Today we sit down for a chat with Ava Mathilde Oosterling from author Christine DeSmet’s Fudge Shop Mystery Series.
What was your life like before your author started pulling your strings?
I was working in Los Angeles as a writer on a boring TV series. I wasn’t making much money and lived in a renovated old motel, which is common enough there. Not glamorous. To supplement my income, I began making fudge and selling it at the studio. The fudge was certainly more of a hit than the TV show ever was.
What’s the one trait you like most about yourself?
Tenacity. My life can get complicated because I run the Blue Heron Inn as well as the fudge shop, and there’s always a murder happening at the most inconvenient time.
What do you like least about yourself?
My impulsive nature, but I also over-compensate for that and feel obligated to do right by everybody, most especially my grandparents and my best friend Pauline. My grandparents helped set up the fudge shop for me in Door County. Grandpa had a bait shop, and he moved half his fishing goods over so that I could start a fudge shop. I wish I could repay Grandpa and Grandma somehow, but I’m always short on time it seems.
What is the strangest thing your author has had you do or had happen to you?
She almost set me on fire once. I was with my best friend Pauline, and we were in the clutches of a killer who’d lured us into the woods. That happened in Five-Alarm Fudge.
Do you argue with your author? If so, what do you argue about?
I argue about how much to let Sheriff Jordy Tollefson interrupt my life or try to flirt with me. I sometimes know a lot more about a crime or criminal than Jordy, and he’s not fond of that. My author is always reminding me that romance got me in trouble in the past.
What is your greatest fear?
Anything happening to Grandpa or my best friend Pauline would destroy me. Grandpa and I are a lot alike—always in the middle of trouble, which can be fun and funny! Pauline is always trying to keep me out of trouble.
What makes you happy?
Seeing people smile in my shop or inn, and the beauty of Door County. This place has so many unique qualities. It has the most lighthouses of any county in the United States—11. At night, there’s not a sound. Truly, not a peep. No traffic, nothing. That peacefulness elicits smiles on the rested faces that come to my shop.
If you could rewrite a part of your story, what would it be? Why?
Oh, that silly embarrassing past episode with me leaving one man and eloping with another that I divorced soon after. I had just graduated from college and my impulsiveness took hold of me in a bad way. I still dive into solving crimes too fast! But I admit I don’t mind being wedded to crime-solving.
Of the other characters in your book, which one bugs you the most? Why?
Mercy Fogg! She’s always trying to get my goat, as we say here. Mercy uses my impulsive nature against me. Mercy can drive any machinery—road graders, dump trucks, snowplows—you name it and she’s darn good at it, which I’m not. I’ve totaled or lost several vehicles. Right now, I’m driving a junker pickup truck. (By the way, we have a goat cam online for real from Door County. Goats stay on a grass roof of a local restaurant during the day.)
Of the other characters in your book, which one would you love to trade places with? Why?
My bestie Pauline Mertens. She’s a well-respected and beloved kindergarten teacher in Fishers’ Harbor. Pauline is organized, wise, and not impulsive.
Tell us a little something about your author. Where can readers find her website/blog?
My author is at www.ChristineDeSmet.com where you can also find links to her other social media accounts and the Blackbird Writers.
What's next for you?
My author and Pauline have me in a long, red velveteen period dress (not my style!) and solving a Christmas murder mystery occurring days before Pauline’s Victorian-themed wedding. The murder happens on Main Street—where the wedding parade is supposed to occur. My author calls this adventure Holly Jolly Fudge Folly, coming out in November 2022.
A Fudge Shop Mystery, Book 2
Being asked by the sheriff to go undercover at a friend's wedding is just the beginning of Ava Oosterling's sweet troubles. Unexpected high-action danger may be great for movies and fairy tales, but it could cost best friends Ava and Pauline everything including their lives as the climax unfolds.