At the Silver Bear Shop and Factory, Sasha will be selling plenty of bride and groom teddy bears come springtime. But this Valentine's Day weekend, she'd take any of those silent, stuffed couples over the real thing. Sasha and her sister Maddie are bridesmaids at Cissy Davidson’s upcoming wedding in Silver Hollow. Cissy is fuming over the worst choice of best man—the jerk who broke her sister Debbie's heart—and the groom-to-be won't budge in his decision. At the rehearsal dinner you could cut the tension with a wedding cake knife.
That is, until best man Dylan is found dead, impaled with an ice pick. Although jilted Debbie is the most likely suspect—the blood on her dress doesn't help her case—the bride begs Sasha to prove her sister's innocence. If anyone's going to walk down the aisle, Sasha will first need to find the cold-hearted killer who iced Dylan . . .
LKBR: Thank you for joining us, Meg.
MM: Thank you so much for having me today, Lisa!
LKBR: Please tell us a bit about Wedding Bear Blues.
MM: I had a lot of fun writing the fourth book of my Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear cozies, researching details for a Valentine’s Day wedding, rounding out the bridal party and their secrets, plus plan a few fiascos. It’s never easy coming up with a murder, a victim, the motive, and the suspects. I also love adding special events to my cozy books, and didn’t want to repeat a parade or tea party. So my protagonist, Sasha Silverman, decides to host a fundraiser along with setting a Guinness World Record for collecting the most teddy bears in one place. But she also has to prove the prime suspect is innocent, and resolve who killed the best man before the wedding can take place.
LKBR: Are you working on any new projects?
MM: I just submitted Bear A Wee Grudge, which is due out in late 2021 or early 2022. I’m hoping to start a new historical mystery soon, and possibly get a western romantic short story I wrote for an anthology extended into a novella to self-publish, and perhaps another one for a boxed set. We’ll see what 2021 brings.
LKBR: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
MM: As a 3rd or 4th grader, I loved taking Marjorie McSwigan’s Snow Treasure out of the school library. Seeing that book on the shelf planted a seed in me, that one day I’d see my name on a book’s spine in the library or bookstore. I also gave that book to nieces and nephews, because it’s such a wonderful story.
LKBR: Was getting your first book published everything you thought it would be? The feelings? The process?
MM: Not exactly. I’d hoped for a contract from a NYC publisher for my western historical mystery, but had to settle for an offer from a small press. Then I sent my book to several contests with hopes to gain some publicity – and the Western Writers of America chose Double Crossing as Best First Book of 2012. A total shock, and such an honor! It took more hard work and several more years to get that NYC publishing contract. As several mentors said, “butt in chair, hands on keyboard” – and keep writing, no matter what. That’s still true to this day.
LKBR: How did you handle it when changes were made to your first manuscript? I don’t have a thick skin, so I know how I would have felt.
MM: Actually, I sent in a premise for my cozy series – and after accepting the offer for a contract, my editor wanted changes to the protagonist and her family. Since I’d already written the first three or four chapters, I had to start over. But that made for a stronger book, so I didn’t mind in the least. I’ve never had many changes to make in each manuscript I’ve submitted, but I do get requests to “add more of the cat and dogs” or “you changed a character’s name, did you mean to do that?” It’s sometimes hard to keep track, and I do have a “series bible” to help. But it’s easy to forget those little things.
LKBR: What is your favorite part of being a writer?
MM: The beginning of a new book or series, when you have to buckle down and start new – creating a world, the people who live in it, whether based in history or a contemporary time. And yes, a writer has to research details for a cozy! I’ve had to look up cars (new and old), current seasonal fashions, cultural references, etc., besides the setting using a map and blueprint for a shop or home. I absolutely love including more than visual senses – the sounds of dogs barking, the smell of aftershave, the feel of velvet or silk, the taste of dishes. It all helps the reader experience the world along with the characters.
LKBR: Have you ever read a book that has stayed with you long after reading it?
MM: J.R.R. Tolkien’s books have always remained with me, and I’ve read them many times. Although I’ve never written fantasy (yet), I loved visiting fictional worlds and joining in the adventures. Charles Portis’s True Grit was another book/movie that inspired me to write my first book, Double Crossing. And Agatha Christie’s mysteries, along with G.B. Shaw’s Pygmalion, inspired me to co-write the historical mystery series featuring Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins. I’d say Ursula LeGuin’s Left Hand of Darkness and the Earthsea Trilogy have stuck with me the most.
LKBR: Why are reviews, good or bad, so important to authors?
MM: For one thing, editors and their assistants do check reviews when it’s time to consider renewing a contract along with sales numbers. I rarely read reviews, however – like Shatner and other actors who never watch their shows. I guess it’s nice to know readers love your book, but for those who don’t, for some reason or another, we can’t change them. And often the typos or mistakes are not the author’s, but post-proofread stage. So frustrating. But I do appreciate reviews from readers.
LKBR: On what sites do you recommend readers leave their reviews?
MM: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads.
LKBR: If you could spend one hour with a reader, what would you want to talk about?
MM: Books, of course! Cozy and historical mystery, biographies, even YA and kids’ books. And movies adapted from books – although usually the book is better.
LKBR: Thank you so much, Meg, for letting us get to know you better!
MM: Thanks again, Lisa! It’s always an honor to share with cozy mystery readers. I love hearing from them, and love reading books as well.
About Meg Macy
Award-winning mystery author Meg Macy lives in Southeast Michigan, close enough to Ann Arbor, Chelsea, and Dexter -- the setting of her "Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear" cozy mysteries for Kensington. She is also one-half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland for the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins mysteries; two books, Wouldn't It Be Deadly and Get Me to the Grave On Time were Agatha Award finalists for Best Historical. Meg's first published book, Double Crossing, won the 2012 Best First Novel Spur Award from Western Writers of America. Meg loves reading historical and cozy mysteries, gardening, crafts, and watercolor painting.