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

October Interviews
10/2 Debra H. Goldstein, Two Bites To Many
10/10 Connie Berry, A Legacy of Murder
10/17 Lida Sideris, Double Murder or Nothing
10/23 Toni L. P. Kelner writing as Leigh Perry, The Skeleton Stuffs A Stocking
10/30 Jennifer David Hesse, Autumn Alibi

Saturday Guest Bloggers:
10/5 Ang Pompano
10/12 Eyes of Texas Anthology Writers
10/19 Neil Plakcy

WWK Bloggers: 10/26 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Lyrical Press will publish Kaye George's Vintage Sweets mystery series. The first book, Revenge Is Sweet, will be released in March. Look for the interview here on 3/11.

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

KM Rockwood's "Frozen Daiquiris" appears in The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. The anthology was released on June 18th.

Fishy Business anthology authors include KM Rockwood, Debra Goldstein, and James M. Jackson. This volume was edited by Linda Rodriguez.

Please read Margaret S. Hamilton and Debra Goldstein's short stories (don't ask about their modus operandi) in a new anthology, Cooked To Death Vol. IV: Cold Cut Files.

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30.


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

An Interview with Kathy Aarons by E. B. Davis

Best friends and business partners Michelle and Erica have a monstrous to-do list as they prepare for the annual West Riverdale Halloween Festival. Their shop, Chocolates and Chapters, will have a booth at the event, where Michelle will serve spooky delights while Erica displays an assortment of spine-chilling books. Thank goodness the teenagers from Erica’s comic-book club are chipping in to help. But one of their volunteers winds up in trouble after a woman’s body is found in an abandoned house—with the teen’s superhero key ring close by.

The teen swears he didn’t do it, but he’s obviously hiding something—leaving Michelle and Erica with a witch’s cauldron of questions. Soon they discover that the dead woman was tricking a whole bunch of people out of more than just treats. Now these two friends must go door-to-door if they hope to unmask a killer…

While reading Kathy Aaron’s new book, Behind Chocolate Bars, the third book in her Chocolate-Covered Mysteries, I found myself at the grocery store sticking bags of chocolate covered candy into my cart. The descriptions of the candy made by main character, Michelle Serrano, drove me to munch those candies as I read. Unfortunately, the grocery candy didn’t match the deliciousness of the MC’s creations. If you can resist “Balsamic Dreams, truffles with dark chocolate ganache that perfectly balanced the rush of balsamic vinegar…” or “Cherry Ambrosia truffles [that] have tangy kirsch and dried cherries in the ganache,” or Wild Huckleberry Milks, Fleur de Sel Caramels, Mayan Warriors, Extra Dark Mochas, Champagne Milks, Raspberry Specials, Mocha Surprises, Black Currant Darks, then you shouldn’t read this book. Me—I popped York Peppermint Patty miniatures as a substitute for the better fictional treats.

Please welcome Kathy Aaron back to WWK. Read my first interview with Kathy, here.
                                                                                                                                    E. B. Davis

What compels you to write cozies?

I love the quirky cast of characters we get to create, the wonderful-but-not-perfect towns, the ultimate triumph of good over evil, and the satisfaction of justice accomplished when we write The End.

The victim in your story (among many things) was a “catfish.” I’d never heard the term. What is it?

A “catfish” is a person pretending to be someone they are not online, and it’s way more common than most people think. This goes beyond fudging details on dating websites – a catfish may use different names, job titles, even photos of other people with the purpose to use the other person. Often it’s just emotional, but sometimes it moves into conning people out of money or gifts.

The book is set in West Riverdale, MD, which is described as being not far from Frederick. I pictured the rolling countryside to the west of Frederick since I’m very familiar with that area. Am I right? Do you live in the area?

You’re right! I don’t live in Maryland, but I have family there. When Berkley asked for the mystery to be set in Maryland, I visited a few times and decided that I wanted West Riverdale to be a combination of Boonsboro and St. Michaels, and that it should be near enough to Frederick for my characters to visit.

Michelle and Erica take their businesses to a new level, as suggested by Phoenix Keogh, their accountant. Since I’ve dealt with many accountants over the years, I was surprised by his questions and information requests of the women. Isn’t he more their business manager?

I talked to accountants about this part of the book, and they noted that since Michelle and Erica are also friends of Phoenix, that he might make business suggestions. He’s also very big on networking, public relations, and doing more than just accounting for his clients.

“I shook my head. “’We only talk about chocolate. Sensitive stuff is your thing.”’
Kindle Location 290

I was surprised by Michelle’s statement. Erica seems like a planner and thinker, analyzing data. Michelle seems like the real-world doer. Is Erica more extroverted than she seems?

Michelle is often uncomfortable with discussions about emotional topics. In the scene you mentioned, they are discussing a high school intern, Dylan, who is a member of Erica’s comic book club.  Erica has hired Dylan to help him deal with the loss of his mother and bullying at school, and she is closer to him than Michelle.

Are you a fan of superhero comic books? Are they still popular?

I’m a fan of superhero movies, but not comic books. My brother-in-law Matthew Krevat and nephew Jacob Krevat have been my go to people regarding comic books throughout the series. And yes, comic books are still very popular!

What’s Bunco?

Bunco is a dice game with very simple rules. Results are based solely on luck, with no actual skills needed, unlike poker, for example. In my very suburban area, it is played by women for the purpose of socializing.

Leo, Michelle’s brother, who served in Afghanistan, lost a leg there, and now suffers from PTSD. After an accident, he becomes obsessed with Michelle’s safety. Are there stressors that set off severe reactions in PTSD patients?

I’m not a professional, but I researched this quite a bit and talked to a psychiatrist about Leo’s journey during this book. The simple answer is yes, but PTSD is a very complicated condition. The Leo scenes in Behind Chocolate Bars are some of the most emotional I’ve ever written—I found great joy in telling his story.

Have you plotted each of your MCs' arcs for the series?

Yes, but they continue to change with each book.

What’s next for Michelle and Erica?

My plan is for Erica to bring a writing conference to West Riverdale, with NYT bestselling author Crista Cornwall providing the keynote address. Michelle can’t stand Crista’s prima donna attitude, or her obvious attraction to Bean. But finding the novelist dead in Chocolates and Chapters’ dumpster was not in the program.

How did your deal with Berkley happen?

I wrote a cozy mystery and sent it to my dream agent. She loved the writing and the humor but didn't think it had enough of a hook to sell. She asked if I'd be interested in writing a new series, and of course I agreed. We settled on a concept, and then a week later she called me with a writer for hire opportunity. Berkley sometimes comes up with ideas for series and looks for authors to write them. They provide a "book bible" –two pages of the set-up—and the author does the rest. I wrote a proposal, and the editor at Berkley really liked it and signed me to write the Chocolate Covered Mystery series as Kathy Aarons.  

I’m delighted to be writing a new series for Kensington’s Lyrical line under the name Kathy Krevat, my real name. The first book in the Gourmet Cat Mystery series is tentatively titled The Trouble with Murder featuring organic cat food chef Colbie Summers and her cat Trouble. It will be out in late 2017.

Thanks so much for the great questions!


Kait said...

YUM! Elaine, thank you for introducing me to this new to me author. The series sounds wonderful. I hope my waistline can take it! The perfect Congratulations on the new series too.

KM Rockwood said...

Sounds like a fun series!

Thanks for sharing your experiences with the agent and publishers.

My Jesse Damon series is set in Maryland, too, in Rothsburg, which is a fictional town that's a combination of Hagerstown and Taneytown, with a bit of Fairmont, WV, thrown in.

Congrats on the new series.

Shari Randall said...

Thank you for stopping by WWK, Kathy, and thank you EB for another wonderful interview. Now I am craving chocolate....Balsamic Dreams Truffles....Do you develop all the recipes for your books?

Grace Topping said...

Welcome back to WWK, Kathy. And congratulations on the publication of your most recent book. The chocolates sound fabulous.

Kathy Aarons said...

Shari - All of the recipes in the books are from a local chocolatier -- Isabella Knack at Dallmann's Chocolates. She makes delicious works of art!

Kathy Aarons said...

Thanks Kait! It's a fun series to write!

Kathy Aarons said...

KM - writing about a fictional town can be challenging but also fun, right? And wonderful to revisit!

Kathy Aarons said...

Grace - Thanks so much for having me visit! Loved your interview questions!

Kaye George said...

How wonderful to hear you've landed on your feet! I'm very happy for you. (Kathy and I debuted our Berkley Prime Crime series on the same day, so our "old" books share a birthday.) Have fun with the new series!

Gloria Alden said...

This sounds like a delicious series that I'll be reading, Kathy.

Kathy Aarons said...

Hi Gloria,

I hope you like it!

Kathy Aarons said...

Kaye - Thanks! The Trouble with Murder has been very fun to write!

E. B. Davis said...

Thanks so much for the interview and wonderful read, and good luck with both series, Kathy!