Monday, April 23, 2012

Scene of the Crime with Authors Joyce and Jim Lavene!

I'm slowly making my way through the books written by North Carolina writing team Joyce and Jim Lavene. It's definitely an enjoyable pursuit, although I wish I could learn to read eight books simultaneously. This dynamic duo has the knack of creating cozy mystery series with intriguing premises that I find irresistible.

Joyce and Jim Lavene
I know that many of you prefer reading cozies, so I was thrilled when Joyce and Jim agreed to be interviewed. Before we get to that interview, however, let me share a few links so that you'll be able to learn more about the authors and their books:

What was the very first book you remember reading and loving? What makes that book so special?

Joyce – The first book I remember reading and loving was filled with short stories by Edgar Allen Poe. My mom didn’t know I was reading it.

JimA Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Outside of your writing and all associated commitments, what do you like to do in your free time?

We both love to drive and we enjoy photography. Jim loves to rip computers apart and repair them for people. He’s always giving a computer away that he got the pieces cheap and repaired. Joyce also loves watercolor painting. They both enjoy hiking and gardening.

If I were to visit your hometown, where would you recommend that I go? (I like seeing and doing things that aren't in all the guide books.)

Little Meadow Creek where the first nugget was found.
We have a wonderful old gold mine where the first gold was found in the U. S. It’s called Reed Gold Mine, named for the owner, John Reed. You can go down in the old mine where it’s always 50 degrees. It’s spooky!

You have total control over casting a movie based on your life. Which actor would you cast as you?

JimThe Rock – no reason. I just like him.

JoyceAndie MacDowell -  she has naturally curly hair.

Who is your favorite recurring character in crime fiction?

JimHarry Dresden in the books by Jim Butcher.
Joyce: Probably one of ours!

Name one book that you've read that you wish you had written. What is it about that book that made it come to mind?

Jim - Any of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon books. They were just wonderful, enviable books.

JoyceThose Who Hunt the Night by Barbara Hambly  - it’s a very good, unique story.

How did you celebrate when you first heard you were to be published? What did you do the first time you saw one of your books on a shelf in a bookstore?

We danced around the room a little then went for a long walk and planned all the things we would do. The first time we saw a book of ours on the shelf, we told the people around us that it was ours and went to find the manager of the store so she’d know too.

I don't know if you've seen it, but I love Parnell Hall's video about book signings. What is the most unusual experience you've had at a book signing or author event?

Probably the most unusual experience we’ve had at a bookstore was when a man came in wearing full armor to buy a copy of one of our Renaissance Faire Mysteries. His girlfriend was wearing a long gown and pointed hat with a veil. It was fun!

What's the best thing about eBooks? What's the worst?

The best thing about e-books is that they have no boundaries. We’ve received letters from all over the world from people who have read our e-books. We have a fan club in New Zealand! The worst thing about e-books is that they have no boundaries. We’ve seen our books for free all over the Internet. It’s hard to make a living like that. We think of them as promotional work.

Writing as a part of a team has to be an interesting process. How does yours work?

We come up with ideas (and characters) all year and write them down. Then we pick out what the best idea seems to be and we start working on it as we go for drives and are sitting around talking. Finally, we have a long synopsis and we sit down to write. We have two computer monitors that are networked together and we both tell the story back and forth until we have a rough draft written. After that we revise and send on to our agent and editor. They add suggestions and send back to us. Then we revise again and – well, you get the idea.

Right now, we are finishing the fifth book in our Nationally Bestselling Missing Pieces Mystery series. Those books are set in Duck, NC (a real place) and the mayor is our protagonist. She is psychically gifted and a finder of lost things. We’ll take a short break then start work on the second book in our new Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade Mysteries set in Sweet Pepper, Tennessee. That series is about a firefighter from Chicago who travels to a small town to help get their volunteer fire department going. It’s a very different world for her – and she has the ghost of the old fire chief looking over her shoulder.  


On Sale Now!
Joyce and Jim-- thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. We certainly appreciated the chance to get to know you better.

May your book sales do nothing but increase!

Stop by tomorrow when I'll be reviewing the first book in Joyce and Jim Lavene's Renaissance Faire mystery series, Wicked Weaves!


  1. I enjoy a good cozy from time to time. This one seems perfect for summer.

    1. I really enjoy the Missing Pieces series, Diane!

  2. I loved Those Who Hunt the Night in high school. I totally forgot about the book so thanks for the reminder.


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