Tuesday, March 17, 2015

AUTHOR REVIEW: T'Gracie Reese and Joe Reese


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
I would like to welcome both of you to The Gal today and I must say that this picture of the two of you makes me smile.  
            I want to start off with something easy - tell us a little bit about yourselves.

Joe Reese:
I'm a novelist, play write, teacher and general ne'er-do-well.

T'Gracie Reese:
I am a split personality: assistant professor by day and mystery writer by night.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are five things that most people don't know about you?

T'Gracie Reese:
I like to go frog giggin', eat corn bread and milk, bet on horse races, call the Hogs and ring bells at church.

Joe Reese:
Five things exactly come to mind immediately, but I'm not telling you what they are.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is the first book you remember reading?

Joe Reese:
Gods and Heroes of the Kingdom of Jupiter.  Sorry I don't remember the author.

T'Gracie Reese:
It was a little Golden Book about a little girl waking up early in the morning on circus day.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are you reading now?

T'Gracie Reese:
I picked up a stack of books at the Love is Murder mystery conference in Chicago and have been working my way through the stack by the bed.  I just finished Sue Myer's book Deception.

Joe Reese:
Treasure Island in preparation for our new book.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

Joe Reese:
Shortly after beginning school, I would read Uncle Scrooge comic books all day and then go up into a tree house I had and write mysteries into the night.

T'Gracie Reese:
I wrote poetry off and on my whole life.  It is only with the first Nina Bannister book, Sea Change, that I made an attempt at fiction writing.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have a special place you like to write?

Joe Reese:
No, just where the computer happens to be.

T'Gracie Reese:
I have the most fun talking through the plot ideas and character ideas with Joe.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

T'Gracie Reese:
I get up at 5:00 am and go straight to the computer.  AT 7:00 am I allow myself a cup of coffee.

Joe Reese:
I procrastinate as much as possible and only begin typing when every other possible activity is exhausted.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Where do the ideas for your books come from?

Joe Reese:
When I began, they were half reality and half lies.  At this point in my career, I have eliminated the first part.

T'Gracie Reese:
Actually, most of our stories are inspired by reality; our reality just doesn't usually include murder.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What books have most inspired you?

T'Gracie Reese:
To Kill a Mockingbird.

Joe Reese:
Too many to count.  I go to an author's convention every time I walk into a library.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Joe Reese:
Listening to the characters tell me what they want to do each day, rather than foisting my own ideas on them.

T'Gracie Reese:
I think it's difficult to plot out the story line.  I love thinking of interesting characters, and ways they can be killed, but how do you go from A to B to C?

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think makes a good story?

T'Gracie Reese:
Description, description, description.

Joe Reese:
Conflict and sex.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Joe Reese:
Any characters that much like me would have been unacceptable for publication.

T'Gracie Reese:
I am not Nina Bannister, but sometimes I think she is my avatar.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Why did you pick your particular genre?

Joe Reese:
It picked us.  We had submitted a traditional mystery to Patricia Rockwell at Cozy Cat Press.  She wrote flattering things back bout the story, but said it "wasn't a cozy."  She seemed a good editor to work with, so we learned all we could about the cozy genre and tried again, leading to Sea Change.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

T'Gracie Reese:
Humor!  Joe, particularly, is able to write with a subtle humor.  The difficult thing about a mystery is that you want to walk the line between light tone and the mystery.  Like in the movie Charade: Cary Grant takes a shower with his clothes on, and then two minutes later has his life threatened.  You laugh at the one scene and cringe at the other, buying both of them completely.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from y'all in the future?

T'Gracie Reese:
The answer to this almost follows from the preceding question.  We have written what we think is the first ever parody of a cozy mystery.  It'll be out sometime this spring - Climate Change.  We weren't certain Patricia would like it but she "guffawed" her way through it.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
It has been GREAT having y'all.  I really appreciate you being here on The Gal today.  And Joe - you seriously crack me up!!  Good luck in the future.  And this Climate Change book sounds like something I would love to read.  :)


About the books on tour:
Nina Bannister Mysteries 1:
Sea Change

Bay St. Lucy is a sleepy little Gulf Coast community - and thats the way its residents like it.  Most of them generally ignore the monstrous old Robinson mansion that sits in the center of town, until one day insane old man Robinson dies and leaves the house and its accompany fortune to the town.  The residents are ecstatic and begin planning improved schools and cultural centers.  Local retired school teacher and village elder Nina Bannister is sent to the man's funeral in New Orleans to represent Bay St. Lucy at the reading of the will.  However, Nina returns from her trip saddened to report that a lost Robinson relative has appeared to claim the entire inheritance.  Almost immediately, the new owner - flamboyant Eve Ivory - arrives and announces her plans to turn Bay St. Lucy into an extravagant vacation resort.  These are not plans that anyone in this small town likes at all, and ones that will quickly lead to murder.

Nina Bannister Mysteries 6:
Sex Change

Retired school teacher Nina Bannister has not been idle in her golden years.  Now, this famous resident of Bay St. Lucy, Mississippi, is heeding the call of duty again, by running as a replacement candidate for the U.S. Congress when the state's present Representative is killed in a plane crash.  To her great surprise, Nina is elected, and - to her even greater surprise - finds herself the symbol of the powerful 'Lissie' movement, which strives to put women in positions of national leadership.  The movement gains momentum, but it also creates danger, as an unknown letter writer threatens Nina's life.  Can she identify the letter writer in time, and can she succeed in bringing a Sex Change to the leadership of this country?  Learn the answers as you read the sixth Nina Bannister book, Sex Change.

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