Welcome to author Ada Bell, coming to us from her magical and mystical cave where she writes wonderful cozy mysteries for us to enjoy.
Describe your favorite writing spot or space.
My favorite place to write is on my screened-in porch. I’ve got a swivel rocking chair with an ottoman, and it looks out over my backyard. Our area has a ton of trees (not unlike Shady Grove, where my series is set), and it’s so peaceful.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Not a ton, actually. I’ve got three half-finished books that I’m currently working on, so those don’t really count. Two finished books that I hope to publish within the next year, although one has been on the back burner for quite a while. Two completed manuscripts that will probably never see the light of day, although one of them remains a first draft. I was working on a funny book for National Novel Writing Month when my father-in-law was hospitalized with the injury that eventually killed him. The book turned weirdly dark, and even though it’s been several years, I’ve never felt ready to revisit it.
Do you write under a pseudonym? If not, have you ever considered it?
Ada Bell is a pseudonym. It’s an homage to Ada Lovelace – a scientist who worked on computers back in the 1800s—and Kristin Bell, who portrayed my favorite fictional characters. I publish romantic comedies and women’s fiction under my real name, Laura Heffernan.
What comes first for you, the plot or characters?
For the Shady Grove series, Aly came to me first. Now that I have the characters firmly in my mind, the plot is mostly coming to me. I did have an idea for the victim in Seer Today, Gone Tomorrow before the plot evolved, though.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
The best money I ever spent as a writer has to be what I’ve paid to my cover designer. The Shady Grove series covers are exactly what I wanted. She’ll take me saying “Um, well, people die in this book and there’s a book store” and turn It into something truly fantastic. I’m grateful every day to have found her. So many people say “Save money! Design your own covers!” But I am well aware of my strengths, and this is 100% something better outsourced.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Mostly, I chase my three-year-old around. He’s got more energy than a box of puppies drinking Red Bull. But in my down town, I like baking (he helps), puzzles (he does not), and board games.
Do you ever Google yourself?
Oh, all the time. ALL the time. I’ve got alerts set up to tell me when people post things about me, and I still google myself.
What is your favorite childhood book(s)?
When I was a kid, I absolutely devoured mysteries. Trixie Belden were my favorite, but my local library had a few, so I also read a ton of Nancy Drew and The Bobbsey Twins. I was always sad not to have a twin brother to solve mysteries with.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Buy as much GameStop stock as you possibly can. In 2021, you’ll thank me.
Ada Bell knew you’d be reading this. Okay, well, she knew someone would be. (Hi, Mom!) That’s pretty much the extent of her psychic powers. A life-long mystery buff, Ada has devoured everything from Murder, She Wrote to Nancy Drew to Psych!, so she was pretty much destined to end up here. Ada loves Scooby Doo, superhero movies, STEM heroines, and cake. Mmm, cake.