Cozy mystery author Cindy Brown is slightly silly, but also very serious about writing stories that matter to her.
In this wide-ranging interview, Cindy mentions some great writing advice she got from a Star Wars screenwriter and how that has informed her Ivy Meadows mysteries.
She also shares some fascinating facts about Annie Oakley. When Cindy was researching her latest book, Ivy Get Your Gun, she discovered that Annie was not only a cracker-jack shot, she was a determined and brave business-woman who was reportedly kind and generous despite her fame in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
This reminded me of how much fun it is for writers like Cindy (and me) to weave real life events, people and places into our fictional stories. And of course, we sincerely hope it is as much fun for our readers when they get our books in their hands!
You can find out more about today's guest, Cindy Brown, and all her books on her website CindyBrownWriter.com. You can also find her on Twitter @friendlybrown.
Links and resources mentioned in this episode
Click on any of the book covers to go to Cindy's books on Amazon
Cindy's article at the Jungle Red Writers website
Article about the accidental shooting at the OK Corral in Tombstone, AZ
Annie Oakley's Wikipedia page
Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts. And listen on Stitcher.
You can also click here to watch the interview on YouTube.
Transcription of Interview with Cindy Brown
Alexandra: Hi mystery readers. I'm Alexandra Amor, this is It's a Mystery Podcast. And I'm here today with Cindy Brown. Hi Cindy.
Cindy: Hello. How are you doing?
Alexandra: Very well. How are you?
Cindy: I'm good. I'm good. It's a beautiful day, the birds are singing and the terrier is quiet for now, which is kind of a warning he you just like buff me a little bit.
Alexandra Okay. So if we hear that in the background we know who that is?
Cindy: Yes. I'll introduce you at that point because he'll probably come running over to me too.
Alexandra Okay. Cool. All right. Well, let me give our listeners a bit of an introduction to you.
Cindy Brown has been a theater geek, musician, actor, director, producer and playwright since her first professional gig at age 14.
Now a full-time writer, she's the author of the Agatha-nominated Ivy Meadow series, madcap mysteries set in the off, off, OFF Broadway world of theater. Cindy and her husband live in Portland Oregon, though she made her home in Phoenix Arizona for more than 25 years and knows all the good places to hide dead bodies in both cities.
I love that little introduction. That's awesome.
Cindy: And it's true.
Alexandra: Your Ivy Meadows mysteries have a theater theme.
Why don't you start by telling us about your beginnings in the theater? You said you started when you were pretty young.
Cindy: Yeah. Well, I was actually a musician, to begin with. And I loved music, I loved being in bands, in symphony. And I was actually...I was good. So, I started actually working professionally at age 14. And one of my first gigs was playing as a pit musician for a little night music for an orchestra for a little night music which is the Sondheim when where Send in the Clowns comes that's the most famous song from there.
Cindy: And I just kind of fell in love with it, so I kept doing music for theater until probably college and then I suddenly realized I kinda wanted to be on stage instead of under the stage.
Cindy: I was learning to sing at that point, I hadn't really been singing before. I started out then acting in musical theater.
I went from being a musician to an actress in musical theater and then started getting more serious about theater. I love music and I still do.