Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The Unrelated Maxwells

DEBORAH CROMBIE: What a deal we have for you today--It's two Maxwells for the price of one!! Well, you don't actually get two BOOKS for the price of one, but two of our favorite lovely authors here on Jungle Red, Edith Maxwell (writing as Maddie Day) and Alyssa Maxwell, interviewing each other. And they both have new books out this week! Here's Edith's NO GRATER CRIME:

 And Alyssa's MURDER AT WAKEHURST:

Great covers, both! Take it away, ladies!

Edith/Maddie: Thank you so much for having us, Debs! We, the two unrelated Maxwells, love reading Jungle Reds and commenting, so it’s always a treat to be featured on the front blog. We decided to interview each other about our new releases - Murder at Wakehurst (Alyssa’s) and No Grater Crime (mine, as Maddie Day) – and about the writing life.

Alyssa: Edith, your Quaker Midwife series, set in Amesbury, MA, has an incredibly strong sense of place that makes the town a character in its own right. We know you live there, and that your personal perceptions and experiences in day-to-day life find their way onto the page probably as easily as breathing. But your Country Store Mysteries take place in South Lick, Indiana. Is this a real place, or a fictional version of a real place? Have you ever lived in Indiana? How do you do your research all the way from Massachusetts?

Edith/Maddie: Thank you for that! Yes, I lived in the next county over from Brown County in southern Indiana for five years while earning a doctorate in linguistics at Indiana University. The town of South Lick is fictional, although there is a real South Lick Road that runs along South Lick Creek. I’m quite fond of that corner of the world. It’s quieter, with a slower pace of life. Brown County is wooded and hilly and truly lovely. I’ve made several research trips and am overdue for another one, but I’m still too COVID-freaked out to travel yet. One of my sisters is a Hoosier, so I often hit her up for information, although she’s in the northern half of the state.     

Alyssa, I love your series set in Newport, Rhode Island. You clearly know the place deeply, both now and then. I’ve lived ninety miles north in Massachusetts for forty years and have yet to visit Newport, but I feel like it I know it from your books. What is your connection to Newport, and why did you set a historical series there? Talk about your own historical research, too.

Alyssa: Edith, you must visit Newport! You absolutely must! I started going regularly when a good friend of mine moved there. I fell immediately in love with it—with the colonial neighborhoods, the gas street lanterns, the harbor and the buoy bells . . . it’s just so atmospheric, and walking its streets is like time traveling. Newport became my home away from home, (and briefly, my home) when I met my husband. His family’s been there for generations, so they have deep Newport roots, and their history is tightly interwoven with the city’s. When I decided to try my hand at writing mysteries, I didn’t even hesitate—I knew I wanted Newport as the setting. At first I toyed with the idea of writing a contemporary series, but to be honest, my head and my heart feel more comfortable with historical settings, and a historical “voice” feels more natural to me when I write.

As for research, it’s like being a rabbit in a vegetable garden. The Preservation Society of Newport County, Newport Restoration Foundation, Newport Historical Society have all been a huge help. Newport is all about historical preservation and sharing that information with anyone and everyone interested. There’s so much information available about the city’s history and the Gilded Age in general, in addition to the reams of documents my husband has here at the house. His grandfather dabbled quite a bit in the family’s genealogy, which sheds a lot of light on Newport itself. Plus, he and my father-in-law were accomplished photographers, and we have tons of photos throughout the twentieth century. But my favorite research is simply walking through town, the colonial Point neighborhood, and the Gilded Age mansions. We’re members of the Preservation Society, which means we can come and go as we please without paying the entrance fee. Sometimes if we only have, say, a half hour to spare, we’ll pop into The Breakers or one of the others and just stroll. There’s always something new to see and learn.

You’re such a prolific author, I’m in awe of your ability to slip seamlessly from one series to another, even between historical and contemporary series. Do you ever find yourself in the wrong “head” so to speak when you sit down to write? Which is easier for you to write, historicals or contemporaries, or do you have a preference?  

Edith/Maddie: I don’t find myself slipping. As our good friend Sheila Connolly used to say, the characters are so real in my head, I don’t mix them up. (I hope all the Reds readers have already run out to buy Sheila’s last book, The Secret Staircase!) In terms of era, my contemporary cozies are a little easier to write in a way. As you well know, writing books set in the wayback past bump up the level of research. That said, I love writing historical mysteries and have no intention of stopping. I’m working on an exciting new project set in 1926 Boston. More anon!

You write two historical series in two eras – and in two countries. Do you find yourself needing to double-check language and fashion to make sure you haven’t slipped from post-World War I England back into 1899 Newport? Why did you pick the Gilded Age for the Newport series?

Alyssa: Although I can be something of a scatterbrain at times, I really don’t have trouble keeping my two series separate in my mind. Although they’re both historical, there is a world of difference between them. Society was on the cusp of change during the Gilded Age. Some women (but far from all) were striving to be more than wives and mothers. But it would be another twenty-plus years before women were able to make substantial changes to their lives and their roles in society. In my Lady and Lady’s Maid series, Phoebe and Eva are living through a whirlwind of change. WWI brought a revolution in terms of women’s roles in the workplace, blurred societal and economic lines, and had people seriously questioning the way things had always been done. Although tradition does continue to tug at their lives, there is a much more modern feel to the era than in the Gilded Age. The two periods feel very distinct to me.

So then, why the Gilded Age, you ask? When you think of Newport, those incredible mansions immediately come to mind—besides the colonial era, they are the most visual aspect of Newport’s history. The city is basically synonymous with the Gilded Age, the mansions being a powerful link to this country’s past. For the visitor who only has a day to spend there, the one thing they do is tour The Breakers or one of the other large houses, like Marble House or The Elms. I thought, what fun to open the doors to all the “cottages” and invite readers in, and get to know the houses and the families who owned them. It’s been quite a journey for me, and I’ve grown quite fond of the people I’ve written about.

We are the unrelated Maxwells! But I feel that all mystery authors form one large, extended family. Can you talk about what being part of the mystery writing community has meant to you, both to your personal life and your career?

Edith/Maddie: Oh, my goodness, the crime fiction clan is everything. I have made so many good friends since I attended my first New England Crime Bake back in 2006 and joined Sisters in Crime on the spot. I’ve said many times I wouldn’t be where I am in my publishing career without what I’ve learned and the people I’ve met in SINC, especially the New England community (looking at you, Hallie, Hank, Roberta/Lucy, and Julia). I met all my fabulous Wicked Authors blogmates at meetings and workshops. I found my agent through SINC New England. I can’t wait for the moment when it will be safe to gather in groups again – and to hug my writer friends, all many hundreds of them, you included!

What about you Alyssa? What has gotten you through book releases in the last year and a half, and what part of the author’s life do you most look forward to getting back to?

Alyssa: If you look at the dedication page on my next Lady & Lady’s Maid release, A Deadly Endowment, you see part of the answer—three good friends with whom I stayed in close contact during the lockdown and the worst of the pandemic, mostly through daily texting. We ranted, consoled, encouraged, and it was a huge, huge help. I also took weekends off, as I typically do when not under a tight deadline, and made sure to enjoy downtime time with my husband, whether it was bike riding, walking through some of our parks, or just hanging out at home. I’ve missed seeing my fellow authors, missed conferences, bimonthly critique, monthly meetings, and trips where we would get together, but again, we’ve kept in touch and zoomed regularly. The writing community is strong and close knit, and without a doubt some of the most supportive people I’ve ever known. I’m grateful for my writing friends every day!

Edith/Maddie: Pen names – we both use them. I don’t think you also use your real name for an author name. Do you think you might? Have you had any issues with the URL or other people named Alyssa Maxwell on social media, for example? And…why did you choose that name?

Alyssa: Many moons ago, when I was first published in historical romance, I used my real name! Then I used another pen name, also for historical romance. But having been a closet mystery author all along, when I reinvented myself my publisher asked me to take a whole new name. I guess they didn’t want to confuse readers . . . or someone, lol. If you peek at the copyright page in my current books, you’ll see my real name is Lisa Manuel. I wanted something a bit similar to Lisa, so Alyssa worked. Then I remembered that years ago, my daughter’s school listed her last name as Maxwell. It caused some confusion at the time, but again, Manuel—Maxwell seemed to work, especially if you pronounce Manuel as it should be in Portuguese: Man-well. Although, no one in my husband’s family has pronounced it that way for generations. So there you have it, the story of me! I’ve come to love my pseudonym and answer to Alyssa as easily as I do Lisa.

Even though you also write under Edith, tell readers about your pen name.

Edith/Maddie: Maddie was also born at a publisher’s request. My editor at Kensington had published three volumes of the Local Foods Mysteries when he offered me a contract for the Country Store Mysteries – but only if I would use a pen name. I was stymied. My Edith Maxwell author name was just getting established, and the new series was similarly a cozy foodie mystery. I asked my agent why. His (educated) guess was that the Local Foods books hadn’t sold spectacularly well, and the publisher wanted me to appear as a new author to readers. Well, something about that worked. The books I write as Maddie Day DO sell like proverbial hotcakes. No Grater Crime is book #9, I have a contract through #11 (plus a Christmas novella), and my editor has said he’s happy to publish them “indefinitely.”

Alas, I didn’t do the best job of picking a name. Other Maddie Days were already out there, and my URL and social media handles have to be @MaddieDayAuthor. Still, it’s a wide-open secret that I am both authors, and I cross-promote accordingly.

Readers: If you like an author in one of her series, will you cross eras and settings to read another set of stories by the same person? Ask us questions! We are each giving away a copy of our new book.

 

Murder at Wakehurst Blurb:

In the autumnal chill of Newport, Rhode Island, at the close of the nineteenth century, journalist Emma Cross discovers an instance of cold-blooded murder on the grounds of a mansion...

Following the death of her uncle, Cornelius Vanderbilt, in September 1899, a somber Emma is in no mood for one of Newport's extravagant parties. But to keep Vanderbilt's reckless son Neily out of trouble, she agrees to accompany him to an Elizabethan fete on the lavish grounds of Wakehurst, the Ochre Point "cottage" modeled after an English palace, owned by Anglophile James Van Alen.

Held in Wakehurst's English-style gardens, the festivities will include a swordplay demonstration, an archery competition, scenes from Shakespeare's plays, and even a joust. As Emma wanders the grounds distracted by grief, she overhears a fierce argument between a man and a woman behind a tall hedge. As the joust begins, she's drawn by the barking of Van Alen's dogs and finds a man on the ground, an arrow through his chest.

The victim is one of the 400's most influential members, Judge Clayton Schuyler. Could one of the countless criminals he'd imprisoned over the years have returned to seek revenge--or could one of his own family members have targeted him? With the help of her beau Derrick Andrews and Detective Jesse Whyte, Emma begins to learn the judge was not the straight arrow he appeared to be. As their investigation leads them in ever-widening circles, Emma will have to score a bull's eye to stop the killer from taking another life...

No Grater Crime blurb:

Robbie Jordan’s Pans ’N Pancakes boasts delicious eats and the best vintage cookware finds in South Lick, Indiana. And now, for a limited time, there’s a new special featured on the menu—murder!
 
Ever since meeting the wary owners of an antique shop opening across the street, Robbie has been scrambling to manage weird incidences plaguing her cafĂ© and country store. Pricey items vanish from shelves without explanation, a fully equipped breakfast food truck starts lingering around the area each morning, and loyal diners mysteriously fall ill. When an elderly man dies after devouring an omelet packed with poisonous mushrooms, Robbie must temporarily close down Pans ’N Pancakes and search for the killer with a real zest for running her out of business—or else.  

Alyssa Maxwell, author of The Gilded Newport Mysteries and A Lady and Lady's Maid Mysteries, knew from an early age that she wanted to be a writer. Growing up in New England and traveling to Great Britain fueled a passion for history, while a love of puzzles of all kinds drew her to the mystery genre. She and her husband reside in Florida, where they love to ride their bikes, and shop at farmer’s markets and go antiquing. Alyssa also loves to watch BBC productions, sip tea in the afternoons, and delve into the past. She is a member of her local chapter of the Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Florida Romance Writers. You can learn more about Alyssa and her books at www.alyssamaxwell.com, and connect with her at:

https://www.facebook.com/gildednewport

https://www.facebook.com/AlyssaMaxwellauthor/

https://twitter.com/Alyssa__Maxwell

https://www.pinterest.com/alymaxauthor/

https://www.instagram.com/alyssamaxwellauthor/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7163135.Alyssa_Maxwell

 


Maddie Day pens the bestselling Country Store Mysteries and Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries. As Edith Maxwell, she writes the Agatha Award-winning Quaker Midwife Mysteries and short crime fiction. She’s a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime and a member of Mystery Writers of America, and lives north of Boston with her beau and crazy teenage cat, Ganesh. If you’d like an autographed copy of any of her books, please order it from Jabberwocky Books and she’ll run over and sign a copy for you. It’s also available wherever else books are sold, including here.

Find her (and Maddie) at her web site, at Wicked Authors, at Mystery Lovers Kitchen on the second and fourth Fridays, and on social media under both names.

Facebook:

Edith M. Maxwell and Maddie Day Author

Instagram:

Edith Maxwell and Maddie Day Author

Twitter:

Edith Maxwell and Maddie Day Author

 


DEBS: These two make my head spin with all their different identities, but I think it's great! Readers, do you follow your favorite authors from one pseudonym to another?

 

87 comments:

  1. Congratulations, ladies, on your newest books . . . they both sound quite intriguing.
    Yes, if I enjoy an author’s books, I’ll definitely follow them from one pseudonym to another . . . .

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  2. Newport is definitely a lovely city. One of my ancestors had a part in it and was a founding member and first Rabbi of the Touro Synagogue. He was Rabbi Abraham Seixas. We're hoping to visit it again sometime in 2022.

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    1. Make sure you read Alyssa's books before you go, if you haven't. And maybe she can hit you up for some research for one of her next books!

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    2. Wow, Nora, what a family connection! The synagogue in Newport, the oldest in the US, is fascinating and should be on anyone's tour. The framed letter from George Washington makes it worth a trip.

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    3. Yes, what a wonderful legacy! We've been inside. It's a beautiful building with a rich history. The acceptance of diversity in Newport was remarkable for the times and an inspiration.

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  3. Congrats to you both on your new releases!! I love the antique kitchen series. We still have item that belonged to my grandmother and probably her mother at the house and I have always been fascinated by them. I love Newport!! One year we went on vacation there and toured some of the mansions. I tried to imagine what it must have been like to live during those times and just couldn't. Will just have to settle for reading about it. I would love to go back during the Christmas season. Thank you so much for a chance at this giveaway!! pgenest57 at aol dot com

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    1. Alyssa's books definitely take you there!

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    2. Thank you! Yes, it's hard to imagine what living in one of those houses was like, but sometimes I get a whisper of how they must have felt walking through those rooms and seeing the views outside their windows. Christmas in Newport is magic!

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  4. Good morning to The Two Maxwells!

    While I confess to not having read Alyssa's books, it is no secret that I'm a big ol' cheerleader when it comes to the Edith/Maddie-verse books. I've read NO GRATER CRIME and it was fantastically fabulous (not a surprise). And I've been acquiring the various anthologies that a short story has appeared in under either Edith or Maddie's name.

    So the answer to the question of the day is YES! I do follow a writer to various names they write under. But not blindly. Obviously the story still has to be good. There's one writer who writes a series that I have absolutely adored since discovering the series early on. And thanks to the Mystery Scene review writing, I've gotten to review a couple of books in the series now too. But in that early going, the writer had a second series, I tried it out but didn't really get into it so I didn't continue on with the series.

    I'm perfectly willing to continue proclaiming my allegiance to an author under a new name but if the story isn't my cup of tea, I'd find it hard to keep reading the series. Thankfully, I've never had a bad read with Edith/Maddie books. And may the Country Store mysteries continue for decades to come!

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    1. I am blushing, Jay. Seriously, give Alyssa's books a try. You won't be sorry!

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    2. Good morning, Jay! That's quite all right! And I perfectly understand your enthusiasm when it comes to Edith/Maddie's books! She's a fabulous writer!

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  5. Hello to Alyssa and Edith, and congratulations on your newest releases!

    If I like reading an author, I usually try the books written under another name.
    EDITH/MADDIE s definitely one of those authors that I have faithfully read...26 or 27 books so far!

    A question for both of you. I know authors say they love their job but what is one task that you enjoy doing and hate doing each week?

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    1. Thank you, Grace! I love writing first draft, as I am now, and discovering ideas and plans my characters have that I hadn't been aware of.

      Promoting? Not so fun. And it's constant, since I write too many books (LOL...). I never know what pays off, if I've arranged enough guest posts for the next release, if there's something new I should be doing more of (podcasts? Facebook live?), if I should be placing ads or sponsoring posts, and so on. Sigh. But we shoulder on!

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    2. Edith, I can see the challenge of finding the right balance in promoting your books. I get a lot of author newsletters and see FB posts. Some go overboard and others stay silent for months! murder at the Lobstah Shack ARC is on my list to read this month.

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    3. I agree with Edith. Promotions are tricky and time-consuming. On the other hand, though, I do enjoy interacting with readers and friends on social media, so I don't really consider that promotion.

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  6. Fun interview! I recently read my first Alyssa Maxwell book, Murder at the Breakers, and I'm looking forward to more of that series. Is the character of Emma based on a real person?

    And I can hardly keep up with Edith/Maddie's books! I'm a big fan, but admit to having a special fondness for Rose the Quaker midwife.

    If I enjoy an author's work it doesn't matter what genre it is. Rhys Bowen comes to mind in that regard!

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    1. Absolutely, Karen, I agree. Jenn McKinlay is another who writes in several genres. Always a delight!

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    2. Thank you, Karen! Completely agree about Rhys and Jenn.

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    3. Yes, thanks, Karen, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Emma has some attributes from real people - Gilded Age journalist Nellie Bly, but also my own mother-in-law who grew up in Newport and was very involved with her community and helping people. But in the end, Emma is her own person, someone from my imagination.

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    4. Thank you, Alyssa! The charitable aspect of Emma is the part I was most interested in.

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  7. Edith, I am in the middle of reading Grilled for Murder and am thoroughly enjoying it! What a good story! Your latest is on my bookshelf and most of the rest of the series is in my Kindle. Jay has been telling us all to read your books and you know what happens to TBR lists/piles around here. Well, I plan to read your other series, too. Honestly, I became a fan of yours right here on JRW before reading your books.

    Alyssa, welcome to JRW and congratulations on your new release. Rhys has a Molly Murphy set there that is spooky and wonderful. We live about 2 hours from Newport and usually go to the chowder festival or just meet our RI friends there for a day trip. Our very first vacation together in the summer of 1979 was a weekend in Newport. Needless to say, it poured almost all weekend. We have some hilarious stories from that trip beginning with dropping the dog off at my brother's. For anyone in driving distance, just do it. What a unique place just oozing history.

    I am a huge fan of historical mysteries and will be looking for the first book in your series, Alyssa.

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    1. Thanks so much, Judy. (And Jay, obviously...) I seriously must get myself to Newport.

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    2. Newport is definitely a place to have adventures! Coincidentally, I first started going there in 1979. We might have been there at the same time!

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  8. Hi Edith and Alyssa and congratulations on your book release.

    Yes, I do follow authors and their pseudonym and will try their book if it is outside my usual genre readings.

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  9. Hey, everyone. I wanted to let you know Alyssa is dealing with a family emergency. She's hoping to stop by and chat with you all, but if she can't, that's why. Check back later in the day, and send her love and best wishes.

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  10. Congratulations to both of you! If I like an author, I'll follow her just about anywhere. LOL

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  11. I'm more apt to choose a book by author rather than genre so obviously if I like one genre by an author I am very willing to read the others! I've read all of the Quaker Midwife series and truly loved them but I haven't made it all the way through "Maddie's" series yet.

    I'm looking forward to reading the series set in Newport. I've never been there and I really must go. My earliest ancestors landed there in the very young 1600s so I owe it to myself to check it out. I'll start with the first books in the series, of course!

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    1. Thank you, Judi! Yes, you must read Alyssa's books. You will love them.

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    2. Judi, that's so interesting about your ancestors. Some of my husband's also came in the 1600s. Maybe they knew each other!

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    3. Hmm, could be. I'm thinking of Obadiah Holmes.

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  12. Congratulations Edith and Alyssa for your new releases !
    When I like what an author writes, I’ll at least try what she writes no matter under what name or what genre or period.
    Edith/Maddie , you know I love all your books and I’m happy to have a new one to read.
    Alyssa, I’ll try your Gilded Newport series but like all series , I’ll begin with the first one. I hope all goes well for you.

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  13. Edith, I've just added No Grater Crime to my TBR! Alyssa, I don't know much about Newport but it sounds fascinating and I'm looking forward to getting acquainted through your books!

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    1. Thanks, Debs, and thank you so much for hosting us today! Next time you come to New England, maybe we can all three meet up there.

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    2. Hi Deb, and I'll add my thanks to Edith's!

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  14. I don’t always like every series an author writes but if I like one series by an author I will at least try their other series.

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  15. I will follow an author and his/her pen name as long as it is something I am interested in. Likewise, if I don't like an author, I try to avoid following the pen names as well.

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  16. Good writing is good writing so I'll follow different series and genres and different pen names. I'm up to date on Alyssa's two series and can't wait to read the latest Newport mystery. I'm not any where near caught up with Edith! You write too fast! I enjoyed the Local Foods series and was sorry it ended.

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    1. Aww, thanks, Pat. I have Murder at Wakehurst waiting on my coffee table, with only a library book ahead of it, and can't wait.

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  17. SO late today! You are both amazing--tireless, and amazing! And of course, I follow the PEOPLE, not the names. But hmmm..a "also writing as" name is different from a pseudonym, isn't it? People like JK Rowling, who TRIED not to let anyone know she was Robert Galbraith. Unlike Nora Roberts?JD Robb, who used the names as a genre indicator. Or people who just go by another name for their writing.--and we'll never know what their real name is.

    Alyssa, hope all is well and solved..xoxo

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    1. Hank, better late than... Hmm. Maybe now I can write a short story about someone with a 'real' name and a pseudonym, but she was really someone else! Nobody really knows if my parents named me Edith Maxwell, do they? [Turns and tells her siblings and cousins and uncle and elementary school classmates and camp friends she still talks to on FB to shut up. ;^)]

      Anyway, thank you!

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    2. OH! That is a GREAT idea! (and sorry, SO BEHIND!!)

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  18. Apologies for being late again. Still recovering from my cold/fever.

    What a wonderful treat to get two unrelated Maxwells here.

    Trying to remember if I am willing to cross genres for an favorite author. Off the top of my head, I cannot think of anyone right now.

    Edith/Maddie - I LOVE the Quaker Midwife series. I wondered if Maddie is a family name? How did you pick Maddie for a pen name?

    Alyssa, your novels sound intriguing. I have been meaning to read your mysteries.

    Diana

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    1. Thank you, Diana! I had wanted to use "Ruthie Drew" as a pen name and my editor said he thought it sounded too "old." Grr. Then I thought of a great-niece named Maddie and went with it. I still claim dibs on Ruthie Drew, though. I hope you feel better soon.

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    2. Edith, no, no please not “Ruthie Drew”. First reaction: “Drew what?” A vision of a freckled face, tangled pigtails elementary grade schooler with her tongue out. ;-)

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    3. See, my image of a Ruthie is my petite, elegant aunt Ruthie, a brilliant cook, always with a trim waist. She didn't write mysteries, but she could have!

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    4. And the Drew was in homage to Nancy, of course...

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    5. TOO OLD!! Ah. Although I wanted to use Harriet Ryan as my UK name, and ...no.

      And I kinda agree with Elisabeth. It hadn't crossed my mind, but now... Maybe use Drew as her first name?

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    6. That's brilliant, Hank. Also I have Routh as a family name back there somewhere. Hmmm. Drew Routh? I like it!

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  19. Good Morning (it is always morning somewhere) Alyssa, so nice to find another FL writer.
    I try to read all of an author's oeuvre, but will drop one of the psuedos if I don't like the style. Alyssa, I haven't read you yet, looking forward to diving in. Seeing as you both are Maxwells, I visualize one or two of your characters riding around in Maxwell automobiles. Have a great day, enjoying sharing with your readers.

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    1. I think Alyssa and I might have to write a historical short story together!

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  20. I love this! It really is like getting to sit down in a lobby or bar at Bouchercon and listen in on authors talking shop. How I miss it!

    I'm especially interested in the tales of your pseudonyms, because it's not just a matter of does it work for you - they also have to jibe with the genre, don't they? I've always thought Edith was perfect for historicals - as is Alyssa - and that Maddie Day sounded like a nice lady I'd bump into at the local country store.

    Alyssa, you should consider making a slight addition to your actual name and creating a series of mysteries set in the Broadway musical community. Imagine how many books Lisa Manuel-Miranda could sell!

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    1. Oops! This is Julia. I'm signed in on my community college account, and didn't notice it hadn't picked up my name!

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    2. Thanks, Julia. We all miss that so very much.

      Of course, Edith being a name that still struggles to return to popularity, it IS perfect for historicals. We'll see if it endures. (I had high hopes for new baby girls after the Downton Abbey Edith, but it doesn't seem to have taken off.)

      And I laughed out loud at the Lisa Manuel-Miranda concept. Go for it, Alyssa!

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  21. Popping in from deadline hell - how fantastic to get two Maxwells in the house!!!
    I am so excited for both of these titles. I feel a big read coming on as soon as I turn this puppy in!

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  22. I did not see you in deadline hell Jenn, and I am there too--book due TODAY! Anyway, enough about me...

    Welcome Alyssa and Edith/Maddie, what a wonderful interview! Edith, I agree, you must go to Newport, it's a beautiful town. we were lucky enough to score tickets to the folk festival there 2 years ago and loved it. I will definitely follow a favorite author anywhere, although sometimes I like one series better than another. Can't wait to try the new books!

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    1. Gosh, Roberta, thanks for taking time out. Hope you're about ready to click Send!

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  23. LOVE the cover on NO GRATER CRIME. Wonderful interview, both books sound great.

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  24. Sorry I'm coming in so late in the day. I'm happy to see the two Maxwell ladies here today. I love that your covers reflect the country, hominess of your series, Edith, and I love that your covers, Alyssa, reflect the elegance and loveliness of yours. Two very different series, but both are so fascinating.

    One of my greatest thrills in reading was when Edith used my mother's jam cake recipe in her sixth Country Store mystery, Strangled Eggs and Ham. I have No Grater Crime ready to go on my Kindle. And, I have Alyssa's series on my TBR list, too.

    I'll definitely read authors as they use different names for different series or for different kinds of books.

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    1. Thank you, Kathy! If you have any more midwestern recipes like that up your sleeve, send them along.

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  25. I do try my favorite authors in all their incarnations but don't always like every one and continue reading that one. Like J.K. Rowling. I didn't like the Galbraith series. Not yours, though. Love them all. I was at Newport once and toured the Breakers. I wish I could have seen more.

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    1. Thanks, Sally. I listened to one Galbraith and liked it, but felt it was unnecessarily long.

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  26. Congratulations on the release of your books. I enjoy reading historical cozy mysteries as well as the standard cozy. It is always fun to get to know the author of the books through interviews on different blogs. Thanks for this chance.

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  27. I will usually follow my favorite authors from one pseudonym to another, sometimes I'm not aware of all the pseudonyms though (some authors have many).

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    1. True, Kathy. I'm still astonished when some readers say they didn't realize Maddie and I were the same person.

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    2. That is wonderful, really, isn't it?

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  28. Love all your books! I'm so impressed by how you handle your pseudonyms too, BTW. I'm still struggling with that. Signed, Maria. No, Ellen! No, Maria! NO - darn it!

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    1. You could just be MaryEllen and be done with it! (My sons are Allan and John David, and their father is John. When we all lived together, I sometimes wanted to call all three John Allan and I'd be covered.)

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  29. I love books by both of you, but haven't yet checked out more than one series. This is something I want to work on, when I have read multiple series by an author I've enjoyed them so should do so more often!

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  30. Hi, Congratulations to you both on your new releases! Yes, I would keep on following the author, it wouldn't matter to me at all. I enjoyed this interview very much. And your books sound like great reads, and the covers are super nice, I love them. Have a great weekend and stay safe. aliciabhaney(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

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  31. Murder at Wakehurst and No Grater Crime are both on my TBR list! Congratulations to you both on your new book releases! I so enjoyed this post and hearing how your backgrounds related to the settings of these stories! Seems you two could write a book on behind the scenes in publishing! I would love to visit Newport and those gilded mansions and Edith I am happy to hear South Lick does exist as a road and creek, because i just love that name!Continued success to you both in your writing endeavors!

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