I forced myself to take a few calming breaths before I barreled on. Lamaze breathing often comes in handy. Except for the two occasions when I was in labor.
Dying For A Date (Page 86)
When I realized Cindy Sample had a funny mystery series out, I decided to read the first one, Dying For A Date, which led to reading Dying For A Dance and Dying For A Daiquiri. Klutzy main character Laurel McKay, a divorced, mild-mannered mom and bank-loan officer, solves murders while trying to find a love life. As a former mortgage company CEO, Cindy has no problem writing the technical aspects of Laurel’s job.
In 2011, Cindy was nominated for the Northern California Publishers & Authors Best Fiction Award, and then became a 2012 and 2014 Lefty Finalist for best humorous mystery. I’m looking forward to reading Dying For A Dude, due out this fall. Please welcome Cindy to WWK. E. B. Davis
You’ve given lots of background detail and history for Placerville, CA, your setting. Is Placerville real?
Placerville is a real town located in the gold country east of Sacramento. For a few years during the gold rush, it was known as Hangtown. It’s the only town I know of that has a dummy hanging over the spot where the original Hangman’s tree was located.
When Laurel meets hunky Detective Hunter and his daughter, Kristy, her first impression isn’t entirely positive. Do you think first impressions count?
First impressions are important, but sometimes second impressions are even more important!
Are you a klutz like Laurel?
A couple of male readers have commented on Laurel’s klutziness, which isn’t even close to my own. If we had more time I would tell you about my snorkel mask injury, spa injury, and a hotel bed frame that attacked me when I wasn’t looking!
Although Laurel’s mother is a great role model, Laurel doesn’t want to be like her mother. Is this a daughter’s universal rule?
It’s certainly a rule in my family!
Has Laurel ever tried chocolate she doesn’t like?
I’m not sure if Laurel has ever found any chocolate she doesn’t like. I prefer dark chocolate myself. Unfortunately, there are many days when my carbohydrate count exceeds my word count!
In Dying For A Date, the readers meet Laurel’s ex, then he fades away. Has Laurel gotten rid of the cad for good?
There is a very good reason why Laurel’s ex, Hank, faded into the background. Let’s just call it debut author error. In book four, Dying for a Dude, Hank returns from a construction job in southern California and is arrested for murder. Poor Laurel finds herself torn between her boyfriend, Detective Hunter, the head of homicide, and helping solve the mystery to get her ex-husband out of jail. I just love creating conflict.
Although her BFF owns a spa, Laurel seems unable to slow down enough to enjoy the treatments. Will she get her day to relax at the spa?
I originally was going to set a murder at Liz’s spa and title it Dying for a Diet, but no one was very
Most of your characters are well drawn, but gay buddy, Stan, seems a mystery. Will we find out more about Stan’s background?
Stan will have more of a leading role in Dying for a Donut coming in 2015. The book will take place in Apple Hill, where we locals, and a million tourists, truly die for their fresh donuts! When my daughter moved to Montana, she made me ship a dozen to her. And in case you’re wondering, so far I have 112 additional D titles. I guess I’ll be writing until I’m 200!
Were you a closet romance/mystery writer while serving as CEO of a mortgage company?
I was an un-closeted historical romance and mystery writer while working at El Dorado Savings in the late seventies. But between working 8 hours a day and throwing up 24 hours a day with two pregnancies, the books moved lower and lower on my “have to do” list. Once I became a single soccer mom traveling CEO, those steno pads were shoved somewhere, never to be found again unfortunately. But my creative mind never stopped plotting!
How did you arrive at a blended genre?
I’ve always loved mysteries and after discovering Janet Evanovich, I realized that I preferred humorous mysteries with a little romance thrown in. There were very few series with a single mom as a protagonist and I definitely wanted a realistic character that readers could identify with. My favorite compliment occurred when a local newspaper columnist/reviewer was traveling in Jamaica. She came across a scene in a bazaar and turned to her husband saying, “I wonder what Laurel would do in this situation?” To which he replied, “Laurel who?” Don’t you love when people can’t stop thinking about your imaginary characters?
What’s next for Laurel in Dying For A Dude?
Dying for a Dude introduces Laurel’s 88-year-old grandmother. Laurel’s real estate broker mother wants Gran to move to a retirement home, but Gran is fighting her all the way. While walking the family property, Laurel’s mother disappears from sight. It turns out she’s fallen down one of the old gold mineshafts of which there are hundreds in Placerville. She lands on something hard, hoping she’s discovered a pile of gold. Unfortunately, it turns out to be a 150-year-old skeleton. Thus, the first mystery begins. Of course, I don’t stop there. You’ll be able to find out more when it’s released on November 1st.
Are you a beach babe or a mountain gal?
I don’t know if it’s due to my Libra birthday, or if I just enjoy all aspects of nature, but I am a beach and a mountain gal. If they are together, even better!