A friend and I were discussing television shows, when she asked me how I would feel about being a private detective. I answered, “I’d be terrified.” That led me to think what fun it would be to create stories about a woman who’s anything but brave. That was the inspiration for the “Terrified Detective” series. The detective in Plateful of Murder is named Claire, because my grandmother spoke only Italian and she couldn’t pronounce my actual name, Carole. She would always call me Clara.
How long did it take you to write your book?
I was still working when I began writing my book so it took me about a year to complete it.
How long have you been publishing your work?
About six years. I began with short horror stories.
What does your writing environment look like?
I’d love to say my second floor home office is highly organized with everything in its place, but that would be lying. My office resembles a room post-tornado, with papers and notes containing unfinished stories and ideas scattered everywhere. I tell myself one day I’ll straighten it all up, but I’m not sure how well I’d function in a neat office.
Do you have any routines to help you write?
I like to begin early in the morning, usually by 5:30. After completing a few pages, I eat breakfast and then return to writing. I find I can’t write on an empty stomach especially if I’m describing some luscious dessert Claire’s Aunt Lena baked. By midmorning the rest of the world is up and interruptions abound. So I put my project aside until late evening when everyone else is winding down. I try to use the middle of the day to let my ideas “simmer.” I’m also part of a writers group and attendance there every week is invaluable. With the help and encouragement of other authors, I revise, edit, and push through tough story scenes.
Carole Fowkes is the author of the cozy mystery series, "The Terrified Detective." She has also had stories in a number of "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books and other similar anthologies. She is a registered nurse and lives with her husband in Dallas, Texas. She is a member of Sisters in Crime.