ABOUT THE BOOKAce reporter Freddie Wolf is in the dog house.
After she turns down the crime beat at her small town Oregon newspaper because of a conflict of interest, Freddie’s editor at The Dog Mountain Chronicle demotes her back down to the dog beat. Which means covering more boring pooch parades, pet profiles, and canine puff pieces than any serious reporter could handle without losing her doggone mind.
But when Freddie’s friend Mindy Monahan goes missing just hours before the local school teacher was due to expose a ring of law-breaking dog owners, the journalist decides she won’t heel and stay within the lines of her beat. With the help of her police lieutenant boyfriend and her puppy, Mugs, Freddie launches her own investigation into Mindy’s mysterious disappearance. But little does Freddie know that by trying to sniff out the mystery, she’s walking right into a deadly trap. Because it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. And Freddie Wolf is about to learn that lesson the hard way . . .
Bulldogs & Bullets is the second book in the Dog Town USA Cozy Mystery series and is preceded by Mutts & Murder.
INTERVIEW WITH MEG MULDOONMeg, what's your favorite thing about the writing process?
When it seems like there’s no way to get from point A to point B in the story, and you start doubting yourself and what you’re doing, and everything seems very dark and impossible. But you keep working and trying and struggling to get the two points to meet somehow. And then suddenly, out of the blue, the solution hits you like a bolt of lightning. You have no idea where it came from. All you know is that it wouldn’t have happened if you had stopped and given up. That’s my favorite part of writing—the rewards you get for keeping at the process and being persistent despite the doubts and fears that try to stop you along the way.
What do you wish you’d done differently when you first started the publishing process?
I wish I had given it 100 percent from the very beginning. I worked as a reporter for four years while I was writing cozy mysteries – afraid to quit my day job with its steady (though meager) paycheck and pursue my dream of writing fiction. In my heart, I knew that I could make writing fiction work if I committed to it full-time, but I didn’t have the courage to do it. I finally quit my day job a year and a half ago with the thought that I was going to teach English abroad in Asia. My writing career took off at that precise moment, however, and I decided to pursue the dream of writing fiction full-time instead. I’m happy to say that so far, it’s been working out better than I even dreamed. In addition to making more than I did as a reporter, I’m so much happier now, and I absolutely love what I do. I just wish I’d gone for it sooner!
What do you think is the hardest aspect of writing a book?
Keeping focused and avoiding distractions!
What books do you currently have published?
I have 13 books right now. Eight books and one novella in the Christmas River Cozy Mystery series, two books in the Dog Town USA Cozy Mystery series, and two books in the Cozy Matchmaker Mystery series.
What is the worst job you’ve ever had? What did it teach you?
I worked in the home department of Macy’s during the Christmas season one year after college. On paper, it wasn’t such a bad job—especially compared to some. But I was lost at the time – unsure about what I wanted to do with my life. The job was difficult because it was somehow both boring, yet very stressful at the same time. I was a terrible salesperson. I never liked pushing things on anybody, especially department store credit cards the way the company wanted us to.
But at the same time, so much good came out of that job, that I can’t regret working there. During my breaks, I used to walk over to the nearby donut shop and watch the snow fall outside and try to come up with a future that didn’t involve a hard sell or customer service or pretending to be somebody I’m not. I didn’t immediately come up with writing mysteries, but that experience got me thinking about ways that I could independently support myself without having to work for a company or in a structured 9 to 5 environment.
If you could only watch one television station for a year, what would it be?
Turner Classic Movies, no question about it. I love old movies so much, especially film noir, mysteries, and Westerns.
What do you love about where you live?
After living most of my life in Central Oregon, I moved this past fall to Santa Fe, New Mexico to try something new. Central Oregon is a stunning place of profound beauty and will always be my home, but I feel like I’m growing into Santa Fe. I love my Casita just off the plaza. I love the stray cats that cross the courtyard every day (and yes – I’ve given them all the names of old movie stars. Lon Chaney is the most frequent visitor.) I love the smell of chilies roasting in the fall, and I love the towering cottonwoods rustling in the breezes that come down off the Sangre de Cristo’s. It’s a magical place, and I feel lucky to be able to live here for a little while.
What's your favorite treat for movie night?
Tillamook’s Marionberry Pie ice cream. It’s my favorite treat for movie night or anytime. I’m crazy for pie! (And just plain crazy )
What's the biggest lie you ever told?
I guess that I do this writing thing all by myself. As a writer you might be alone for a big chunk of your day while you work, but nobody does this work alone. It takes support from a lot of people. Your family, friends, and readers all play a huge role in getting a book completed. Luckily, I’ve been blessed to have so many wonderful people supporting me in my life.
Where is your favorite place to visit?
The Gifford Homestead pie shop in the heart of Capitol Reef National Park, Utah. To me, getting to enjoy delicious, fresh, juicy pie smack-dab in some of the most beautiful red rock land and orchard valleys in the world equals pure happiness. The setting partially inspired my Christmas River series, which is about a small-town pie shop owner who lives in a beautiful and rural setting. (Did I mention that I like pie???)
Have you ever killed off a character fictionally, as revenge for something someone did in real life?
Um . . . I plead the fifth!
What would your main character say about you?
Cinnamon Peters, the pie baker from the Christmas River series, would say that I was a quiet but friendly gal with a fondness for hazelnut coffee and marionberry pie. Freddie Wolf, the reporter in the Dog Town USA series, would say I might have promise as a reporter, but that I’ll never get far if I don’t commit to really memorizing AP style and learn proper comma usage. And barmaid Loretta Loveless of the Cozy Matchmaker series would probably tell you that I’m a pain as a customer because I’m always asking for obscure craft beers that her small saloon doesn’t stock.
Who is your favorite fictional character?
I have to break the rule of this question here and give you two. My favorites are Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call from Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove series. I’m a sucker for Westerns, and I think these two are among the very best characters ever written. The old Texas Rangers play off each other masterfully, and both are such well-developed, multi-dimensional, and enjoyable characters. They’re imperfect and flawed and human, and written to perfection. They hold a special place in my heart.
What is the wallpaper on your computer’s desktop?
I have a still shot of Orson Welles as Harry Lime from the movie, The Third Man. Of course it’s a little hard to see these days because I have so many random files saved to the desktop that they block the photo! But like I said earlier, I love old movies—and The Third Man is probably my all-time favorite mystery ever. I guess I keep that photo there to remind me to do my best to write compelling characters, to not be afraid to be unconventional, and to stay the course in my writing.
What are you working on now?
I just published Bulldogs & Bullets, the second book in the Dog Town USA Cozy Mystery series. I’m working on the next Christmas River book right now, and this summer I’ll be coming out with Missing in Christmas River: A Christmas Cozy Mystery (Book 9).
Thank you so much for having me on A Blue Million, Amy! It’s been a pleasure!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Originally from Central Oregon, Meg lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with a cattle dog named Huckleberry.
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