Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Buzzkill Interview and Giveaway

I'm pleased to be the first stop on the Great Escapes Book Tour for Buzzkill. Buzzkill is the 4th in the Pecan Bayou Series by Teresa Trent.
Kathy: I lived in Austin, Texas for 10 years and always loved my jaunts into the Texas Hill Country. How did your visit inspire Pecan Bayou?

TT: I live in Houston and love the wildflowers in the spring. We make a yearly trip to the hill country, but don't get out of the car much. I just love to drive and drive, feel the warm breeze and look at the colors with maybe a little George Winston on the radio. I have a dear friend who always keeps me up-to-date on where to eat and what unique items the towns along the way have to buy. I love the German influence in the area and tried to include that in Buzzkill with the Wilhelm's German bed and breakfast. The town of Pecan Bayou is really a series of towns I've lived in set in one of my favorite areas of Texas.

Kathy: A Dash of Murder, the first Betsy Livingston Mystery, involves ghost hunting and the next 2 books have paranormal aspects. Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever been on a ghost hunt?

TT: I believe in ghosts and ghost hoaxes. I'm a big fan of Ghosthunters on Scify and love it when they debunk a paranormal occurrence. I have also lived in two different houses that I considered haunted. My last experience was when I was sharing an old house with two roommates in Colorado. It was a two story Victorian home that housed college students on three levels. We had vacuums turn off and on by themselves and doors lock and unlock. Whatever it was, it hated Stevie Nicks' songs and would act up after my roommate would play her music on the stereo. It seemed like it wanted us to be in the basement-a really creepy place. So yes, I believe in ghosts.

Kathy: Betsy Livingston writes The Happy Hinter newspaper column. Do these tips come naturally for you? Are you a happy homemaker?

TT: Ha! Some days it's more like I'm a hopeless homemaker, but I try. I have always loved how people share ways to do things better, easier or cheaper, so I guess like Betsy, I've collected a few things over the years.

Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

TT: I loved Agatha Christie's Miss Marple books and watched every Murder She Wrote ever made. I would so live in that house in Cabot Cove, even with the crime rate.

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

TT: Not yet, but would love to write a Debbie Macomber type of a novel some day. I know that I would write "cozy" in almost any genre because I enjoy creating characters that are around all of us in our real lives.

Kathy: Tell us about your series.

TT: The Pecan Bayou mystery series revolves around the life of Betsy Livingston who is a helpful hints writer for the local paper. Her husband walks out on her when she's pregnant and she creates the persona of The Happy Hinter even though she's not so happy and feels like she's made some major mistakes in her life. Betsy is very observant and this sometimes is an asset when her father, a local police lieutenant is working a murder case.

Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?

TT: It's like asking me to pick a favorite child. I guess I love Aunt Maggie because even though she is a composite of many women who have been there for me, she is very much like my own mother was. Sometimes when I write about Maggie and Judd I feel a reconnection with my parents.

Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?

TT: The series stemmed from the first book about the ghost hunt. When my daughter was in middle school we would watch the ghost hunting shows together and from that I started writing a story about ghost hunters. It of course changed drastically when I decided to take the focus off of them and put it on a female amateur sleuth. Once I created the town and the characters I knew the series story arc I wanted to take with Betsy and her life and had the entire series mapped out with the first book.

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

TT: This question could fill the entire interview. It was a very tough decision for me because I felt like if traditional publishing didn't value my work they were probably correct. I decided that I would submit the heck out of my first novel and when I came to a certain rejection count I would start checking into self-publishing. While I waited at the mailbox, I started reading everything I could about self-publishing and discussed it endlessly with my husband. After I hit my rejection slip goal (a strange thing to be hitting) I started working on readying the manuscript. Admittedly I had a lot to learn about writing when I first started, but I'm not sorry I published independently.

Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?

TT: I just saw Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg on their "The Heist" book tour and was fascinated by all they shared about their experiences in writing and publishing so I would love to hear more from them. I think would also like to spend some time with Debbie Macomber and Phillip Gulley who wrote the wonderful cozy series about the town of Harmony.

Kathy: What are you currently reading?

TT: The Ever-Running Man by Marcia Muller

Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?

TT: I go back and forth between knitting, sewing and embroidery. I also sing in the church choir.

Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.

TT: Almond milk, a leftover that needs tossing, sweet tea, Rice Chex

Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?

TT: I am planning two more books in this series and I am currently at work on Book 5. I don't have a title yet, but it involves a fire. I am also working out characters and settings for a second series that probably won't be in Texas.

Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?

TT: Writing. I get to sit down and create my very own people and places. I give them happy, sad, scary and frustrating times. I find that really fun.

Want to find out more about Teresa Trent? You can find her here:
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/teresatrentmysterywriter
Twitter- @ttrent_cozymys

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  1. Thanks for a great interview Kathy!

  2. Super Interview! Great kickoff for this tour!!

  3. I have no helpful hints to share---but I'd like to win the book anyway.

  4. helpful hint? carry an umbrella in the rain?

    think you mean something a bit more (said with a big grin)

    over the years, I know I've heard some great hints, but at the moment can't think of a one! I used to read "Hints from Heloise" and would try some of the things she suggested.

    One hint I've heard (but have not tried it so can't testify to the results): use shampoo to get greasy stains out of clothing.

  5. I love reading about helpful hints but never remember them- only basics like baking powder in refrigerator and freezer to absorb odors. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  6. Honey doesn't have an expiration date.

  7. Loved the interview with Teresa and can't wait to read Buzzkill. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway! Honey is my favourite food! Always have a jar or two or three in the kitchen. Use it for cooking, healing, tea or coffee, wonderful on biscuits and toast and eating by the spoonful right out of the jar. I would love to keep bees one day. Thanks again and Happy Reading and Writing~ Cheers~ Elizabeth MacGregor