Friday, April 3, 2015

Featured Author: Julie Seedorf

About the book:

Granny may be retired as Fuchsia, Minnesota’s one-woman undercover sleuth for the Fuchsia Police Department, but that doesn’t mean she still doesn’t need a trusty weapon. Her weapon of choice, a pink snow shovel. When Granny runs over a dead body with her snowmobile, she unwittingly sets off a chain of events that involves mislabeled corpses, empty graves, and stolen money—lots of it! Who’s at the bottom of this years-old crime? Granny has an idea, but she has little time to investigate, when in just days she’s scheduled to marry the love of her life, Franklin Gatsby, in a post-Christmas ceremony. So, Granny decides to enlist the help of her friends and neighbors. Add in Christmas Holiday excitement and the arrival of Granny’s family, who are all there for her wedding, and mayhem ensues. Of course, Granny can always count on her many furry friends to provide her with moral support, but it’s quite possible that Granny—that is, Hermiony Vidalia Criony Fiddlestadt—has a secret or two of her own, which may very well be revealed as Granny Snows A Sneak.

Interview with Julie Seedorf

Julie, what’s the story behind the title Granny Snows A Sneak?
Granny Snows A Sneak takes place in winter. Granny always has a new weapon and what better weapon than a snow shovel and snow in the wintertime in Minnesota?

Sounds like a perfect weapon to me. Tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
My series is set in a fictional Minnesota town called Fuchsia, Minnesota. It is better to read them in order. Fuchsia is a community very different and not governed by the rules we have to live by in real life. Its rules are pure fantasy that would never work the way we live life today. Granny is an over the top older woman. She defies the rules of old age but I had a mother somewhat like her. Granny is finally living her life the way she has always wanted to live but society kept her from being who God created her to be. I never mention Granny’s age because I want my readers to put her at whatever age their imagination wants. Along with Granny are quirky neighbors, overly concerned family members, unusual murders and Fuchsia secrets that have never been told. Each book has clues for the mystery coming up in the next book. It may seem as if I forgot to tie some clues in with the current mystery, but that is the plan and the answers are found in the next mystery in the next book. Over the series more details about Hermiony Vidalia Fiddlestadt’s life is revealed along with the other citizens of Fuchsia. People will see eventually whys Granny is who she is, with a little fun and suspense along the way.

Where’s home for you? 
Home for me is rural Minnesota. Life is lived with the revolving seasons and changes in beauty and temperature along with the surrounding countryside of farms and lakes.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned?
I have learned to laugh at myself and not take myself too seriously. It takes so much work to lift yourself out of sadness and depression and laughter is a gift. Also I have learned to take the time to really look at people and reach out and talk to someone new. I have made the best friends through chance encounters.

Who would you pick to write your biography?
I would choose my daughter to write my biography. She has great wisdom and would write with love, but also with honesty and clarity. She would see my soul but write about my mistakes with insight into how they shaped my life.

What’s one thing that you wish you knew as a teenager that you know now?
I wish I would have listened to my mother more and been more respectful.  She knew more than I gave her credit for. I never wanted to be like her when I was younger, but now I want her strength and tenacity and her courage. I wish I could tell her that and tell her I understand all she went through and what shaped her life.

What makes you bored?
I am very seldom bored. There are always so many things to do such as read a book, try a new craft, write, play with my cats, play with my grandchildren, hook up on social media, make something new out of something old. The list is endless.

What choices in life would you like to have a redo on?
The one thing I would redo in my life is to let myself be who God created me to be rather than let society influence me into wearing the masks of what is acceptable. In my old age I finally have let those expectations go and enjoy life so much more.

What makes you happy?

Making the choice to write as a full time career makes me happy. I didn’t realize how much I disliked what I was doing for the last 16 years until I gave it up. Now I feel as I am playing every day even if it might be feast or famine when it comes time to pay the bills. My children and grandchildren keep me smiling all the time.

What makes you scared?
I get scared when I see the disrespect in the world today and the impact of violence in a world where my grandchildren will have to live.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?
“In the hour of adversity be not without hope For crystal rain falls from black clouds.” -Persian Proverb
 I have it painted on my bathroom wall.

I love that! What would your main character say about you?
“You’ve got scrambled eggs for brains.” I stole that line from a review about one of my books, but Granny would say that. It wasn’t meant to be a compliment, it was supposed to be a bad review, one star, but I loved it, along with them comparing my writing to Dr. Suess. I like him too.

How did you create the plot for this book?
I never know until I start writing what is going to happen. A friend gave me the idea for Granny to spend some time in the cemetery. That idea came after we were all reminiscing about a real grave robber we had in my community in, I believe, the early 60’s. He wrote me a note and said, “This is a great idea for Granny.”

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?
I believe it came from Kate Eileen Shannon when she read Granny Snows A Sneak. This is part of what she said, “I've called this series before Lemony Snicket for adults and it still is.”

That's great! What’s the worst thing someone has said about your writing? How did you deal with it?
Besides having scrambled eggs for brains, most of the bad reviews have come from people that don’t understand the satire and humor of the book. They think it is too farfetched and too much fantasy. I understand that not everyone is going to like my writing. If you gave me a history book to read or a very graphic book I would not give it a good review, not because they weren’t good books but because it wasn’t my type of book. I probably wouldn’t review it at all because it wouldn’t be fair to the author.

Granny Snows A Sneak is published by Cozy Cat Press, but what steps in self-publication have you personally done, and what did you hire someone to do? Is there anyone you’d recommend for a particular service?
I have self-published my kids books the Granny’s In Trouble Series.  For those and my newest book, Something About Nothing under my label Hermiony Vidalia Books, I designed the covers and did my own uploading for the printing and e-process. My editor for Something About Nothing is D.A. Sarac, The Editing Pen, and I certainly would recommend her expertise.

What are you working on now?
I am working on the fourth book in the Fuchsia Minnesota series for Cozy Cat Press. It will be called Granny Forks A Fugitive.

About the author

Julie Seedorf is a Minnesotan. She calls dinner - supper, and lunch - dinner. She has had many careers over her lifetime but her favorite career was that as mother to her children. In later life she became a computer technician, opening her own business. In 2012, Julie signed a contract with Cozy Cat Press for her Fuchsia, Minnesota series. Books included in that series are Granny Hooks a Crook, Granny Skewers A Scoundrel and released in November 2014, Granny Snows A Sneak. Closing her computer business in January 2014, Julie has transitioned to becoming a full-time writer adding free-lance work for various newspapers, along with continuing her column "Something About Nothing" which is now in book form, in a book of the same name, released in early 2015. Her children's series, Granny's In Trouble, gives her grandkids a hint of the young Grandma underneath the wrinkles. Her books are light and fluffy and highlight the fact that in the midst of life we have to find the humor in bad situations to keep us going. "We all take ourselves too seriously and we need to have a little fun.” Julie secretly yearns to be like the Granny characters in her books. Julie's serious side is revealed in a story included in the newly released book, We Go On – Charity Anthology for Veterans, where the proceeds will go to Veteran's Charities.

Connect with Julie:
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads