When I had the opportunity to meet Rosemary Harris in person for the first time, I found out exactly where all of Paula's charisma comes from. Rosemary has done a considerable amount of traveling, both for personal trips and while volunteering for Habitat for Humanity.
Rosemary doesn't have to moonlight to write these days, but she in the past she's worked in book retailing, direct marketing and video/television/public television. Paula is a former television exec who turned in her business suit for a shovel, some pruning shears and a lot of dirty business.
Rosemary took some time out from her tour prep for SLUGFEST, her duties as MWA NY Chapter president and her golden retriever MAX to talk about why she choose a gardening career for her Anthony and Agatha-nominated series that includes PUSHING UP DAISIES, THE BIG DIRT NAP, DEAD HEAD, and coming out next week, SLUGFEST.
Must be able to make own hours and not be tied down. Applicant can interact well with a wide variety of people and occasionally be the fly on the wall.
Contact : Paula Holliday
Most amateur sleuths need to have a job. Unless you’re writing about an English lord (see Peter Wimsey) or a kindly little old lady (you know who) you’ll most likely want your protagonist to be gainfully employed – preferably in a job that offers the above conditions.
It's often said that one's villain needs MOM to commit a crime - means, opportunity and motive. I think an amateur sleuth needs MOM too. In this job, Paula Holliday has the means and the opportunity to solve the crime. But what’s her motive? That’s the hardest question to answer and one that writers of police procedurals, legal thrillers etc. never have to address. What’s a gardener or a golf pro, a tea shop owner or a television reporter doing solving crimes? Apart from the obvious answer that there would be no book if she didn't (and that would be terrible…) it’s generally that someone she knows is involved or accused. Or she is. Or she accidentally knows something the bad guys don’t want her to reveal. Or the cops don’t think there’s been a crime but our amateur sleuth knows better. Or maybe it’s just that writers know readers love them.
If you are a Twitter fan, like I am, you can follow Rosemary on Twitter (@rosemaryharris1). She's also on Facebook.