Sunday, April 28, 2013
Meet Mitzi Kelly and the Silver Sleuths
Thanks for stopping by for my portion of the Silver Sleuths Book Tour. I'm really enjoying the series. I finished Classic Revenge, the first entry in the series and am currently reading Deadly Policy, the second. I'd like you to meet Mitzi Kelly the author of this series.
Kathy: Trish, Edna, and Millie are friends and neighbors in the Silver Sleuths Mysteries. Is their relationship based on your own neighborhood experiences? Do you have close friendships with any of your neighbors?
MK: When I was growing up, our neighborhood was the whole world! We did something with our friends in the neighborhood every day. Everybody knew everybody, and you didn't need an invitation to join in whatever was going on. We commandeered the street for our football, baseball and tennis games, and playing hide-n-seek was a blast with thirty houses to choose from to find that special hiding place. Our parents were always outside talking to each other or arranging neighborhood cookouts. As I've gotten older, I miss that sense of neighborhood community. I still enjoy chats with my neighbors, but everybody is so busy now that we don't get to do it often. The Silver Sleuths are fortunate to still have that close relationship with their neighbors.
Kathy: While Edna and Millie truly put the silver in Silver Sleuths, Trish is a bit young. (And I'm not just saying that because I'm only 4 years younger.) Do you think she'd mind being referred to as a silver sleuth?
MK: I wondered about that myself when I was creating the characters, but Trish feels she fits in easily with the moniker because of her somewhat sedate lifestyle. And, being labeled as part of the older group gives her some cover for her lack of physical activity. It can be embarrassing to have your two older friends be in much better shape than you are. It also serves as motivation when she's in the mood to get in shape. That doesn't happen often, though.
Kathy: I think it's great that people of differing ages have close friendships. Do you have friends from different generations?
MK: I have been blessed with having really close friends from many different age groups. Even when I was a young girl I could relate to my mom's friends. Young or mature, I enjoy being with people who have different outlooks on life depending on the age group they fall into. You always learn something, and you never know when one person's opinion could completely change the way you are looking at something. Friends are truly one of God's many gifts to us.
Kathy: Millie is outspoken, brash, and opinionated. Does living into your 80s endow you with the ability to say what you like without fear of reprisal?
MK: Oh, most definitely! That's one of the many perks of living to that age. I mean, it's not like you have to worry about your reputation at that point, and your remarks aren't going to jeopardize a job interview. I think it must be one of the most liberating times of life. And, if Millie is anything to go by, it certainly doesn't destroy friendships.
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
MK: I've been reading mysteries of all kinds since I first learned how to read. I love them all. However, the older I got, the more I started to gravitate more toward the light mysteries that cozies provide. I'm always fascinated by the ability of normal, everyday people to solve crimes. I still read the more grittier stories, of course. But that's only when I know that a lack of sleep isn't going to affect me for a while!
Kathy: Do you write any other genres?
MK: Yes, I also write romances. In fact, I'm in the process of completing a romance trilogy featuring three of the most gorgeous men you'd ever want to meet. I'll be releasing news of that series on my website soon. I also like contemporary romance, and romantic suspense. And, I also adore family sagas. I've got the outline of a wonderful family saga completed and I'm itching to start it.
Kathy:Tell us about your series.
MK: The Silver Sleuths Mystery Series involves three older women who blindly rush headlong into danger and intrigue, discovering something about themselves during the process. Despite their inexperience and unorthodox methods, they seem to have a knack for this detective stuff!
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
MK: I really enjoy all of my characters equally, but I have to admit it is so much fun to deal with Millie. As I mentioned before, her age allows me to plop her into some pretty bizarre situations which she can squirm out of quite believably. Put her in danger's way, and boy, oh boy, you've got a disaster waiting to happen!
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
MK: My main characters share a lot of personality traits that both of my grandmothers had. My entire family and circle of friends have entertained me with tons of humor--regardless of the situation--and they are all unique with loads of love and loyalty. So combining a myriad of personalities I already knew with my love of mysteries helped to create The Silver Sleuths.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
MK: I felt there were a lot of people out there who would enjoy a cozy mystery with characters they recognize and can relate to. In this crazy, mixed-up world we live in right now, I believe laughter is the best way to escape for a while. The majority of comments and reviews this series has received tell me that, thankfully, I was right!
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
MK: That's a tough question. I have many favorite authors, but I think it would be a lot of fun to dine with James Patterson, Sue Grafton, Tom Clancy and John Grisham. Can you imagine the conversation flowing around the dinner table?
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
MK: I just started Sue Grafton's U is for Undertow. I love her Kinsey Millhone detective series!
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
MK: My favorite times are spent visiting with family and friends. I also love to work out in my yard, and helping my husband with home improvement projects. Of course, football season you'll find me glued to the TV.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
MK: Chocolate, wine, cheese and . . . chocolate!
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
MK: The Silver Sleuths Series has plot ideas that will run for years. After my romance trilogy, I'm not sure if I'm going to start another series, or write stand alone novels. I'll just have to see where my characters take me!
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
MK: Nothing can compare to the feeling you get when a reader will tell you that you made them laugh, or that they know somebody exactly like one of your characters. It is so fulfilling, and will keep any author plugging along to get the next book done!
Would you like to win copies of BOTH Classic Revenge and Deadly Policy, the first two books of the Silver Sleuths Mysteries? Author Mitzi Kelly has graciously donated them. All you have to do is leave a comment here and have a US mailing address. This contest is US only. Be sure I can get a hold of you if you win! You have until 11:59PM EST April 30, 2013 to enter! I'll use random.org to pick a winner and post that winner on Wednesday's May 1st blog.