It is not your imagination. I would like to thank an Alert Reader for drawing my attention to the curious case of Jane Willis's double death. Those of you who share Alert Reader's familiarity with the series may have noticed that Willis, Sr.'s enchanting wife died once in AUNT DIMITY'S DEATH only to pass away a second time in AUNT DIMITY AND THE VILLAGE WITCH. How can this be? You may well ask.
I'd love to tell you that Jane Willis was such a remarkable woman she deserved two separate deaths, but the fact of the matter is: I forgot about the first death when I wrote the second. In literary circles this is known informally as a "boo-boo," though the technical term for it is a "whoops." I hope you (and Jane) will accept my sincere apology as well as my assurance that, from this point forward, none of my characters will die more often than is absolutely necessary.
Many of you have asked whether or not AUNT DIMITY'S
DEATH is available in a large print edition. The simple
answer is: Not yet.
The longer answer is: Penguin (my publisher) controls the large print rights to my books, and while most of the books are available in large print, Penguin was never able to secure an offer from a large print publisher for AUNT DIMITY'S DEATH.
My literary agent and I hope that, when Penguin sells the large print rights for AUNT DIMITY AND THE VILLAGE WITCH (the next book in the series), they will add AUNT DIMITY'S DEATH to the deal.
If and when AUNT DIMITY'S DEATH becomes available in large print, you can be sure I'll post the news prominently on my website.
No, I don't have a newsletter. I'd rather put my
creative energy into my stories than spread it thin with
newsletters, blogs, Facebook pages, and whatever else is
out there to distract me from my work. Some writers
enjoy the distraction, but I love my characters far too
much to neglect them.
I may one day add a page to my website where I'll jot random thoughts that might amuse my readers, but I wouldn't expect a newsletter from me anytime soon, or ever, really. I hope you'll agree that my books deserve all the attention I can give them.
I inherited a few of the recipes from my mother, some were given to me by friends, and others were simply picked up along the way. As for a favorite . . . I love them all, but if I had to choose one . . . No, I can't possibly choose one. It would have to be a tie between Lilian's Lemon Bars and Uncle Tom's Butterscotch Brownies. Yum.
I was approached once by someone involved in American
television, but she vanished shortly after approaching
me and no one else has surfaced since. Sigh.
I, too, would love to see my work translated into film. My preference would be for the BBC to create an ongoing series based on my books, (a la Masterpiece Mystery, aka Mystery!) because the BBC would remain faithful to the stories, would get the visual details exactly right, and would cast actors rather than personalities.
Alas, it's naught but a dream at the moment. Perhaps, one day, one of my readers will send one of my books to the Right Person, and my dream will become a reality. Or the Right Person will simply stumble across one of my books and shout, "Eureka!" In the meantime, I live in hope.
No, I have never lived in England. I was nineteen when I first visited the United Kingdom and I've been there many times since, traveling from Land's End to John o'Groats by rail, automobile, bicycle, hiking boot, and thumb. I've had hypothermia on the top of Mount Snowden, food poisoning in London, and a root canal (my first!) in Haslemere, Surrey, so I must love this place because I keep going back for more.
The correct pronunciation of "dimity" can be found in Webster's Dictionary. (Dimity is an old-fashioned type of cotton cloth.) As you'll discover, it's pronounced DIM-it-tee, to rhyme (more or less) with "trinity."
My books are listed in publication order in the Books menu on my website, from the earliest (top) to the most recent (bottom). You can, of course, read them in any order you like. I suggest that you read them in publication order, however, because the characters grow and change over time, and refer back to things that happened in previous books. By starting at the beginning and going on from there, you'll be able to see the entire arc of the series unfold. But it's up to you!
There are dozens of Aunt Dimitys in my life. I'm blessed with the best friends on earth, which may explain why I write the kinds of books I write. Whenever I hear my stories described as fairy tales, I shake my head and murmur, "If I told them how splendidly the real-life people in my life behave, they'd really never believe me." My books are, to a large extent, a way of thanking the people who've been so kind to me in good times and bad.
From books, film, people, places, scents,
sounds--ideas come from everywhere. A chance comment or
a lovely vista can strike a spark of inspiration that
flares into a full-blown story.
Lightning strikes rarely happen to me, however. The sparks lit in my brain tend to smolder for a long time before igniting, which is why it's difficult to identify sources.
Lori Shepherd's character, for example, is based on me (except for the inherited fortune, alas), but I have no clue as to where Aunt Dimity came from. I don't, as a rule, "create" characters. More often than not, they simply show up and start talking (bless them). I get to know them as you do, bit by bit, as the story progresses.
By the same token, I rarely plan storylines. I don't want to know what's going to happen before it happens--where's the fun in that? So, I let the story unfold as I go along.
I don't recommend my method--it's slow, inefficient, and disorganized. But it keeps my energy up, holds my interest and piques my curiosity. I can't wait to find out what happens next so it works for me.
AUNT DIMITY'S DEATH and AUNT DIMITY BEATS THE DEVIL were made into unabridged audio books by Recorded Books, LLC. They assumed there was no interest in the Aunt Dimity audio editions and declined to record any other books in the series. My literary agents continue to look for a company willing to make audio editions of my books. You can aid their efforts by adding your voice to theirs. If you would like to inform Recorded Books of your interest, please feel free to contact them at: www.recordedbooks.com.
As far as I can tell, eight of my books are available in Kindle editions.
Linda Long of Long2Consulting customed designed the Aunt Dimity template. Her work is highly professional and she gives excellent customer service.
Claudia Stafford is the current Aunt Dimity webmaster.
Jerry Schroeder is the creator and webmaster of the original Aunt Dimity website.
Diane Schroeder continues to create the website artwork, other than the book covers.