(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Yasmine was written by Yasmine Jameson.)
Kelly stepped into the small town coffee shop and smiled at the warmth the place presented. She ordered a drink then took a seat near the front window with a view of the door. While waiting, she pulled out her laptop and began to work.
She got several paragraphs in when the door chimed, and Kelly lifted her head to see a woman walk in and glimpse around. When they made eye contact, Kelly smiled and lifted her brows. “ Yasmine Jameson?” When the woman nodded, Kelly rose to her feet to greet her properly. She reached out her hand. “Hi, I’m Kelly. Fantastic to meet you! You’re welcome to order something to drink and then join me here.”
Yasmine walked to meet Kelly and accept her outstretched hand. “Hi, Kelly, yes I am Yasmine. Pleasure to meet you! I definitely need a cup of coffee. I will be right back.” Yasmine lay her coat on the back of the chair and then walked to order her coffee. Light and sweet with cream was her favorite. As she waited, she glanced around the coffee shop and noticed that it is filling up already. She also had her laptop as well. She was planning to do some writing after the interview. Her name was called out by the barista to pick up her coffee. She got her coffee and walked back to the table to sit down.
Kelly smiled at Yasmine as they sat across from each other. “So, Yasmine, tell me a bit about yourself. Are you a full-time writer? Or do you have a day-job?”
“I am not a full time writer yet, only when not working. I had a job as a paralegal but had to leave it. That was my day job. I took it after I stopped substitute teaching. But I maybe back at it soon. I am new writer although I have a couple of publications to my belt. Most of it is blogs and book reviews. And I have an anthology and also a self published book of poetry. Writing keeps me busy and on my toes.” She sipped her coffee and asked Kelly if she needed anything else to drink. She offered to buy it for her.
Kelly shook her head. She already had a drink, and she focused on the conversation. “And when did you begin writing? I mean, you said you’re a new writer, but have you always have an interest in it, or did something recently spark it?” Kelly tilted her head to a side as she observed Yasmine.
Yasmine thought for a while so as to give her a complete answer. Then she smiled and said, ” Kelly, I have always loved to read. I think that writing is an extension of that desire to read. When I was young I used to write extra assignments because I could get some extra credit. I joined the newspaper as to have an in to the New York Times. But I didn’t actually decide to write as a career until recently. I had some down time in between jobs and started to write poetry. Then I had decided that I wanted to be a mystery writer because I loved to watch mysteries and figure out who did it. Plus if you want to know the truth there was an underlying motive. I had thought that if I could learn how they wrote the novel it would help me solve the mystery.” “Does that answer your question Kelly? Yasmine leaned a little heavier on her arms that were on the table.
“Writing mystery novels! That is one genre that is hard for me to write, so I applaud you!” Kelly grinned at Yasmine. “So, have you had anyone who supports you with your writing, encourages you? Inspires you or even challenges you to write more?”
Yasmine laughed. “I have to admit although I like Sherlock Holmes I have mostly seen his mysteries on television. I have read Agatha Christie and the like. But what really got me into mysteries”- Yasmine looked around and said a little sheepishly, “I got into mystery through reading romance novels. Most of the authors that I read also wrote mysteries. Authors like Nora Roberts who also writes as JD Robb, Jayne Ann Krentz who also writes as Amanda Quick and of course Janet Evanovich. So I read their novels when I can faithfully and try to solve the crimes. More recently I decided I liked PD James and some other newer authors. Who supports me? My friends support my writing. They believe that I am good at it and like to read. They give killer critiques. My family supports me but they are like you need to be more well spread out and known. So this mystery is my entry into it. Hoping for some good responses.”
Kelly smiled when she heard this. “I’m glad you have such a wonderful community of people around you to encourage you. That is fantastic. So, tell me about your story–whichever story you’d like to talk about. What is it about? I’m assuming it’s a mystery novel.” As she said this, Kelly sat back in her chair, smiled at Yasmine, then took a sip of her drink as she listened.
Yasmine smiled and said ” I love to talk about my mystery. Yes it is a mystery. I started it in a writing course not really sure what I wanted to write about. What do you know about musicians? A lot – a little? And what do you know about when they write? What you see on television or see in the biographies right? Well this novel is actually set behind the scenes of the musician’s life. You know when they are actually making the album and deciding what to do with the album. You know tell a story and the like. The main characters of the story are a band that is staging a comeback. There manager is hurt when someone comes to steal their about to be released new single. An old band member had approached them with the idea to re-start his career as well and he had some songs that he thought would be good plus a deal with another label to sell them. But he wanted to work with his old band again. Despite their misgivings they band agrees. As soon as the single is stolen the band hires a group of private investigators- an entire firm of women. ( I love the idea of women being in charge and investigating.) “The head of the firm Darwin has friends in the police department like Peluso who help her and her friends with what they need to solve the case. By the end of the novel, old relationships are renewed, more music is made and they find out who stole the single and hurt their manager. Of note, I try not to kill anyone in the novel. Just hurt them. I have had good feedback on that technique.” She looked at Kelly and waited.
Kelly listened to all this and had to smile. “I like it that you didn’t kill anyone because that’s overdone and can become predictable. Having someone get hurt is different, and the possibilities are endless.” She then leaned forward, thinking more of what else Yasmine had said. “So, just curious, are you into music too? Or was it just what the story wanted to be able?”
She said in response, “I like music. But my tastes are varying depending on my mood. When I was younger I was into and still am into R&B,some pop, some country. As I have gotten older I am into some jazz and some alternative.” She looked at Kelly and asked, ” What type of music are you into?”
“As for the second question, I had originally set my story on a college campus with a much younger detective who thought she could set the world on fire. But it didn’t seem to go anywhere. But this story did. So yes it went where it wanted to go the story. I am not sure how crazy that sounds but it is kind of how I feel about the story.”
“Music is great. Sometimes it can be complicated, but it’s great!” Kelly grinned at Yasmine. “Okay, so…tell me about the characters of this story. Who are they? What are their main conflicts/struggles?” With this, she sat back in her chair.
“Kelly, these are my babies. The band is made up of six members, Darius, John, Marcus & Marquis-twins, Darnell and Louis. And each brings their own unique brand to the music. All come from similar background experiences and have managed to be friends. The older member who wanted to come back was Abdul. He served some time in prison which was part of the reason for the band letting him go.”
“Tell you about their conflicts and struggles. Let me think.”
“Without giving away to much Louis is the space cadet of the group. He appears to be elsewhere but when he is looking at you then you know he is paying attention. He is the one that the band uses to scout out areas and venues to play at. John is the slow and deliberate one. He is their method man. He will lay out a plan and follow it. The remainder of the band, Darius, Marcus, Marquis, Darnell and Abdul all come from the similar background of the street growing up in the projects wanting to do better for themselves and make their mother proud.”
“The biggest struggle right now for them isn’t so much the music- that is the easiest part. They have always been together when it came to the music. It was the outside world that had caused them problems. With Abdul it was the drugs and the crime. With Louis it was his family. With the twins it was finding their own identity. With John it was not being seen as an opportunist. All of them have families to support meaning girlfriends or wives. Not all have children. But they all want to find out who did this to their manager and also why they stole their music. Not trying to give anything away, each has their own theory as to who was and is responsible for the theft and event.”
Kelly smiled. “What I like most of that is how realistic it sounds, so good job on that.” She nodded at Yasmine. “So, what inspired this story?”
“Ah good question and one I have thought about. I think I just wanted to write a story that I liked and could to relate to on some level. Not that I am a part of the industry itself but I like a good mystery as much as the next. I like to see behind the scenes with the musicians life. I am a faithful watcher of certain shows. But also I think the background that I was in at the time when I started was listening to music. My family had been interested in starting a company with family and friends. So it kind of fit. Would you start a company with your family and friends- and what would you like it to be?”
Kelly shrugged. “My family runs several businesses, and I’ve started this one—with interviews—on my own.” She smiled at Yasmine. However, she caught a glimpse of the clock on the wall and frowned. “Our hour is almost up! Can’t believe how quickly time flies!” She shook her head and gave Yasmine an apologetic look but speaking, “But before you go, what is one thing you’d like your reader to remember, to think about, to keep in mind even after they’ve read your book? if anything, that is.”
“Oh time has flown by Kelly. I have enjoyed this interview. What is the one thing that I would like my readers to think about and keep in mind even after they have read the book? Interesting question. Let me think.” She said, ” I want the readers to remember that as long as its a good story- no matter where it takes you a clue will always lead you to solve it. Because that is how I solve the mysteries I read and I am hoping that thinking will help them solve this mystery.”
“Thank you so much for this interview Kelly, I really have enjoyed it. And hopefully once my book is out all those who buy it will enjoy it and recommend it to others.” Yasmine smiled and finished her cup of coffee.
Kelly smiled as she rose to her feet. “It was wonderful meeting with you, and I loved hearing about you and your story. What is it titled, by the way? So my readers can look for it if they want.”
Yasmine stood as well and reached out to shake Kelly’s hand. “The title of the novel is Dreaming A Music Mystery.”
“I love it.” Kelly grinned. “And I’m looking forward to meeting whichever character you will have me meet in the next interview. For now though, I need to go. It was wonderful meeting you!” She gathered up her computer and put her bag on her shoulder. “Keep writing, okay? The world needs good mystery stories.”
Yasmine smiled and said to her, ” I agree.”
“Have a good day, Yasmine! Stay in touch!” With one final smile, Kelly headed out.
Yasmine Jameson’s story, ‘Dreaming: A Music Mystery’ is not yet released, but follow her on social media for more updates!