Author Interview: Amy Metz, Short and Tall Tales at Goose Pimple Junction

This is not your average Southern town. With a hint of mystery and a lot of laughs, you’ll catch a glimpse of everyday life in Goose Pimple Junction in this short story compilation. Tales is a fun escape that will answer readers’ burning questions about the residents of this quirky, small town.

How did Johnny Butterfield become police chief?
How did Tess and Jack get engaged?
How did Ima Jean come to live with Louetta?
How do you celebrate an Apple Day?

Q: Aloha Amy, and thanks for stopping by!  Can you tell us what the Goose Pimple Junction series is about?

A: My Goose Pimple Junction series is a humorous cozy mystery series about folks in a fictional small town in the South. The residents are wacky, close-knit, loving, trusting, and genuinely good people. Readers have said the characters are the kind of people they’d like to know. Every once in a while, a bad guy comes to town, but the residents handle it with wit, wisdom, and grace. And a lot of laughs.

Q: Who is your typical reader?

A: I think my typical reader is a woman, but I’ve heard from men who like the series also.

Q: Is Goose Pimple Junction modeled after a real place?

A: No. It’s purely fictional. They say truth is stranger than fiction, but that’s not the case with Goose Pimple Junction. I have reviewers who say “That wouldn’t really happen in a Southern town,” or “They don’t talk that way in the South,” and they are correct. My town is fictional. There are bits and pieces of real life, but my characters say and do things that are unique to my fictional town of Goose Pimple Junction.

Q: How does Short & Tall Tales fit into the series?

A: Short & Tall Tales occurs chronologically between books one and two. Since Heroes & Hooligans begins a few months after Murder & Mayhem ended, there are a few things that happened in between them that readers weren’t privy to. Short & Tall Tales tells how Johnny became chief of police and how Ima Jean came to live with Louetta, among other things. None of it is vital information to the series, it’s just a fun, short look at life in Goose Pimple Junction.

Q: What are some useful Southern phrases that everyone should know?

A: Oh my goodness, don’t get me started. Okay, here are some of my favorites:
Get your straw out of my Kool-Aid. (That means mind your own business.)
He’s crazier than a sprayed roach.
Well shave my legs and call me smoothy.
I’m as busy as a moth in a mitten.
If it has tires or testicles, it’s gonna give you trouble.
What is your major malfunction?
He’s handier than a pocket on a shirt.
You can put a porcupine in a wood chipper, but you will not make maple syrup.
That went over like a pregnant pole vaulter.
You can just get glad in the same pants you got mad in.

Q: Writing can be very solitary. How do you balance the need for solitude with the need to get out and be with people?

A: I don’t – I’m very imbalanced! I’m a pretty solitary person and probably spend 70% of my time by myself. I like to spend time with my friends and family, but I don’t mind being alone at all.

Q: What’s next for the good citizens of Goose Pimple Junction?

A: Would you believe there will be another murder? It’s true, but that’s not all. Pickle’s mother, Caledonia, will have marriage problems, a hit woman will come to town, a teenage rascal will wreak havoc on the town, Hank Beanblossom will fall in love . . . and more.

Q: How do you celebrate an Apple Day?

A: You’ll have to read Short & Tall Tales to find out! Basically, Apple Day is an all-day festival with a lot of food, a parade, some contests (baking contests; Apple Dumpling Pageant . . . ), workshops (Praise the Lard and Pass the Apple Pie), and more food. Main Street is busy with vendors and shoppers. Barbecue, fried chicken, and fish sandwich booths sit alongside fried apple pie and arts & crafts booths. Big iron vats full of simmering apple butter dot the street, and men in overalls use six-foot-long wooden paddles to stir the thick deliciousness over an open fire. I guess it’s a cross between a Fourth of July festival and an Oktoberfest, only it’s all about apples. And town camaraderie.

Q: Your blog A Blue Million Books has lots of great resources for authors. How did you evolve from writing fiction to helping other authors?

A: As an indie author, I know how hard it is to get your name and your book out there. So I started a blog in the hopes of helping other authors promote their work. I live in Louisville, Kentucky, where we have a campaign called, “Keep Louisville Weird.” That’s simply a catchy way of saying support local business. McDonald’s and Applebee’s are everywhere, but it’s the local businesses that give a city uniqueness and flavor. Local businesses are usually small businesses, with limited capital and resources. Not unlike indie authors.

So I have my own campaign called “Authors Are Weird Too.” Everybody has heard of John Sandford, Michael Connelly, and Patricia Cornwall. They’re doing just fine on their own, thank you very much. But it’s the new authors, especially the new indie authors who need support. I hope to do that on my blog. As I promoted my book, I compiled a ton of marketing ideas and decided it might be something others could benefit from, so I added it as a page (Marketing for Indies) on my blog. I hope it’s a good resource for other authors.

Amy Metz is the author of the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. She is a former first grade teacher and the mother of two sons. When not writing, enjoying her family, or surfing Pinterest, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in one hand and a glass of sweet tea in the other. Amy lives in Louisville, Kentucky and loves a good Southern phrase. She can be reached at her website or her blog


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