Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mystery We Write Blog Tour with Mary Martinez

Good morning, everyone. Today is the first of my posts for  the 2011 Mystery We Write Blog Tour. I’m pleased to introduce Mary Martinez, my first guest who will talk about her latest book, Classic Murder: Mr. Romance, available on both Kindle and in book form. Mary is a fascinating woman who loves to travel with her husband when she’s not writing. Their favorite places to visit are the Caribbean for relaxation and Italy for the wine.

Mary Martinez

Mary: Thank you, Jackie, for having me as your blog guest.

Jackie: The pleasure is mine, Mary. My first question is: What do you do when you’re not writing?

Mary: It would be easier to tell you what I don’t do when I’m not writing. Sleep, dishes, etc. I have a full time job. I love to experiment with recipes so I spend a lot of time cooking. I have seven grandkids whom I spend a lot of time with, and there’s a lot more to the list. Makes me wonder, when I do write?

Jackie: What a busy lady you are! We readers are lucky you sandwich in writing time.
Next Question: What type of research did you do before writing your latest book?

Mary: I have a lot of fun with research, in fact sometimes I get caught up in it and have to remind myself to get back to work. For Classic Murder: Mr. Romance I researched a lot by watching classic movies. And since I love old movies, I had a blast.

When I researched Watching Jenny I listened to a lot of music by some of my favorite artists. Researched their tours, visiting concert stages, etc. And I’m a concert ho I pretty much want to do them all, so I loved that research.

Jackie: Watching old movies sounds like a great way to do reasearch! Maybe I'll try that.
Question: What gives you the most pleasure in life?

Mary: Easy question, first and foremost, that would be my family. Every week we have a get together called Papa and Nana night. The grandkids play and we have a big dinner and visit. I wouldn’t trade those times for anything.

My husband and I love to travel. And that helps a lot with research also. I keep maps of everywhere I go. And since I’m a huge fan of taking pictures I lot of scenes I can look through if I pick a town I’ve visited.

Jackie: What an interesting look into the life of a writer. Thanks for sharing.
Question: Who is the biggest supporter of your writing?

Mary: My husband and family. After the kids were grown he encouraged me to quit my day job to write full time. However, last fall he was laid off, so I’ve returned to the work force. However, he still encourages me to go for my dream.

Jackie: Lucky you to be married to such a wonderful man.
Question: Who designed your book cover? Did you have any say in the final result?

Mary: I am published with BookStrand, and though they have a cover artist, I wanted my web designer, Rae Monet, to do my latest cover. I had to have her design Classic Murder: Mr. Romance to their specification and then they had the final say. But I love it. I’ve had more compliments on this cover than any other.

Jackie: Do you have a personal quirk that you have given to one of your characters?

Mary: My characters all have quirks and part of my personality. They are me, either because they are something I want to be, or they have a trait I have. Adam in Classic Murder: Mr. Romance he loves to travel. And he’s visited some of the same places.

Jackie: Ah ha! So when we read your books, we'll learn secrets about you. Very cool.
Question: If you could travel anywhere in the world to research a book, and if someone else pays expenses, where would you pick?

Mary: Oh, so may places and only one choice. Let me see… I’d say Australia. I have wanted to visit there for as long as I remember. I can’t afford to visit, but if someone would flip the bill? I’d be there. I’d visit the underground towns and opal mines. I go on walk-about—Yes I’m a Crocodile Dundee fan. I would just want to spend weeks there and I’d fill up a laptop full of information.

Jackie: What’s your favorite food? Do you have a special recipe for this menu item?

Mary: Food. Yup if it’s edible it’s my favorite. I really like Cajun though, so I’ll share a Gumbo recipe with your.

Shrimp & Sausage Gumbo 8 / 1 cup servings
1 lb Shrimp (tail off)
3 links Sausage (Andouille or Cajun)
1 Medium onion chopped
1/2 cup Green Bell Pepper Chopped
1/2 cup Red Bell Pepper Chopped
2 clove garlic
1 12 oz. pkg of Okra (fresh if you can find it)
1 bunch of green onions chopped
1 stalk celery sliced
3 medium tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup flour
4 oz butter light
4 cups water
4 tsp tomato bouillon
2 Tablespoons Cajun Spice Mix (See below)
In large pot, melt butter and blend in flour simmer until darkened. Add drained and thawed okra. Gradually add all the vegetables. Add browned sliced sausage. While mixture is simmering in another saucepan bring water to boil, then add in bouillon. Mix and pour over vegetables mix in large pot. Add spices and bring to a boil turn down to simmer for about 60 minutes. Add shrimp and simmer another 30-40 minutes.
1 cup 327 calories, Total Fat 21g, Saturated Fat 8g, Cholesterol 129mg, Sodium 530mg, Carbohydrate 13g, Dietary fiber 2g, Sugars 4g, Protein 21g, Vitamin A 30%, Vitamin C 55%, Calcium 8% and Iron 12%

Cajun Spice Mix I found this on (I added a bit more Cayenne to mine)
Mix the following pour into a jar with a tight lid and store in dry place. 1 TBSP servings (13 calories)
1 Tbsp Oregano
1 Tbsp Coriander
1 tsp Cayenne pepper
2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/3 cup Kosher Salt
1/4 cup Chili Powder
1/4 cup Paprika
1 Tbsp Onion Powder
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 Tbsp basil

Jackie: Yum! Looks delicious. I know my readers will love trying this new recipe.
Question: Where can we find out more about you?

Mary: Please visit me on the following places:

Jackie: Thanks Mary, for sharing your life, books, and this special recipe with us. And to all my readers, if you have any questions or comments for Mary, please share.



Anonymous said...

Hi, Mary!
Love your research stories, and the recipes. I'm a quick-and-easy cook so I do gumbo as a short-order dish(something real Cajun cooks would find appalling, but it works for me.) I skip the roux, and use Ro-Tel tomatoes instead of chopping green pepper and onion. The Cajun Spice recipe sounds great, and I'm going to make it.
Great post, and I like getting to know more about you.
Pat Browning

Jackie King said...

Hi Pat,
You and I are cooking-twins! But doesn’t Mary’s food look lovely? No one would want to photograph my supper. 
Thanks for stopping by,
Hugs, Jackie

Mary Martinez said...

Thank you Jackie for having me on you're blog. I'm glad Blogger has the comments fixed today.

Pat anything Cajun is okay with me!

Anne K. Albert said...

Great interview. Love the recipe!

Marja said...

I apologize for jumping in so late, but this was worth the wait. It's great to get to know more about you, and your recipe sounds delicious. Your book just add to the whole package. Nice interview!

Jean Henry Mead said...

Mary, I don't know how I missed your terrific interview, but better late than never. I'm looking forward to reading Mr. romance and trying your recipes. Thanks for telling me about Google Chrome so that I can comment.

Jackie, as a fellow interviewer, you're the best!