Octoberguest! Dorothy Francis

As I looked over the list of Octoberguests, I realized that today’s guest Dorothy Francis may have written more books than all of this month’s guests combined: seventy-four books for both children and adults. I am in awe!

Eden Palms Murder, Dorothy’s latest novel, features songwriter Bailey Green and is just now available from Five Star. In the not too distant future Worldwide Mystery Library will re-issue the three novels in her Kelly Moreno series in mass-market paperback.

Welcome, Dorothy–and congratulations!

Tell us about Bailey Green, the protagonist of Eden Palms Murder. She’s a songwriter, correct? How does music figure into your own life?

Yes, Bailey Green is a songwriter who is trying to ‘make it big’ in the music field. Music has played a big part in my life. I began taking piano lessons when I was 9 andmostly hated them. But later I learned to play the trumpet and played in the high school band and then in the University of Kansas band. I graduated with a degree in music and went on the road playing trumpet in an all-girl swing band. We traveled in a 9-passenger Chrysler, doing one-night stands across the nothhern tier of states because Ruth Colellman, the leader, hated the heat of the southern states.. Later, I taught music in Orange, California before I married a wonderful musician, and began raising a family.

You describe Eden Palms Murder as a “Cozy Mystery.” What defines the cozy genre for you? When does a novel cross the line out of the cozy world and into more general mysteries?

I define a cozy mystery as one in which all the really bad stuff takes place off scene. The reader is spared seeing spilled blood, hearing 4-letter words, and following the heroine in and out of various beds–if that should be the plot requirement.

What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?

I have little trouble getting out of bed in the morning. Many times a contract for a book motivates me to get up and face a deadline. Those are the good times. Bad times are when there is no contract and no deadline. Woe. Woe.

Do you have a particular reader in mind when you sit down to write?

I have no special person in mind as a reader when I write. When I first began writing, I imagined I was writing for my University English teacher. All through high school I got A’s on my English themes, but in college this ‘person’ in charge frequently handed me C’s. It was only at the end of the semester that she penned in very small writing, ‘you have just a smidgen of talent.’ Later, I was proud to give her a copy of my first book I mentioned to her that she had a smidgen of talent as a teacher, too.

Describe your perfect writing environment.

My perfect writing environment requires early morning quiet, a computer, a desk in a small office, either in Iowa or the Florida Keys where my husband and I spend our winters. What more could any writer want???

A question from my eight year-old, Bengal: Have you ever been a spy?

Please tell your Bengal I was never a spy! Well, hardly ever.

Thanks so much, Dorothy!

[Remember–Everyone who comments is entered to win $100 Godiva Chocolatier and Harry & David giftbaskets, plus books from several Octoberguest! authors! Drawing held November 2nd.]

Tomorrow: My Official Stalker Joe P. Frick. (Legal note: I have an email in which Joe gives me specific permission to designate him as my Official Stalker. I have printed it out and had it notarized. So, Joe, no legal complaints, or changing your mind!)

2 thoughts on “Octoberguest! Dorothy Francis”

  1. Tom says:

    Dorothy, my protagonist is also a musician; thanks for breaking the path! Your time on the road sounds epic.

    Don’t know that I care much about where I write, as much as that I have to work to get my big butt in my big chair.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi Dorothy,
    I was hardly a spy, too – that’s what I tell my kids, anyway!

    I love your description of the “cozy mystery” genre”. Those are my favorite type of mysteries, so thank you for that – I never knew what to call them! I’m looking forward to finding you books,


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