Thursday, May 26, 2011

It All Started with Nancy Drew by Misa Ramirez

Mysteries are close to my heart. Okay, truthfully, books of any kind are close to my heart, but mysteries, in particular. The mystery can be large or small. It can be the central focus of the story, or play a supporting role. It really doesn’t matter to me the scope of the mystery, as long as there’s a puzzle.

My love of mysteries started, like most young girls of a certain age--ehem, we don’t need to talk about age, now, do we?--with Nancy Drew. From there I graduated straight to Agatha Christie. I have a distinct memory of going with my mom to our town’s library so she could check out the last Hercule Poirot novel, Curtain. She was crushed that it was to be Poirot’s last, and her love of his books influenced me to start reading them.

I spent almost all of my high school lunches in one classroom or another, reading.

Now, I should say that I’m a lightweight when it comes to these things. Horror movies and books are not for me. I threw Silence of the Lambs across the room once or twice while reading it, and I cover my eyes during certain parts of Dexter.

But I love the deduction.

So, of course, when my passion for writing grew until it couldn’t be denied, it was no surprise that it manifested itself in the form of mysteries. I began with the Lola Cruz mystery series, published initially with St. Martin’s Minotaur, and moving to a new publisher with the next three books in the series.

Then I wrote two romantic suspense novels, which, of course, have strong mystery elements. They are based on Mexican legends and will be published next year.

Finally, my cozies, A Magical Dressmaking mystery series with NAL, launches August 2nd with Pleating for Mercy.

Mystery, mystery, mystery. The characters. The communities. The crime. The puzzle. The deductions. The justice. All make for a satisfying read.

I’m particularly lucky to now be part of a dynamic publishing group. I’m the marketing director for the new boutique publisher, Entangled Publishing. In my role, I oversee marketing of a variety of books—romantic suspense and thrillers, paranormal, urban fantasy, and science fiction, most with that element of mystery that I love. There’s no better job, and I can’t wait for the release of our first titles in August.

I’d like to know what everyone loves most about mysteries, and how heavy the mystery element needs to be in books you read. Won’t you share?

Melissa Bourbon, who sometimes answers to her Latina-by-marriage name Misa Ramirez, gave up teaching middle and high school kids in Northern California to write full-time amidst horses and Longhorns in North Texas. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with yoga and chocolate, is devoted to her family, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams.

She is the marketing director at Entangled Publishing, is the author of the Lola Cruz Mystery series with St. Martin’s Minotaur, A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series with NAL, and is the co-author of The Tricked-out Toolbox and two romantic suspense titles to be released in 2012.

Visit Misa at;;;


Tracey Devlyn said...

Hi Misa,

Thank you so much for joining us at TTB! I love mysteries/thrillers that keep me on the edge of my seat, but they must have a happy ending. I can't abide feeling depressed after reading 400 pages of a great story. :)


Tracy March said...

Hi Misa,

Nice to see you here at The Thrill Begins. I, too, am a mystery/thriller/suspense addict, and love to puzzle over a plot--as a reader and a writer. Over the last several years, I've really been enjoying literary mysteries/thrillers such as those by Tana French.

I'm with Tracey, I like a happy ending--or at least a satisfying one--and also like a plot that keeps me guessing.

Congratulations on your position with Entangled Publishing!


Joelle Charbonneau said...

Congrats on all your success! I am a huge Nancy Drew fan, too! I wonder if we took a pole of mystery authors how many of us would find our roots in our love of that spunky heroine:)

Rochelle Staab said...

I'm a longtime Nancy Drew fan with fond memories of the whole River Heights gang. The crazy plots, the good clothes, the box lunches Hannah Gruen prepared. Nancy was a role model for me as a young girl and launched my lifelong love of mystery.

I'll take any kind of mystery, from hardboiled to cozy, as long as there's a good puzzle to solve. When I decided to write, there was no doubt it would be a mystery.

Congratulations on all your success, Misa. May the dream continue!

Grace Greene said...

I read all of the Nancy Drew books, too, even my mom's Nancy Drew books. I've always enjoyed mystery and suspense, but don't read much straight mystery. I enjoy the deduction, too, but sometimes it's the deduction of who will survive - and I always need a happy ending.

Misa said...

Looks like we all have a lot in common... happy endings, roots in Nancy Drew books, and loving books with mystery elements. We're in the right place here at The Thrill Begins!

Thanks for stopping by, everyone!

Rita said...

Nice post. Congrats on joining Entangled.
I want the story to move along. I never want the feeling I can skip pages. I want a satisfying ending. Don’t necessarily want the author to spell everything out. Want to use my imagination on how the characters will continue on after the story. I write my own endings the same way.

Nancy Naigle said...

I treasured my rows of Nancy Drew mysteries. I would devour them cover to cover. I remember being so excited to add the long list of books I'd read to the library wall each summer. A Nancy Drew was usually on the list.

I still can't solve a mystery. Heck, I couldn't figure out a Magnum P.I. episode :) I'm always surprised. I really enjoy reading all types of books. Straight mysteries are great, but my favorite combination is one with a little bit of romance or family roots. It's the characters that make or break the success of a mystery/suspense for me. If I love them...I'm invested until the end.

Thanks for bringing those great memories front and center.