Interview with Liz Andrews, author of The Mist Rises Over Notchey Creek
17 Dec 2018
What can you tell us about your new release, The Mist Rises Over Notchey Creek?
This is a cozy mystery set in a small town near the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. The amateur sleuth, Harley Henrickson, is a sensitive young woman whom many dismiss as the town nerd. She was raised by her grandfather and gave up a Harvard scholarship when he became ill with cancer to care for him and help run the family whiskey distillery, which she has since inherited. Preparations are underway for the town’s annual autumn festival when a mysterious stranger is discovered in a ditch who appears to be dead but then staggers away and disappears into the woods. On the same day, a famous rock star moves to Notchey Creek, and soon after, a history professor and long-time resident of the town is murdered. As Harley investigates the murder, memories from her own childhood begin to surface, and she unveils a dark secret connected to prominent citizens in town. Like many cozies, the book is a mix of drama and comedy, supplied by a supporting cast of eccentric, funny characters, and gives the reader an in-depth look at life in a small town.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
I’ve always been an avid reader and grew up reading the classics, Charles Dickens, in particular. Dickens’s characterizations are unmatched. In more recent years, my love for the classics turned into a love for mysteries, especially “cozy” ones set in villages. Agatha Christie, the mother of the cozy genre, is my favorite author, and her works inspired me to write my own “village mystery.”
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
1. Anything by Agatha Christie
2. Anything by Charles Dickens.
3. Charlotte’s Web
4. To Kill A Mockingbird
5. The Killer Angels
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
Alexander McCall Smith. I love his characterizations and witty style. I would ask how he creates so many wonderful characters and crafts such witty sentences.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
I love world building and seeing characters come to life in that world.
What is a typical day like for you?
I get up a five a.m. and write until about eight. Then I take my goldador, Scout, for a long walk or hike. I edit in the afternoons and think about plot.
What scene in The Mist Rises Over Notchey Creek was your favorite to write?
To me, the comedic scenes are always the most fun to write. When Harley’s pig, Matilda, chews a large hole in her dress at the autumn festival, the situation goes from bad to worse. Harley, the protagonist, is a serious character, but she finds herself immersed in these ridiculous circumstances and surrounded by eccentric characters.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
Stay fluid and move forward.
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