Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction
What inspired you to write the first book in the series?
Family history. My father’s uncle was murdered in 1935, and I grew up hearing the stories about him. It always made me sad that his murder was never solved, so I solved it fictionally. Also, I wrote the first book at a time when I needed to laugh, which is why I made it a humorous mystery.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
I didn’t come up with them, they came up to me, sat down, and started talking. It probably began when I first visited the real Goose Pimple Junction (Virginia) in 1985. The name stuck with me, and when I thought about writing the first book, I knew which town I wanted it to be set in. With a town like Goose Pimple Junction, the residents needed to be a little . . . colorful. They’ve been talking to me ever since.
Where did you come up with the names in the books?
I think names are hugely important. Some of the names come to me instantly, but I also keep a running list of interesting names, and when I’m stuck I refer to it. The South is full of nicknames, family names, two-word names–the possibilities are endless. And it’s so much fun to find the right name for a character.
What do you enjoy most about writing this series?
I love having the characters in my head. They are a fun bunch of people who make me laugh. Through them, I get to do and say things I would love to do and say in real life but never would. I also love “living” in Goose Pimple Junction. It’s an idyllic little community with whacky residents who are fun to know. I also like exacting revenge on people who anger me in real life.
How did you come up with the title of your first novel?
I originally titled it simply Goose Pimple Junction. Some of the readers in an online critique group I belonged to at the time said it needed more, so I added Murder & Mayhem. I wish I had known how many other books begin with Murder & Mayhem in their title, but I think it aptly describes what the book is about.
Who designed your book covers?
I am blessed to have found four fantastic artists for my covers. I commissioned Karen Mathison Schmidt (http://www.edgewoodfineart.com/) to do the front and back covers of book 1, and I think she perfectly captured the GPJ in my head.
For book 2, I was searching for Southern homes online and found a painting that looked like the house in my mind where the main character lived. John Charles Gibbs (www.gibbsgallery.com) agreed to sell me the rights to use it for the cover, and he even added a chalk outline in the yard and a pumpkin on the porch to match what was happening in the book.
For book 3, I found a painting of a Basset Hound that was exactly like the Ezzie in my head, the Basset that’s in all the books. I thought using a dog on the cover for a play on words (Short & Tall Tales/tails) would be fun, and Anne Rackley Berenbrok
(https://www.etsy.com/shop/AllCreaturesStudio?ref=l2-shopheader-name) sold me the rights to use it.
And for book 4, I can’t remember how I found it, but I was searching online for something and came across "Emerico" Imre Tóth’s (https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/emerico-toth.html) “Rainy Day” picture. It was perfect for what I was writing in the book, and he sold me the rights to use it.
If you could spend time with a character from your book who would it be? And what would you do during that day?
First, I’d take Louetta to lunch at Slick & Junebug’s Diner and then I’d spend the afternoon cooking with Louetta. After dinner, I’d go to her bookstore and while away the night reading and perusing through books.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
They’re all figments of my imagination, although some may have some characteristics of people I know. Only the biker character, “Tank,” in book 1 is an actual person–at least physically. We were on vacation, and I was sitting in the car at a rest stop when this biker dude walked right past me. He was so unique and off the wall, I knew he was one of my characters. I guess there are a few others who have been based on real people–people who have made me mad, so I exacted fictional revenge and killed them off.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
They definitely hijack the story. I don’t know how many times I’ve thought I knew where the story was going, only to be corrected by the characters.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
I find the best way to convince someone to read a book is by word of mouth. So out of the mouth of a few reviewers, here are some reasons you should read the GPJ series:
“To say I enjoyed Ms. Metz work would be an understatement, I relished it, adored it, want to marry it. The writing was exceptional, easy to follow, highly entertaining, and extremely clever. It was not only funny, but intelligent and suspenseful.”
“…transported to a small southern town filled with southern hospitality, charm and characters…”
“Some creative characters that you completely fall in love with.”
“Murder & Mayhem In Goose Pimple Junction is a characterization clinic!”
"A good old-fashioned mystery, a great romance, a fun book and it will leave you with a smile on your face."
“Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction is charming, fun, well-written, and loaded with delicious personality . . . ”
“Intricacy, humor and word play continue Amy Metz's signature style in this second of her Goose Pimple series. Memorable characters, some new, some familiar, run riot through town creating chaos, disaster and hilarity. This book contains many "Listen to this" moments and two very well written mysteries. Nothing is hidden, the clues are right out there. Enjoy, and be careful drinking while you read. You could be snorting soda out your nose.”
Have you written any other books that are not published?
I have written parts of two other books. One is a thriller about a serial killer in Alabama, and the other is a chick lit book set in South Carolina. I work on them periodically, but haven’t finished them yet. I also have a manuscript written about my mother’s ordeal with dementia. It’s actually the reason I started writing. I needed to vent about what was happening, and writing about it was a great outlet.
Tess Tremaine starts a new life in the colorful town of Goose Pimple
Junction, curiosity leads her to look into a seventy-five-year-old
murder. Suddenly she’s learning the foreign language of southern
speak, resisting her attraction to local celebrity Jackson Wright,
and dealing with more mayhem than she can handle.
bank robbery, murder, and family tragedy from the 1930s are pieces of
the mystery that Tess attempts to solve. As she gets close to the
truth, she encounters danger, mystery, a lot of southern charm, and a
new temptation for which she’s not sure she’s ready.
We've Howdied But We Ain't Shook Yet
Heroes & Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction
Pimple Junction is just recovering from a kidnapping and a murder,
its first major crimes in years, when trouble begins anew. Life is
turned upside down in the quirky little southern town with the
arrival of several shifty hooligans: A philandering husband intent on
getting his wife back, another murderer loose in town, a stalker
intent on frightening Martha Maye, and a thief who’s stealing the
town blind of their pumpkins, pies, and peace. Together, they’re
scaring the living daylights out of the residents and keeping the new
police chief busier than a set of jumper cables at a redneck picnic.
Suddenly, he has his hands full trying to apprehend a killer, stop a
stalker, and fight his feelings for the damsel in distress.
Short & Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction
is not your average Southern town. With a hint of mystery and a lot
of laughs, you'll catch a glimpse of everyday life in Goose Pimple
Junction in this short story compilation. Five short stories, one
novella, and three recipes will give you more of the unique charm of
Goose Pimple Junction, make you laugh, and have your mouth watering.
If you want a feel-good read, you've come to the right place. Grab
some sweet tea and escape to Goose Pimple Junction.
Rogues & Rascals in Goose Pimple Junction
Southern belle Caledonia Culpepper and hit woman in training Wynona
Baxter come up against crooked lawyers, restless husbands, a teenage
hoodlum . . . it seems there are rogues and rascals everywhere you
look in Goose Pimple Junction. When their paths cross, they prove
there isn't a rogue or a rascal who can keep a good woman down. Mama
always said there'd be days like this . . .
Amy Metz is the author of the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. She
is a former first grade teacher and the mother of two sons. When not
writing, enjoying her family, or surfing Pinterest, Amy can usually
be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in one hand and a glass
of sweet tea in the other. Amy lives in Louisville, Kentucky and
loves a good Southern phrase.
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