cozy Mysteries have always been my favorite genre.  I have been reading them for years.  Following the series of many authors, enjoying all their work.  It wasn't until I starting blogging and "meeting" authors online that I realized some of my favorite authors were really not different people at all but some of the same people writing under different names.  Some of them, like my guest today just floored me when I found out that he was writing under names other than his own. It boggles my mind how authors do this and he is not the only one.  With the internet you check this out.  I asked Tim to join us here today to help explain a little bit about why he writes as different people and most notably as females.

Please help me welcome Tim, I mean Casey, I mean Chris, oh dear, I give up!!!

Welcome ......
Hi Lori or is it Dollycas, J

If it's Wednesday, I must be Casey Mayes
by Tim Myers

Okay, it's not quite that bad yet, but I've been writing under quite a few names lately, including Casey Mayes, author of the puzzlemaking mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, and Chris Cavender, writing the Pizza Mysteries for Kensington. I get asked a lot why I choose so many different names to write under, when in reality, I'd love to be writing under just one, Tim Myers. 

I started life as a cozy writer with 15 books published in my own name, and I would have gone on doing just that forever. BUT...

My agent was approached by another house that wanted someone like Tim Myers, only female. When he asked me for my recommendation, my first thought was, why not me? I promised that I could write first person female as well as male. After all, in my mind, being a writer is all about empathy. I put myself in other shoes all of the time, including killers. Why not a pair of heels? I was raised by a strong mother, her sister, and their mother, while my father took on a strong and silent role. 

I knew I could do it for another reason; because I already had! Before I became a full-time novelist, I wrote short stories, publishing over eighty of them, all but one, mysteries. The lone holdout? A romantic short story for Woman's World. I'd done a dozen mysteries for them, so they called me out of the blue one day. They'd lost their short story for Valentine's Day, of all times, and wanted to know if I could write something fast. Less than an hour later, I faxed them my story, first person female, and they published it. One of my proudest moments was a 'fan' letter I got for the story, the reader wondering why a woman would hide behind a male penname! 

I wrote a few chapters for the inquiring house, then a few more, and then I had a deal for my cardmaking series writing as Elizabeth Bright. After that, my books with female leads seemed to do better than my male ones, so I started using other female names to write. 

For the puzzle series, I wanted to try a few things that were different from what I'd done in the past. For the first time, I proposed using real cities and towns in North Carolina, instead of just making them up. Too, I wanted a strong husband and wife detective team, one that made sense. Finally, I wanted the books to be more traditional in nature than the cozies I'd written before. To me, that meant more suspense, a hint more of darkness, and a strong secondary plot that would hopefully be as intriguing as the main storyline. 

The books were accepted, and I suddenly realized that I'd bitten off quite a bit! No worries, though. I dove into the series with great joy, exploring new realms of writing mysteries. I've had many good comments about the first in the series, A DEADLY ROW, and hope folks enjoy the next entry, A KILLER COLUMN, as well. In this one, I've even included a few puzzles that my protagonist, Savannah Stone, creates for small newspapers throughout the south. They were fun to write, and I plan to include more in future books. 

I hope you give my books a try, no matter what name I'm writing under at the time. If you're interested in sampling some of my earlier books, I have ebooks for sale on Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, Sony, Apple, and more. 

Check out www.timmyers.net for a more comprehensive list. 

I believe now, more than ever, that the story's the thing, no matter which one of my multiple personalities is writing at the time!

Thanks so much for clearing that up.  As you will see from my review below I enjoy your work no matter what name you choose.

Cover Illustration
by Bas Waijers
Cover Design
by Rita Frangie

The Berkley Publishing Group 
Published by The Penguin Group

A Mystery By The Numbers 
Second book in the series
ISBN-10: 0425242234
ISBN-13: 978-0425242230

Savannah Stone, math puzzle master extraordinaire, and her husband retired police chief Zach are into it up their eyeballs again.

Savannah has gone to Raleigh to meet with Derrick Duncan, her puzzle editor and syndicator. The only part of the trip she is looking forward to is seeing old college roommate Jenny Blake. She really would like to be able to free herself of the contract she has with Derrick. He definitely would make the list of worst bosses ever, but she has adapted  to handling him and besides the contract is airtight.  

As she arrives for her meeting, another columnist is storming out of the conference room, another is waiting on a bench outside clearly nervous. Savannah thought this was a routine meeting. She is quite surprised when Derrick notifies her they will be no longer working together. He has sold her contract to another syndicate. She doesn't take the news well and unfortunately her reaction was seen by others.

After she leaves and cools down she decides to go back and try to salvage her career. She is too late, someone took the news worse than her. Derick is dead and she is caught by security standing by the body. She knows she didn't do it so with the help of Zach and Jenny she is determined to find out who subtracted Derrick from the population.

I have fallen hard for Savannah and Zach.  Their marriage and relationship in general shows how the truly compliment each other.  Savannah can fly off the handle or rush head first but Zach is there calm and cool and settles her down and makes her think things through. She also helps him open his eyes to little things he is missing too. They make a really great team.

There is also a subplot featuring Jenny that adds real dimension to the story.  All three of the main characters in this story are very strong and it is nice to read a story like this.  Even the police involved realize who they are dealing with and work with instead of against them.

I also have to say I will not miss Derrick one bit.  If I could have jumped into the pages, I would have been a prime suspect.  With that being said I am curious to see how the couple moves forward, who will be the next victim? Who will be the subject of the next mystery?  At the moment I am puzzled but trust the author will tempt me with their next Mystery By The Numbers.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Berkley Prime, A Division of Penguin Publishing in exchange for an honest review.  The opinions stated are entirely my own.  I am stating this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255. "Guides Concerning Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising" 

Thanks to the wonderful people at Penguin Publishing 
I have two copies of this
 Perfect Escape book to giveaway!!! 

(First time I am trying this so I hope the form works.)
Everyone who leaves a comment for Tim or 
any of his pseudonyms will receive 5 bonus entries 


Liz V. said...

As I tend to read all of the books of authors whom I like, it is confusing to track down works under pseudonyms. But Internet works. And aren't some still arguing that Bacon, Marlowe, or whoever is Shakespeare? Good luck with your books.

holdenj said...

What a fascinating peek at some of the ways the publishing world works. I wish Tim/Casey continued success and think I will take a look at some of the older works too.

Booklady said...

I love the card making books. Any plans to write more? The pizza series is on my to read list. Thanks for providing some insight into how one talented author becomes many talented authors.

Beverly aka Booklady

Tami said...

Very interesting post and peek at the publishing world. Whatever the name, the series sound great. There's nothing better than a well-written cozy.

Michele said...

I have to admit, I might be a little prejudice about a male author writing a book from a female perspective...I'll be more openminded from now on - Thanks for the great interview!

Nise' said...

Great guest post. I've always wondered why pseudonyms are used and how they are chosen. Thanks.

Tim Myers said...

Hi all,

First and foremost, thanks for all of your kind responses. I take great pleasure in writing mysteries, and it's so gratifying when folks respond! And Lori, thanks for the opportunity to be here, and your kind words for Zach and Savannah. Here's a little teaser for you. They're heading home to the mountains near Asheville for the next installment, but murder seems to have no trouble finding them there!

All my best,


LuAnn said...

I've just recently discovered the Cozy Mystery genre (mainly through books I've won from this blog!) and I'm really enjoying them. I do a lot of "serious" reading and Cozy books are a nice break from that, giving me a chance to just sit back and enjoy the book!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic interview! I want to try this series - Puzzles and math? That is a very enticing combo for this nerd!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great interview, Tim! It's fun to find out who those mysterious authors may be peeking from behind a pseudonym! Can't wait to try the puzzle series :) Rae

samantha35 said...

Tim- I loved your Lighthouse, candle and soap series- I love the new pizza and puzzles as well! Hope you continue you these new series.


Margaret said...

Sounds like a great book! Wishing you much continued success Tim. Thank you for the giveaway!

Maria said...

I've only tried the "Tim Myers" books--good reads and lots of fun. Sure, I'll try the others too!

mamabunny13 said...

Tim, you on now on my must read list. I can't wait to get started reading your books!

Anonymous said...

Great insight in to your books Tim. I have most of them and and loving all as I read them.

Tim Myers said...

Thanks for all of your comments! They've truly warmed my heart. Actually, I have plans to write more in the candle, soap, and card series when time allows, just as I did in the lighthouse inn series, but I'm writing three series at the moment for St Martin's Press, Kensington, and Penguin/Berkley. The next pizza mystery, as Chris Cavender, will be out May 2012 and is called Rest In Pizza right now, and I hope it sticks, because I love it! I hope someday to be able to claim my St Martin's books, but alas, not yet!

Victoria Zumbrum said...

Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. Tore923@aol.com

Carol N Wong said...

I really like it when a man knows women well enough to write from a women's perspective and vice versa. I think it sings high praises for his or her perceptiveness.


Darlene said...

Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I have enough problems with one persona. Having 5 or however many you write under would totally confuse me.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Tim Myers said...

Tim again.

I promise, this is it, but Carol brings up a good point. I've thought about this often, since I write from both points of view. In the end, I believe that it all boils down to empathy. The most important thing a writer should be able to do is put themselves in the character's shoes. I once heard someone say that even the bad guy is the hero in his own story, and I took that to heart as a writer.
You all have been great fun to hang out with, and I appreciate the opportunity to share part of my story with you!
Best, Tim

Anonymous said...

Interesting info about the pseudonyms! All the series sound fun, but as a math lover I am really interested in the math puzzle series. Thanks so much for the giveaway.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Vicki said...

WOW!! I have both the Lighthouse Inn Mysteries and the Pizza Mysteries series on my Amazon WL, and never knew they were both written by the same person!! I'm more excited to read them now!

dollycas aka Lori said...

Is Tim AWESOME or what!!!!!?
I can't wait to read anything he writes, under any name!!!

ann said...

i havent read any of his books before but would like the opportunity to win and read this one

amhengst at verizon dot net

DarcyO said...

I didn't realize how many authors write under pseudonyms. Congrats to Tim for being able to write for any audience. He is a new-to-me author and his books sound like great cozies.

Janelle said...

Tim, thanks for discussing your pseudonyms with us. Is one voice stronger than the others as far as story telling goes? Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us and for this wonderful giveaway!
Best wishes,

Anonymous said...

Great guest post...look forward to reading Tim's books!

Elisa Talbot

Kristi said...

Really enjoyed reading about why you started publishing under different names. Since I started blogging, I try to pay more attention to the author/s and if it is "really" them!

Kelly L said...

I have read the card making mysteries and the pottery shop series, just read the first pizza shop book. All of them are great! I picked up the first math series book yesterday and it sounds great. Thanks for writing such wonderful books, under whichever name you choose!

Carol M said...

I enjoyed reading your interview! I haven't read any of your books but now I want to. Thank you for the giveaway!

Stacie said...

I've been enjoying working my way through all of your series. Thrilled to hear you plan on going back & adding more to your previous series when time allows. Look forward to "Rest in Pizza" sounds like a fun adventure. Really enjoyed "A Deadly Row" & can't wait to read your newest. Keep writing we love all of your personalities :)

Jessica said...

Interesting! I've always wondered about pseudonyms.