Sunday, September 29, 2013

Maple Syrup and Murder

I'd like to welcome Jessie Crockett back to Cozy Up With Kathy. Check out our previous post from June 9th. In addition to her Granite State Mysteries, we mentioned her upcoming new series. Well, that series is almost here and I, for one, can't wait to read about maple syrup and murder!

Kathy:  Drizzled with Death, the first Sugar Grove Mystery will be released October 1st. How are you celebrating?
JC: I have a standing Tuesday morning date with my sister to walk four miles. I will attend a soccer game for one of my sons. I hope to have sushi and champagne for dinner. And maybe cake. After all, I will have walked that morning!

Kathy: You write both the Granite State Mysteries and the new Sugar Grove Mysteries. How do you juggle writing two mystery series at the same time?
JC: I actively write on only one series at a time. For me, first draft is much more challenging than revisions so I can manage both if I am at different points in each manuscript.

Kathy: Dani Greene is a 4th generation maple syrup maker. What’s your favorite way to use maple syrup?
JC: I really love Sugar-on -Snow, which is a type of candy made by boiling finished syrup to the hard ball stage and pouring it onto a bed of clean snow to cool. But my favorite way to eat maple syrup right now is on a sandwich I call a Who'd a Thunk It? It is a knife and fork affair and involves caramelized apples. The recipe is included in Drizzled with Death.

Kathy: Trouble breaks out at a pancake eating contest in Drizzled with Death. Have you ever entered a food eating competition-or watched one?
JC: I have never entered a food eating competition but I have been awed by watching a televised broadcast of the annual hotdog eating contest at Nathan's on the Fourth of July. The winner consumed fifty hotdogs. It was astonishing! 

Kathy: The state of New Hampshire plays a big role in your writing. How would you describe the state for people unfamiliar with it? What makes it great?
JC: New Hampshire has an outstanding quality of life. We have natural beauty, an independent spirit, quirky characters and fascinating politics. We even have a low crime rate. Well, except in my mysteries.

Kathy: Aside from writing mysteries, you design bento lunches. Will you tell us about that?
JC: When you work at home it is really easy to stand in front of the refrigerator at lunch time and pick at unhealthy things because you didn't plan ahead. I like the way bento lunches look and I think they are fun to make. When I am at my most organized I make them for my kids and myself in the morning. I send them off to school with theirs and I pop mine into the fridge until lunch. >

Kathy: How did your interest in bento begin?
JC: A few years ago my mother hosted a delightful foreign exchange student from Japan for a year. She brought gifts for all of us including bento boxes, which are a type of lunch container. I was intrigued by them and a google search led me to a lot of culinary eye-candy. At the time my children were younger and interested in cartoon characters like Pokemon. There is a style of bento called charaben which means character bento. The food is shaped or assembled to look like recognizable characters by cutting cheese slices into faces or making hair out of julienned carrots. I had fun and the kids ended up enthusiastically eating their veggies. 


Author Bio

         A nearly life-long resident of the Granite State, Jessie naturally adores black flies, 98% humidity, killing frosts in August and snow banks taller than the average grandmother. When not working on her next murderous adventure she enthusiastically combs the beach, designs bento lunches and throws parties. She delights in mentoring young writers at local schools. Jessie lives with her dark and mysterious husband and exuberant children in a village so small most other New Hampshire residents have never heard of it. Her debut mystery, Live Free or Die, was the 2011 winner of the Daphne DuMaurier Award for Mainstream Mystery.

You can read more from and about Jessie Crocket at these websites:
Drizzled with Death,Berkley Prime Crime,October, 2013

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