Ellen here and I’m so happy to welcome my pal Terrie Farley Moran as a guest Chick. In addition to her impressive career as a solo mystery author and co-author of Laura Childs’ New Orleans Scrapbooking Mysteries, she’s now joined forces to write with “Jessica Fletcher!” Today, she’s going to tell us how she scored this awesome honor…
MURDER, SHE’S WRITING
My name is Terrie Farley Moran, author of Murder, She Wrote, Killing in a Koi Pond, the fifty-third book based on the long running television series MURDER, SHE WROTE, starring the inimitable Angela Lansbury. I am mega-excited to be hanging out today with everyone here at Chicks on the Case. And I am sending a very special thank you to my pal, writer extraordinaire Ellen Byron, for inviting me. I hope to see Ellen and many of you at Bouchercon NOLA this summer.
So, did you ever have a dream that was so preposterous, so unlikely, that you just knew it could never come true?
Well, let’s start at the beginning. The first episode of Murder, She Wrote appeared on American television in September 1984. And I was immediately hooked probably because, much as I love mysteries, I prefer them without excessive violence and interminable car chase scenes. For the next twelve years I watched Murder, She Wrote every Sunday evening without fail. (Thursdays in the final season.) My husband and my children referred to that inviolable time as Mom’s Hour. Even before the television series concluded, Donald Bain had begun writing the Murder, She Wrote books with a byline that read: Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain. As addicted as I was to the television show is it any wonder that the books were always at the top of my TBR list?
Years went by. I had a terrific career, followed by a second terrific career. Then I decided I wanted to write mysteries. I wrote a cozy mystery novel that went nowhere. While I was shopping it around and getting battered by rejections, the New York Tri-State Sisters in Crime Chapter put out a call for submissions for a short story anthology. I submitted a story called “Strike Zone” and was elated when it made the cut.
When I told my family the good news, my son said, “Excellent, Mom, or should I call you Jessica Fletcher?” Everyone laughed. Years went by. I wrote and sold more short stories, finally wrote some cozy mystery novels that were published (hooray!) and I was asked to co-write the New Orleans Scrapbooking series with the talented and prolific Laura Childs. Every time I had a new project, my son would congratulate me, always calling me Jessica Fletcher. I would blush and think if only.
At the very beginning of the pandemic lockdown, on Saint Patrick’s Day 2020, while I was listening to Irish music and baking Irish Soda Bread my telephone rang. I answered and my hardworking and talented agent, Kim Lionetti, asked if I would have any interest in becoming the next author of the Murder, She Wrote series. I said “Yes.” immediately. I am sure Kim wondered if I had lost my mind. She pressed, “Don’t you want to hear the terms before you decide?”
So, I let her run through her due diligence and explain all the contract terms to me, but I barely listened. I knew this was my dream come true. And my next phone call was to my son. I said, “Now, you can call me Jessica Fletcher!”
Readers, have you ever had a preposterous dream come true? If not, what dream would you love to see come true?
Synopsis: After traveling to Bethesda for a mystery writers’ conference, Jessica Fletcher decides she’s earned a vacation and takes a train to Columbia, South Carolina, to visit her old college friend Dolores, who has recently married her third husband, Willis Nickens, a wealthy and cutthroat businessman. They’ve moved into an opulent historic home with plenty of space for guests, and Jessica is ready for a week of shopping, gossiping, and relaxing at the grand estate.
But the morning after she arrives, Jessica discovers Willis face-down in the koi pond, and despite what the police think, she’s sure foul play is involved. She hadn’t known Willis long, but it’s clear to her that he didn’t concern himself with making friends. The question isn’t if her friend’s husband was murdered but by whom.
Bio: Terrie Farley Moran is the author of Murder She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond, (June 8, 2021) the latest in the long running Jessica Fletcher series, to be followed this autumn by Murder She Wrote: Debonair in Death (November 2, 2021). She has also written the beachside Read ‘Em and Eat cozy mystery series, and is co-author of Laura Childs’ New Orleans scrapbooking mysteries. Her short stories have been published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Mystery Weekly Magazine and numerous anthologies. Terrie is a recipient of both the Agatha and the Derringer awards.
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/terriefarleymoran
Website : www.terriefarleymoran.com