I’m pleased to have author Janet Finsilver from the San Francisco Bay area here to speak about her writing and new release, Murder at the Mushroom Festival that is on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.
Welcome, Jane. Please tell us how long you’ve been published and what titles and/or series you write.
I write the Kelly Jackson mystery series and am with the Kensington Publishing Corporation. My first book came out in October 2015. The books are Murder at Redwood Cove, Murder at the Mansion, Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table, and Murder at the Mushroom Festival. I haven’t done any self-publishing.
Interesting titles. Tell us a bit about them.
They are cozy mysteries set on the coast of northern California. My protagonist, Kelly Jackson, was raised on a Wyoming ranch and some of her background is woven into the stories. She works with a crime-solving group of senior citizens, the Silver Sentinels.
My latest book, Murder at the Mushroom Festival, releases April 17, 2018. I’m currently working on the fifth book tentatively titled Murder at the Marina.
A group of senior citizen sleuths is a great concept for a cozy mystery series.
Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?
I want to keep the community and people “alive” that I’ve created. I feel they are wonderful role models in many ways as well as a delight to be around. I also like being able to share with people the many ways dogs contribute to our lives. The animals make a world of difference to people who have a myriad of issues to overcome.
I agree with you and feel that all animals do that to some degree. While I like dogs, I’m more of a cat person, but I feature both animals in my Cobble Cove mystery series that includes Sneaky, the library Siamese cat and Fido, the golden retriever.
What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
People who like a good whodunit and don’t want graphic violence. Learning something new interests them.
As a cozy mystery author myself and a librarian, I believe that’s what attracts cozy readers to this genre.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
Love writing and keep at it.
Excellent advice and one all authors need to heed.
What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?
It’s very difficult to get an agent or a publisher. It’s frustrating when they say don’t contact us, we’ll contact you, and you wait months to hear from them.
I relate to that. I was lucky to land my current publisher and one prior to that, but I’m still querying agents. It’s a very long process and one that requires a lot of patience and persistence.
Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?
I belong to Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and the California Writer’s Club. Most importantly I work with an amazing critique group of writers who are dear and cherished friends. Staci McLaughlin, Carole Price, Ann Parker, and Penny Warner are members and are published authors.
I’m also a member of Sisters in Crime and a local Long Island author’s group as well as International Thriller Writers and the Cat Writer’s Association. Your critique group must be very helpful.
What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?
I love my dogs. I’m starting to work with my young Rhodesian ridgeback in agility.
If you’re interested, I’d love to feature either one of your dog characters or your own dog on my pet character’s blog where Sneaky, the cat posts interviews.
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
I love the new world, the people, and the animals that have become part of my life. What I like the least and is the toughest challenge, is carving out the time to write.
Time is an issue for most writers.
What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?
I like creating a “safe” world for readers. You know your favorite characters will come back time after time. They might get a bit roughed up, but they will always be there. I want give people a good plot without having to use graphic violence.
That’s what I strive for, as well. I don’t like reading about violence or explicit sex myself, so I don’t feature it in my writing.
Can you share a short excerpt from your latest title or upcoming release?
From Murder at the Mushroom Festival
Deputy Stanton left and Tommy got down on the floor and began petting Fred. He stopped and looked at me. “Miss Kelly, I forgot to tell you. There’s something under the windshield wiper of the truck.”
“Thanks for telling me.” Puzzled, I left to check it out.
As I approached the vehicle, I could see a white envelope on the windshield. I pulled it out. It was soggy…probably from last night’s fog. I opened it carefully so as not to rip the wet paper.
Cut out letters had been glued haphazardly. “Stop asking questions or you’ll be stopped.”
To the point.
I didn’t play poker, but I knew someone had just upped the ante…
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you or your books?
They all have dogs with special abilities. Fred, a basset hound in Murder at Redwood Cove, was trained to detect cancer. Jack and Jill, two beagles, sniff out bedbugs and termites in Murder at the Mansion. Princess is a retired hearing-assistance dog in Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table. She’s a tan Chihuahua who wears jeweled collars and pretty coats! Murder at the Mushroom Festival introduces Max. He’s a trained diabetic alert dog that looks like a goldendoodle. These aren’t dog books, but the animals contribute to the story.
Each book has a festival in it. The fictitious town in my series, Redwood Cove, is based on Mendocino, California. This is in the heart of the wine country in northern California. Events are ongoing throughout the year.
One of your dog characters would make a perfect guest for Sneaky’s blog. Great idea about setting each book during a festival.
Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. and include some book cover graphics and author photos if possible.
Thanks for a great interview, Janet, and best of luck with your blog tour, new release, and future books.
Here’s a link to your blog tour’s rafflecopter for those who would like to enter: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/02887792699/?widget_template=56d5f80dbc544fb30fda66f0
I was honored to be the first stop on your tour. The rest of the tour schedule is below:
April 16 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
April 18 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
April 19 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
April 19 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 20 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 21 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
April 22 – Community Bookstop – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 23 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 23 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
April 24 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST
April 25 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
April 26 – Varietats – SPOTLIGHT
April 27 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 28 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
April 29 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
April 30 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW