Author Theresa M. Jarvela resides in Brainerd, Minnesota. Theresa was a young mother when the idea to write a novel first struck her. It became one of her lifetime goals. Years later, her five children grown, she took an advanced creative writing class and joined Brainerd Writers Alliance. The door to the writing world opened.
An avid reader, Theresa loves “cozy” novels so it comes as no surprise that she is the author of the “cozy” mystery series – Tales of a Tenacious Housesitter. Her first novel in the series – Home Sweet Murder – was published by North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc. in June, 2012. Her second novel in the series – Home for the Murder – was published in June, 2013.
When Theresa isn’t busy writing, you might find her scooting around town during the warmer months in her Mazda Miata with the top down. In the winter months you can bet she’ll be sitting at the end of her couch with a good book and a cup of tea.
Theresa’s philosophy – “Life is full of adventures – live them, read them or write them! You’re never too old to enjoy them.”
Welcome, Theresa, to Author Interview Friday of Writing Under Fire. Tell us Theresa, when did you first know you wanted to be a writer and was there a particular inspiration to get started?
When my children were young, I read a novel that wasn’t particularly good. I challenged myself to write a novel and made it a lifetime goal.
Do you have a background in writing or take any special writing courses that helped you along the way?
I have no formal education in writing but I took one evening course in Advanced Creative Writing.
What other work have you done, and how has it impacted your writing career?
I freelance and have been published in several regional magazines. I entered one of my articles – Facebook – Friend or Foe – in the 79th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition and was awarded Honorable Mention in the Magazine Feature Article category. I joined a writers group with the intention of writing my novel but came to love magazine writing, also.
Do you have any special time or place you like to write?
I find early morning works best for me. Also, I accomplish more if I am away from home or at least outside in my gazebo (in warmer months).
Are you published through a traditional publishing house?
If yes, how did you find your agent and publisher? I am published by a traditional publishing house – North Star Press of St. Cloud, MN, Inc.
Tell us about” Home Sweet Murder” in 3 sentences:
In Home Sweet Murder baby-boomer Meggie Moore finds life in the small town of Pine Lake, Minnesota, a little too mundane, even with her part-time job at a local gift shop owned by Vera Cunningham, a spry lady in her late 70’s. Meggie accepts a house sitting position offered to her by an elderly gentleman even though her husband objects. Her outspoken friend and side-kick, Shirley Wright, labels Meggie a nut who has lost touch with reality for agreeing to house sit in a neighborhood where there have been numerous burglaries.
You also have a second novel published. Tell us briefly about it.
Meggie and Shirley set off for Key West, Florida to house sit for a friend, but their working vacation takes a sinister turn when a body turns up on the property. Winging their way back to Minnesota, they believe they left murder behind them. Little do they know another murder awaits back in Minnesota.
Do you have another manuscript in progress?
I am working on a third novel in my Tales of a Tenacious Housesitter cozy mystery series. Meggie agrees to housesit a hobby farm before she finds out it is reputed to be haunted.
Where can readers buy your books?