Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Conversation with Author Amy Beth Arkawy

Omnimystery News: Author Interview with Amy Beth Arkawy
with Amy Beth Arkawy

We are delighted to welcome mystery author Amy Beth Arkawy 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.

The second mystery in Amy Beth's series featuring amateur sleuth Eliza Gordon is Dead Silent (Cozy Cat Press, April 2013 trade paperback and ebook formats).

We recently had the opportunity to chat with Amy Beth about her series and more.

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Omnimystery News: Dead Silent is the second mystery in a series. What appeals to you as a writer about series books?

Amy Beth Arkawy
Photo provided courtesy of
Amy Beth Arkawy

Amy Beth Arkawy: I like the idea of a series because it gives me a chance to explore the evolution of characters' lives in a cozy backdrop and the ever-changing but inevitable chaos a murder mystery promises. But I also like the idea of a stand alone and have just started a psychological thriller.

OMN: Fill in the blank: Dead Silent is a (blank) mystery.

ABA: Well, probably "cozy". The Eliza Gordon Series (Killing Time; Dead Silent) revolves around a murder mystery in a small town with lots of quirky characters, sub-plots and humor, delicious food and a killer soundtrack, and is certainly in the cozy tradition. But in addition to the thriller I mentioned, I write serio-comic plays and I've been walking around with a family saga that's bound to burst out sooner or later.

OMN: Give us the synopsis of your new book in a tweet.

ABA: #Radio can be murder! Will Eliza & Midge solve the mystery or wind up #DeadSilent #CozyMystery

OMN: Did you include any of your own experience in the series?

ABA: Growing up in a small suburban community I can appreciate the ins and outs of small town life. I've also worked in radio for years so I know my way around the terrain.

OMN: Tell us about your writing process.

ABA: I have a basic outline by the time I sit down to write, but the characters have a way of taking me on intriguing detours.

OMN: Where are your books set?

ABA: Goodship came from my imagination, but I suspect there are smatterings of places like Rye, NY, Greenwich, CT, Amherst and Northhampton, MA dancing through my subconscious.

OMN: If you were casting the role of Eliza Gordon for an adapted screenplay, who would you call for an audition?

ABA: Have your people call my people; then we'll talk. I never like to jinx anything.

OMN: Would if we could, if we actually had people, that is! What kinds of books did you read when you were young?

ABA: I've always been an eclectic reader; as a kid I devoured everything from Judy Blume to Agatha Christie; Kurt Vonnegut to Virginia Woolf. An avid movie buff, I love a wide range of films from thriller to romantic comedy. I'm a big Hitchcock and film noir fan. And, don't ask me why, but I love the film Doubt so much I've watched it a dozen times, easy.

OMN: And what do you read now for enjoyment?

ABA: Memoirs, mysteries/thrillers, short stories, psychologically charged family dramas.

OMN: Who are some of your favorite series characters?

ABA: Miss Marple, Peter Wimsey, Inspector Morse, Rumpole.

OMN: What are some of your hobbies or outside interests?

ABA: Music, movies and food always seem to find their way in. To both my life and my fiction.

OMN: What is the best advice you've received as an author? And the harshest criticism?

ABA: The best advice, without question: If you want to be a writer, you have to write. Every day. No excuses.

Harshest criticism: A professor in grad school once told me: "There's literature with a capital L and literature with a capital M. You're writing the latter." The M in question stands for money, which at the time was a harsh slam, but now I take it as an encouraging sign.

The takeaway for other writers: Be true to your own voice, be patient and diligent. Just write, write, write.

OMN: What kinds of questions do you like to hear from readers?

ABA: I love it when readers want to know more about the characters, their motivations, their pasts, and particularly what I have in store for them next. That last one is a good sign people want to read more. And that's a great motivation to write the next novel.

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

ABA: Here are two:

Top 5 Soup Opera Soups
1. Quiet As A Clam Chowder
2. Lobster Bisque
3. Deep Black Bean
4. Thick as Fog Pea
5. Chicken Clue-Noodle

Top 5 Films on Eliza Gordon's DVR
1. Double Indemnity
2. Spellbound
3. Talk Radio
4. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
5. Play Misty for Me

OMN: What's next for you?

ABA: I'm not sure, but it involves the New York Mets winning the World Series. Imagine that. I've never written science fiction before. Guess there's a first time for everything.

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Amy Beth Arkawy Book Tour

Amy Beth has talked her way across the radio dial, as DJ and talk show host, on a slew of stations and networks. She currently hosts The Amy Beth Arkawy Show, syndicated over the Internet by Blog Talk Radio.

As a creativity coach and writing teacher, Amy Beth helps clients conquer artistic blocks and explore career transitions, spirituality and relationship issues.

A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and former Master of Fine Arts Fellow at the University of Massachusetts, Amy Beth also has a Masters degree in Mental Health Counseling from Long Island University. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Dramatists' Guild.

To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website at or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Dead Silent by Amy Beth Arkawy

Dead Silent
Amy Beth Arkawy
An Eliza Gordon Mystery (2nd in series)

It's summertime, and in Goodship, New York the living is anything but easy. Controversial radio shock jock Paul Hackett is found strangled to death with his headphone cord around his neck in the studio of local radio station WSHP. There's little evidence beyond the initials V.O.S. scrawled across the studio window in red lipstick and a list of suspects that could easily fill the Goodship phone book. And that's not all. Eliza Gordon, former soap star turned local soup aficionado and amateur sleuth and her pal and unwitting snooping partner radio DJ Midge Sumner must contend with.

The locals are also on edge thanks to the rumors rolling across The Goodship Grapevine, a new toxic gossip site, and bemused by flyers heeding folks to follow an enigmatic cult known as "The Quiet". Eliza's instincts have her searching for clues and connecting the mysteries together, but they also put a strain on her burgeoning romance with Tom Santini, Goodship's dishy police chief (who also happens to be her late husband's best friend). The sudden reappearance of her elusive playboy brother-in-law, Jonas Gordon, sparks unexpected feelings in Eliza and may hold the key to connecting the mysteries and solving Hackett's murder. Print/Kindle Format(s) Print/Nook Format(s)


  1. Very enjoyable - I can't wait to read "Dead Silent" - it sounds like a fascinating read - Loved the interview with the Author.

  2. After reading this marvelous interview I am looking forward to ordering Dead Silent, and also book 1 in this Eliza Gordon series. I just cannot seem to get enough of the cozy mysteries and with so many great authors it is hard to choose whose book/books to read first. But this one will be near the top of the list I am sure.

    Keep up the great writing, Amy.


  3. Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy, and please connect with me via my website or social media. Always like to hear from readers.


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