About the AuthorLinda Joffe Hull is on the national board of the Mystery Writers of America, and is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Hull is the author of The Big Bang (Tyrus Books, 2012) and the Mrs. Frugalicious Shopping Mystery series (Midnight Ink). She earned a bachelor’s degree from UCLA. A native of St. Louis, Hull now lives in Denver with her husband and three children. Visit her online at LindaJoffeHull.com.
Interview with Author Linda Joffe
I am a mom, housewife, and occasional coupon clipper. I live in Denver, Colorado. In addition to the Mrs. Frugalicious mystery series, I'm also the author of THE BIG BANG, a suburban satire/pregnancy whodunit.
What inspired you to write Eternally 21?
I was looking for a compelling amateur sleuth when I happened to chance upon the tv show Extreme Couponing. I lack the math skills to ever even attempt what these people do to save huge money, but knew immediately that I'd found the perfect avocation for my main character, Maddie Michaels, who evolves from a well-heeled housewife into a bargain hunting maven who solves mysteries.
What book are you reading now?
AS SHE LEFT IT by Catriona McPherson.
What do you feel is the hardest part about writing?
The hardest part of writing for me is the solitary nature of the job. Luckily, I am currently working on a side project with a co-writer and it's fantastic to have someone with whom I can work thru story lines and bounce ideas off for plot points.
Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
I really love Maddie Michaels, the protagonist. When her financial guru husband loses all their money in a Ponzi scheme she has to make a quick transaction from being a have-it-all housewife to a savvy bargain hunter. As I was writing the book I realized she has a really positive, do-what-has-to-be-done attitude that, frankly, I’d like to emulate! In the course of the series, I find myself putting her through the paces both as Mrs. Frugalicious and in her personal life, but somehow, she keeps surprising me with her resourcefulness and plucky spirit.
What is the most rewarding experience you've had since your book has released?
My 8 year old daughter now calls me "author mom” and doesn’t allow my husband to disagree with me on any topic because, as she said the other day, “Uh, dad, she can SPELL."
Favorite quote from your book?
"I recognized her perfume as JLo, her diamond ankle bracelet as costume, and that despite the beauty of her dark, shiny mane, hair-washing day was overdue.”
Are there any upcoming projects that you'd like to tell us about?
I am currently working on book two in the Mrs. Frugalicious series, which is entitled BLACK THURSDAY and takes place at a big box store during the Thanksgiving weekend shopping crush. I am also working with a co-author named Keir Graff on a novel about a married couple who take a very unorthodox approach to solving their marital problems.
Fun fact about yourself?
I’m a huge fan of collegiate diving now that I have a son who dives for Indiana University (Go Hoosiers!) and a high school senior who is starting the college recruiting process for diving as well!
About the Book
Coupon-clipping Mrs. Frugalicious gets more than she bargained for
After Mr. Frank "Finance" Michaels loses the family's financial nest egg in a Ponzi scheme, his wife Maddie does whatever she can to help keep up the appearance that everything is financially fine. When she starts a bargain hunter's blog under the alias Mrs. Frugalicious, her website becomes a viral hit with a growing "frugarmy" of budget advice seekers.
While Maddie is researching "frugasm"-worthy deals on holiday shopping for teens, Eternally 21 store manager Laila DeSimone mistakenly accuses her of shoplifting. Then her day goes from bad to worse when Laila expires on the floor. Since Laila was a universally disliked manager, the murder suspect list is longer than Maddie's bargain spreadsheet. But when evidence points to Maddie as the prime suspect, she must track down the real culprit. Can she uncover the truth before police throw away her get-out-of-jail-free coupon for good?
Includes bargain shopping tips & techniques. Find more money-saving advice at MrsFrugalicious.tumblr.com!