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Spotlight on Liz Fielding & Murder Under the Mistletoe

Our Spotlight this week is on:  Liz Fielding. She has a new book out this month, Murder Under the Mistletoe.


Liz Fielding met her husband when they were both working in Zambia and were keen members of the Lusaka Theatre Club. He was playing John de Stogumber in St Joan, and she was the pageboy to the Earl of Warwick. He swore it was the purple tights that got him. Years spent in Africa and the Middle East provided the background to many of Liz's romances. Her first, An Image of You, was set in Kenya, in a place where they had spent many happy weekends on safari. It was plucked from the slush pile because the feisty feminist heroine made her editor laugh. Emotion touched with humour has been the hallmark of her work ever since.
 
After writing 70 books for Harlequin Mills and Boon, Liz has now turned to crime, signing with Joffe Books for three "Maybridge Mysteries", the first of which, Murder Among the Roses, is published on 18th April.

 
 Liz Fielding on the web:

Website             Facebook           Twitter

What inspires you to write? 

That’s a difficult question. Writing is what I do – what I’ve always done, even when I was very young. I was always writing the beginning the stories – never finished them – and poems.

Working out how to write was magic. The beginning of becoming a writer was listening to stories on an iconic BBC radio programme called Listen With Mother. The feeling that I could do that. I mean, a five minute story for children, how hard could it be?

A lot harder than you might imagine, but I did have my own stories read on the programme.


The inspiration for romance came from reading a magazine article about Charlotte Lamb and Anne Hampson. I began reading their stories, had that same I could do that moment. I wrote four before I received the call more than thirty years ago.

The inspiration for my first crime novel came from a television programme about the appalling treatment of young, vulnerable women. I was busy writing romance but the idea for the story never left me and I finally took a break to write it, without a publisher or a contract. Happily, Joffe Books loved it and offered me a three book contract.

Now I have a cast of characters who inspire me to keep writing the Maybridge Murder Mysteries.

What is your favorite genre and why?

It’s changed over the years. My younger self loved the kind of thriller written by Alistair McClean, Desmond Bagley, Hammond Innes but I was always at the library member, devouring books and reading widely.

There was a phase of women’s fiction – Consider the Lily by Elizabeth Buchan has stayed with me – Joanna Trollope, Erica James, Maeve Binchy. Then Bridget Jones’ Diary hit the bestseller list and it was chick lit all the way.

But I’ve always read crime. The classic golden-age authors, Lawrence Block, Val McDermid until I got too squeamish, Elly Griffiths. I love the puzzle of it and the way that crime fiction, despite whatever horrors are involved, puts the world to rights.


Share a little about your writing process.

It’s not complicated. I’m not a plotter. I start with my main protagonist – for my crime series that is always Abby Finch. I do something to make her life difficult , give her a puzzle to solve and a situation in her life that she’s not ready to face. Then I ask myself, what would Abby do?

I said this wasn’t complicated. It’s not. Writers who plot can finish a book a lot faster than I ever have. Sadly, I have discovered to my cost that if I plot a story out I am no longer interested in writing the book.


Tell us about your book...

Okay. It’s a three weeks before Christmas. Local organisations have got together to decorate the village hall for the parties they will be holding there in the run up to the holiday. Abby Finch, who is a garden designer and has her own garden design and maintenance company called Earthly Designs, is asked if she can contribute some mistletoe.

Happy to do this, she delivers the mistletoe and some other decorative plant stuff to a hall packed with people working on the decorations. Gregory Tatton, who is organising everything, orders Edward March, Abby’s old high school teacher, to take his place fixing the last of the tree lights. Minutes later Edward is lying dead at the foot of the tree.

The next day Gregory Tatton delivers what can only be construed as a blackmail note to Abby. Convinced that he was the intended victim of the “accident” that killed Edward, she gradually unravels the secrets that many of the people in the hall that day are desperate to hide.

Liz Fielding has a new book out:

MURDER UNDER THE MISTLETOE



MEET ABBY FINCH. SHE’S THE BUSY MUM OF THREE, AN EXPERT GARDENER AND THE STAR OF YOUR NEW FAVOURITE COZY MURDER MYSTERY.

Abby Finch arrives at the old church hall armed with festive mistletoe and holly, ready to decorate. But within moments of her walking through the door, tragedy strikes . . .

Edward Marsh reaches to test the antique star at the top of the tree. There’s a fizz and the lights go out.

Abby hears the sickening thud of a body hitting the floor. When the lights turn back on, Edward is dead.

It soon becomes clear it was no accident.

The real victim should have been Gregory Tatton. Dapper silver fox. Popular with the ladies of the seniors’ lunch club. A known blackmailer . . .

Abby is desperate to find out the truth, but putting herself in danger isn’t on her Christmas wish list.

Who’s been naughty? Who’s been nice? Who’s hiding the fact they’re a murderer?

Fans of Faith Martin, Jane Adams, Frances Evesham, M.C. Beaton, Clare Chase or Jeanne M. Dams will love this addictive cozy mystery!


Buy on:

Amazon Kindle          

Amazon UK               Amazon Aust


36 comments:

  1. I'm fascinated both by the interview with writer Liz Fielding, and with the info on her new mystery book "Murder under the Mistletoe." Very interesting and intriguing!

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    1. Thank you! It was quite a ride writing it, but Abby is such a great character. I love spending time with her.

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  2. Sounds good -Christine cmlk79.blogspot.com

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  3. Looks like a good book. Beautiful cover.

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    1. Thanks, Yvonne. The cover went through a couple of goes before this one, which I love.

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  4. Thank you both for this fascinating interview.

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  5. Great interview and the book sounds great! *adds to list*

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  6. I almost spit my coffee out on this "After writing 70 books for Harlequin Mills and Boon, Liz has now turned to crime" LOLOLOL Loved the interview.

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  7. So great to hear about this author. Lovely bookcover. Such a fun post to get her insights on writing and more. Thanks so much. Thanks for reading and your comments too!

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Ellie. I love hearing how other writers work.

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  8. Wonderful post! So interesting. Great gift idea too!

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    1. Thanks, Ivy. I'm hoping that it will find it's way into a great many Christmas stockings this year!

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  9. Awesome questions! Great interview. Such an intersting author. All the best to the book and more. Thanks so much!

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    1. Thanks, Caitlin'nMegan. They were good questions. :)

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  10. I never thought about plotting ruining the fun of the story for the writer. Interesting point!

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    1. I'm not alone, Elizabeth. Several writers I know have the same problem. For us writing the book is a journey. We sort of know the destination, but it's the scenery on the way that's the exciting part.

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  11. based on review, the book sound interesting...
    wish to read it

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  12. 70 books! Impressive. And also impressive that they're not plotted. I always get lost if I try to pants it!

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  13. It's just the way my brain works, Sherry. I have to admit that with the latest book I'm keeping a running note of each event so that the synopsis will be easier to write when I'm done.

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  14. don't know why... i loveeeeee the cover🫰🫰🫰 it looks fresh to me

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    1. Thank you! Despite the sparkle of Christmas along the top it has an ominous feel!

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  15. "Sadly, I have discovered to my cost that if I plot a story out I am no longer interested in writing the book." Oh my! So true!

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    1. Although it does help if you have some idea of where you're going!

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  16. I see that we have quite a few of her books available here. I must read some of them.

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