Today we sit down for a chat with cozy mystery author S.A. Kazlo, aka Syrl Kazlo. Learn more about her and her books at her website.
When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
Years ago, I wrote articles for kids' magazines and a couple of young adult and middle grade novels, but after papering my room with rejection notices, I set my writing ambitions aside. About five years ago, I got hooked on cozy mysteries and wanted to give them a try. Thankfully, I found my writing niche.
How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
From putting fingers on the keyboard to getting a contract, about five years.
Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
Where do you write?
I write at a small desk in a small spare bedroom with my dachshund at my feet.
Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
I get too easily distracted. I need silence, but I also need my ever-faithful dachshund at my feet.
How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
My plots and characters are definitely drawn from real life. I want my readers to be able to relate to my stories.
Describe your process for naming your character?
I've drawn a number of my characters' names from my past and present friends. In fact, I have a friend who wants me to use her name as a murderer in an upcoming book.
Real settings or fictional towns?
I live in upstate New York which is dotted with great small-town settings, so I use those as settings in my books.
What’s the quirkiest quirk one of your characters has?
My protagonist, Sam, is a hooker, rug hooker that is, and as such she has a tendency to hoard wool fabric for the rugs she creates.
What’s your quirkiest quirk?
Like Sam, I am also a rug hooker and a hoarder of wool. But I am an organized hoarder. My wool is stacked and color themed.
If you could have written any book (one that someone else has already written,) which one would it be? Why?
The Harry Potter series. J.K. Rowlings transformed reading for kids. I'll never forget standing in a bookstore next to a young boy who was proclaiming how proud he was that he had read such a "big" book.
Everyone at some point wishes for a do-over. What’s yours?
I can't think of a thing I would change. I am blessed with a wonderful husband and family. What more could I ask for?
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Protagonists who are clueless about how dangerous a situation is that they are walking into.
You’re stranded on a deserted island. What are your three must-haves?
Family, my dachshunds and lots of books to read.
What was the worst job you’ve ever held?
Waitressing at a dinner theater, Trying to serve a busload of people their whiskey sours before showtime was not a fun job.
Who’s your all-time favorite literary character (any genre)? Why?
I'd have to say two books that I read my children when they were young- the characters in Charlotte's Web and a book by Shel Silverstein, The Giving Tree. Such life lessons to learn from those two books
Ocean or mountains?
Mountains. Their majesty can't be matched, in my humble opinion.
City girl/guy or country girl/guy?
Definitely country where living is so laid back. A person could fall asleep at a red light and have it turn green and no one would beep.
What’s on the horizon for you?
Hopefully, uncovering more murders for Sam to solve.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and/or your books?
I just found out from my publisher that book 2 in my Samantha Davies Mystery series, A Doggone Death will be released on November 8th. It is available now for preorder on Amazon.
Kibbles And Death
A Samantha Davies Mystery, Book 1
After a nasty divorce, Samantha Davies has finally gotten her life back on track. She enjoys her hobby of hooking—rug hooking, that is—and is fulfilling a lifelong dream by writing her first children’s book, featuring her dachshund, Porkchop. But the pleasant pace of her life in small-town Upstate New York is suddenly shattered when she finds the dead body of the local pet shelter owner—murdered and covered in kibble!
While Calvin Perkins wasn't the most beloved man in town, Samantha's shaken to think there's a killer among them. Even more so when her octogenarian neighbor's boyfriend becomes the police's number one suspect, and her neighbor pleads with Sam to help him. While Sam's research skills have been honed in her pursuit of a publishing career, she's not convinced she won't be in over her head. Calvin may have been great with the animals, but he wasn’t well-liked by people, creating a list of suspects almost as long as Porkchop's favorite bone. But with the help of her Southern belle cousin, Candie Parker, Sam vows to find the truth...even if she has to go toe-to-toe with the handsome new detective in town to do it. Old grudges, new secrets, and danger around every corner means Samantha better find the killer's identity quickly...before they set their sights on another victim!