I'm welcoming talented author Maggie Toussaint to my Paranormal Mysteries Blog today. Her new book is Bubba Done It - an unlikely title for a paranormal mystery but Maggie's Dreamwalker Mysteries are great!
Welcome to my paranormal mystery blog, Maggie!
1. Bubba Done It is the second book in your Dreamwalker Mysteries. Please give us a brief synopsis of the story.
Thanks for the warm welcome, Joyce! I’m delighted to be here at Writers and Readers of Paranormal Mystery. My newest book, Bubba Done It, is both paranormal and cozy. Amateur sleuth Baxley Powell, a woman who talks to the dead in her dreams, now has an “in” with the cops and is a bona fide police consultant. Baxley and the sheriff are summoned to a crime scene arriving just in time to hear the dying banker confess who stabbed him: Bubba Done It.
While the sheriff believes he can solve this homicide in a day or two, Baxley knows their town is full of Bubbas. Among the top 5 suspects is her screw-up brother-in-law, Bubba Powell. She’s known this Bubba all his life, and he wouldn’t hurt a flea, would he? Turns out he’s seeing the dead man’s estranged wife. Suddenly everything gets more complicated for Baxley.
She dreamwalks to talk to the dead guy, but a scary entity has taped his mouth shut. Said entity shows up throughout the book, needling Baxley and finally helping her when her dad goes AWOL on the Other Side. Meanwhile, Baxley and the sheriff sift through the Bubbas’ lives. The top suspects are a down-on-his-luck fisherman, a crackhead evangelist, a politically-connected investor, and her brother in-law. Each Bubba had a combination of means, motive, and opportunity to want to get rid of the banker.
Baxley gets distracted by a cold case, that of the dead man’s missing niece. She wonders if the two cases are connected and tries to prove it while she’s also pet sitting and landscaping, her other day jobs. The banker’s funeral arrives, and the funeral reception is marred by a food fight as the Bubbas feel the heat of the investigation.
The screws tighten, and Baxley’s life is on the line. Will she find the killer before he takes her out of the picture?
2. How do you come up with your titles?
Titles are very important to me. I’d like to say that I have an organized process for selecting a title, but I don’t want to mislead you. I’ve now published 13 books, and of those, only one title was modified by a publisher, and that was to add the comma in Death, Island Style.
Brainstorming helps. I jot down ideas for titles as they come to me. Every possibility seems brilliant when I write them down. It takes several days for me to figure out which title is right for the book. My first mystery series was about an accountant, and coins factored in all the titles: In For a Penny, On the Nickel, and Dime If I Know.
This book was always going to be Bubba Done It. Once the idea settled in my head, I got right to work on writing the book. I need the right title before I can get started.
3. Are you ever worried that your books are too ‘Southern’ to have a large audience?
Sure, I worry about this, but then I think about Margaret Mitchell. She wrote Gone With The Wind very Southern, and most everyone has heard of her book. I enjoy writing Southern because I am Southern. This type of story comes the most naturally to me. Initially, I wrote other books set in Maryland that weren’t as Southern, but I love the challenge of writing every woman stories into my fiction. The Southern part comes across as my branding, which works for me.
4. Please describe your writing process.
You would ask this ((grin)). I started out writing as an outliner, then I tried winging a few books. Painful lesson learned: winging it means side trips to nowhere and lots of rewriting. Now I have major plot points I write to. Once I start a book, I set word count goals for each week. Mornings are my golden power hours.
5. Please tell us something about yourself and how you relate to this book.
I’m of the generation that started out with no television, though TV quickly became a staple in our household. In our rural Southern community, we only received three stations, and they all went off the air at midnight when I was a kid.
My aunts, uncles, cousins, and the entire neighborhood valued oral story telling. I literally grew up at the knees of fabulous story tellers. The best stories were of disasters and scariness. Ghosts were a frequent character in the stories, and several relatives claimed to see ghosts.
I soaked it all in like a sponge. I don’t consider myself to be psychic though I sometimes get “a feeling” about this, that, or the other. In Bubba Done It, I live vicariously through Baxley’s adventures on this side of the dirt and the other. For me, it’s a matter of parsing together Christian teaching, a belief in life after death, a lifetime of interest in the paranormal, and making up stuff to make it all work out. I love this job!
6. What do you do to celebrate a new book coming out?
Book launches! I have branched out from the local booksignings I do to include Facebook parties, blog tours like this Great Escapes Blog Tour, special edition newsletters, library mailings, and blitzing all my social media. Contests and giveaways increase interest as does cool swag. Dinner out is a nice touch, as well.
7. Do you have any input into the covers?
Absolutely. Every publisher I’ve ever worked with had cover input sections in their guidelines packets. I’ve been very pleased with the cover artists I’ve had. Three of my backlist titles, which are now in Kindle format, I reissued and created the covers for. The process is time consuming, and it really made me appreciate a good cover artist all the more.
8. What is your dream review?
One that goes viral and thousands of people buy my books. The dream review would truthfully make my books sound like the best thing since sliced bread, and it would be posted where lots of people would encounter it.
9. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’m not a huge traveler, but I have spent some time overseas and some time seeing the sights in the U.S. For nearly 30 years, I lived in Maryland, returning to Georgia about ten years ago. Again, not a vast amount of travel experience, but just enough to know that I wouldn’t live anywhere else but coastal Georgia. There is no place like home.
10. What are you working on now?
Another mystery! I’ve got a total of four books written in my Dreamwalker mystery series and only three books in my Cleopatra Jones mystery series. Seemed like I should spend more time with Cleo, so that’s what I’ve been doing.
Thanks so much for having me, Joyce.
Bubba Done It is available in hardcover format at online retailers. The ebook (digital) format of the book will show up on those book pages as well for you folks who prefer digital books.
Bubba Done It at Amazon
Bubba Done It at Barnes and Noble