Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Weekend Guest - Author Betty Hechtman!

Meow!  My guest today is author Betty Hechtman!

Betty Hechtman became entranced with mysteries through Nancy Drew's amateur detecting and when she began to read Agatha Christie's books, she was hooked. She wrote her first mystery story in high school. While studying fine art at Roosevelt University in Chicago, she wrote a weekly column along with news stories for the school newspaper.

  After college she wrote scripts, magazine and newspaper pieces, along with short stories. Her first book was a young adult mystery titled Stolen Treasure. The idea for the crochet mystery series grew out of her desire to mix her love of making things with mystery. The paperback edition of the 9th book in the series, KNOT GUILTY, comes out in November. She just finished writing the 10th book , SEAMS LIKE MURDER.  She is thrilled to be mixing yarn and murder again in the national bestselling Yarn Retreat Series with WOUND UP IN MURDER. All the books in both series include patterns and recipes.

  • Meow, welcome Betty! Tell us a little about your background

Hi ROCCO!  Well, I grew  up in Chicago and have a degree in fine art.  I wrote my first story when I was eleven and my first mystery story in high school.  I wrote a column for my college newspaper.  I have written newspaper and magazine pieces, short stories and several screenplays.

I have always been into handicrafts..  I taught myself how to design doll clothes when I was a kid.  

It was my desire to learn how to crochet granny squares that gave me the idea for the Crochet Series

  • Tell us a bit about your latest book, Wound Up in Murder

Wound Up in Murder is the third Yarn Retreat book and follows dessert chef Casey Feldstein as she puts on yarn retreats at a slightly sinister hotel and conference center on the tip of California’s Monterey peninsula.  This time another retreat is going on at the same time where all the participants are pretending it is 1963.  When one of them turns up dead, Casey investigates and at the same time gets caught up in their retreat.  At the same time she has to deal with her retreat.  This times each of the guests is given a mystery bag of yarn and even though most of use the same patterns, each of their creations will turn out unique.  I have included patterns for a Crystal’s Worry Doll and for Wanda’s Scarf .  There are also recipes  for Flashback to the Sixties Cream  Cheese Brownies and  Out-of-Time Cinnamon Walnut  Square Muffins.

  • Tell us about your different series with crochet/knitting themes. Is it a hobby of yours?

One of the best things about writing these two series is that is being able to spend time crocheting and knitting and have it be considered work.  My skills have improved as my characters have.  I also belong to a knit and crochet group that meets once a week.

  • How do you “get to know” your characters before and while you’re writing the books?

Since I just turned in the manuscript for the 10th Crochet Mystery, Seams Like Murder, by now I know the characters pretty well.  Though they do surprise me.  It is kind of like they take over sometimes.

  • How do you construct your plots? Do you outline or do you write “by the seat of your pants”?

I have to turn in a synopsis before each book, so that’s how I roll now.

  • Which do you consider more important, plot or character?

If you don’t like the characters, you’re not going to care about the plot..  At least that is what I think.

  • What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer and what inspires you and keeps you motivated?

I think it is all the rejection you have to face and then to  keep on going anyway .  What motivates me now is when I get an email from someone who says they were ill or going through chemo and my books took their mind off of it and gave them a smile.

  • Do you have an “How I got my agent” story you want to share?

Just persistence.

  • What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?

Like I said, I just turned in the manuscript for the tenth Crochet Mystery, Seams Like Murder and after taking a day or so to clear my head will be writing the synopsis for the fourth Yarn Retreat Mystery, Gone With the Wool.

  • What is a typical workday for you and how many hours a day (or week) do you devote to writing?

When I’m working I usually loose track of time, so I don’t know how many hours a day it is. A lot depends on how close to a deadline I am and since I also work in my family’s business, what else I have to do.

  • If you could take only three books with your for a year-long writing retreat in a gorgeous setting with no library, which three would you take?

I would take three blank book and fill them myself.

  • What advice do you have to offer to an aspiring author?

The obvious is don’t give up.

  • What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Go to a gun range with a bunch of romance writers.

  • What’s one thing your readers would be surprised to find out about you?

I don’t know how to ride a bicycle, but I do go to indoor cycling classes.

  • Where can we learn more about you and your books?

Website:  Facebook:  BettyHechtman author Twitter @BettyHechtman

Just for Fun:

Night or Day?  .Night.

Dog or Cat? (answer carefully)    I love them both, though at the moment only have a cat named Rocky who resembles Rocco (Ma-ROW!  Must be a handsome fellow, heh heh)

Beach or Pool?   Beach

Steak or salad?  Salad all the way since I’m a vegetarian.

Favorite Drink?  Coffee and tea

Favorite TV Series?  Right now it is Last Tango in Halifax

Favorite Movie?  When I need to laugh Bowfinger or The Birdcage

Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? I love the smell of gin, but not the taste, so I’d probably just sniff the martini

Hawaii or Alaska?  Hawaii

Finish this sentence:  If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be My parents because  they are both gone.  I think they would get a kick out of my books.

If I had just one wish, it would be__that people would actually follow the golden rule.

If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be Nobody.  I am too happy being me.

Thanks for a great interview, Betty.

Betty will give away 1 copy Wound up in Murder –Yarn Retreat Mystery #3 and 1 copy Knot Guilty – Crochet Mystery #9 to two lucky commenters!  To enter, leave a comment on this blog post with your name and email address (entries without email will be disqualified). For extra entries, you can do any or all of the below:

* Follow my blog (+ 1 point)
* Follow me on Twitter (+ 1 point) (Link:
* Tweet about the contest (+ 1 point)
* Friend me on Facebook (+ 1 point) (Link:!/

* Mention the contest on Facebook (+ 1 point)
* Mention the contest on your blog (+ 1 point)

Winner will be chosen at random using  Don’t forget to mention all you’ve done in your comment. Good luck! Contest ends midnight, August 17


  1. Wonderful to think about an author combining two loves successfully.
    I'm a regular here
    We are FB friends and I've linked this
    I don't tweet or have a blog
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  2. Love Betty Hechtman and her crochet murder mystery series.I am on book 5.would love to get a chance to win some books in the series.FB friends.Thanks!

  3. Both of these series sound great. I can't wait to start them. I follow the blog, we are fb friends, and I follow you on twitter. Thank you for the chance.

  4. Love these books! (Megan Smith)

  5. Both of these serious are fabulous. I love, love, love them and can't wait for the new books when they come out. Love her Worry Doll posts on Facebook too. Great author and wonderful person. Just don't get any better than this.

  6. Love Betty's books. Can't wait to read Wound up in Murder.
    thanks for the chance to get a couple of her books.
    I'm going to try to follow you on FB but the link keeps sending me back to my page.

  7. I wish you all the best,Betty.I think it is wonderful that you get your writing out your spare time, more or less.
    I Follow on Twitter; I tweeted
    I am a Friend on FB; I shared on FB
    I follow the blog

  8. Both series sound like great cozies. I've never read your books but I'd love to. I'm adding them to my TBR pile.
    If sent you a FB friend request, I shared this blog on my FB page. I sent a request to follow your blog by email.
    I don't tweet or have a blog. I added the first book in each of her series as well as your two Nick & Nora books to my Goodreads bookshelf.

  9. Toni: I received your email stating I was one of the winners. Did you get my response yesterday?

  10. I keep getting a request for my e-mail. I've sent it twice (as a reply to your e-mail) and just now in a separate e-mail.
    I really want the books and don't want to lose out. I don't know if they are going to your junque file or not getting through. Would appreciate your letting me know.