If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


Our reason for creating WWK originated as an outlet for our love of reading and writing mystery fiction. We hope you love it, too, and will enjoy our holiday gifts to our readers with original short stories to celebrate the season. Starting on 11/16 stories by Warren Bull, Margaret S. Hamilton, Paula Gail Benson, Linda Rodriguez, KM Rockwood, Gloria Alden, and E. B. Davis will appear every Thursday into the New Year.


Our November Author Interviews: 11/8--Ellen Byron, and 11/15--Sujata Massey. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


November Saturday Bloggers: 11/4 Margaret S. Hamilton and 11/11 Cheryl Hollon.


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.


In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," just published, will appear in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Karen Cantwell's Mad, Mad, Mad World

 
I met Karen at my local SinC Chesapeake Chapter when we launched the chapter’s fifth anthology of short stories, Chesapeake Crimes: This Job Is Murder. Her short story, “Next Stop, Foggy Bottom” highlighted Karen’s gift of writing humorous mysteries with a supernatural bent. But her series, starring Barbara Marr, takes her comedic flair to the traditional-demented cozy subgenre. So far, she has released three books in the series, Take the Monkeys and Run, Citizen Insane, and Silence of the Yams. Please welcome Karen to WWK.                                 E. B. Davis


It’s clear you think of your writing as entertainment since you spin the “fun” in dysfunctional. Was that part of your original conception for the series?
Absolutely! When I first decided to write a mystery series, I wrote down what I wanted to achieve with the books. First on my list was "entertain." Second was "make people laugh," and third was "when readers finish the book, they slap their knee and shout 'Now that was fun!'" If I've done those three things with the Barbara Marr series, then I'm a happy camper.

Is dysfunction the new normal?
Normal? I don't believe there is such a thing. When you get to know people, you find they all have their "dysfunctions" and so yes, I would have to say dysfunction is normal! What I've done for Barbara Marr, is place her in this "normal" setting--family life in the suburbs--then throw crazy circumstances and characters at her. That dichotomy and how she reacts is the humor and fun in the story. At least I hope that's how it works!

Having a man around the house doesn’t seem to be a problem for Barbara, but having her husband at home is a problem. Will that toilet ever get fixed?
I don't know, life is pretty nutty in the Marr home. I'm not sure about that toilet. It may run unchecked for some time. Although, my goal for Barb's character has always been that she's the kind of woman who can take care of herself, so maybe I just need to grow her a pair and have her fix the darned thing herself! I mean, if she can throw herself in front of a bullet to save her hubby, she can fix a toilet, right?  

Why did you choose a housewife as your main character, and with Barbara Marr in mind, do you think there is any such thing as a traditional housewife?
They say write what you know, and I know about being a housewife. I also know that a lot of housewives read, so I wanted to reach out to those women by creating a character that they could relate to and laugh with at the same time. The fun thing is that I have many fans who are men. They really seem to enjoy Barb as well.

Your titles put English on movie titles. Why?
Barbara loves the movies and her dream at one time in life was to write and direct movies. She didn't follow that path, but decides, when her life turns on a dime, to start her own movie review website. Hence, the movie-title theme. I have a blast twisting movie titles and I think readers are drawn to them easily. And, by the way, I take suggestions!

Barbara Marr’s best friend is no Ethel Mertz. Getting away from Barbara means moving to the West Coast. Can any of her friends take the heat?
Daunted by the danger that seems to surround Barb, Roz Walker does leave the scene in Silenced by the Yams, but don't count her out entirely. She's still Barb's best friend, after all! Peggy Rubenstein, Barb's other friend loves adventure, so she's right there with Barb all along. And of course, Colt Baron, well he IS heat! He's not going anywhere, trust me.

What kind of mother sets up her married daughter on dates?  
Barb's mom, Diane, is definitely not your typical mother and she is one of my more favorite characters to write for that reason. Rather than being the cookie-baking, gray-haired, sedate mother with just the right advice, she's a risk-taking, death-defying, big-fish-talking Amazon with odd ideas. But, of course, Barb still loves her. What's not to love about a woman who takes geriatric pole dancing lessons?

What experiences spring-boarded writing this series that you can tell us?
Several years ago while I was working desperately to gel a workable plot for my first book, my neighbors told me the story of a day soon after they first moved into their house over forty years ago. The wife was cooking spaghetti sauce on the stove and the kids were out playing in the yard. Everything seemed quiet and peaceful in their new home until the three kids ran screaming into the kitchen that there was a monkey on their roof. Sure enough, when she went outside, she found not one monkey, but four. A mother and her baby on the roof and two in the trees above. To make a long story short, after several phone calls and an hour or so of waiting, eventually a white, windowless, unmarked van arrived with men covered head-to-toe in safety suits. It was all quite ominous. They didn't identify themselves or even speak to her. They just retrieved the monkeys and disappeared into the sunset. You just don't hear stories like that every day so I knew I had to use it for inspiration, which I did, and Take the Monkeys and Run was born.

Does Homeland Security monitor your email?
I'm not sure about my email, but I sure do worry about my Google browsing history! I think all mystery writers have this fear. Earlier this summer while researching my latest book, I was searching on questions like "types of cleavers," "Can cleavers cut through bone?" "deaths by cleavers," and another time when I needed to know which poison would work fastest killing someone, well, you can just imagine the search questions I was typing in that day! "Best poison to kill a person fast." Yup, I'd be in trouble for sure if someone confiscated my computer before I could erase my browsing history. Which I do regularly, by the way!

What’s the title and hook of book four?
Book four is Saturday Night Cleaver, due out in December. And I already know the title of book five because I let fans vote and choose. I'm very pleased with the title and plot I'll be cooking up for that one: Dead Man Stalking.


Bonus: Beach or Mountains?  Oh, the beach. No question. Less to pack!

And thank you so much for having me! This interview was great fun with original questions. You actually made me think a little, EB! After a lazy summer, I needed to get that brain working again.

You’ll be able to find all Karen’s demented cozies at Amazon.com.

11 comments:

Loralee said...

How have I missed your books, Karen? books? Love humor in cozies. Heading over to Amazon right away to check out these fun books. Great blog!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like great fun

E. B. Davis said...

They are great fun. Had I not had a short in the same anthology as Karen, I probably wouldn't have known about her books either. Guess that means more promotion, Karen!

Karen Cantwell said...

Yes, well, you're helping me in the promotion department, EB! I can't thank you enough for having me here today. The interview was great fun!

Loralee - I love to make people laugh. (I manage to do it intentionally as well as unintentionally)I hope you find the books laugh-out-loud fun!

Sasscer Hill said...

Karen, I love the title of your new book! And yes I wonder about my browsing history, too. Lots of searching for drugs, photos on most wanted lists, and other odd locations! Sasscer Hill

Sasscer Hill said...

Karen, I love the title of your new book! And yes I wonder about my browsing history, too. Lots of searching for drugs, photos on most wanted lists, and other odd locations! Sasscer Hill

Debbi said...

Hey, Karen! You're writing 'em faster than I can read 'em. lol

I've got to get Yams and Saturday Night Cleaver. I have some serious catching up to do.

Karen Cantwell said...

Thank you, Sasscer! I love coming up with new titles for the series. Movie titles give me an endless supply of possibilities!

Hi Debbi! Thanks for stopping by!

E. B. Davis said...

Karen--many of our bloggers wanted to thank you for the interview. Problem--Blogger and/or Google has blocked them from seeing the site. Yes, even the bloggers at WWK haven't been able to gain access let alone guests. No, I don't love this platform. I'm so sorry it had to have happened on your day. But--I've enjoyed your books and was so glad you granted me the interview. See you around D.C!

Polly Iyer said...

I shall try today. Couldn't leave a comment yesterday.

Love the titles of your books, Karen. And your books sound like great fun. The hard part is getting out the word. Hopefully, this blog post will help. I also like the consistency of your covers. Best of luck.

Susan Newhall said...

I so enjoy your books, Karen. And what fun to be interviewed!

Keep up the good work for all of us!