Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Joyce Tremel's First Book is Off and Running

Joyce Tremel, today's guest writer, was a police secretary for ten years. Like most of us, she more than once envisioned the demise of certain co-workers, but settled on writing as a way to keep herself out of jail. She lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh with her husband and a spoiled cat. Her debut mystery, TO BREW OR NOT TO BREW, will be released by Berkley Prime Crime in Fall 2015.

The last time I wrote a post for yinz guys (as we say here in Pittsburgh), was almost two years ago. I had a book on submission at the time that ultimately didn’t sell. While that manuscript made the rounds, I wrote a proposal for a cozy series that my agent sold to Berkley earlier this year. The first in the series, TO BREW OR NOT TO BREW, will be released in the Fall of 2015. Here’s a little bit about it:

Someone doesn’t want the Allegheny Brew House to open, and Maxine “Max” O’Hara is determined to find out why.

With her brand-new brewmaster certification in hand, Max has been working twelve hour days getting the abandoned Steel City Brewery up to code, perfecting beer recipes, and learning the business. A lot of work, but she’s sure she made the right decision—until things start to go wrong. She’s not too worried until the minor annoyances get progressively worse. And when she finds the body of her assistant brewmaster and chef in one of the beer tanks, she knows that batch wasn’t brewed according to Reinheitsgebot.

It’s been an interesting experience writing a book with a deadline. Since the series sold on proposal (a synopsis and three chapters), I had about nine months to finish it. I turned it in a couple of weeks ago. But there’s no time to relax—the next one is due in nine months.

Is my writing life any different now? Yes and no.

I still write every day, so that part hasn’t changed. The difference is now I HAVE to get the words on the page. I’m still busy with all the same things I had before, but now the writing comes before cleaning the house (as I stare at the clumps of cat fur on the floor). I’m learning to write a little more quickly. I no longer have the luxury of writing and deleting the same paragraph fifty times in a day. I’ve cut back to…oh…maybe ten times, lol.

I also had to increase my social media presence. I was already on Twitter (www.twitter.com/JoyceTremel). At the suggestion of my editor, I now have a page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/JoyceTremel). I really love Twitter. I’m not too sure about Facebook yet, probably because I’m still trying to figure it out. As far as networking goes, Twitter wins, hands down. It’s so much easier to meet people and interact with them. To me, FB seems more like talking AT people, instead of conversing with them. Maybe it’ll grow on me. We’ll see.

Well, that was a lot of rambling about nothing, wasn’t it? I do have a dentist appointment this morning, but I’ll be back to chat. I’ll be happy to answer any questions about the series, writing, social media, or beer. Especially beer.

Joyce Tremel


  1. Your Twitter presence is very impressive, Joyce! I'm a FB girl myself, but it's only right we spread the social media love, right?

    Thank you for sharing your story. PERSISTENCE. That is you! The whirlwind writing schedule for series is mind-boggling, but this isn't a 9-to5 job. It's like having children and how you must fall so completely in love, you put up with all the messy parts.

    Best of luck with the new series. Can't wait to read TO BREW OR NOT TO BREW.

  2. Just thought I'd stop by and say thanks for having me as your guest today. I'll check back in again if anyone wants to chat or has any questions.

  3. Thanks, Ramona! Definitely not 9-5. More like 7 to 7. Sometimes longer, but I do take breaks. Just not to clean house, lol.

  4. Nice to see you again, Joyce! Just looked up your Dec. 11, 2012 blog... ,my, time really does fly! Best of luck with your 2015 book! Thelma Straw in Manhattan

  5. Thanks, Thelma! I know what you mean about time. Fall 2015 seemed so far away at first but I know it will be here before I know it.

    I'm off now to a beer tasting by one of the local craft breweries. It's at the LIBRARY. My library rocks!