Interview with Melinda Mullet, author of Single Malt Murder
24 Mar 2017
What can you tell us about your new release, Single Malt Murder?
Single Malt Murder is the first book in the new Whisky Business mystery series. The protagonist is a young woman named Abi Logan. A highly respected, globe-trotting photojournalist who suddenly finds herself thrust into the male dominated world of whisky making in rural Scotland when she inherits a distillery from her uncle. Being both inexperienced and a woman she’s harassed and threatened, but she refuses to back down especially after one of her employees is found murdered in a vat of the distillery’s finest. It’s a murder mystery of course, but it’s also a journey of personal discovery for a woman burnt out by her own over-stressed life. In the whisky world she finds a new life, a new mission and a new love.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
I’ve always had stories chasing around in my head, but when I was a practicing lawyer I spent so much time writing professionally, for myself and others, I just never had the energy to write for myself. Once I stepped away from the professional writing it opened the page for my own ideas to find expression.
If you were a teacher, what book would you assign to your class?
For young kids, the Paperbag Princess. A great story about a young woman who goes off to save her prince and then realizes she doesn’t need one. For middle schoolers Dealing with Dragons, another great book about young women finding their own strength and wisdom peppered with humor and a bit of fantasy. For older kids and their parents, Animal Farm by George Orwell because it still resonates so deeply today. All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
What advice would you give your teenage self?
Relax! I spent so much time moving from one goal to the next that I missed a lot of life in the process. Amidst all of life’s chaos it is so important to try to live in the moment when you can. To enjoy the life you have while you are striving for the life you are dreaming of.
What’s a typical day like for you?
I get everyone fed and watered and out the door by eight am. Then I write for a few hours. Walk the dog and chat about any story line issues that are perplexing me. He’s a good listener, but seldom contributes much. I write a bit more until lunchtime and then it’s the usual madness all mothers will recognize; soccer, scouts, eldercare, chauffeuring and food services. I collapse into bed before midnight if I’m lucky, and start again the next day. Ah, the glamorous life of an author!
BAM. You’re a superhero. What’s your superpower?
I would love to be able to apperate or teleport depending on whether you’re a Harry Potter or Star Trek fan. To be able to move from one place to the other in the blink of an eye would be so thrilling.
What scene in Single Malt Murder was your favorite to write?
I’d have to say the scenes where Abi is discovering whisky with the help of her dashing head distiller. Like so many people she thinks it isn’t something she wouldn’t like, but she finds that the hand crafting of the single malt whisky is as much an art as her own photography. Both are nuanced undertakings that strive to find the right balance of depth and color and contrast.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
There is a quote from Emerson that I love. “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day.” I try to share this sentiment with my daughters. Do the best you can each day and don’t let the mistakes and the small injustices you encounter hold you back or make you less than who you really are.
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