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As far back as I can remember, I’ve been in love with stories. My mother once told me that I didn’t nap like a normal child. Every afternoon she plunked me down in my crib, hoping for some quiet time, but I spent each nap babbling stories to my doll. At least, Mom assumed they were stories, despite the lack of any recognizable plot… or ending.

Nothing changed in Kindergarten. My teacher reported to my parents that I loved story telling time so much I couldn’t seem to find a place to stop. My first grade teacher was less diplomatic. I  really can’t blame her. Interminable stories with no plot can be tiresome. My fascination with stories stuck with me through high school and beyond, though not always in a helpful way. I wrote stories during math class, which did not go well. Apparently, I missed something called long division. It became obvious, as my school years passed by, that whatever career path I chose to follow had better involve words, not numbers.

9780425260715One of the unexpected joys of writing The Cookie Cutter Shop mysteries has been the opportunity to spend time with many types of characters and watch them evolve (or disintegrate) over time. I might have gotten carried away in DEAD MEN DON’T EAT COOKIES. So many characters appeared that I had to make a chart to keep track of them. Because you never know what sort of mischief your characters might be planning when you aren’t looking. After all, at least one of them was a murderer.

Even though I’m the one writing the stories, Livie and Maddie, my sleuthing duo, often surprise me. Livie has a business degree, and she can do math, but over time she has demonstrated strong powers of observation and more insight into human behavior than I had anticipated. (I suspect she inherited that ability from her mom, Ellie.) I’d wanted Maddie to be the fun sidekick, yet she has evolved, as well, into an intrepid investigator with impressive computer skills. Livie and Maddie pursue murderers with far more daring than I see in myself. I cringe when they sneak into a building at night, not knowing what they will find. And Maddie’s boundless energy makes me think about curling up for a nap. But that’s part of the fun of writing the series—I get to go along on their adventures without wondering if I should update my will. However, if Livie and Maddie start using math to solve murders, they’re on their own.

About the author:

Virginia Lowell is the national bestselling author of the Cookie Cutter Shop mysteries. Her sixth book in the series, DEAD MEN DON’T EAT COOKIES, was released on July 7. Virginia lives in the frozen north with her husband and two bossy cats. She grew up in a wonderfully quirky small Midwestern town that rarely experienced a murder.

Visit Virginia at: www.virginialowell.com and killercharacters.com

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