Kathy: I knew I liked Jessie Hewitt once I saw that champagne was her drink of choice. I love champagne and drink it a lot. In fact my Facebook friends laugh at all my champagne statuses, "Cracking open a bottle of champagne", "Drinking champagne and eating snacks" etc. Do you like to drink the bubbly?
CB: Okay, yes. I do drink my share of bubbly. My favorite Friday night dinner is pepperoni pizza and champagne. But champagne goes with chocolate, too. And it’s nice with a cheese and crackers. Or with soup. Or with… Okay, yes. I do drink my share of bubbly.
Kathy: The Stone Fountain is Jessie's neighborhood bar. Is there a local watering hole you like to frequent?
CB: Nope. The only bar I frequent is at the back of my favorite Italian restaurant. Hubby and I have sipped many a bottle of bubbly waiting for a table and deciding between the eggplant parmesan or spaghetti and meatballs. Which brings us back to question one. Bubbly goes with spaghetti, too.
Kathy: Jessie Hewitt writes romance novels. Have you ever written in that genre? Are you a romance fan?
CB: I don’t write romances per se, but there is a continuing romance going on in my series. I have a lot of good friends who are romance authors. Conversations with romance novelists can be…educational.
Kathy: Jessie happens to be a pool shark-are you? If so, where did you learn to play the game?
CB: I wish I could play pool—wouldn’t that be cool? But alas, I have no talent whatsoever. I didn’t know Jessie was a pool shark until I was writing that first scene at The Stone Fountain. And poof! Out came her cue stick!
Kathy: What first drew you to the cozy mystery?
CB: Stress drew me to cozies. Life is too stressful to read or write anything else. If I want intense realism, I can watch the news, right?
Kathy: Do you write any other genres?
CB: Please see above! Although I do enjoy writing silly poetry. Every Sunday I post an exceedingly awful and altogether embarrassing poem on my blog. No stress allowed. But guests are always welcome if anyone wants to take a stab at silliness.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
CB: Murder meets menopause. Take a guess which wins. The Cue Ball Mysteries have a lot of humor, a little romance, and far too much champagne. Oh, but I think we’ve already covered the champagne thing.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
CB: I love them all! But Jessie is threatening to go on strike if I don’t say her. Jessie Hewitt’s about my age. But she’s a little wiser, a lot braver, and owns way fancier lingerie.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
CB: The first sentence of Playing With Poison came to me in a fit of inspiration. I wrote that down and kept going. I had no idea about anything other than that first sentence.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
CB: I like to make people laugh. I thought my books could do that, but not if they remained trapped inside my computer.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
CB: Well, I like mysteries and humor. So how about Joan Hess and Spencer Quinn since they do both so well. And let’s add Barbara Pym for her sly, quiet humor, and Truman Capote for sheer style. I’d serve champagne.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
CB: I confess I do no read nearly enough. Writing takes time! But right now I’m beginning “A Spirited Gift” by Joyce and Jim Lavene. How they write together and stay happily married is beyond me!
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
CB: I teach Ancient and European history, so I love travelling to Europe whenever I can. I like walking and biking and kayaking. I spend an inordinate amount of time admiring my cat. I collect gargoyles.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
CB: Gee, Kathy, have you noticed how we keep ending up back at that first question? Champagne, Haagen Dazs chocolate ice cream, milk for my coffee, and garlic for just about everything else.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
CB: Yes! I’m currently working on “Four Play,” the fourth book in the Cue Ball Mysteries series. Jessie’s in a slump and can’t shoot a decent game of pool anymore. Jessie’s in a slump and can’t write a decent sex scene anymore. Sorry, but you’ll have to read the book to find out how she solves her slumps, and solves the murder. And yes, of course there’s a murder!
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
CB: I get to make it all up.
This has been fun. Kathy! Thanks for the interview, which for some reason has left me extremely hungry and thirsty.
Want more Cindy Blackburn? You can find her at her website: http://cueballmysteries.com/
Follow her on Twitter: @cbmysteries
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This post is the final stop on the Cue Ball Mystery Book Tour sponsored by Cozy Mystery Book Reviews. Have you been reading and commenting at the other blogs on the tour? If you have, you just might win a Kindle copy of Playing With Poison. Be sure to leave a comment here for a chance to win!