Monday, July 8, 2024

Rocco and Chazz interveiw author Molly MacRae

 Ma-Row!  Today Chazz and I are interviewing author Molly MacRae!

The Boston Globe says Molly MacRae writes “murder with a dose of drollery.” In addition to the Haunted Shell Shop Mysteries, Molly writes the award-winning, national bestselling Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries and the Highland Bookshop Mysteries. As Margaret Welch she writes books for Annie’s Fiction and Guideposts. Molly’s short stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and she’s a winner of the Sherwood Anderson Award for Short Fiction.


Rocco:  Welcome back to the blog, Molly  It’s been a while since we last chatted! So refresh our memory about your background

MMR:  It has been a while! Nice to be here, again, though. Now I can add retried fake librarian (no MLS degree) to my list of former jobs – former sheltered workshop supervisor, museum director, independent bookstore manager. 

As for the writing – it’s taken off nicely. There are now six books in my Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries, five in my Highland Bookshop Mysteries, two stand-alone mysteries, six books under the name Margaret Welch (four for Annie’s Fiction and two for Guideposts), and a new series debuting June 25th – the Haunted Shell Shop Mysteries. 

Chazz:  Nice to meet you, Molly!  Tell us a bit about your latest book/series.

MMR: The Haunted Shell Shop Mysteries take place on Ocracoke Island, one of the Outer Banks barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina. The books are about Maureen Nash, a storyteller specializing in fables and folklore about shells (she’s also a malacologist – a scientist who studies mollusks), and Emrys Lloyd, the ghost of an eighteenth-century pirate. At the start of Come Shell or High Water, book one, Maureen tells the reader, “On the tail of a hurricane, half-drowned in the chaos of whirlwind, deluge, thunder, and lightning, I washed up on Ocracoke Island.” She immediately corrects herself. Her arrival wasn’t that dramatic, the hurricane was fairly mild, and she got ride over in a friend’s boat. “I was half-drowned,” she says. “But half-drowned by my assumptions, not the storm.”

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

MMR: I’m a plotter, because I love a good outline and knowing where I’m going, but my very long and detailed outline is really a very, very rough first draft with room for pantsing along the way.

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

MMR:  I’m eleven days out from the deadline for book two in the series – There’ll be Shell to Pay. I’m at the scream-writing stage. Picture a writer at a keyboard in an old fashioned kiddie car careening down a hill screaming as she types. It’s an exciting way to live.  (Rocco:  Yes, the human often does that as well heh heh heh)

Chazz:  What advice do you have to offer to an aspiring author?

Read, write, revise, repeat. Network with other writers. Persevere.

Rocco:  What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

MMR: For some reason, when I did a program and signing at a very nice arts council in Michigan, I thought it would be a good idea to do something fun to illustrate the writer’s life. I said to the audience, mainly senior citizens, “Do you know what the best thing about being a writer is?” They shook their heads. I said, “I’ll show you.” To quite a few gasps, I peeled out of the slightly oversized clothes I’d worn, revealing my pajamas and bathrobe, and said, “I get to work in my pajamas.” They loved it but I’m not sure I’ll ever do that again.

Rocco:  What question do you wish interviewers would ask? (And what’s the answer?)

MMR: Q: If I give you your own private writing room that looks like a miniature and very cool library and has a secret door and a window with a window seat – with no strings attached except to write - will you accept?

A: Sure.


Thank you for a lovely interview, Molly!

And we’re not done yet – now Molly tackles ROCCO and Chazz’s Fast Five:

  • What’s something that’s always in your fridge? Fresh ginger
  • If you weren’t a writer, what would you be? When I was little I wanted to be a rabbit and then a Canadian Mountie. Are they still options?
  • What’s your favorite part of the day? Meals
  • What food do you wish was calorie free? Chocolate
  • Holidays: Party at home, or go out for a glam dinner? Home with family gathered

Folks you can find Molly at:







Giveaway time!

Molly will give away one hardcover of Come Shell or High Water to one lucky commenter.  To enter, leave your name and email addy in our comments column!  US residents only please!  Winner will be selected at random. Contest ends midnight, July 16th!