ABOUT THE BOOKJax O’Connell and her friend Tessa have no idea what challenges await them when they head to the small town of Carthage to take a glass blowing class with Marco De Luca, a famous Italian glass artist. While Jax loves melting glass to make beads, she discovers that standing in front of the glass furnace’s inferno frightens her.
After the first night of class, Tessa sees a dead body through the water-streaked window of the studio. The next morning there’s no sign of Marco—dead or alive—and one of the studio owners is also missing. The local sheriff doesn’t take the disappearance seriously, so Jax and Tessa take matters into their own hands.
Jax must face her fears to find the body, track down the clues, and uncover the killer—and do it all before another life is shattered.
Off the Beadin’ Path is the third book in the Glass Bead Mystery series.
INTERVIEW WITH JANICE PEACOCK
Janice, if you had to choose a cliché about life, what would it be?
Life is not a dress rehearsal. I love this expression, and I try to remember it when living my life. We get very few chances to do something again, so I try to make the most of the moment I’m in and not expect, or even desire, any re-dos.
What do you think is hardest aspect of writing a book?I think the hardest part is the final polishing of the manuscript. I become blind at some point to any typos and grammatical errors, since I’ve stared at the words on the pages for hundreds of hours. There comes a point where I’m just sick of the whole thing. My best remedy at that point is put the manuscript away for about two weeks. After that, I can come back to it with fresh eyes and renewed energy and get back to work. Of course, that’s hard to do when you’ve got a deadline. I usually end up squeaking in under the deadline, but my brinksmanship can get a little out of hand.
How often do you read?
I read nearly every day. When I’m actively writing, I tend to read non-fiction. I just finished listening to an audio book memoir by Trevor Noah called Stories from a South African Childhood. Speaking of audio books, I’ve also finished listening to my own audio book, High Strung. We’ve just finished production and it should be available at Audible, Amazon, and iTunes in a matter of days. I’m excited about this development because I know a lot of crafters who have been waiting for the audio book so they can work on their favorite hobby while listening to one of my books.
Also, having just finished Off the Beadin’ Path, in this gap before I start working on the fourth book in the Glass Bead Mystery Series, To Bead or Not to Bead, I’m diving back into my long list of to-be-read books, which are mostly mysteries.
What do you love about where you live?
I live east of San Francisco in a suburban/semi-rural area. My house is in a small valley on a long street that ends in a cul-de-sac. While we do have neighbors on both sides, our house is situated in a way that we don’t feel like we are jammed in close to anyone. Our property is big enough that we can have chickens, beehives, fruit trees, and a veggie garden. I have a glass bead making studio, as well. It is really quite wonderful. Our town of Lafayette has many walking trails and often my husband and I are out walking (aka “getting our 10,000 steps”) in the late afternoons, invariably running into friends and neighbors with whom we stop and chat, which means we often don’t log as many steps as we would like.
What choices in life would you like to have a redo on?
You know, this one is hard for me, I think because it is a relatively recent incident. My husband and I were recently planning a short-term move to Maui. Due to a job change for my husband, moving, even temporarily, would have been tricky. We decided to stay put. In retrospect, I think we should have probably gone anyway, but at that time, making the best choices we could with the information we had, it wasn’t the right thing to do. Fortunately, other than being a disappointment, it did not lead to any long-term or disastrous outcomes.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I don’t know if this is really hidden, but I am crafty! Other than making glass beads, I love to sew and have finished a couple of quilts. Most recently I’ve been working on a quilt made of a million thin strips of fabrics sewn into blocks which form diamond patterns. Inspired by a fellow glass beadmaker, I’ve started making clothing and recently finished a batik skirt and several pairs of flannel PJ bottoms which I’ve given to friends and family. I just bought patterns for some cute and comfy pants and a summer dress, and I’m excited to get started on those, once things calm down around here. Though, I’m not sure when that will be…
What’s your favorite Internet site?
Other than Facebook, I’d say my favorite site is eBay. I’m a collector of vintage glass fruit jewelry. I know this is a very unusual thing to collect, but I love these necklaces because they are made from the same Italian glass that I use to make beads. And, the vintage pieces are from Venice, one my favorite places in the world. The jewelry pieces were made in the 1930s and 1940s and they simply aren’t manufactured anymore. I have a Pinterest board of full of them at pinterest.com/janpeac.
What’s your favorite beverage?
That depends on the time of day. If it’s any time before noon then that’s a non-fat latte. I usually have one about ten o’clock every day. If I’m out and about it is pretty much a requirement for me to get one at our local Peet’s Coffee. I’m not much of a fan of Starbucks, but it will do in a pinch if I ask the barista to put an extra shot of espresso in the cup. Any time after noon—okay usually not until after four o’clock—I absolutely love a glass of red wine. We make our own wine, so we always have some on hand. In fact, we have a ridiculous number of bottles stored in our hall closet. We need a wine cellar, but I don’t think that will be happening any time soon. I especially love having a glass of wine on my back deck while my fire pit blazes and my friends and husband sit with me talking, laughing, and listening to music.
Do you procrastinate?
Let me get back to you on that. Just kidding…yes, I do procrastinate. I like to make elaborate to-do lists, adding even the simplest tasks—sometimes I even add tasks that I’ve almost completed so that I can cross them off my list. It feels good to cross easy things off the list. The most important tasks, which are often the most difficult, are left languishing on my list. I eventually buckle down and get my tasks done, but oftentimes I am sliding in at the eleventh hour.
What five things would you never want to live without?
I’ll avoid the obvious ones: laptop, car, chocolate, cell phone. Here goes: dental floss (I have high-maintenance teeth), fleece socks (I can’t sleep if my feet are cold), espresso machine (mine was broken for a period of time and those were dark days), prescription glasses (I refuse to go through life as Monet did–half-blind and painting blurry pictures), light bulbs (because lamps don’t work without them).
Do you have any marketing tips you could pass on to indie authors?
My best advice is to get a copy of Rachel Thompson’s book BadRedHead Media Book Marketing Challenge. (Not a paid endorsement!) This book really helped me up my game when it came to social media marketing. I highly recommend it.
What books do you currently have published?
I have three novels and one short story, all part of the Glass Bead Mystery Series. Here’s the order to read them in:
High Strung, Book One
A Bead in the Hand, Book Two
"Be Still My Beading Heart," A Glass Bead Mini-Mystery (free short story)
Off the Beadin’ Path, Book Three
What are you working on now?
Right now I’m getting ready for a bead and glass show in Las Vegas that’s happening at the end of the month. I’ve been making glass beads to sell, working on a lecture I’m giving about social media, and ordering books to take with me. I’ve got about a week left before I leave and am in an absolute frenzy.
ABOUT THE AUTHORJanice Peacock decided to write her first mystery novel after working in a glass studio full of colorful artists who didn’t always get along. They reminded her of the quirky and often humorous characters in the murder mystery books she loves to read. Inspired by that experience, she combined her two passions and wrote High Strung, the first book in the Glass Bead Mystery Series featuring glass beadmaker Jax O’Connell. Janice has continued the series with A Bead in the Hand, and "Be Still My Beading Heart," A Glass Bead Mini-Mystery.
When Janice isn’t writing about glass artists-turned-amateur-detectives, she creates glass beads using a torch, designs one-of-a-kind jewelry, and makes sculptures using hot glass. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collections of the Corning Museum of Glass, the Glass Museum of Tacoma, Washington, and in private collections worldwide.
Janice lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two cats, and an undisclosed number chickens. She has a studio full of beads . . . lots and lots of beads.
Connect with Janice:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Buy the book:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Smashwords