I’m pleased to have author Libby Klein from Loudoun County, Virginia here to speak about her writing and new release, Midnight Snacks are Murder that is on blog tour with Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book.
Welcome, Libby. Please tell us how long you’ve been published and what titles and/or series you write.
My first book was Class Reunions Are Murder and it was released February 2018 through Kensington Publishing. Midnight Snacks Are Murder, the second in the series, was releasesd on July 31, 2018.
Congratulations. Tell us a little bit about your books — if you write a series, any upcoming releases or your current work-in-progress.
My humorous cozy series takes place in Cape May, NJ where I grew up, and revolves around Poppy McAllister. She’s a plus sized red head in her early forties who’s recently returned to her home town with her black smoke Persian, Figaro who’s a few fries short of a happy meal. She has the full-time responsibility of keeping Figaro and her elderly Aunt Ginny out of trouble. Restaurant Weeks Are Murder will come out next March and I’m currently writing the fourth book in the series.
Sounds great. I love Cape May. I visited there once with my husband and hope to go again one day. I also love cats and feature them in my books, too, so I think I would enjoy your 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?
My professional goals are to grow as a writer and improve my style and storytelling abilities. My personal goals are to make my readers fall in love with Poppy, Aunt Ginny, and Figaro and laugh their butts off while reading about their antics. I want to bring joy to every reader who picks up one of my books. It’s my dream to one day be nominated for an Agatha. I’m willing to beg.
Nice goals. I wish you luck.
What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
Readers who enjoy a light hearted, humorous cozy will especially love the Poppy McAllister Mysteries. Bonus points if you like a side of romance with your sleuthing. Themes in my series include being a plus sized gal in a skinny beach town and living with an autoimmune disease that requires you to be gluten and dairy free. If you’re on the paleo diet or like to bake gluten free goodies, you’ll love the recipes at the end of my books.
Interesting. Most readers enjoy recipes in cozies, and I think most people like some humor and a bit of romance in their books.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
Read well. Keep writing. Join a critique group of serious writers. Grow a thicker skin. Follow Manuscript Wish List online. Don’t ever give up.
I agree and am doing those things right now.
What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?
I wanted to cry over every rejection letter. After a few piled up I thought I had made a horrible mistake and wasted years of my life. I considered setting my manuscript on fire.
Wow! I bet your glad you’re didn’t. I know how you felt, though. I’ve had similar moments of doubt about my writing, too.
Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?
I belong to Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.
I’m also a member of Sisters in Crime and belong to their Guppie Chapter even though I’m already published. I’m still hoping to find an agent and publish with a larger publisher one day.
What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?
My favorite hobbies are things I can do while drinking coffee. I love reading, baking and travel. I love hanging out with friends and laughing for hours.
Sounds like hobbies your are quite enjoyable.
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
I love writing. And I love when a reader sends me a note telling me they enjoyed my book and that it meant a lot to them. The toughest part about being an author are negative reviews. I’ve been very fortunate that I haven’t had many, but the couple I’ve had still sting. I find it very challenging trying to juggle writing my current piece of work while promoting books that have been released.
I agree and relate to all of that completely.
What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?
I love writing about a small town like Cape May where the characters all know entirely too much about each other and the situations are so often hilarious. I appreciate that cozy mysteries avoid graphic language, violence, and sex. You can read a cozy mystery with your grandmother and not be uncomfortable.
That’s so true.
Can you share a short excerpt from your latest title?
This is the first page of Midnight Snacks Are Murder
Mischief and Mayhem were running amuck in South Jersey. Mischief, or as I called her, Aunt Ginny was on the warpath flanked by her first in command, Mayhem, also known as my black smoke Persian, Figaro the instigator. Today their battleground was the kitchen and the enemy was knee deep in the hoopla installing pearl gray cabinets and black and silver granite counter tops.
Aunt Ginny barked out orders like Patton leading the allied forces through France. “If any one of you puts so much as a single scratch on my Romba cuckoo clock there will be hell to pay! My first husband Lovell brought that home from Germany in 1945. It’s survived three wars, a fire, and Hurricane Sandy. I’ll be darned if its going down because of a slipshod kitchen remodel.”
I’d been stranded in Cape May with my eighty-ish great aunt ever since I was lured up here to attend my twenty-fifth high school reunion a few weeks ago and was voted most likely to kill a cheerleader. I’d never wanted to return to the birthplace of my most painful memories, but after spending the past few weeks reuniting with old friends, enemies, and lovers, I’d come to accept that Cape May had a certain charm. One that I’d call “better than a sharp stick in the eye.” I’d been away long enough to forget that Aunt Ginny teetered on the edge of crazy. Long enough not to know about a recent plot to stuff her away in a nursing home. So long that I was the only McAllister left to inherit the Victorian Manor. Now it was my job to look after this rickety old rattletrap… and the house. With two red-heads under the same roof, and one of them having just bought a wakeboard on xtremesports4seniors.com, I think twenty years in the women’s prison would have been easier.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you or your books?
I love connecting with my readers, so be sure to send me a note, friend me on Facebook, follow Figaro on Twitter. And I love to visit book clubs! They’re so much fun!
I’ll share that message for you.
Please list your social media links, website, blog, etc. and include some book cover graphics and author photos if possible.
Cozy Mystery Crew – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1757692634274149/
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16834863.Libby_Klein
Bookbub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/libby-klein
Twitter – https://twitter.com/LibbyKleinBooks
Website – https://libbykleinbooks.com/
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/libbykleinbooks/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/libbykleinbooks/
Amazon – amazon.com/author/libbyklein/
Thanks so much, Libby. I enjoyed chatting with you and wish you all the best on your new release and future books of your fun cozy mystery series. I’m also including the link to your rafflecopter for those who would like to enter your giveaway: