It’s almost time to sing Auld Lang Syne and as I reflect over the blogs I’ve
posted for 2016, I realize what an amazing year I’ve had on the Cozy Corner. I’ve had the
incredible opportunity to interview authors whose experiences and careers are as
varied as the mystery genre they write. Many thanks to Fresh Fiction and the
generous writers who’ve graciously given me their time. But most of all, to the
readers who click on the Cozy Corner to find out
what’s new in the genre—thank you for making the past year awesome!
Take a moment and think about your best moments this year: The stranger who did
something nice without a second thought. The store employee who went out of her
way to help you. Remember that lunch you had with your colleagues. That movie
you shared with your friends. That special night with the one you love. And
don’t forget all those wonderful books that kept you up late at night, even if
you did pay the price the next day. ;)
There are so many good things to reflect on from 2016. Forget the bad, yet be
mindful of how you can make a difference in someone’s life today and tomorrow.
Our journey is about our humanity. Share yours this season and look to 2017 with
the enthusiasm it deserves—there are so many great stories we have yet to listen
to, to see, to hear, to share—to live.
Kym: I Love Helena’s nickname—Hel—what made you give her that name and
how does it fit her?
CC:Oh, it fits her. Hel isn’t afraid of anyone. She’s a
martial arts instructor with multiple black belts. She can take care of herself
and her sister (who has a stalker). She’s not your standard cozy mystery
heroine…she was married to an FBI agent so she’s pretty fearless and connected.
She packs a gun but doesn’t need it to beat up bad guys or punch a rock star who
gets out of line.
Kym: This series is set in nineteenth century London. What drew you to
that time period.
Sarah: I am a fan of Jane Austen, of course, and I
admit I love Regency Romances, especially the great Georgette Heyer, and, as
I've said I write Regencies myself. All this led me to do a lot of research on
the time period, which in turn led me to the phenomenon of "silver fork novels,"
which were a genre that got really popular around 1825. I started reading them,
and found them a gold mine of cool ideas that were just waiting to be turned
Kym: In my opinion secondary characters are the heart of a cozy and
you’ve outdone most with Angelica. What is it about her that makes you like her
as an author?
Lorraine: I love her. She’s the sister I never
had. I could write about her for the rest of my life and never grow tired of
her. When the first couple of books came out, I got a lot of complaints about
her. I had a master plan for her, but I couldn’t pull it off in only one book;
that wouldn’t have been realistic. She’s extremely complex, and kept a number of
secrets from Tricia for a long time. It wasn’t so much that she wanted to keep
Tricia in the dark about her past (and present), but that Tricia was so used to
dismissing her sister as frivolous that she wasn’t open to knowing the truth
about Angelica. Tricia always saw herself as the “successful” sister, to find
out she wasn’t as successful in life as she thought, was quite a revelation.
Kym: In your series, Ali and Taylor along with the rest of the dream
club, solve homicides by interpreting dreams. Some readers love the possibility
of the concept being transferred into real life; while others are skeptical. Do
you believe dreams could be used to help police solve crimes?
Mary: I wish I knew the answer to that! I know there are cases
in which psychics supposedly helped the police solve crimes, but I think these
cases are mostly anecdotal. Taylor (the very pragmatic sister with the MBA) was
initially very skeptical about whether clues in dreams could really be relevant
to crime-solving, but as the series progresses, she is becoming a convert. Ali,
of course, believes fervently in the power of dreams to shed light on events in
our waking lives. And she is convinced that clues in dreams really do help solve
Kym: That would be an incredible visit! Is there a book in the Royal
Spyness series that stands out for you, whether it be because of something that
was going on in your life at the time you wrote it or a crime that really
resonated with you at the time?
Rhys:I have to say that I loved the Twelve Clues of
Christmas, not only because it was recreating my fantasy English country house
Christmas, but because it was such a challenge to fit in all of the twelve clues
and make them believable.
Kym: “Today I have the pleasure of sitting down with Charli Rae
Warren in her hometown of Hazel Rock, Texas for an interview. Charli is a
kindergarten teacher who came back to Hazel Rock after a twelve-year absence!
She’s also an imaginary friend of mine who lurks in my brain and messes with my
Charli: “I beg to differ, you’re the one who’s constantly
messing up my hair.”
Until next year, Happy Holidays! Now, get cozy and read on!
Look for my Holiday Giveaways on Fresh Fiction and enter
for your chance to win a Princess pin—because that’s the only way you’ll want to
cuddle up with an armadillo;)