Posted on April 22, 2021 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Today we're interviewing Jolie Tunnell, who writes historical cozy mysteries.
Tunnell is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and blogger with a background in administration and education.
She lives in Southern California with her family, her pear-shaped cat, and a bottomless cup of tea, but her thoughts are wandering Idyllwild, chasing squirrels and looking for a mystery to solve.
SADYE: How did you come to see yourself as a writer, and what inspired you to seek publication?
JOLIE: It’s no exaggeration to say I grew up in libraries. There was never a time when I wasn’t surrounded by books and authors were my heroes.
I’ve written my whole life, but it took five kids of my own and fifty years before I considered publication.
I started small with a family blog, then moved into a freelance writing business before working on some practice full-length manuscripts.
Finally seeing my own books on a library shelf is a very inspiring full circle.
SADYE: Which of your characters would you most and least like to trade places with?
JOLIE: I would love to spend a day being the Idyllwild postmaster.
Mr. Hannahs gets to put his feet up and read newspapers from all over the country while enjoying a hot cup of coffee and the fresh mountain air.
I wouldn’t take Jim Roster’s job for anything, though.
Can you imagine driving a stagecoach up and down the twisting road four to five hours each way in a single day? My bum hurts just thinking about it.
SADYE: What period of history would you most like to travel back to or what historical figure would you most like to meet, and why?
JOLIE: This question is so fun because it’s impossible to answer as a historical fiction writer. Up front, I think a lot of my ancestors have some explaining to do.
But also, I’d like to attend a Beatles concert and walk through ancient Pompeii and waltz in a hoop skirt and sit in the room when the architect explained exactly how he was going to build Pharaoh’s pyramids. I would like to hang out with Jesus for a day.
My motive is the same. I want to immerse myself in their world, then tell their stories.
SADYE: What message or theme would you like readers to take away from your work?
JOLIE: This series repeatedly touches on the theme of finding your place in an unstable world.
I would love for our daughters to read these books and find their own inner hero in the process.
I would love to know women are daring to stand on their own two feet and feel confident in their life choices, especially if they aren't traditional ones, to know that family is who you decide it is and to not let past traumas define your future.
It's a tall order, but I'll keep writing that message for many books to come.
SADYE: What advice, as relates to your writing career, would you give your younger self?
JOLIE: Call yourself a writer right now. Don't wait for outside validation or permission to own yourself and your work.
Never stop learning. Education is a daily lifelong process and knowledge is power. Explore your craft, your industry, and your possibilities.
Walk your talk. You are the hero of your own story and no one is going to make this happen except you. Put down the books, stop dreaming, and start writing.
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Categories: Author Interview