We are so delighted to welcome Heather Gilbert to Chicks on the Case. She is the author of the new Barks and Beans Cafe cozy mystery series. NO FILTER has just been released. Today she is musing on graying gracefully…and writing older heroines. Take it away, Heather!
The COVID epidemic came along just after I’d decided to ditch the dye and let my gray hairs (euphemistically called “silvers”) grow in. It’s been…maybe eight months since I’ve dyed, and honestly, they can’t grow out quickly enough to get rid of that dye line (or as insiders like to call it, the “line of demarcation”).
I started graying in my thirties when I had three small children. Now I have four children—three in college, one going into first grade—and I have a solid white streak in my bangs. I’m forty-five years old, and I’m sick of coloring my hair. Since I’ve always been a bit of a rebel, the streak seems to fit.
However, was there some reason Disney designed some of their villainous women with a gray/white streak? Cruella De Vil, I’m looking at you. Not to mention the evil stepmother on Cinderella. These are the things I ponder as I join so many women in the #grombre movement (check out the hashtag on Instagram for TONS of inspirational photos of gorgeously graying women).
In the twelve novels I’ve written, all my female protagonists are strong women, but their ages have usually averaged out somewhere in their twenties. For my newest cozy mystery series (Barks and Beans cozy mysteries), I’m featuring an amateur sleuth (Macy Hatfield) who is thirty-seven, and she’ll age as the series progresses. Her brother (Boaz “Bo” Hatfield) is in his forties.
I have to say, I’m loving writing an older protagonist. Macy’s not a newbie when it comes to relationships—she’s recently divorced when the series starts with the first book, No Filter. Unlike my last fresh-faced sleuth (Belinda Blake in the Exotic Pet-Sitter series), Macy isn’t over-the-top adventurous—she’s just trying to figure out what she really wants to do with her life…and stumbling onto dead bodies along the way, as one does. 😉
And if you’re wondering what my hair currently looks like, check out this video clip of me reading the beginning of No Filter. I hope you’ll get hooked and pick it up soon!
About the book:
Welcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java…and where murder sometimes pays a visit.
Fed up with her go-nowhere job, newly single Macy Hatfield moves back to her small hometown in West Virginia. She joins forces with her brother Bo in his crazy new venture—the Barks & Beans Cafe, which caters to dog lovers and coffee drinkers alike.
When a golf instructor is murdered at the nearby spiritual center, Macy winds up adopting his Great Dane. Just after Macy finds a mysterious message sewn under the dog’s collar, her Dane is dognapped. She launches into a relentless search for her newfound canine friend, but along the way, she digs up a cruel and confident killer.
About the author:
HEATHER DAY GILBERT, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, enjoys writing contemporary mysteries set in her home state of West Virginia. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren’t afraid to protect what they love.
Back to the silver hair thing…have you stopped dyeing your hair during COVID? If so, do you think you’ll stick with it? Please share in the comments!