Nine years ago, when I was first approached with the idea of writing the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries, I almost said no. After all, with the exception of an occasional button and/or a scout patch for one of my daughters, I wasn’t exactly what you’d call “a seamstress.” Fortunately for me, that part of me that had always wanted to be published with a New York house, told me to give it a try.
So I did. I focused my proposal on the socialization aspect of a sewing circle—the camaraderie that comes from engaging in a hobby or activity with likeminded people. Forty-eight hours after I wrote what would become the first six chapters of SEW DEADLY, I had the contract to write the series.
Sure enough, as Tori, Leona, Margaret Louise, Rose, and the rest of the gang came to life on my keyboard, I began to see these women as real people—people with quirks and fears and joys and dreams. And yes, I became attached to each and every one of them.
They surprised me often and that was part of the fun. When Leona first showed up on the page, she was bossy and had this thing for younger men. I didn’t know why, but I went with it. And sure enough, as she got to know me and me, her…she revealed the why behind her seemingly prickly side.
And Margaret Louise? Spending time with her was like spending time with that grandma who loves with every ounce of herself. I loved the way she talked, the way she drove, the way she looked out for everyone.
Rose…well, I had a soft spot for her from day one. I liked her spunk, her take-no-prisoners attitude, and her love for my main character, Tori Sinclair.
Every time I got a new contract extension or I sat down to write the next book, I was thrilled. Because I knew I was getting to spend time with this amazing cast of characters who have become my friends.
Needless to say, when I sat down to write Patterned After Death (the final book in the series), my heart was heavy. These characters have been such a big part of my life these past nine years. In addition to becoming my friends, they also helped me through some of my own tough patches by giving me a place to escape to…and friends to escape with.
So while murder had to touch their lives once again (it is, after all, a murder mystery), I hope they’re pleased with their send off.
You can read more about Tori Sinclair in Patterned After Death, the 12th book in the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries by Elizabeth Lynn Casey:
Everyone in Sweet Briar, South Carolina, knows former high school football stars Jake Davis and Noah Madden. The two were fierce rivals once and now, twenty years later, the dueling quarterbacks haven’t lost their luster. So townsfolk are surprised when Jake and Noah team up for a business venture. And there’s only one suspect when Noah turns up murdered.
Margaret Louise, Jake’s mother and one of the founding members of the sewing circle, isn’t about to take the attack on her son’s reputation lying down. In fact, she’s in full mama-bear mode. And Tori and the rest of the Sweet Briar gang are more than willing to help her sharpen her claws to catch a killer.
About the Author:
Elizabeth Lynn Casey (of the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries) is a pen name for Laura Bradford, the national bestselling author of several mystery series, including the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, the Amish Mysteries, the Tobi Tobias Mysteries, and the Jenkins & Burns Mysteries. Laura is a former Agatha Award nominee, and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award in romance. When she’s not writing, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, baking, and being an advocate for those living with Multiple Sclerosis.
To learn more, visit her website: www.laurabradford.com, or hang out with her on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/laurabradfordauthor/?fref=ts. She can also be found occasionally tweeting at: @Bradfordauthor.