When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
First, thank you for hosting me today, Lois! I’m so happy to hang out on your blog.
As to when I first realized I wanted to write, the truth is, I can’t remember a time where I didn’t want to pen fun stories. It was probably the summer before 7th grade when I got serious, and that’s when my grandmother gave me a typewriter. (Showing my age here!) It was so cool, because she let me make a little office for myself where I could work whenever I was at her house, and I’d spend hours in that little room writing stories.
However, life took a lot of detours when I became an adult, and it wasn’t until our middle daughter was born that I took up the pen again.
How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
Good gravy—it took entirely too long! I spent a few years of serious writing before I landed that first contract, then four more years to get the second, and another four or so to get the third. I turtled along for so many years.
Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
Now I’m indie, thankfully. Crumbs of Passion is my first indie project, and I’ll never go back to traditional. I love having full creative control, as well as my own production schedule. There’s a steep learning curve, but the cool thing is, there are so many other authors out there willing to help!
Where do you write?
The question for me is, where don’t I write? Ha! My mobile office is a running joke, but the truth is, I do a lot of my creative work on the road. Since we still have two kids at home, I spend a ton of time zooming here, there, and everywhere for every activity under the sun. Never underestimate the power of a pen and notebook, when all else fails.
Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
Silence, silence, silence…and yet…I rarely have that luxury. Man, I need a door on my office! Recently, I invested in a pair of noise-canceling headphones. We’ll see how that goes.
How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
Since murder is the name of the game now, I really hope there’s nothing drawn from real life. LOL! That said, I suppose there’s always an element of reality, especially in my characters. However, the real-life bits are mostly cobbled together to make Franken-characters.
One element that’s real in the KC Crumb Mysteries is the gang of older women. The same grandmother that gave me a space to work also had a posse of gals, and whenever I’d spend time with Grams, I was also with the gang.
Describe your process for naming your character?
Fun question! Sometimes the names just come to me, like KC Crumb. But last week when I was visiting my sister and her family, I asked my nephews who they absolutely couldn’t stand, and I took elements of those names and came up with the victim in my next book.
Real settings or fictional towns?
Always fictional, simply for the fact that I know I couldn’t nail down details to get a real town right. That said, I often find inspiration from real places. When developing the town of Beaver Bluff for the KC Crumb Mysteries, I spent a lot of time looking at Oregon coastal towns and hammered some of those details together.
What’s the quirkiest quirk one of your characters has?
Amateur sleuth KC Crumb is relocating from L.A. to her small hometown, where everyone wears plaid and loads and loads of flannel. Meanwhile, KC is rocking summer dresses and heels all the time…and she happens to wield a heel quite well when she has to save herself.
What’s your quirkiest quirk?
Tough question! My youngest politely informed me that I’m embarrassingly normal. However, my sister pointed out that I happen to say wildly inappropriate things pretty often, simply because I’m completely ignorant about current slang. Oops!
If you could have written any book (one that someone else has already written,) which one would it be? Why?
Pride and Prejudice, for no other reason than I’d love to have had Colin Firth play the lead in my enduring novel. It could still happen, though. Right?
Everyone at some point wishes for a do-over. What’s yours?
That’s easy—I would not have switched genres eight thousand times. Seriously, I’ve written everything! Now that I’ve gone indie, I’m going to stick to what I do best, which is light humor. Even if no one else gets my weirdo sense of humor, I have fun cracking myself up.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
People who drive slowly where they’re not supposed to. It’s like dude, this isn’t your lane.
You’re stranded on a deserted island. What are your three must-haves?
A trunk full of books, notebooks, and office supplies (with which I have a long-standing love affair), sunglasses, and a bottomless supply of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
What was the worst job you’ve ever held?
The worst was the first. I was the salad bar attendant at a chain restaurant, and every time I’d get all the bowls filled up to look nice and pretty, they’d get decimated. It was kind of defeating.
But guess what? I have the coolest job on the planet now! I’m a part-time librarian, and after I graduate with my library and information science degree in December, I hope to eventually work full time. I get to geek out on books and technology all day long. Who could ask for anything more?
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
So many to choose from! Funny thing is, the most memorable books I’ve read aren’t even in my favorite genre, which is cozy mystery. Some of my favorites tend toward darker moods and settings. The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova is one of my faves, and one of the only novels I’ve read more than once. And the other one is The Secret History, by Donna Tartt.
Ocean or mountains?
Ocean, hands down. The deep salty smell and the sound of the waves rolling in makes my heart go pitter-pat. That said, I’ve lived the majority of my life in the mountains and those are pretty cool too.
City girl/guy or country girl/guy?
Oof, tough question. We basically live in the country, but I just got back from visiting the big city and absolutely loved all the amenities. Did you know there are whole stores devoted to paper? I was blown away.
What’s on the horizon for you?
So. Many. Things.
I’ll be releasing the second book in the KC Crumb Mysteries, which is called Crumb and Punishment, in the next month or so. And now I’m working on A Crummy Way to Die, which will come out early next spring.
Meanwhile, it’s my last year of homeschooling, so we’re working on all the really fun (insert sarcastic grunt) subjects like physics and calculus. Also, I’m down to my last semester for my master’s degree. There’s never a shortage of projects around these parts!
Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and/or your books?
I’m super excited about all things reading and literacy, because life is just better with books! I’d love to hang out with your readers wherever they hang on social media. You can find all my social media links on my website.
I also hope you’ll take a look at Crumbs of Passion. I’ve had a blast writing about KC and the gang. You never know what they’ll do next!
Thank you for hosting me today, Lois. It’s been fun!
Crumbs of Passion
A KC Crumb Mystery, Book 1
What do you get when you cross a jilted ex, a dead body, and a killer canine named Pooh Bear?
When social media manager KC Crumb is fired from her bougie job in L.A., she returns home to Beaver Bluff, Oregon only to discover a dead body in her new rental. Unfortunately, the body belongs to her philandering ex-boyfriend—a man she publicly threatened before she left town 15 years ago. Now all eyes are on KC, including those of hunky officer Antonio Hamson.
With the help of her new best friend, who happens to be a jiu-jitsu expert/librarian, and a gaggle of gung-ho ladies from her aunt’s bakery, KC and Pooh Bear set out to track down the real killer. Half the town is under suspicion, including a shady car salesman and a preening personal trainer, causing the clues to mount faster than the followers on her newly single social media profiles. And when her life is mysteriously threatened, KC has to sniff out the murderer…before the handsome officer hauls her in for homicide.