I had the pleasure of chatting with muti-published author, Bobbye Terry, about her latest release, a cozy mystery. BURIED IN BRINY BAY introduces readers to Roxy, a heroine, who is suspected of murder, thanks to her sassy personality. Her penchant for pulling pranks has turned serious and deadly. Will Roxy end up in prison because of her jokes, and her well known dislike for her life long nemesis, Georgia?
Selena: What do you think readers will be drawn to in your heroine, Roxie?
Bobbye Terry: I think they’ll be drawn to her and her sister, Trixie. These are women who sound like zany dimwits, but even though they’re full of sass and one-liners, they also have brains beneath all the tomfoolery and have a way of getting their man or woman, or multiples, as the case may be.
Selena: Are there any interesting stories you could share with us while you were researching BURIED IN BRINY BAY?
Bobbye Terry: Well, Briny Bay is a fictional place, but I envision it as being right at the mouth of the Neuse River in eastern North Carolina, right on the Pamlico Sound, land-side vs. being on the Outer Banks. When I was a young girl, I used to vacation with my family at my uncles’ shared duplex at Minnesott Beach, right across from Cherry Point, so I’m familiar with the area. I’ve also visited the Outer Banks on multiple occasions, once when the bridge was out to Pea Island and we had to be ferried across. The time I’ve spent in North Carolina on the water makes it near and dear to me. It was a no-brainer for the location of my series.
As for small town living, I’ve done my share of that, so getting into character to literally build a town in my mind and dedicate it to paper wasn’t that tough either. I am a Southerner, and the dialect in North Carolina is similar to where I grew up in Virginia. In fact, I spent some of my elementary school years growing up between Chapel Hill and Durham, North Carolina when my dad was in graduate school for his Masters and PhD.
As for methods of murdering people, I did research the one for Georgia, finding a grisly article about how the woman had been murdered by being stabbed in the eye with a butter knife, so I had Roxie read the article.
Selena: Where did you get the idea for the book?
Bobbye Terry: I was actually writing a paranormal romance, light on the paranormal and more like a straight contemporary. At one spot, far into the book, the hero has to come home to Briny Bay for a challenge to win a contract with a huge national company. He stopped into a diner, and Trixie popped up. Well, Trixie stole the scene. So I wrote in her sister who cavorts around with the villain of the book and he becomes the California foreigner they keep alluding to in BURIED IN BRINY BAY. The novella series came out first when it was moved into an open publishing slot, but keep your eyes peeled for THIS MAGIC MOMENT where the sisters made their debut.
Selena: I believe that character development is crucial to a good book. What do you think readers would most enjoy about your characters in BURIED IN BRINY BAY?
Bobbye Terry: I always do character sketches of my main characters before I start writing. I agree with you that characterization is one of the most important components of a good book. The folks in this book are fun, lively, and the two main characters act like real sisters, barbing each other all the time. I have fun with them because they are their authentic selves, what you see is what you get. No one knows what’s going to come out of their mouths, but one knows for sure that the two of them will never stab a person in his back. Floyd is the laid back foil for Trixie, while Greg, the handsome love interest for Roxie still doesn’t know what he got himself into. Even the villains are fun.
Selena: What did you enjoy most about writing suspense novels?
Bobbye Terry: The mixture of light moments mixed with the tragedy of murder and misery. The contrast appeals to me. This is a cozy series, so the murders happen off-stage, but I have the Climax series (Climax is a real town in Virginia) coming out in September where, though the Southern humor will trick you, each book becomes grim in some places, sometimes bordering on horror, especially in book two, NICK OF TIME. The villains in this series are anything but fun. I also enjoy throwing in the red herrings. Some of the Critique Partners say I’m good at that. We’ll see what the readers think.