Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Book Block: MURDER TAKES THE CAKE by Gayle Trent

It's technically Tuesday somewhere in the world still, right? =) Hawaii hasn't changed yet!

And yes, as promised, here is the long-awaited return to the Book Blocks. I'm starting to work through the backlog. The cover of this one looks especially yummy...

Written by Gayle Trent

Title: MURDER TAKES THE CAKE by Gayle Trent
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Release Date: September 30, 2008
Genre: Mystery
ISBN: 978-0980245363

Hobby Hook – Book Block

I had what I considered a great plot. I pitched it to an agent. She said she liked the idea but that cozy mysteries need a “hobby hook.” She explained that hobby mystery series do really well in the cozy mystery world and asked if I had a hobby I could tie to the mystery.

“Um, my daughter and I recently took a cake decorating class and we really enjoyed it.”

And that’s how Daphne Martin began to be created. Daphne was a cake decorator. She’d left behind an unrewarding life in Tennessee to move back home to Southwest Virginia and start a cake decorating business.

First, I did an informal Internet study to make sure there weren’t already mysteries featuring a cake decorator on the market. There weren’t. The closest I could come was Diane Mott Davidson’s Goldie Bear series, and Goldie is much more than a cake decorator.

Satisfied that I wouldn’t be glutting the market with cake mysteries, I began studying about decorating cakes, state regulations for an at-home bakery service and watching cake decorating shows and competitions. You learn a lot when you start investigating a career choice. For example, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is in charge of inspecting bakeries in the State of Virginia. Who knew? Not I. I’d started my search with the Department of Health. After an enlightening chat with Gary Hagy of the Division of Food and Environmental Services, I could put together an informative, amusing scene.

If you’re writing a cozy mystery, don’t be intimidated by the hobby hook. With my character, the cake decorating business gave her an opportunity to meet people, gave her a reason to go various places, and gave her something to do while she was mulling over the mystery.

Now that the book has been written, the hobby hook has given me an opportunity to meet people, go various places and have something to do while I’m mulling over the next mystery. On September 27, 2008, I’m attending the Oklahoma Sugar Arts Show at the invitation of Kerry Vincent, cake decorator extraordinaire, Food Network Challenge judge and ICES Hall of Fame member. Both Ms. Vincent and Sylvia Weinstock are thrilled at the prospect of a mystery novel centered around their chosen profession. Now, I ask you, ain’t life sweet?

Gayle's Website:

Where To Get The Book: Amazon

Book Trailer: Youtube


FIONA said...

Very cool. I love cozies, and the "hobby hook" helps me justify the time I spend reading them--See, I LEARNED something, I tell myself.

Keri Ford said...

This is a really cute book. It was the cover that totally drew me in. I did a review on my blog (no spoilers!). I'm anxious for the next in the series.

(Jenny delete away if this isn't okay!)