Today, I’m featuring an interview with the sister writing team of Loretta and Sarah Johns, authors of the Starlight Cozy Mystery series. I’m fascinated by writing teams, whether they be friends, spouses, or siblings. It must be neat to someone to bounce your ideas off of and share the writing journey with. And I can tell that this particular writing team has a lot of fun working together.
Grab a beverage and a snack, sit back, and read what Loretta and Sarah have to say about cozy mysteries, penguins, and cookies.
1 – What’s your favorite thing about cozy mysteries?
BOTH: The characters are usually witty and engaging and it reminds us of the good old days watching Father Dowling, Murder She Wrote, Magnum PI, Diagnosis Murder, and Quincy.
2 – What inspired you to write a cozy mystery series together?
LORETTA: it all started with a series we are working on, following two sisters on a road trip.
SARAH: There’s a large time difference between where we currently live, so we both had too much wine and we ended up talking about MagnumPI, helicopters, and looking at property on Zillow in Hawaii.
LORETTA: Yup, then I said, yeah, we should totally write a mystery, only with an alien and it should be funny. Then we started laughing and came up with a few plots. We also became quite serious and ended up planning a semi-retirement move to Hawaii. We were raised apart and met again as adults, then life got in the way and we ended up separated by an entire ocean for 20 years. So we’re together over the web now and working towards being together again in RL, writing books and sitting on the beach.
3 – Tell us what it’s like to work as a writing team – how do you collaborate and create your stories?
SARAH: We get on Facebook Messenger and plot while drinking while drinking coffee, tea, or wine, or in Loretta’s case, a tropical themed cocktail. Loretta then starts typing it all up, dialogue and all, then pops it into GoogleDocs. I then go on in and add or subtract stuff and clean up any mistakes I find.
4 – What’s more important – character or plot?
LORETTA: The characters spawn the plots for us. It’s not an either or. It’s here’s this person and look at the trouble they get in…
5 – What do you like best about being an author? What do you like the least?
SARAH: I get to play with my sister as we craft these books. It’s very healing energy as we get to play pretend with each other and invite people into our joint world.We didn’t get to do that as children so it’s even more special now.
LORETTA: And the money goes towards reuniting us once more and continuing the grand adventure.
BOTH: Edits and Amazon hanging while publishing the releases and as of late the issues with pre-order errors on their part.
6 – What’s your favorite cookie? If you don’t like cookies, what’s wrong with you? Oops, sorry, scratch that. My follow-up question was meant to be far more polite – “Why don’t you like cookies?”
BOTH: Chocolate chip and traditional Oreos
7 – A penguin walks through your front door wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why did he come visit you?
LORETTA: “Hi, I’ve come down for the shave ice from the stand.” We tell him he’s in the wrong reality and get back into The Dade Sisters Book 3.
SARAH: He needs to be careful. Pele’s son makes great shave ice but she’s not too happy when you use the reality jumping portals, especially if you took a rock to do it.
8 – What else would you like us to know about the two of you?
LORETTA: We both love adventure and have lived in different countries and states. I grew up an Army Brat and then served myself, then married a Brit, while Sarah finished her Master’s degree in Canada (she now works helping veterans access benefits at her day job). We also love animals and own dogs and cats.
SARAH: Yep, our two favorite titles (other than author) Mom, including Furbaby Mom,and Nana.
LORETTA: I’m Obaa-chan, not Nana. But yes. ::laughs:: I also treasure being Tia.
SARAH: And we both love sarcastic humor. Our husbands are always amazed at how much we look and act alike despite not growing up together. We even chose the same hair style and glasses right before we found each other again.
LORETTA: Yup. Watch out, Hawaii, we’re coming. Soon, my precious. ::wanders off to look at Zillow’s Big Island listings again::
Get Loretta & Sarah’s Books
Pick up your own copy of the first Starlight Cozy Mystery – A Saucerful of Death – on Amazon.
About Loretta & Sarah
Hi! I’m Loretta, a housewife with her head usually in the clouds, dreaming of romance and far away places. One day, I thought, why not write them down? So here we are. I hope you enjoy hot men, gutsy women, and happily ever afters because that’s what you’ll get from me.
Aloha! I’m Sarah, Loretta’s younger and equally as zany sister. I spend far too much time on Messenger cooking up these crazy stories with my sister, coffee in hand. Drink Kona!
Connect with Loretta & Sarah
Thanks so much for being on the blog, ladies! I’m glad to see that you have excellent taste in cookies. You can’t go wrong with Oreos and chocolate chip. It would be a blast to catch up with the two of you one day sipping Kona coffee on a beach in Hawaii.