I met one of my favorite cozy authors this past fall.
Lynn Cahoon is as entertaining in person as she is on the page and I just
had to hit her up for another interview. Check out why Lynn can make the pages keep turning
for her readers!
Kym: The last time I interviewed you at the Cozy
Corner, you had one series and you were starting on your second. Now, you have three
mystery series all going at once plus two romance series under Lynn Collins. How do you keep
track of the different characters, their quirks, series businesses, and locations?
Lynn: Keep track? Iâ€™m not sure I do. Iâ€™d love
to say I have an extensive series bible that has all the characters, their likes, their hair color,
when they came into the series, etc. I should have a series bible. But honestly, I do a lot of
seek and find in the prior books to make sure Iâ€™m remembering things right. And, if Iâ€™ve timed
it right, Iâ€™ve just read the last book in the series for copy edits or page proofs when I start the
Kym: We finally met in November at the Kensington
Cozy-Con in Scottsdale, Arizona at the Poisoned Pen Book Store and you told a hilarious story
about your research on guns. Can you share the story with our readers?
Lynn: I was talking to these guys in a bar
one night. I was recently single and taking classes. I was working on a novel and mentioned Iâ€™d
never shot a gun. Well, they could fix that. The next morning, I met them at their apartment
complex. We had to wait a bit because the cops were at a nearby apartment and they didnâ€™t
want to carry out all the guns with the cops in sight. This should have been a warning sign, but
no. We drove out to the desert south of town. Me, two guys Iâ€™d just met last night, and a truck
filled with guns. I shot everything they had. Including several automatics. We were sitting on
the tailgate drinking a beer and talking about the different guns when I had a pistol in my
hand. I had been writing a scene where the bad guy shoves a gun into the heroâ€™s side. Iâ€™d
described it like a rod going into his side. But I didnâ€™t know really, what it felt like. So after
making sure the gun was empty, I shoved it into my own side.
The guys freaked out and took the gun from me. I told them
why Iâ€™d done it, but after that, we packed up and went back to the apartment where I collected
my car. They never asked me to go shooting again.
Itâ€™s not as funny as Iâ€™m writing it out, but you should have
seen the look on their faces. Iâ€™m sure they thought I was crazy. Instead, I was just a writer.
Kym: Iâ€™m sure I would share their panic, explaining your
accidental death to the police might not go over so well;) Do you always get hands-on
research for your books?
Lynn: Kind of, but nothing that drastic. I did
a taste study of fried green tomatoes for my Farm to Fork books. And I also went to several
farm-to-fork restaurants, studying the menus and thinking about what they might serve thatâ€™s
local to Idaho, where the series is set. Castle View was born because of a trip to a winery,
farm, restaurant, big cat sanctuary all in one here in central Missouri.
Kym: Definitely a better type of research. I didnâ€™t
realize your mysteries were available on audio books, congratulations! When did you get your
first audiobook? Was that as thrilling to hear as it was to see your first book in print? Or is that
like comparing apples to puppies?
Lynn: Thanks. Iâ€™ve been lucky. Guidebook
sold into audio just after it released and since then, all my other books have also been
released in print, e-book, and audio. And to be honest, I havenâ€™t listened to them. Iâ€™m a big
audiobook listener, but my books? I have a bit of a hold back to listen to the stories.
Superstition, I guess.
Kym: LOL. Authors do tend to have idiosyncrasies.
Which series, Tourist
Trap Mysteries, Farm to Fork Mysteries, or the
Cat Latimer Mysteries, do
you find easiest to write? Which one is the most rewarding and what character/s drive you
Lynn: I only had one kid, so I never had to
choose. Youâ€™re asking me to choose. LOL I love them all because they are different
sides/viewpoints. They all deal with the joys and challenges of running a business in a small
town. Iâ€™m really enjoying working with Deek, the new barista in Tourist Trap, even though in the
novellas I wrote this year, heâ€™s not in town yet, and Sasha is still in place. Itâ€™s hard to lose a
character, even though you can only have so many on a page before the boat starts to sink.
Kym: What made you delve into the paranormal
romance world with The
Council Series in 2017 and the contemporary
romance genre with The Castle View Series in 2018?
Lynn: I do love writing romance. The Bull
Rider series, my first published books, will be republished in 2019. The Council series gives
me a chance to write paranormal/fantasy. And Castle View is set in Idaho, so it lets me go
home. Big, crazy families are a lot like the close-knit communities in cozy mysteries.
Kym: Thatâ€™s awesome that we have a new-to-us
series to look forward to this year! This holiday season you released Santa Puppy, a Tourist Trap novella. Did you find writing a mystery novella more difficult than writing a full-length
mystery that allows you to slowly unwrap the mystery?
Lynn: I LOVED writing the novellas. They
match my thought process. One storyline through the book. No room for big subplots. No
need for several starts and stops with red herrings. But itâ€™s been hard to move back to the full-
length books since Iâ€™ve stopped the novellas. Kind of like going back to working out after
taking a break.
Kym: Can we expect to see A Tourist
Trap novella released in-between the novels and
around another holiday in the future?
Lynn: We have three coming out next year â€“
Corned Beef and
Casualties, Motherâ€™s Day Mayhem, and
A Very Mummy Holiday. Iâ€™m not sure Iâ€™ll continue the novellas after these six. Theyâ€™ve been
fun to write and both A Deadly Brew
Puppy, hit the USA Today list the week they
released. That was a first for me where I had a book hit the list on release week.
Kym: Congratulations! I love the premise for your
Cat Latimer Mystery
series, a writerâ€™s retreat area where the extended
cast of characters changes with each mystery. It reminds me of the mystery dinner playhouses
developed around the game of Clue. Was that your intent or were you on a writerâ€™s retreat
when you came up with the idea?
Lynn: When I developed Cat, I was on a
road trip with my husband. And no, Iâ€™d never been on a writerâ€™s retreat at that time. In fact, I
took my first one this year with a writer buddy and built my own. It was amazing. And my own
retreat has given me some new ideas for Catâ€™s. Having new retreat guests has been a great
way to change up the stories, but itâ€™s also challenged me on developing new characters and
Kym: You just released Slay in Character
, your fourth Cat Latimer
Mystery. The series is set in the tourist town of
Outlaw, Colorado where towns people dress up as famous characters of the old west. What
makes this series so relatable for readers?
Lynn: I think itâ€™s because they get to see
inside the magic of being a writer. Readers are interested in our lives because we make stories
they want to live in. In the Cat Latimer Mystery, they get to put themselves in the story as a
Kym: In Slay in Character
a young college student working as a saloon girl is killed. Do
you loosely base your stories on todayâ€™s headlines?
Lynn: Â Not really. Although I keep a file of
interesting murders. I know, itâ€™s weird. Kind of like the gun research story. But sometimes,
thereâ€™s a little nugget in the story that takes me down a path that helps the story. The problem
with real-life crime is the whys are never as satisfying as they should be or they are in my
books. Sometimes, the police never find the why or itâ€™s just a stupid act on the part of the
Kym: How often do the little snippets you hear in
the grocery store come to fruition in your novels?
Lynn: I think the grocery store is a great
place to eavesdrop. Or a sidewalk cafĂ©. Or a dive bar. You really get good dialogue there. One
of the scenes in Sweet Hearts came directly (almost) from a guy trying to pick me up (before I
was married) in a dive bar where I was working on my writing. I love sitting and writing
descriptions of people and places while Iâ€™m out in a social situation.
Kym: LOL, thank you, random stranger, in a dive
bar! Youâ€™ve had some interesting jobs throughout the years, have you ever dressed up in
period costumes and been paid for bringing the past to life?
Lynn: No, I havenâ€™t had that job. But I
wanted to. I was a drama kid. I went to a small high school, so I got to try drama, band,
accounting, office club, home ec classes, and I was president of the schoolâ€™s Future
Homemakers of America club. I really like trying new things.
Kym: You write about idyllic communities, what is
your perfect writing space?
Lynn: My 32-inch TV and my desktop. Itâ€™s
easy to see the words and the ergonomics is perfect. But Iâ€™ll write anywhere if I need words.
Â Iâ€™ve even composed a scene on my phone sitting out at the dam on the lake where we have
Kym: A writerâ€™s job never ends! What can we expect
from you in 2019?
Lynn: Itâ€™s a busy year. Â Iâ€™ve got three more
holiday novellas (February, April, October) in the Tourist Trap series coming. A Farm to Fork
release (One Potato, Two Potato, Dead â€“ March 19th), a Cat Latimer release (Sconed in
Character â€“ May 28th) and a full-length Tourist Trap â€“ Memories and Murder (late 2019). Â I have at
least 9 in person events next year, details will be on my website.
Kym: Can you tell us where are readers can find you
on the web and social media?
Lynn: My website is www.lynncahoon.com (and www.lynncollinsauthor.com) Iâ€™m very
active on Facebook under both of those names. You can find me on twitter as well. If you sign
up for my newsletter, all my social media sites are there and you can get a free read for either
Lynn Cahoon or Lynn Collins.
I hope you enjoyed a little peek into the life and writing of
bestselling author Lynn Cahoon. Until next time, get cozy and read on!
Passion. Mystery. Suspense. Catch the Wave! Because a little PMS can
change your world!
Kym Roberts is a retired detective sergeant who looks for passion, mystery and suspense in
every book she reads and writes. She can be found on the web at kymroberts.com, on
Facebook @KymRobertsAuthor911 and on Twitter @kymroberts911. You can also listen to her
new podcast Romance Book Chat
and Misty on iTunes & Stitcher. Kymâ€™s Book Barn Mystery #5, Killer Classics is available
Kym's Latest Release:
Book Barn #5
Small-town life in Hazel Rock becomes a Texas-size crime
scene when murder takes a page from Charli Rae Warrenâ€™s book
clubâ€™s latest mystery . . .
Charli takes great pride in running one of the few
independent, family-owned bookstores in
small-town Texas. She vets everything carefully, with an eye
to the eclectic tastes of the locals. That includes the Book
Barnâ€™s weekly book club selection. This time out itâ€™s a
mystery whose characters bear a striking resemblance to
local citizens, including Charliâ€™s friend Sugar . . . whoâ€™s
the prime suspect when her real-life nemesis is found dead
in a hotelâ€™s water tank.
With help from her pet armadillo Princess, Charli campaigns
to clear Sugarâ€™s sweet nameâ€”literallyâ€”when the
up-for-election mayor becomes a killerâ€™s next target. Murder
and politics make scandalous bedfellows as Charli discovers
that fiction may be fatal, but reality could be just as
deadly . . .
Cozy [Lyrical Press Underground, On Sale: December 4,
2018, e-Book, ISBN: 9781516106592 / eISBN: 9781516106592]
installment yet in the series!
mayhem in small-town Texas
BOOKS MENTIONED IN THE INTERVIEW:
Cat Latimer #4
Staying in character can be murder when Cat Latimer and
the members of her writersâ€™ retreat head for a ghost town...
Cat and the members of her writersâ€™ retreat have just arrived in Outlaw, Colorado, an â€śOld
Westâ€ť tourist town complete with inhabitants dressed up as famous figures from history. But
this authentic slice of Americana takes a murderous turn when a college student
masquerading as a 19th-century saloon girl becomes history herself.
Was she the intended target? Or did she take a hit meant for someone else? With a cast of
suspects to choose fromâ€”including some notorious gunslingers and the sleazy town founders
â€”Cat must unhorse the real culprit before a real-life ghost story is given a killer
Cozy | Mystery Amateur
Sleuth [Kensington, On Sale: November 27, 2018, Mass
Market Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781496716811 / eISBN: 9781496716828]
A Tourist Trap Mystery
South Cove, California, is celebrating St. Patrickâ€™s Dayâ€”and thereâ€™s
going to be a parade of suspects...
Jill Gardnerâ€™s store, Coffee, Books, and More, is raking in the green as her little coastal town
holds a big festival for St. Patrickâ€™s Day. But the locals arenâ€™t exactly feeling the luck of the
Irish, thanks to the rowdy behavior of some of the tourists who are pouring in.
Then a woman who just visited Jillâ€™s shop is found dead near the shore. The fireworks display
on the beach may have already happened, but the real fireworks have just begun...
Cozy [Lyrical Press, On Sale: February 5, 2019, e-Book, /
A rogue hunter, a clueless witch and a mission to save an unknowing
world. Parris McCall, owner of the dive bar, The Alibi, has finally constructed a life where her
little quirks donâ€™t show or matter to anyone. As for her grandmother's warnings that sheâ€™s
different, well, she'll cross that bridge if she comes to it. But when Ty Wallace walks into her
bar, both lives are instantly changed.
Saving Parris is a bundle of the first three books in The Council series â€“a paranormal romantic
suspense with an ongoing love story that was mated to be. Can Ty get Parrisâ€™ powers awaken
before the ultimate showdown with the other coven that has wanted her dead since her birth?
If you like witches and paranormal creatures in modern day settings, youâ€™ll love Saving Parris
and The Council series.
Romance Suspense | Paranormal Romance [Amazon Digital Text
Platform, On Sale: December 16, 2018, e-Book, / ]
Lynn Cahoon is the author of the NYT and USA Today bestselling Tourist Trap cozy mystery
series. Guidebook to Murder, book 1 of the series won the Reader's Crown for Mystery Fiction
in 2015. She's also the author of the Cat Latimer series.
She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur
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