Friday, May 31, 2013

A Conversation with Mystery Author Anne Marie Stoddard

Omnimystery News: Author Interview with Anne Marie Stoddard
with Anne Marie Stoddard

We are delighted to welcome mystery author Anne Marie Stoddard to Omnimystery News today, courtesy of Cozy Mystery Books Tours, which is coordinating her current book tour. We encourage you to visit all of the participating host sites; you can find her schedule here.

Anne Marie introduces concert manager and booking agent Amelia "Ame" Grace in Murder at Castle Rock (BookLogix, May 2013 trade paperback and ebook formats).

We recently had a chance to talk to Anne Marie about her new series.

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Omnimystery News: How did you choose between writing a "stand-alone" and a "first in a new series" mystery?

Anne Marie Stoddard
Photo provided courtesy of
Anne Marie Stoddard

Anne Marie Stoddard: I chose to write about a recurring character both because I enjoy reading series and have always wanted to write one and also because I've envisioned various adventures for my main character, Amelia — more than I could fit into just one book! It is yet to be determined how much Ame will change over the course of the series; I have several things planned for her future, but I haven't yet planned how much they will change her. I will see how her character evolves as I continue to write about her and her friends.

OMN: Into what genre, or sub-genre, would you place Murder at Castle Rock?

AMS: They're pretty niche, to be honest. Part thriller, leaning more toward cozy but with an edge. Another author I admire, P. J. Morse, writes books in a similar style to my own, and they also involve women in rock music. She calls her books "rock n' roll cozies", and I think that phrase pretty accurately describes Murder at Castle Rock as well. By the way, if you haven't checked out P. J. Morse's book, Heavy Mental, you totally should. It's great!

OMN: We've read the publisher's synopsis of the book. Now tell us something that isn't in the synopsis.

AMS: Hmm … Well, the book summary doesn't mention that there is a little romance sprinkled in with the suspense. While Amelia is doing her best to get the bottom of her boss's murder, she's attracting the attention of more than just the killer. There's a little bit of a love triangle that develops between her and two other characters. I don't want to give too much away, though.

OMN: Let's go in the other direction. Give us the synopsis in a tweet.

AMS: When the owner of Atlanta's hottest concert venue falls dead at Amelia Grace's feet, it's up to her to solve his murder. #mystery #thriller

OMN: Do you have anything in common with your character, Amelia?

AMS: A lot, actually. I spent three years working for a cluster of radio stations in Atlanta, and I have also worked for several music venues in Athens and Atlanta. In fact, there is one scene in the book involving a radio station cargo van that is based on an incident that actually happened to me while working in radio.

OMN: Describe your writing process for us.

AMS: I write loose outlines for the more important characters, and I write an outline for the storyline, but a lot of the story develops as I write. In fact, I am often surprised at where the story goes — sometimes it seems to write itself!

OMN: Let's assume a film or television series is being developed based on the characters in your book. Any ideas on who you'd like to see play the parts?

AMS: Amelia would tell you that she'd like to be played by Mila Kunis, but I think Michelle Trachtenberg would do a good job. Michelle Monaghan would do a great job as Kat, Ashley Greene or Summer Glau as Laura Holly, and Chloe Grace Moretz as Bronwyn — if she wouldn't mind chopping off her hair and dying it hot pink, of course.

As for the men, being a rock fan, I've often pictured NIN's Trent Reznor in his more buff days portraying the role of Brant, but to keep the cast in close to the same age group I'd probably cast Penn Badgely. Justin Chatwin or Hunter Parrish would make a great Tony, and I simply cannot picture anyone but Bill Nighy as Bobby Glitter — I think because of his portrayal as bumbling pervy rocker Billy Mack in Love Actually. Nathan Fillion would make a great (albeit brief) appearance as Parker Deering. Alan Tudyk with longer hair would make a great Tim Scott, and Enver Gjokaj (Victor from Joss Whedon's "Dollhouse") would make a good Bryce.

OMN: You mentioned that the book is set in Atlanta, a place we called home for four years. Do you think we'd be familiar with any of the sights and sounds of the city in the book?

AMS: Some real street names and locations are used; however, the concert venue itself, Castle Rock, is fictional. I used a real Atlanta venue, The Masquerade, as inspiration for Castle Rock. I go there all the time for shows and my mind kept wondering back to it as I was writing, so I modeled the exterior and back courtyard of Castle Rock to be very much like the Masquerade.

OMN: Are you hobbies and interests centered around the music industry?

AMS: I do enjoy going to concerts and music festivals, which does find its way into my writing since I'm writing music industry fiction. But I also enjoy playing board games with my friends, travelling, going to the beach, cooking, bowling, playing laser tag, and reading.

OMN: Speaking of reading, what kinds of books do you read for pleasure?

AMS: I love reading mysteries and suspense/thrillers, and anything by Stephen King. Love Stephen King. I also love Charlaine Harris, Victoria Laurie, Madelyn Alt, and Jennifer Oko books. I grew up reading a lot of Agatha Christie as well. My favorite books of all-time, though, are Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Lareaux and Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins.

OMN: Create a Top 5 list on any subject for us.

AMS: Top 5 Mystery Series You Should Read:

1) Southern Vampire Series (Sookie Stackhouse mysteries) by Charlaine Harris;
2) The Psychic Eye (Abby Cooper) Series by Victoria Laurie;
3) The Harper Connelly mysteries by Charlaine Harris;
4) The Bewitched Mystery Series (Maggie O'Neill mysteries) by Madelyn Alt;
5) A Mind For Murder Mystery Series (Liz Cooper mysteries) by Rochelle Staab.

OMN: What's next for you?

AMS: I've launched a book design & marketing agency, Ampersand H. (&H.) with my cover designer, Tiffani Hollis. We're both big bookworms, so we're thrilled for the opportunity to help other authors develop their online identity and brand! Aside from that, I'm working on the second book of the Amelia Grace series and have some rough drafts written for another mystery series that will take place in the art world.

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Anne Marie Stoddard Book Tour

About Anne Marie Stoddard (in her own words): "Aside from my friends and family, I'm passionate about two things: writing and live music. When I can bring the two together, my life feels complete. I hadn't written fiction since 6th grade until 2011 (because, of course, I'd replaced this creative outlet with live music performance while I played the saxophone from 6th grade through the end of college). I was fortunate enough to win the 2012 AJC Decatur Book Festival & BookLogix Publishing Services, Inc. Writing Contest with the manuscript for Murder At Castle Rock."

To learn more about Anne, visit her website at, or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Murder at Castle Rock by Anne Marie Stoddard

Murder at Castle Rock
Anne Marie Stoddard
An Amelia Grace Mystery (1st in series)

Winner of the 2012 AJC Decatur Book Festival & BookLogix Publishing Services, Inc. Writing Contest

As the manager and booking agent for Atlanta's famous Castle Rock concert venue, Amelia "Ame" Grace is ready for the most exciting week of her career: she's booked three shows and a live DVD-filming for the comeback tour of none other than the eighties Pop Rock Prince himself, Bobby Glitter!

Before the rock star can take a bow on the first night, however, trouble steals the show as Castle Rock's owner takes a deadly tumble from atop the venue's rear tower. To make matters worse, the police suspect foul play — and all signs point to two of Castle Rock's own employees.

Ame is in a race against time to clear the names of her friends and uncover the truth before the killer decides it's curtains for her too! Print/Kindle Format(s) Print/Nook Format(s)  iTunes iBook Format

1 comment:

  1. Thank you again for hosting me on my blog tour! It was a blast!


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