2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Adult Fiction

Interview with @YeahHunter, author of Imogene in New Orleans

I LOVE getting into the heads of authors and am thrilled they are willing to take time out of their schedules to speak with us! Today I have Hunter Murphy, he’s the author of Imogene in New Orleans, a mystery that features characters that just happen to be gay. And so funny.

Imogene in New Orleans by Hunter Murphy

UNCONVENTIONAL LIBRARIAN:  Welcome to our interview! Let’s get started. Do you drink coffee?

Hunter Murphy: Oh, do I ever drink coffee! One of the great pleasures of my life is coffee. I cannot imagine a good life without it. We’re living in a glorious age of coffee right now. In my city alone there are probably a dozen roasters. As often as possible, I purchase their products. At least a few weekends a month, I like to use my French press and almost everyday I grind my own beans. I could write you a book about my love for the stuff.  

UL. Coffee is life! However, at this printing, I’ve given it up. And boy to I miss it. But enough about you.  Do you like donuts or cookies? Do you dunk?

HM: I like both cookies and donuts. Like Homer Simpson once wistfully asked, “Donuts. Is there anything they can‘t do?

UL: Homer is so right! Donuts can do EVERYTHING. How did your book get started? 

HM: My book got started thirteen years ago when I wrote my first story about Imogene and the boys and had such a good time with them that I decided to feature them in a mystery series.

UL: Imogene is so fab. I hope to be as fab as her when I’m in my 80s. What else have you written?

HM: I’ve written two unpublished books that I plan one day to get published (the first features Jackson’s introduction into Billy and Imogene’s family and the other is a coming of age story set at the University of Alabama where a college student attempts to solve a longstanding mystery at the university and sort of finds himself along the way). Currently, I’m working on the next murder mystery in the Imogene series which I hope to have out in 2016.

UL: Yay, more Imogene! If you could have any superpower what would it be? 

HM: I would want to fly. Definitely. 

UL: Flying? Me Too! Kindred spirits, you and I. What makes you happy?

HM: I’m happiest when I’m reading a great book or in the middle of writing one of my books. Reading and writing books is like living two lives at once. Being in the ripe thick of a book is one of the best feelings you can have. What a gift.  

UL: I couldn’t agree more. Why live in reality when there are books? Wrapping up now, anything else you want to tell us? 

HM: I want to tell you to purchase my book. You will feel better. It will help you lose weight and grow rich. Ok, not really, but it will look good on your shelf because the cover designer Philip Pascuzzo did a phenomenal job. He’s an artist and I’m punch-pleased with how the book looks. Also, I want to thank you for interviewing me. I really appreciate this opportunity.

If you’d like more information on me, please visit:

UL: Well, I think it just might help you lose weight, cuz donuts can do anything! Although there are no donuts in Imogene, we will have to settle for pralines and beignets (ain’t ashamed to love them too)!

So, buy Hunter’s book because you will be thin and sexy (if that’s what you want), and because if you don’t he will put me in his next book and make me mean and ugly. But seriously. We need more books with LGBT characters!

Books Young Adult

C. Lee McKenzie, author, of Sudden Secrets sits down for an interview

Sudden Secrets by C. Lee McKenzie I LOVE interviews!

They’re a chance to get to know authors better and see how their minds work. Today I’m interviewing C. Lee McKenzie who wrote Sudden Secrets.  You might not know this but I’m pretty sure the C stands for Chariot and the Lee is short for for Leeks, those cute little oniony things that look like mini pompoms. Chariot Leeks. Great name, majestic and helpful.

UNCONVENTIONAL LIBRARIAN:  Welcome to our interview! Let’s get started. Do you drink coffee?

C. Lee McKenzie: I absolutely do. It must be freshly ground, dark roasted, preferably from Costa Rica, and sold to me by Tim at the Roasting Company. Other than that, I’m not too fussy.

UL: Oh, Tim. Yeah I like that guy too.  Do you like donuts or cookies? Do you dunk?

CLM: We’ll I’d have to resign from the human race if I didn’t like these. However, I seldom eat donuts. When I do, I’m a devoted dunker. Cookies I don’t dunk. I like them crunchy.

UL: Hopefully with sprinkles? Now for the hard stuff, how did your book get started?

CLM: This one has been inside my head for a long time. It started with a story I heard about a recluse. I had a hard time understanding how anyone could lock themselves away and never step outside their house. Then I went to an exhibit of the haute couture of the 40’s-90’s, and somehow these two idead merged. If I understood why, I’d tell you.

UL: Yeah hmmmm that is an interesting concept. What else have you written?

CLM: Sliding on the Edge (Westside Books) was my debut novel, then came The Princess of Las Pulgas (same publisher). Double Negative was my third young adult book and my first one with Evernight Teen. I write realistic-contemporary stories, but when I needed a break, I wrote Alligators Overhead and a sequel, The Great Time Lock Disaster. These are middle grade stories, and there’s very little that’s realistic about either of them. 

When I first started writing I wrote a lot of short stories, and I was lucky enough to have several of them published. I hope to pull those together into a collection one of these days. And speaking of collections, I really love being asked to contribute to anthologies, so I do. I have three stories in three different anthologies now: The First Time, Two and Twenty Dark Tales, and most recently, Beware the Little White Rabbit.

UL: Wow. You’ve been really really busy.  If you could have any superpower what would it be?

CLM: Flying. Absolutely. I’ve always dreamed of having an eagle’s view of the world.

UL: Ah me too. Kindred spirits! What makes you happy?

CLM: Just about anything. I’m really easy to make happy. Good coffee. Interesting conversation. Quiet writing time. A great hike up a mountain. Pasta.

UL: Pasta! Wrapping up now, anything else you want to tell us?

CLM: It’s always fun to be a guest on blogs that are about writing and writers. I’ve enjoyed visiting yours for a while now, so this “appearance” is very exciting. I’m probably going to go into hibernation come November, so I can finish a book and take a trip, but other than that, I’m planning on staying in touch with my blogging community and connecting with writers and readers as much as possible.

See how wonderful Chariot Leeks McKenzie is? Check out her other works at her blog  and find her on Twitter. I’m just gonna tip toe around that alligator tho…