Today we have Colleen Mooney with us. Colleen Mooney was born and lived much of her life in New Orleans before a job moved her to other cities. She writes a cozy mystery series set in New Orleans. It’s called The New Orleans Go Cup Chronicles and the third book, Drive Thru Murder, was released in early April.
Since January 2017 Colleen organized a Sisters In Crime chapter in New Orleans, has been elected President and has a planned a Mystery Writers’ Conference for June. She is currently working on her 4th book in the Brandy Alexander series. You would expect her protagonist with a name like Brandy Alexander to be a stripper instead of the girl next door with a serious passion for rescuing dogs. Brandy has a way of being at the eye of every storm that seems to go through the city and we’re not talking about the weather. In the city known as The Big Easy, Brandy Alexander’s life is like a Category 5 Hurricane. You have to ask, Is there anything in Brandy Alexander’s life that is not complicated? There’s no place like New Orleans to have a good crime!
Colleen was born and raised in New Orleans and lived in the Irish Channel along with just about everybody else in her family. She says, “New Orleanians are a lot like boomerangs or homing pigeons. If we move away, we always move back.”
Colleen worked in corporate America for twenty-one years before retiring and has lived in Birmingham, Atlanta, New Jersey and New York. She moved back to New Orleans every time before another corporate reorganization would transfer her to another city.
“My vacation and work related travels opened my eyes as to how different we are in New Orleans. We are very different from the rest of the state, let alone the rest of the country. We have different laws, different food and the way we cook it, different weather, different things we celebrate and how we celebrate them. We even have a different language in some cases. Everyone thinks New Orleans is all about a good time in the French Quarter or on Bourbon Street, but those of us from here know that’s only the tip of the iceberg, well, if we had icebergs.”
Colleen loves to travel and do new things. She is an avid Scuba diver and Underwater photographer, owned and raced sailboats in the Gulf of Mexico, Key West and the BVI. She has owned a motorcycle and has skied Colorado, Idaho, California, New York State as well as the German and Austrian Alps.
In New Orleans, she’s been active in many Mardi Gras Krewes, Super Krewes, and organizations and has belonged to the Krewe of Cork, Orpheus, Iris, Tucks, Joan of Arc and the Halloween Krewe of Boo. Colleen says she has never met a parade she didn’t like.
She’s an ardent animal lover and the Director for a breed rescue, Schnauzer Rescue of Louisiana for the last fifteen years. She has rescued and placed over 300 abandoned or surrendered Schnauzers. She loves to write, and writes about what she loves. Colleen says, “New Orleans is where it all happens for me.”
Let’s give Colleen a warm welcome and get started.
1. Let’s start with something fun. What’s your favorite hobby?
My favorite hobby is anything to do with or on the water…sailing, diving, swimming, water skiing, tubing, sitting on the beach—anything. I can walk along the waters’ edge for hours. My dad had me swimming before I could walk. My mother was terrified of the water…guess who I took after?
2. If you had the opportunity—who would you like to spend an afternoon with and why?
Who would I spend an afternoon with and why? Jacques Cousteau pioneered scuba gear to open up a world of adventure for the average person. He is a legend in his efforts to save the oceans from dumping waste and raise awareness on why we should protect them. I would ask how and what got him on that path. What adversities did he experience and how did he overcome them. I’d like to hear his most exciting explorations and how he discovered them. When you consider his travels, his underwater filming of documentaries, his explorations and his equipment he designed and pioneered it all seems too much for one person. I’d like to know what he ate for breakfast (smle).
He was a unique individual that inspired me to find a water world of adventure and excitement.
3. Coffee, tea, soda or something else?
Not just coffee…coffee WITH chicory. I’m a New Orleans girl.
4. What are you working on right now?
I’m working on the 4th book in my series, New Orleans Go Cup Chronicles. I have a working title but I don’t think that will be it when I’m finished.
5. How would you describe your writing style?
My writing style is part plotting and part organic (pantser). I have an outline but my characters don’t always follow it. (smile).
6. Do you have any advice for a person just beginning their writing career?
My advice to someone beginning their writing career? Don’t do anything like I’ve done because it seems most of it was wrong. I don’t know what to tell anyone. We all need to find our own path in life. What worked for me might work against someone else. I draw a lot from my experiences and that of others since I’ll never live long enough to make that many mistakes on my own!
7. Do you immerse yourself in new situations for writing ideas or do your ideas come to you through your normal, day-to-day life?
Many of my ideas come from day-to-day life in New Orleans, which is to say, not a normal, day-to-day, life All of my stories are grounded in real life events, characters or places that I fictionalize. A reader once wrote a review saying that my stories were preposterous and could not really happen. She should see what I left out!
Here’s where you can find me:
And thank you Colleen for spending a little time with us. Gentle reader, please take the time to visit Colleen on any or all of her social media. You’ll be glad you did.