Please welcome the wonderful Alexia Gordon: her debut mystery, Murder in G Major, won the Lefty Award for Best Debut Novel, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel, and was chosen as one of Suspense Magazine‘s Best Debuts of 2016. And the second in the Gethsemane Brown mysteries series, Death in D Minor, is out this week!
I’ve blogged about many aspects of writing fiction, mysteries in particular. I’ve written posts about my inspirations, my frustrations, my techniques, my advice. Tonight, I’m blogging about coffee.
I love coffee. My parents didn’t let me drink it growing up. Honestly, after a few sips of their instant, I failed to understand why anyone wanted to drink it. But I’ve been a serious coffee drinker since college. Vassar, my alma mater, had a coffee house on campus. You could buy a cup of coffee, spread out your books, and study for hours. (This was back in the “Dark Ages” when desktops PCs were only in computer labs, laptops didn’t exist, and “camping” was an activity that involved tents and backpacks.) Being the nerdy type who truly believed Saturday night at the café with pen in hand beat Saturday night at the bar with beer in hand, I spent significant amounts of my college career imbibing the juice of the coffee bean. Couldn’t get enough of the stuff. Well, okay, strictly speaking, I do have a limit. Six cups of Swiss vanilla in one evening. Six cups of Swiss vanilla left me feeling, the next day, as if hyperactive chipmunks had taken over my brain. I never did that again.
I don’t call myself a coffee expert (or coffee snob, if I’m feeling especially cynical). I don’t have the time or patience to weigh out my hand-ground single estate coffee by the gram, combine it with filtered water from a sacred lake in the Himalayas measured to the precise milliliter, and brew it in a device that looks suspiciously like something I used to distill benzene in the college chemistry lab. (All right, another confession. I do own two French presses, a Chemex, and a hand grinder. But I do not measure quantities. I brew by the “looks like enough” method.) I will, in a pinch, drink instant. Instant coffee is better than a caffeine-withdrawal headache. I do call myself a coffee aficionado—an ardent devotee, a fan. My favorite coffee is the kind someone brews for me and serves me in a non-paper cup in a laid-back coffee shop with cool music playing in the background. I’m writing this blog in such a place (Thank you, Lake Forest Starbucks Roastery.) Which brings me to the question, what does any of this have to do with writing?
Tonight’s trip to the coffee shop served as my reward for finishing the first round of edits on the third book in the Gethsemane Brown mystery series, A Killing in C Sharp. Before I began this publishing journey, I naively believed authors wrote a book, that book was published, authors wrote another book, that book was published, and so on and so on. News flash: what is and what you believe are often not the same thing. In reality, the write-edit-publish cycle overlaps. You’re editing one book while you’re marketing the previous book and counting down to official release day while you’re outlining and researching the next book. Multi-tasking mania. Sometimes you feel overwhelmed. Small rewards and pick-me-ups keep you grounded. So, in the brief lull between revising A Killing in C Sharp and celebrating/promoting the July 11 release of Death in D Minor, I sat at the counter with my pen and my notebook, music (coincidentally from my college days) playing in the background, and lost myself in a sweet, hot cup of coffee of the soul.
About Alexia Gordon …
A writer since childhood, I continued writing through college but put literary endeavors on hold to finish medical school and Family Medicine residency training. My medical career established, I returned to writing fiction. I completed SMU’s Writer’s Path program in Dallas, Texas. Henery Press published my first novel, Murder in G Major, book one of the Gethsemane Brown mysteries, in September 2016. Book two, Death in D Minor, premiers July 2017.
I am a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and the Writers’ League of Texas. I listen to classical music, drink whiskey, and blog at http://www.missdemeanors.com.