Monday, July 05, 2010

Avery Aames, Guest Blogger

Today, I'd like to welcome Avery Aames as guest blogger. Avery's new mystery, The Long Quiche Goodbye, is released tomorrow, so it's the perfect time to invite her to meet with us. Thank you, Avery!


By Avery Aames

You know what’s fun? Populating a book with characters. For A Cheese Shop Mystery series, I’ve created an entire town of people, characters who have dwelt in the quaint town of Providence, Ohio for years. You know what’s even more fun? When a character is cast in a cameo role and turns out to become a major player.

When I began writing The Long Quiche Goodbye, I started out with a set of main characters that included my protagonist Charlotte who ran The Cheese Shop, her cousin Matthew who ran the wine annex, her grandparents Grandmère and Pépère who raised her, and a best friend from childhood, Meredith. Charlotte also had an assistant in the shop, Amelia Wagler, who was a sweet Amish girl who left the community. Along the way, I realized that Amelia was too close a name to Amy, one of Charlotte’s twin nieces, so I changed Amelia’s name to one that was a more typical Amish name, Rebecca Zook, and wham! The character took off. Rebecca started waving her fictional hands at me and begging to be “all she could be.” She loved TV mystery shows. She was a snoop. She repeatedly had important information to impart. Without warning, she started chatting more in conversations. [Okay, yes, I probably had the ability to rein her in, but why? That would ruin the fun.] And so she evolved into Charlotte’s sidekick. Understand, Meredith was supposed to be Charlotte’s sidekick, but Meredith turned into someone who had more pressing life issues than pal-ing around with Charlotte. Rebecca, on the other hand, was always there, chiming in. [In book two, Lost and Fondue, she is just as vital. And Meredith gets a bigger role.]

Another character that took off in The Long Quiche Goodbye was Grandmère. What a delight she was to write! She is the local mayor and runs the local theater that earns rave reviews in the region. When she first appeared on the page, she had such energy. She reminded me (and therefore Charlotte) of “the little engine that could.” She charged onto the scene with the colorful verve of a gypsy. Years ago, she and Pépère left war-torn France and made America their home, and the couple embraced all things American. Grandmère raised Charlotte with love and affection and a gentle hand, but she is a director, and an organizer, and she wants to make sure her opinion is heard. Rein her in? Not on a bet!

Charlotte’s twin nieces, Amy and Claire, have also blossomed into full characters. Amy is night to Claire’s day. She’s a spitfire like her grandmother, nosy like Rebecca, and very dramatic, while Claire is more reserved, a reader, an observer. Charlotte adores them both.

And then there’s Charlotte’s pal, Delilah, an ex-hoofer from Broadway who has returned to town to run the Country Kitchen diner. And Lois, the quirky gal who adores the color purple and operates the Lavender and Lace bed-and-breakfast. And Umberto Urso, the chief of police, a big bear of a man who Charlotte thought was destined to become president of the United States but chose to keep the peace in his hometown.

The list goes on, but I don’t want to forget to mention Jordan Pace, the handsome cheese farmer who has won Charlotte’s heart. Not only does he help smaller farms age their cheeses properly in the affinage caves that he built, but he makes a delicious Double-cream Gouda. What a guy! However, Jordan has a mysterious past that makes Charlotte a little wary. She wishes she knew more about him. She’s not the kind of person who takes risks. At least she isn’t until a murder happens in town and her grandmother is suspected of the crime. Then Charlotte finds out that she has spirit. Lots of spirit!

Ah, yes, the joy of being an author. I love it.

Do you people watch? Do you divine stories about people you see? ? Do your characters have a past, a future? Do those stories morph? Isn’t it fun?!!!

Thank you, Avery! I hope you'll check out Avery's book if you love cozy mysteries or cheese. And, I'm sure you don't have to love cheese to read the book. I'm originally from Ohio, and I'm partial to books set there. I'll be reviewing The Long Quiche Goodbye tomorrow.

Avery Aames, author of A Cheese Shop Mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime, likes to read, cook, garden, and do amateur photography. You may visit Avery at She also blogs at Mystery Lovers Kitchen, a blog for foodies who love mysteries, as well as at Killer Characters, a blog overtaken by cozy authors’ characters,

The first book in the series, The Long Quiche Goodbye, debuts July 6. You can purchase the book at Avery’s bookseller page:

The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames. Berkley Prime Crime, ©2010. ISBN 9780425235522 (paperback), 304p.


Dru said...

I can't wait to meet Charlotte and her friends. Congrats Avery on your upcoming release.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I'm going to be at the bookstore tomorrow picking this book off the shelves. Avery is smart and fun and I can tell her book will be the same! I love it when characters run off in directions we never thought they'd head in. :) Congratulations and best wishes for a successful release!

Lesa said...

Dru, I hope you enjoy Avery's characters. I'm 1/3 of the way through the book, and I know I'm enjoying the way they've taken off.

Lesa said...


I hope you find your book right along side Avery's tomorrow when you get to the bookstore. Good luck to both of you!

Avery Aames said...

Thanks, Lesa, for the opportunity to share today on your blog. Glad you're enjoying the read.

And thank you to all your fans for your good wishes.

Elizabeth - we're going to have such fun this month! Barbecue and cheese. A perfect combination for summer reading and eating.

Mystery Lovers' Kitchen

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Avery. Good luck with The Long Quiche Goodbye. And, if everything goes right, I'll be at the Poisoned Pen on Sunday, July 25 to meet you!

Alan Orloff said...

Nice post, Avery! Congrats on your release--I'm looking forward to getting my signed copy later this week at Thrillerfest!

Avery Aames said...

Alan, can't wait to see you, too!


caryn said...

I got a notice this morning from Amazon that both your book and the BBQ one by Riley Adams have been shipped! Both will make the trip to Michigan on vacation t the end of the month I'm sure.
Caryn in St.Louis

Molly said...

What a delightful post in every way! This series has all that I enjoy a good cozy mystery: quaint town, lovely characters, food, mystery, Amish.....I am most anxious to read it for myself!

Thank you, Lesa, for introducing us :)

Avery Aames said...

Molly and Caryn, so glad you enjoyed the post. I hope you enjoy the book just as much!

Jenn McKinlay said...

LOVE your post, Avery. I've been
eagerly awaiting QUICHE, but now I
am desperate to meet these characters, particularly Rebecca! I love when a character demands attention. It makes writing them
such a joy.

Gayle said...

This was a delightful post. It reminded me of several different moments when my characters took on new life - anything from a line of dialogue or a bit of action they seized upon, to renaming or recasting them (I love movies and do a lot of casting, just to make it more fun for me). My hero spent a lot of time stubbornly refusing to go through a door after a killer until I changed who was behind the door. Gayle

Avery Aames said...

Gayle, that sounds intriguing. You changed who was behind the door? Door #1, #2, or #3? LOL! I do cast my characters in my mind. I'll be curious who you all see as Charlotte and her pals once you read the book.


Beth Hoffman said...

I so enjoyed reading this post! Thanks Avery and Lesa!

Kay said...

I know I'm going to love this book and have it preordered for my Kindle tomorrow. I love cheese, way too much and so I'll probably have to get some to munch on while I read it! LOL

kathy d. said...

Love that cover! One wants to curl up in the picture, eat cheese and read.

Avery Aames said...

Beth, so glad you enjoyed the post.
Kay, I often have a snack while reading. I particularly like Cheddar in cubes. :)
And Kathy, yes, the cover is so great. The artist, Teresa Fasolino, is a real talent!

Best to all,


Cleo Coyle said...

Big congrats on the release of THE LONG QUICHE GOODBYE - a tasty read and absolutely delightful addition to the world of culinary mysteries. Enjoy your release week, Avery, you deserve it!


Avery Aames said...

Aw, thanks, Cleo. You and all my pals at Mystery Lovers Kitchen have been such a huge support!!!!

Mystery Lovers' Kitchen

Avery Aames said...

A few people have been commenting on FB and not here. Just wanted to say how happy I am so see how many people check in with Lesa. She's obviously a woman of taste! With good friends.

Best to all.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Avery! And, considering so many people had today as a holiday, it was really nice to see so many people check in. I'm glad they responded to your guest blog.

Thank you for spending the day with us, Avery. And, good luck with The Long Quiche Goodbye.

Patg said...

Congradulations, Avery, can't wait to read your book

bed frame said...

I was scrolling down to your blog and that cheese catch my attention. I get curious because I want to know how good are those cheese. Great post. Congratulation for your new book.

Lesa said...

I hope you enjoy the book, Pat. And, I'm glad the cheese caught your attention, bed frame. I hope you have a chance to pick up the book.

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