Thursday, June 24, 2021

Introducing a New (And Very special) writer!

 RHYS BOWEN: Today is a special treat for me. I'm introducing you to a new and talented writer called CLARE BROYLES--who also happens to be my daughter!


Last year Clare came to me and suggested that we continue the Molly Murphy series together. I agreed but thought there might need to be a lot of hand holding to start with. On the contrary it was Clare who created the plot and ran with it. We worked together seamlessly until now, when I read the book, I can't tell who wrote which parts!  What a joy for a mother to share talents with her child!

Clare is currently staying with me and working on the next Molly book. So I thought I'd ask her to guest blog today so that you get to know her before the book comes out:

CLARE BROYLES:

      I am writing this from my parent’s house in Northern California. It was a very lucky time to choose this visit. I escaped five days of temperatures above 115 in my city of Phoenix, Arizona. Every time I come home it is remarkable to me how little has changed. The house is as I remember it from high school with the addition of millions of Rhys Bowen books and a plethora of Agatha teapots!

      The books shelves in the family room still hold books that I read and reread before I left home, including every Agatha Christie ever written. These now battered books are the first stop every time I come home. I pick up one before I unpack my suitcase, always choosing one in which I can’t quite remember who did it. I’ll read several in every trip, happily munching toast and drinking tea in my parent’s kitchen. Are there still others like me who don’t believe a meal is complete without a good book to read?

      As a mystery reader (and now a mystery writer) I have to say that she cheats terribly! Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple can always tell you who did it and why down to the smallest detail.  Most mystery writers must agonize over how to let the readers know that the left handed red head was the murdered cook’s long lost son. And yet I come back to her again and again. I think because all of her detectives have a strong moral sense. They protect the innocent and expose the guilty. I think we want to feel at the end of a novel that the good people can go on with their lives and all is set to rights. 

      



     My mother (Rhys Bowen of course) is the collector of the shelf of Agatha Christie novels. She shared her love of mysteries with me. I was thrilled when she started writing them herself and amazed by her skill in keeping the mystery while bringing humor into her Evan Evans, Molly Murphy and Her Royal Spyness novels. Last year we wrote the eighteenth book in the Molly Murphy series together and we have begun Molly number 19 during this trip. I would not be surprised if we are arrested as we walk around Marin country discussing the best ways to kill someone without getting caught! Working together has been immensely fun. To get into Molly’s world I’ve been reading the New York times from October 1907 every morning to see what fun and exciting things might have been happening. I have found a lot that is useful for this novel but also this tidbit that I will leave you with. 

      

Grounds for murder? You’ll have to wait and see!

RHYS: SO OUR first book together will be out next March 2. It's called WILD IRISH ROSE:


I LOOK forward to introducing Clare in person next year at Left Coast and at Malice.

      





58 comments:

  1. Clare, what a great writing pair you and Rhys make! Congratulations! [And that newspaper article is too funny.]

    Can you tell us a bit about what happens in “Wild Irish Rose?”

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    1. CLARE: A young Irish woman comes to Ellis Island and is accused of murder. Is history repeating itself? Molly instantly wants to help prove her innocence and begins investigating.

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  2. Congratulations to you both and I love the cover.

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  3. Welcome Clare! We're so delighted to have you here and can't wait to read the new book! Now, please tell us some insider gossip about what it was like growing up with our Rhys???

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    2. CLARE: Very literary! The summer after I graduated from high school we went around Europe together and amused ourselves by quizzing each other on our favorite book trivia - especially The Lord of the Rings which we both reread every 5 years or so. I try to do the same with my kids. I'll read any series that they like because reading the same books gives you an instant bond.

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  4. What a blessing you had that idea, Clare, and that you both work well together! Of Rhys's series, the Molly books are my favorites, so I'm delighted we'll get more of her tales.

    I love reading old newspapers, too. See you in Albuquerque!

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    1. Also, my mom also had shelves of Agatha Christie - I learned to love mysteries from her!

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    3. CLARE: We are writing the next book while I am here in California!

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  5. The continuation of the Molly Murphy series was a great joy when I saw the original announcement. I love the series and seeing it brought back with Clare joining Rhys to chronicle the further adventures of the indomitable Molly is making WILD IRISH ROSE one of my most anticipated books of 2022.

    Welcome Clare and thanks for convincing your mom to give Molly another go-round!

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  6. Rhys, it is a dream come true on so many levels! Fans will have a new Molly Murphy book to read, and you get to work together with your daughter in creating it. I am thrilled!

    Clare, welcome, welcome! Congratulations on the first collaboration with your mother and the completion of My Wild Irish Rose. The cover is gorgeous and I am eager to have it in my hands. Have fun writing the next one together!

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  7. Great that you can share this! Looking forward to reading!

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  8. Taking the mother-daughter bond up a notch (or two)! Kudos, Clare, for jumping into an existing series and moving it forward! That cover says Molly's back and we readers are thrilled!

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  9. This is SO LOVELY! Congratulations Clare! And welcome back, Molly!

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  10. Congratulations to you both! Please do tell us, Clare, how you and Rhys worked together on the writing. What was your process?

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    1. CLARE: We both have the same process which is very helpful. We talk through where we are going which the book and what the character arc will be for each character in the story. Then we outline the basic plot of 5 or 6 chapters and pick the scenes that we each want to write. Then we edit each other's writing and make sure our scenes dovetail with each other. Then we both do this strange thing of listening to the characters and having them tell us what they want to do next. It is so helpful to have another writer instantly read your work and give feedback and edits. I learned so much working on the first book and I can feel a lot more confidence going into the second.

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    2. thank you, Clare. So interesting to read how you and Rhys work together. Best of luck with the second parntership!

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  11. Congratulations, Clare! So great you and your mother get to do this together. I look forward to meeting you either in Albuquerque or Malice next year.

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  12. Congratulations to the mother-daughter team! I love your reading 1907 newspapers for inspiration. I read the agony auntie columns in the Washington Post for plot and character ideas. Did advice columns exist in 1907?

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    1. CLARE: Yes they did! They started in women's magazines.

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  13. Welcome, Clare, not just to the Reds, but to the mystery community at large. How much fun it must be to write with your mom. I wish you great success.

    That old newspaper article is hilarious. It has humor, melodrama, and fabulous descriptions. The 42nd cousin part made me spit my coffee out!

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    1. CLARE: It is hard to stop reading once you start! There are so many funny stories and the New York Times was obviously more humorous than it is today.

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  14. I am swooning with delight! This is absolutely great great great. You must be so proud of each other! I love this!
    Tell us how you felt when you first inquired about the possibility of this new collaboration!

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    1. CLARE: My mom and I talk almost every day so I shared the idea with her as soon as I had it. I figured the worst she could say was 'No'. I did feel very nervous when it actually happened and I had to start writing! But then I found the actual writing process really fun so all is well!

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  15. This is thrilling! I love the mother-daughter dynamic. Congratulations, Clare and Rhys!

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  16. As the mother of a daughter who does write (and whom I keep gently encouraging *nagging* to finish a novel, I'm thrilled by the prospect of working together as a team! Although I suspect no one is as pleased about Clare and Rhys's partnership as the fans of the Molly Murphy series.

    I also want to know about the process, especially as Jeanette de Beauvoir was just on talking about the strains and stresses of the mother-daughter bond. How do you manage to critique each other without sounding like you're recreating battles from Clare's teen years?

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    1. Julia--we didn't have teen years battles. Clare was the most easy-going child ever! She's so sweet natured. And we actually haven't needed to critique each other. We might say "Don't you think she'd say this instead?" and the other says "Oh right. Good idea." Totally painless.

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    2. CLARE: I agree! We didn't fight at all during my teen years. I was my mom's first reader of each new novel from about the age of 12 so I know her style really well and want to keep to that as we are writing Molly.

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  17. I'm looking forward to the next Molly book. How fabulous that the two of you can share your passion for mysteries and writing.

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  18. Oh, what a delightful post, from the pair of you.

    First, Rhys, what a wonderful turn in your personal and professional life, to work together with your daughter. Such bliss.

    And Clare, what a brilliant plan, and so brave of you to suggest it to your Mom. Well done.

    Clare, the scanario of you coming back to your parents' house and immediately heading for the bookcase, grabbing an Agatha and settling down with tea and toast is just delightful. Cosy x 10.

    Finally...that news clipping! Throughout, the woman is depicted as nothing more than an object, a possession to be held onto or stolen. If any murder comes of it, it will be a double homicide, when she bumps off both men. Maybe triple, since the reporter isn't without blame either. I'm reserving judgement on the Judge.

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    1. CLARE: I agree! None of the men involved seemed like a great catch to me!

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  19. I’m delighted to know that the Molly books will continue!

    DebRo

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  20. Fabulous post! I'm looking forward to reading the next Molly written by two great writers.

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  21. Welcome Clare! And hooray for you, Rhys! What a wonderful project, continuing the adventures of Molly. I do hope you take Daniel down a peg or two. That man is much too smug at times!

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    1. CLARE: Well we're planning on making him suffer in the current book. Will that do?

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  22. Welcome, Clare, and congratulations!! I have to admit I'm a little envious--I can't imagine anything more fun than writing a novel with my daughter. (I suspect she would organize the heck out of me!) I can wait to read Wild Irish Rose!

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    1. CLARE: Thank you so much. I am afraid that I am not that organized! My mom and I both got the creative gene instead.

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  23. I'm so excited Molly is coming back!!! Nice to meet you, Clare. Can't wait to see this team in action.

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  24. Clare, welcome to Jungle Reds! I started reading the CONSTABLE EVANS series before the emergence of HER ROYAL SYPNESS series and the MOLLY MURPHY series. I look forward to reading the next Molly novel. My great grandmother's name was Molly.


    Rhys, does this portrait of Molly on the cover look like you when you were 20 years old?

    Diana

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    1. Not at all. When I was 20 I was in my long straight dark hair phase!

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  25. Am I crazy or didn't you write a fantasy book together? I need to check my Nook because I think it's still on there. Either way looking forward to more Molly collaborations. If you did write the fantasy book, more of that, too. Stay safe and well.

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  26. Yes we did. Dreamwalker. We had planned to write more but life hot in the way

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  27. Yes we did. Dreamwalker. We had planned to write more but life hot in the way

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  28. Yes we did. Dreamwalker. We had planned to write more but life hot in the way

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