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Mystery Most Cozy
Mystery Most Cozy   group read 2/03
Joanne graciously agreed to take questions from our forum readers.  Mystery Most Cozy enthusiastically thanks her for her patience, time, effort, good humor and for writing a great cozy series!

Joanne answers forum member, Mary's, questions and comments:
Q. Joanne, you may remember me.  I've emailed you before about your books.
How much of Hannah is like you?  For example, do you have two sisters?
A.  Joanne: (Hi Mary, Yes, I do remember you! I'll bet I even have your e-mail address on file.  If you   get my yearly message telling you that "Lemon" is about to debut in hardcover, you'll know I do!)

Hannah's like me in some respects and not like me in others.  I'm an only child and Hannah has two sisters.  There's one big difference.  We do have a love of baking in common, and both of us could stand to shed a few pounds. Hannah's much quicker at the "comebacks" than I am.  It isn't until after a conversation is over and I'm back at home that I come up with what I should have said.  There's another big difference.  I'm married and Hannah's not. (And I have a pretty good memory, but I don't ever remember having two boyfriends at once!)

Q. Do they really have strips of electrical outlets outside stores so you can keep your battery charged?
A. It's not for your battery, Mary.  It's to keep the oil in your engine warm.  Most people in cold climates, like Minnesota, have head bolt heaters or oil dipstick heaters.  They run on  electricity and there are outlets on the outside of quite a few buildings, the ones that don't have inside parking garages.

Q. Have you considered compiling a separate cookbook with your recipes?

A. Yes!  And I'm doing it! My publisher and I decided to do a half-and-half book.  It'll be half murder mystery and half recipes.  Remember the cookbook that Kurt Howe asked Hannah to write in "Blueberry?"  Well, Hannah is doing it (and so am I!)

QWhy did you decide to write mystery books?

A. I love mysteries.  I cut my teeth on mysteries...literally.  My grandmother was fond of Perry Mason and she bought each hardcover the moment it was released.  Gammie lived with our family in Minnesota and she took care of me while Mom and Dad worked.  Her newest Perry Mason was sitting on the coffee table one afternoon when she stepped into the kitchen to refill her coffee cup.  I crawled over and managed to grab her book.  When she came back, I was chewing on it and cutting a tooth.  That particular volume still has little dents from my baby teeth on the cover.

QHow did you pick your main character, Hannah?

A. I tried to think of the person I'd like to have as a best friend.  I've always loved baking and I wanted us to have that in common. And since I once thought I'd like to open a cookie and coffee shop, that's the occupation I gave Hannah.  From there, Hannah took over.  She ended up with a logical mind in addition to her irreverent sense of humor, and she's stubborn to a fault.  Hannah won't give up on a puzzle until it's solved to her satisfaction.  I adore Hannah.  She has a life of her own.  Every once in a while, I find myself reaching for the phone and wanting to call Hannah to invite her over to taste a new cookie.

Joanne answers forum member, Violet's, questions and comments: