Cozy mystery author Kathy Aarons admits research for her Chocolate Covered Mystery series was a hardship: sampling chocolate, making chocolate, sampling more chocolate, and hanging out in bookstores. Today she takes time out from all that research to sit down for an interview. Learn more about Kathy and her books at her website.
When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
When my youngest was in preschool five mornings a week. She’s now off to college!
How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
Since I was writing as a hobby, it took quite a while. Once my oldest went off to college, I decided to take getting published more seriously, and I signed with an agent in under a year. A few months later, I was offered a contract for the Chocolate Covered mystery series.
Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
Where do you write?
Through the years, I wrote using paper, an Alphasmart and a laptop outside a lot of theater rehearsals as well as swim, soccer and basketball practices. Now I have a very messy office of my own.
Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
I use a mixture, but find my writing “flow” works better with instrumental music, usually movie soundtracks, that fit what I’m working on. For example, when I’m writing “funny”, I always have the soundtrack from Benny and Joon in the background. When I need energy, I listen to Broadway soundtracks. Right now, I’m addicted to Once: A New Musical.
Real settings or fictional towns?
Fictional – I like the ability to create a setting that best fits the story.
What’s the quirkiest quirk one of your characters has?
There are too many to choose from! Henna is a widow who creates large butterflies made of wood, wire and sheer material. She paints them with elaborate designs using colors not found in nature.
What’s your quirkiest quirk?
You’ll have to ask my husband that one. J
If you could have written any book (one that someone else has already written,) which one would it be? Why?
I’d love to say Harry Potter, but I’ll go with my favorite book of all time, Belong to Me by Marisa de los Thomas. I love her characters and her elegant but accessible prose.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Slow drivers in the fast lane. I live in southern California, which explains a lot.
Ocean or mountains?
Ocean! I love walking on the beach a few times a week.
City girl/guy or country girl/guy?
Suburbs for me. I’m too old for city life but the country is too empty – if you were in trouble, no one could hear you scream!
What’s on the horizon for you?
Besides adjusting to an empty nest, I’ll be getting back the edits for Truffled to Death, the second book in the series, soon and I’m already writing the third. I’m also working on another series idea.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and/or your books?
I am passionate about expanding creative writing education for youth and believe that the arts are an important part of life at every age. I volunteer for the Canyon Crest Academy Writing Conference, the only free high school writing conference in the country. One of the speakers noted that because of the inspirational and educational workshops it provides, San Diego is going to have more than its fair share of accomplished authors and writing professionals in the future. I also recently joined the board for Playwrights Project http://playwrightsproject.org/ which expands playwriting education and opportunities for youth and adults.
Death is Like a Box of Chocolates
Best friends Michelle Serrano and Erica Russell are celebrating the sweet rewards of their combined bookstore and chocolate shop by hosting the Great Fudge Cook-off during the town’s Memorial Day weekend Arts Festival. But success turns bittersweet when Main Street’s portrait photographer is found dead in their store, poisoned by Michelle’s signature truffles.
As suspicion mounts against Michelle, her sales begin to crumble and her career seems whipped. With Erica by her side, Michelle must pick through an assortment of suspects before the future of their dream store melts away…