Our Lola today is anything but a show girl. She’s a smart and sexy sleuth in Misa Ramirez’s Lola Cruz Mystery series! I hope you’ll enjoy today’s guest blog with my friend and fellow author as Misa tells us a little more about the creation of her character and series.
You don’t know me, but I’m a mystery writer. I’m the author of the Lola Cruz Mystery Series. Living the Vida Lola came out last January, and Hasta la Vista, Lola!, comes out on February 2nd. I’m gearing up for the release, in full celebratory mode, and thrilled to be here dishing with Caridad!
When you aren’t a regular on a blog, it can be hard to know what to write, and how to present it to a brand new audience. Should I be funny, like in my books? Serious, because murder is serious business? Or some combination of the two, perhaps? The truth is, I’m no stand up comedian (not by a long shot), but I am funny–in my books. Like any fleshed out character, I’m a combination of things. I love a good mystery (cutting my teeth on Nancy Drew, graduating to Agatha Christie, and branching out from there), read the occasional romance (Julia Quinn makes me laugh), but stick mostly with women’s and/or literary fiction (The Help is my new favorite book).
How, then, did I come to write mysteries, and why aren’t my mysteries serious instead of sexy and sassy?
The short answer is, I like the mystery device. What better way to propel a plot forward than to have a crime to solve?
The little-bit-longer answer is that crafting a puzzle that the sleuth and readers need to piece together is challenging–and fun; watching characters you love to spend time with grow and discover themselves–and each other–is rewarding. Having humor and wit in a book is icing on the cake.
For me, then, the mystery is only half the story. Lola Cruz came about long before the framework of Living the Vida Lola. She came to me as a character who was at once sassy, smart, sexy, determined, strong, feminine, Latina, black belt in kung fu, idealistic, American, sister, daughter, friend, and so much more. When it was time to figure out how I was going to tell her story, it made perfect sense to put her into an investigative role. Elements of the mystery, I knew, could pit Lola against external conflicts, as well as internal conflicts, of which she has many. It would force her to evaluate her life, her choices, her dreams, her desires, and her future (all in a funny, light way). Balancing her drive to be a detective, her traditional Mexican family, cultural expectations, her American sensibilities, and her love life is no easy task. Add in a mystery, and it’s a wild ride!
Lola Cruz Mysteries are character driven more than anything, but the mysteries really interest me. They’re ‘ripped from the headlines’, twisted, redefined, and Lola-fied. The mysteries shape, form, and/or enlighten Lola in her personal life or with her decision-making. They are equal, then, to Lola’s own story, which spans the arc of the series (we’re only on book 2, so have a ways to go yet).
I’m always curious to find out i readers like their mysteries straight up, or with the zany, romantic elements which are in many series. How do you like yours?
Want to find out more about Misa and Lola! Then take a moment to stop at one of these other blog tour stops:
Mon Jan 18 BronzeWord Latino Authors
Tues Jan 19 Book-Lover Carol
Wed Jan 20 Latino Book Examiner
Thur Jan 21 Julia Amante
Mon Jan 25 Murder By 4
Tues Jan 26 Book Journey
Wed Jan 27 Mama Latina Tips
Fri Jan 29 Literary Feline
Thanks Misa for dropping by and thanks to all of you for leaving comments and questions for Misa!