ALEC PECHE – Mystery Author (And Romance?)

Alec Peche is the California author of nineteen mystery and thriller novels. She writes the Jill Quint Forensic Pathologist series (13 books), the Damian Green Mystery Series (4 books), and the Michelle Watson Thriller Series (2 books). She is also the treasurer of the Sisters in Crime Coastal Cruisers Chapter and a member of the 20Books to 50K Indie Author FB group.


A wedding and . . . a murder an elevator pitch:

I had reader feedback that they wanted to see my protagonist and her partner marry in the 13th book in this series. Since I write murder mysteries, there had to be a murder, right?

ASHES TO MURDER is Book 13 in the Jill Quint, MD Forensic Pathologist series. The story is set in Asheville, North Carolina. It was released just a few days ago. Here’s the blurb:

A wedding night interrupted by murder. . . .

Jill and Nathan are in Asheville, North Carolina, for his wine label business. Jill is a part-time vintner and consulting Forensic Pathologist, while Nathan is a world-renowned wine label designer. He proposes and they organize a wedding in an old church ruin in just four days.

After their guests leave and they’re making the final sweep of their location, the property owner notifies Jill that their officiant is lying in the attached vineyard and is unresponsive to his voice. Jill rushes over and checks the woman to find her cold and pulseless. The police arrive, and their officiant is transported to Charlotte for forensic examination.

Jill can’t help as she’s a suspect, right? Fortunately, her friends who help her with cases are nearby having witnessed their nuptials. The team goes to work on her wedding night to solve the mystery of the woman’s death. 

Romance is not my area of comfort or writing skill, but I had to dig deep to cover romance because how could you have a wedding without a bit of romance in your story. The two characters have been a couple for twelve books and about three years of chronological time. I was likely content to let them stand as partners and lovers, but I bow to my readers’ wishes. In truth, marriage hadn’t crossed my mind at all.

The series features Jill Quint, MD, forensic pathologist, vintner, and private detective. She solves murder mysteries using her forensic and detective skill sets and surrounds herself with a group of girlfriends who bring their own skills to any investigation. While Jill and Nathan live in California, the cases are set around the globe.

My writing process: I’m a scary mix of pantser and procrastinator. I have a one-sentence idea of what the story is about. I pick a title and have my cover artist design the cover. That makes the book feel real.

I like to write in my office whenever possible. I can use Dragon dictation, and I have a big screen. Occasionally, I write on my MAC laptop when I’m going to have time to kill away from home.

Once I reach 10,000 words of the manuscript, I’ll make the book available for pre-order by setting a publication date on Amazon. This forces me to write when I can find a thousand better things to do, like pull weeds, lol. I then notify my two editors with an estimate of when the book is coming their way, which is usually a month before publication. I then tend to do my best imitation of a sloth. I wonder if the book is any good and why I’m wasting time writing it. Then in the two weeks, before the book is due, I’m in a real panic, and I start cranking out 4,000 words a day. I’ve always made it by the deadline, but sometimes with as little as ninety minutes to spare – that is the procrastinator part. Sadly, the more books I write, the worse this behavior seems to be getting.

With this 18th book, I also started writing the 19th and 20th books that belong to my other two series. I thought that having the other books would allow me to write faster by feeling refreshed, moving from story to story. Well, I’m at 3,000 words with one story and 4,000 with the other, and it didn’t go as planned. Still, I have the titles, and the book covers ready to go. I hope to finish both books by summer’s end.

After I finish the publishing process, I like to spend some concentrated time on marketing between books. When you’re an indie author, everything is changeable. Sometimes I’ll update book blurbs, book categories, and keywords. Usually, I spend time creating new ads for Amazon, FB, and Bookbub.

I’m also a voracious reader and audiobook lover. Someone else’s great story will slow down my writing. I read mystery and thriller stories primarily. I’m currently listening to A Place to Bury Strangers. I also like urban fantasy (I’m reading the Exceptional Sophia Beaufont) and Lit-RPG (role-playing games). If you’ve never heard of Lit-RPG, you’re not alone. Basically, they are very long books in which humans get dumped into an alien world and have to level up their skills in order to survive and thrive. It’s a cross between reading a book and a video game. They are clearly written for a younger audience than me, but I enjoy these characters’ journeys. I’m currently listening to the He who fights with Monsters series.

How Do Readers Contact You and Locate Your Books:

They can contact me directly at or at my website,

Readers can find Ashes to Murder at



  1. Madeline Gornell

    Great meeting you, Alec! I’m also very fond of audio books. Much success!

  2. Ana

    You are inspiring! I mapped out my deadlines for two books this year and that made me take a nap. Don’t know how you do it! I’m glad they’re getting married, btw.

  3. Vinnie

    I’d give myself a heart attack if I set a pub date like you do! My book, One Gun, is finished except for adding back cover text and reviewing the proof copy. The novel’s pub date is not until June 1st and I still feel completely nervous!

    • Alec Peche

      Trust me, it’s a near heart attack with each book. Especially when I’m doing something besides writing and I know I should be writing. However, the process has helped me go from one book every 9 months or so to 3-4 books a year.

      • Glenda Carroll

        Bravo!!! Three or four books a year — never in my dreams!

  4. Glenda Carroll

    Deadlines are the only thing that keeps me writing. Good for you to give yourself a publication date only 10,000 words in. Enjoyed reading about your writing process.

    • Alec Peche

      By placing a book for preorder, it’s not much different from traditionally published authors being required to submit their manuscript by a contractual date. Amazon keeps me honest.

  5. Michael A, Black

    It sounds as though you have a tremendous work ethic and tireless drive. Producing 4,000 words a day is incredible. I love the idea of a wedding and a murder. It sounds like a good one. Best of luck to you.

    • Alec Peche

      Thanks, Michael,
      I listened to a podcast today where a very prolific author stated that she releases a book about every 5 weeks. She uses Dragon Dictation to produce about 7,000 words a day. I’m a slowpoke compared to her.
      Best wishes,


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