Q&A with Author Liz Mugavero - Dark Streets
Liz Mugavero started writing at a young age, then went on to get a master’s in writing and publishing and has spent time in journalism, PR and corporate communications. She works in marketing by day and writes her books by night!
Aside from writing, Liz loves animals (she has a houseful), the beach, reading other writers’ masterpieces and Starbucks coffee.
Liz Mugavero's Night Owl Page
Toni LoTempio: Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became interested in writing.
Liz Mugavero – Well, I was one of those nerdy kids (and I say that with love - there’s nothing better than a nerd) who always had her nose in a book. Once I learned to write, I became an instant short story writer, then progressed to my own soap opera, then finally to (bad) poetry in my teenage years. I knew from a very young age I would be a novelist - I even wrote a paper about it for a “future me” assignment in high school. My grad school thesis was a novel, the first one I ever completed. It will never see the light of day, but that’s okay - it was a tremendous learning experience. After grad school, I realized I needed to write what I loved, and that was definitely mysteries.
Toni LoTempio: Tell us about the Pawsitively Organic Mysteries!
Liz Mugavero – It’s about a girl who gets laid off from her high-pressure PR job and decides she wants a quieter lifestyle, so she moves to a little town in Connecticut called Frog Ledge with her cat, Nutty, for whom she makes organic treats (Nutty has a stomach condition). On her first week there she encounters the body of the local vet, and jumps to the top of the suspect list! In the second volume a local dairy farmer is found with a sickle through his heart! So it’s never a dull moment LOL.
Toni LoTempio: You were formerly in PR – which career do you prefer, that or author and why?
Liz Mugavero - I’ve had a few careers on both sides of the media fence. I was in journalism for a long time, and still dabble in it today. My time in PR led me to a communications gig in corporate America. I still work there but shifted my focus to product marketing, which is a lot of fun. I love being an author and feel that ultimately that will be my one career, but all these other jobs are fabulous experiences that bring a lot to my writing.
Toni LoTempio: Do you have a “how I got my agent” story you’d like to share? How did you feel when you got the call your first novel had sold?
Liz Mugavero - I wouldn’t be where I am without Sisters in Crime. For so many reasons - the support of like-minded writers, for one, but it’s where I found my agent. I belong to the national group, and also the New England chapter. Back in 2011, my agent John Talbot contacted the president of the chapter, then Sheila Connolly, and asked her to put him in touch with writers who would be interested in developing new cozy proposals. Sheila put the call out to the whole group. Out of those who responded, a bunch of us (including my Wicked Cozy Author friends) got contracts. And it happened fast! I talked to John in Sept./Oct. of that year. By Thanksgiving I had turned in a proposal, and it sold in December. Then I was off and running!
Toni LoTempio: What’s a must have for you when you are writing? What aids the creative process?
Liz Mugavero - It depends on my mood and where I am in the story. Sometimes music helps, sometimes I like quiet. My Chinese Pu Er tea is my one consistent need - that always helps.
Toni LoTempio: What do you hope readers will most take away from your writing?
Liz Mugavero - From this series, I hope they come away with new ideas on how to take care of their pets. What they eat is just as important as what we eat, and plays a big role in their ongoing health. If I can help educate one person on better animal nutrition, I’ve done my job.
Toni LoTempio: What are you working on at the moment / next?
Liz Mugavero - I’m wrapping my next in the series right now. It doesn’t have an official name yet, but all of our old friends from Frog Ledge are off on another adventure that involves a dead body!
Toni LoTempio: Where can we find out more about you and your work?
Liz Mugavero - My website, www.lizmugavero.com, Facebook and my group blog. I blog with some lovely ladies, the Wicked Cozy Authors, and we all write cozies set in New England. Come check us out at www.wickedcozyauthors.com And I’m also on Twitter @lizmugavero and Pinterest .
Toni LoTempio: Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
Liz Mugavero - Keep at it! Write all the time, write what you love, and never give up on your dream of getting published. Your dreams will come true in the perfect time and space sequence if you persist.
Toni LoTempio: Folks, if you want a good read (and cat and dog treat recipes!) pick up one of the Pawsitively Organic mysteries by Liz!
Columnist: Toni LoTempio
While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She lists among her favorite mystery/suspense writers Erle Stanley Gardner, Mary Higgins Clark and James Patterson, as well as EJ Copperman, Steve Hockensmith, Victoria Laurie, Ali Brandon, Rita Mae Brown, Miranda James and Sofie Kelly to name only a few! Toni is also passionate about her love for animals, as demonstrated with her four cats: Trixie, Princess, Maxx and, of course, ROCCO, who not only provided the inspiration for the character of Nick the cat in the Nick and Nora mystery series, but who also writes his own blog and does charity work for Nathan Fillion’s charity, Kids Need to Read! Toni’s also devoted to miniseries like The Thorn Birds, Dancing with the Stars, reruns of Murder She Wrote and Castle (of course!). She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – the first volume, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, debuts Dec. 2, 2014. She, Rocco and company make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Find them at: www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com or at www.tclotempio.com