Posted in Authors, Books, Cats, Cozies, Cozy Chat, Cozy Mysteries, Cozy Mystery, Cozy Series, Dogs

Cozy Chat with Carolyn Haines

cozycatpicAlthough I consider myself a romantic suspense author and fan, I also used to be an avid reader of cozy mysteries especially those featuring cats. For those of you who also share that interest, I will be featuring Cozy Chats with cozy mystery authors on this blog. If you are an author who writes a cozy series and would like to participate in a future Cozy Chat, please contact me.

My second Cozy Chat author is Carolyn Haines who I spoke with about her cozy Christmas e-short story “Jingle Bones” from her Sarah Booth Delaney mystery series.

Hi, Carolyn. Thanks for joining us on Cozy Chat. Have a seat and help yourself to some tea while we talk.

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Can you tell us a little bit about the Sarah Booth Delaney Series? What gave you the idea for it? 

I had finished a two-book contract with Dutton, and I was sitting at my computer watching my horses graze, thinking about ideas for a book. I heard these two women bickering. One was really bossy. I sat down and started typing their conversation, because I knew I’d been gifted with a story to tell. As it turned out, one character was Sarah Booth Delaney, who’d returned to Zinnia, Mississippi, after a failed career on Broadway. The other was Jitty, a 150-year-old ghost from the Civil War era. Jitty functions as Sarah Booth’s conscience. 

In an effort to save Dahlia House, Sarah Booth’s home, she takes a case investigating a wealthy man who everyone believes killed is mother when he was a young boy. And so THEM BONES was the first in what turned out to be a mystery series.

What about Jingle Bones, can you tell us a bit about that? I understand it’s a short mystery only available digitally?

Oh yes. Two very bad young boys, Lord Darcy and Heathcliff. Are accused of stealing the baby Jesus from a church manger scene. The goal is to keep them out of the Christmas pageant because they are so disruptive. But the boys extract their own brand of revenge and Sarah Booth and Tinkie are in the middle of it. It’s on sale now, and people can purchase it from Amazon.

Very interesting. Do you have any advice to other authors about writing cozies or writing in general?

Write what you love. This is too much work to write about characters you don’t love. After nearly two decades writing about Sarah Booth and the Zinnia gang, they are close friends. I enjoy spending time with them, and it’s a good thing because they’re a big part of my daily life. Read good writers, study the craft, and revise, revise, revise.

I agree completely. I grew so fond of my characters in A Stone’s Throw that I’ve started a sequel. I’m not sure if it will turn into a series, but I think it has at least one or two more possibilities.

What are you currently working on?

I’m editing ROCK-A-BYE BONES, which will be the 16th Sarah Booth mystery. It will be released in May, 2016, by St. Martin’s Press. And I’m finishing the first book in a new series, a paranormal/historical/mystery, which I’m very excited about.

That sounds wonderful. Maybe we can schedule another chat to discuss that.

Do you write any other genres than cozies?

Yes, I write darker crime stories (under Carolyn Haines) and I also write horror as R.B.Chesterton.

I didn’t know that. I know you also used to write under Carolyn Burnes for your “Fear Familiar” series, one of my favorites because I love cat mysteries. I understand you may be reprinting some of those. Can you share a few details about that? Also, can you tell me how you got started in writing?

I am working to bring the first Familiar book back into print and digital. I’ll probably re-publish under Carolyn Haines.

I grew up in a family of journalists, and I’ve written for publication since I was very young. I’ve always been a big reader, and I loved Southern writers. I was greatly influenced by Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, and Doris Betts. I wrote short stories and in a strange turn of events, obtained a literary agent who told me to write a novel. I thought it was nuts, but I had a story I really wanted to tell, so I gave it a try.

Most of the authors I speak with have also been writing since they were young including myself. All of us also love to read.

What are your hobbies besides writing?

I rescue animals, and I run a small sanctuary on a farm where I live. I have horses, cats, and dogs. And I work hard to raise awareness for the need to spay and neuter companion pets. Last year Good Fortune Farm Refuge sold cookbooks based on the Bones characters and we raised money to spay/neuter over 100 animals. There are so many unwanted animals who needlessly suffer and die. It doesn’t have to be this way. And I also teach fiction writing at a university. I like to stay busy.

How awesome. I have great respect for animal rescuers. It’s a tough but very rewarding job.

Is there anything else you’d like readers of this blog to know about you and/or your books?

I am a terribly practical joker. I love to torment my friends. But I’m also a good friend.

My website is www.carolynhaines.com

 Great info. I will check out your website. Thank you so much for joining us on Cozy Chat today, and good luck with all your writing projects and animal rescue work.

 

Posted in Authors, Books, Cats, Cozies, Cozy Chat, Cozy Mysteries, Cozy Mystery, Cozy Series

Cozy Chat with T.C. LoTempio

cozycatpicAlthough I consider myself a romantic suspense author and fan, I also used to be an avid reader of cozy mysteries especially those featuring cats. For those of you who also share that interest, I will be featuring Cozy Chats with cozy mystery authors on this blog. If you are an author who writes a cozy series and would like to participate in a future Cozy Chat, please contact me.

The first guest I have the pleasure of speaking with for a Cozy Chat is T.C. (Toni) LoTiempo about her cat cozy mystery series, Nick and Nora. The second book in this series, “Claws for Alarm” is being released on Tuesday, November 3rd.

Hi, Toni. Thanks for joining us on Cozy Chat. Have a seat and help yourself to some tea while we talk.

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Can you tell us a little bit about the Nick and Nora series? What gave you the idea for it?

Nick and Nora is a takeoff on the old ‘Thin Man’ series, only instead of a man and a woman, it’s  cat and a woman. J  Nora Charles is an ex-true crime reporter who returns to her hometown of Cruz, California to take over her deceased mother’s sandwich shop.  Along the way she adopts a tuxedo cat that she names Nick (or is it the other way around???).  Nick belonged to a PI who is currently MIA, and he and Nora have a flair for solving mysteries in common. I actually got the idea from my ex-supervisor at my day job, who told me I should quit writing about vampires and write a book about my cat.  Apparently he was right!

Very interesting. I’m especially fond of cat cozies. Do you have any advice to other authors about writing cozies or writing in general?

Writing requires a great deal of patience and a thick skin. If you can’t take rejection, best to find another profession.  The best way to get published is to keep writing, writing and reading, reading.

I agree completely. What are you currently working on?

The Next Nick and Nora, and the first book in a new series.

After “Claws for Alarm,” when will the 3rd Nick and Nora be released?

Nick and Nora #3 will be out December 2016. Nora gets involved searching for a woman’s missing niece, and is still trying to locate Nick’s former human, missing PI Nick Atkins.

Do you write any other genres than cozies?

Yes – I actually started out writing horror, and had a few novels published by a small press (they are currently out of print, and I have the rights back).  I’ve self published a few paranormal suspense novel that were moderately successful.

Can you tell me how you got started in writing?

I’ve been writing on and off since I was ten years old.

Same here. Many writers begin at an early age, but, of course publishing comes later. What are your hobbies besides writing?

I used to bowl, but back problems sidelined that. I love reading, and I love playing with my three cats.

Seems we have a lot in common, Toni. I love to read and play with my two cats, too. Is there anything else you’d like readers of this blog to know about you and/or your books?

roccoROCCO has a blog, www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com, where we interview authors and have giveaways twice a month at least.  ROCCO also reviews cozies for Night Owl, and I’m the suspense columnist!  We also do fundraising for the charity co-founded by Nathan Fillion of Castle fame, Kids Need to Read, and have a charity auction every summer.

Great info. I will check out the blog. Thank you so much for joining us on Cozy Chat today, and good luck with your Nick and Nora mysteries and other books and series.