Sunday, November 10, 2013

Author Betty Hechtman Talks About ‘The First Time’ and For Better or Worsted

I’m delighted to welcome author Betty Hechtman here today to talk about her writing and FOR BETTER OR WORSTED, the latest installment in her crochet mystery series.

One of the things I enjoy about Betty’s series is that while it has great tips (and even patterns) for those who crochet, you don’t have to enjoy the craft to enjoy her stories. The crocheting elements are an added bonus for those of us who do enjoy working with yarn.

Here’s a brief synopsis of FOR BETTER OR WORSTED:

          Molly Pink and her crochet group, the Tarzana Hookers, are always game for a new adventure. But when their newest member is accused of turning her wedding into happily-never-after for the groom, Molly’s chance to find the truth is hanging by a thread ...
       When Molly is invited to a major society wedding, she expects some wedding drama. Though she never anticipated this much trouble. The bride is the daughter of Molly’s close friend Mason—and has been planning this wedding for a long time. But at the reception, things go amiss when the wealthy groom ends up dancing with the grim reaper. 
       To make matters worse, the bride’s mother is found holding the murder weapon—and, as the newest addition to a reality show, she’s happy to fuel the media frenzy. Molly agrees to open her home to Thursday, the distraught bride, who needs a little peace from the paparazzi. But when it turns out that Thursday and her groom were on shaky ground, the blushing bride takes the spotlight as the prime suspect. 
       Now Molly and the Hookers must quickly stitch together seemingly unrelated clues and high-profile suspects—before a killer strikes again...

Betty joins us now to talk about ‘the first time.’

What is it like to see my books on the shelf in an actual bookstore for the first time? Pretty exciting. Particularly when I remember that this almost didn't happen.

I had published some newspaper and magazine pieces, along with a number of short stories. I’d even sold a script, but it was beginning to look like the fat lady hadFor Better or Worsted cover sung when it came to me having a book published. I had an agent, but she hadn’t been able to sell my mystery or my romance novel and I was on her back burner. I written a children’s mystery, but she didn’t handle children’s books, so I’d been sending it out on my own and collecting rejections. I was almost ready to throw in the towel and give up. I was even considering giving away the book I had on promoting your first novel since it didn't seem like I was going to need it. I say almost, because while I was thinking that, I still kept sending out the children’s mystery manuscript.  

Each time I dropped a partial of the manuscript of Blue Schwartz and Nerfertiti’s Necklace in the mailbox, I thought maybe someday it wouldn’t come back – and I didn’t mean that it would be lost in the mail. 

And then it happened. It didn't come back and instead I got “the call.” It was a small publisher without much in the way of distribution, but I was going to be a published book author. Yay!

While I was waiting for the book to come out, something was percolating in my mind. I had fulfilled a long time goal of mine and taught myself how to crochet granny squares and I got the idea of mixing crochet with mystery. When I told my agent the idea, she said the magic words, “if you write it, I can sell it.”

I wrote the proposal for the crochet series which was the first three chapters of the first book and a short synopsis of two more. My agent added her input and then submitted the proposal to a number of publishers.

About two weeks later, I got a call from my agent saying that Berkley wanted the series. Then the next day she called again to tell me that St. Martins wanted the series. The next time she called it was to tell me that Berkley had doubled their offer and we accepted it. Pretty cool to go from nobody wanting me to a mini bidding war.

It was also pretty cool to go from staring off the year with no book contracts and ending it having seven. So now when I look at the cover of the eighth Crochet Mystery, FOR BETTER OR WORSTED, I am so grateful that I didn’t give up.

It’s all about perseverance. As long as you keep trying, you have a chance of succeeding, but if you give up, it’s over. As far as I’m concerned the fat lady is never going to sing.

Betty, thanks for joining us today and giving us this look at how your intriguing series began. As a reader, I’m glad you didn’t give up.

For those who aren’t familiar with Betty and her work, here’s a bit of background on her.

If Hooks Could Kill coverBetty writes two national bestselling yarn related mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime. FOR BETTER OR WORSTED is the eighth in the Crochet series and IF HOOKS COULD KILL, the seventh in the Crochet series, was just released in paperback for the first time. Both books follow the sleuthing and misadventures of Molly Pink and the Tarzana Hookers.

YARN TO GO, is the first in the Yarn Retreat series, and features Casey Feldstein, a dessert chef, who puts on yarn retreats at a slightly sinister hotel and conference center on the Monterey Peninsula. All the books include recipes and craft patterns.  

To read excerpts and for more information, visit Betty’s website at

Betty’s children’s mystery, Blue Schwartz and Nefertiti’s Necklace, is about a thirteen-year-old babysitter who loves to cook and gets accused of stealing a priceless necklace. It includes kid friendly recipes and will be re-released as an e-book later this month.

Betty grew up on the south side of Chicago and has a degree in fine arts. She has been an avid handcrafter since she was a kid. She lives in Southern California with her family and a growing stash of yarn.  

Join Betty on Facebook, Twitter and her website She also blogs each Friday on

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Do you shy away from books just because they have a theme that you don’t enjoy such as crocheting, gardening, or knitting?


  1. Betty, thanks so much for joining us. I always enjoy learning how books came about. Wishing you much success.

  2. Clever titles and topics. I must look for this cozy series.

  3. This sounds like a great cozy series....thanks for sharing. Enjoy! And thanks for visiting my blog.

  4. I couldn't crochet a granny square to save my life, but I do love reading cozies with this kind of theme! I've never read a cozy series yet that I didn't learn all sorts of new and interesting things! And I love your call story!

  5. Mason - Thanks for hosting Betty.

    Betty - Thanks for sharing your experiences. You're absolutely right: in the end, it's all about perseverance and just keeping on keeping on. I wish you continued success.

  6. I'm with Kat on the crocheting issue.... I used to be able to crochet a perfect single chain though. Lol. I don't let the lack of a skill keep me from readimg a book with a good, or great, premise

    Thanks for sharing!


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.