Hey ladies! Thanks for including Beauty’s Library on your blog tour for the release of
Downton Tabby! This is super exciting, so let’s get started! 🙂
What made you want to use popular names/works as the basis for your titles and what do you take into account when choosing a new, fun book name?
— Once we’d decided on the idea of writing a series featuring pampered pets, we started talking about book titles. (It might have involved some margaritas.) We started writing down ideas and the ones that stood out were the ones that played on popular television shows, movies, or books. Titles like: Desperate Housedogs and Yip/Tuck made us laugh and we hoped it would give readers a chuckle as well. (We have to confess there are many on that original list that will never see the light of day. And shouldn’t.)
Ooh, I feel like I need to see that list. So what made the two of you want to begin writing together in the first place? Have you ever written separately?
— Great question. We had written separately a lot and belonged to the same critique group. We had finished books and won awards, but neither had sold. We had a chance to meet with a NY agent and she clued us in that we needed a hook. After brainstorming several ideas and rejecting them, we landed on the idea of writing about pets. You might want to check out the full story here: https://youtu.be/MaYQ-hL0z2Q
How did the “brooch stealing” storyline begin? Is there a story behind that?
— The brooch came about simply because we wanted the cousins in our series to share history but we didn’t want them interacting directly in the books. So what’s better than a little family feud?
That is gorgeous, I totally get why the thievery is afoot (you know besides the sentimental value and all that.) This is a little off topic, but if The Pampered Pets Mysteries were turned into a TV series/movie, who would you want to play the main roles?
— We see Isla Fisher as Caro and Danica Patrick as Mel. Diana Knight is definitely Betty White and Ollie Hembry would have to be Ozzie Osbourne. The tough one to cast is Betty Foxx, the feisty octogenarian who has become a character beloved by our readers. We’re open to suggestions on the actress that should play Betty. Do you have ideas?
Oh she’s a tough one. Maybe Cloris Leachman or Olympia Dukakis? Speaking of movies, what is your favorite “pet themed” one?
— ML – That’s so hard because there are so many good ones. I’ve always loved, That Darn Cat. (Side note: Marley and Me is not allowed at my house. Just looking at the cover of the book or the case of the DVD makes me tear up.)
Anita – Oh! That Darn Cat takes me back to my childhood. I like that one too. I also love Homeward Bound and My Dog Skip.
What is your vision for The Pampered Pets Mysteries? How many can we expect?
— We love these stories and hope to write many more. Every time we finish one, we always have something where we say, “That would be great in the next book!”
Is there anything you would change about the series if you had to rewrite the entire thing?
— Not really. There were some surprises and the series has evolved. We’re sharing more characters and themes and, if anything, maybe we’d have done that sooner.
What made you want to focus your mysteries on pets over other themes?
— As we share in the short video, we simply don’t have hobbies. We love the creative work that others do in knitting, cooking, quilting, music, jewelry-making, and other areas, but we do none of those things ourselves. So to write about something we care passionately about we decided to focus on pets.
So last question, If your pets could read/review your books, what do you think their reactions to the series would be based on their personalities?
— We lost Abbey a couple of Easter’s ago, but while she was with us, she wasn’t much of a reader. All she cared about was eating bubbles and snacking on carrots. We even tried to get her to pose with a book, but she wasn’t having it. Anita has a couple of yorkies, Chewy and Sophie. If they were awake long enough to read our books, they would feel the pets were shortchanged on treats. Dogs could always have more treats!
Sparkle would undoubtedly have an opinion. She’s very vocal and often has a view on most everything. As a matter of fact, there’s also a short video of her doing some editing: https://youtu.be/nJfyqYd9bDk Nights when the critique group meets, Sparkle moves from lap to lap offering advice. She does love that her picture is on the books, but wonders why it’s not larger.
Sparkle Abbey is the pseudonym of mystery authors Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter. They’ve chosen to use Sparkle Abbey as their pen name on this series because they liked the idea of combining the names of their two rescue pets – Sparkle (ML’s cat) and Abbey (Anita’s dog). The authors co-write the bestselling Pampered Pets Mystery Series which focuses on the wacky world of precious pedigrees, pampered pooches, and secrets in posh Laguna Beach, California. The main characters and amateur sleuths are Texas cousins, Carolina Lamont, a pet therapist, and Melinda Langston, a pet boutique owner. The first books in the series, Desperate Housedogs, Get Fluffy, Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, Yip/Tuck, Fifty Shades of Greyhound, and The Girl with the Dachshund Tattoo have received rave reviews. Midwest Book Review calls the series, “A fun and sassy mystery!”