Devon Delaney talks about "Guilty as Charred"
Welcome to today's author Devon Delaney!
Devon Delaney is a mother of three, grandmother of one, accomplished amateur cooking contester, lifelong resident of the Northeast and author of a cooking competition mystery series. She has been handsomely rewarded for her recipe innovation over the last twenty-plus years, including a full kitchen of major appliances, top cash prizes, and four trips to Disney World. She has also won the Grand Prize in a national writing contest for her “foodie” poem “Ode to Pork Passion.” Her latest book, Guilty As Charred, was released in late summer and two more are in the works. Between dreaming up new recipes for cook-offs and new ways for murder and mayhem to incorporate themselves into the competition, Devon’s plate is full.
Devon’s author website can be found at: www.devonpdelaney.com
When I’m not writing about murder investigations centered on cooking competitions I’m probably participating in one of my beloved hobbies or frolicking with my granddaughter. I play competitive league team tennis to keep myself in shape. I’m an avid gardener and I jar and pickle my harvest. Of course, I create recipes. I needlepoint, hook rugs and read cozy murder mysteries when time permits. I walk my standard poodle and I adore volunteering to educate underserved children about gardening at a nearby community garden.
Do you have a work in progress?
My fourth book, title undecided, is in the final edit phase. Let’s see: without any spoilers, there’s a Fall Fest cook-off, a murder (of course), a family crisis, a mysterious cast of out-of-towners clouding the murder investigation and a sense of urgency to solve the murder before the main character’s brother is tossed in jail. As always, I include a few of my recipes in the book, many being award winners.
This is the point in the writing process where I, as a proud author, offer up my creation to my editor for final polishing. While that manuscript is out of my hands being worked on, I don’t take a break, I move right into the next project, which is the fifth book in the series.
Was there a person who encouraged you to write?
My father encouraged me to write when I showed an interest as early as elementary school and thank goodness for his persistence. I have a strong memory of him reading one of my compositions and telling me I had writing talent. What a gift his words were. My mother also continues to encourage me at the ripe old age of ninety-four. I am very lucky.
Five years from now, where do you see yourself as a writer?
Years of writing winning recipes took a left turn when it led me to writing cozy murder mysteries. From the years of honing my recipe contesting hobby I learned to craft clearly written recipes with interesting titles and easy to follow steps. Each recipe has unusual “Devon spins” that made them unique to my culinary viewpoint. The next five years will be spent translating that process into my cozy mystery craft and I see myself becoming a better writer, story-teller and wordsmith.
I am in the process of letting my fifth book in my series find its way to the finish line. By that I mean, I thought the detailed outline of the book was leading in one direction, but it’s taking an unexpected and exciting turn. As my series hook explains, competition is the perfect backdrop for foul play, as it not only brings out the best, but also the worst, in people vying for cash and valuable prizes. My main character is having a character growth spurt, the murder victim was not at all who I expected him to be and the circumstances of the cook-off murder are unusual, to say the least. The pages will be filled with delicious action, tasty clues, twists and turns, and I am so excited to share my cook-off experience with my readers.