A.K. Arenz is the mother of two grown daughters and grandmother to four: Madison, Connor, Chloe, and Camden. She began her writing career at about twelve–though it took a mite longer for her to become serious about the endeavor. A.K. is a member of ACFW. She lives in Missouri with her husband and two Himalayan cats.
Your second novel, The Case of the Mystified M.D. came out this month. What’s this latest book about?
This is the second book in The Bouncing Grandma Mystery series. Like the first book, The Case of the Bouncing Grandma, this is a cozy. The following is a brief description:
When Glory’s puppy finds a severed hand on a walking trail, she’s positive she recognizes the signet ring as belonging to a missing college professor who’s been causing a lot of trouble around town. Her insatiable desire to solve the mystery of his murder finds her in over her head with a community filled with secrets, blackmail, and arson.
With her sister Jane overwhelmed by the arson fire in her home and trouble with her fiancé, Glory latches onto an unlikely partner, and soon feels as though she’s stepped into a whacked out version of the “Twilight Zone”—where nothing is as it appears, and danger lurks around every corner . . .
Including from her boyfriend, Detective Rick Spencer.
The title of your first novel, The Case of the Bouncing Grandma, is so cute. Where did the title idea come from and what is the story about?
I only had a few chapters of the book written when my husband read it and commented, “Ok, it’s cute and interesting, but what are you going to call it?” There had been this niggling idea at the back of my mind about Glory’s grandson and how he had the nickname of “Bouncy Bouncy” for her—it’s all very logical when you read the book, and I don’t want to spoil it for you. Anyway, I blurted out the answer of The Case of the Bouncing Grandma to my husband, who promptly responded, “That might be a working title but it’ll never go over in the publishing world!” Guess he was wrong. 😉
I see on your website The Case of the Bouncing Grandma was an ACFW 2009 Book of the Year Finalist. Congratulations! When did you join the ACFW, and how has being a member impacted your writing life?
Thanks, Sharon! It was quite an honor being among all those multi-pubbed authors. I’m still in awe.
I joined ACFW about six years ago—I think. It was actually at the prompting of Brandilyn Collins. I’d sent her an email about how much I liked her novel Eyes of Elisha, and we started talking. She suggested I check out ACFW. I can honestly say if I hadn’t followed her lead—and the Holy Spirit’s—to join the group, I wouldn’t be published today.
What would you say has surprised you the most about being a writer/author?
I’ve considered myself a writer/author since I started actively working toward publication. That was back in the mid seventies. There has been quite a learning curve since then. As a published author, I have to say the thing that surprises me most is the reaction people have to me when I do a signing. I love it when they come up to me and just start a conversation—even if it’s only to pick my brain. The people that surprise me the most are the ones who seem to think it’s a piece of cake to get published.
On your road to publication, what piece of advice do you recall as being the most helpful?
In the mid ‘90s I had an agent from one of those big New York City literary agencies. The best advice she gave me in the five years we worked together was to never, ever give up. It hasn’t always been the easiest advice to follow, but I’m glad I stuck it out.
Thanks for having me on your blog, Sharon. I really enjoyed it!