I'm thrilled to welcome Victoria Hamilton back to Cozy Up With Kathy. Freezer I'll Shoot, the third of her Vintage Kitchen Mystery series will be released this Tuesday.
Kathy - When it comes to writing I understand there are 2 general
camps-plotters, who diligently plot their stories, and pansters, who fly
by the seat of their pants. Are you a plotter, a panster, or do you
fall somewhere in between?
VH - By default I fall
somewhere in between. I always start out with the best of intentions,
but you know what they say about good intentions, and pathways to the
inferno? That’s where I am right now, in deadline hell. It always begins
the same, innocently enough, with the determination to plot my way to
the end, clues and all, so I won’t end up in trouble. However…
inevitably, I get excited about the book and writing is way more fun
than plotting, so I end up racing ahead until the point where I start
moaning that I don’t know how I got into this mess.
- When writing a series it seems as if authors get 3 book contracts,
which may or may not be renewed. Not to reference a specific series, but
do you have long range plans for book series at the onset? Ideas, but
no firm plans for future books? Or do the series have plans which may or
may not come to fruition if the publisher ends the series prematurely?
– What a GREAT question! I’ve never been asked that before. So, here
goes… I always head into a series with vague long term goals. When I
wrote romance I would have it more nailed down and I was disappointed
every time, so I never write cliffhangers beyond the contracted books
unless I already have a contract for more, but I do have amorphous plots
in mind, avenues I’d like to explore, places I’d like to go with
However… often times the plans I start
with are not the ones I end up with. In this case, with Vintage Kitchen
Mysteries, I am near the deadline for book 4, and I find that things I
expected to happen are not, and new events are occurring quite
naturally. Jaymie is on a voyage of self-discovery that will take her to
personal and professional happiness, I hope. But it all evolves quite
naturally, and as in real life, disappointments often lead to surprising
If I am allowed to continue beyond the
current contract (up to Book 5 in the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries) then
I’ll figure out where Jaymie is going beyond the already planned period.
It’s funny, but I don’t like to make ‘set-in-stone’
plans beyond a series’ contract because I’m just superstitious enough to
fear I’ll jinx myself!
Kathy - When thinking about
book covers I always remember the British television series As Time Goes
By. Lionel has written a book about his life in Kenya (called My Life
) and his publisher says he needs a cover that says "pick me up
and buy me". I won't go in to tell you how that turned out...but I find
it a relevant and important statement. If a person is browsing for
books, it's often that cover art which attracts the attention of the
possible buyer first. I've also heard that authors don't have a lot, if
any, say in this matter. Can you tell us about your covers and cover
art? Did you give any suggestions as to what the covers should be like?
Did you have any say in the matter at all? Do you know your cover
artist? Personally, I do like all of your covers. I think my favorite
though is Bran New Death, your first Merry Muffin mystery. Do you have a
VH – Covers really are very
important. I know that because when I’m scanning the bookshelf at a used
book store, I pick books by cover to look at. I know instantly even
just by the spine – because of the publishers’ formatting – if it’s my
kind of book. That’s not to say I don’t head off the beaten path
sometimes. Some of the best books I’ve ever read had uninspired covers.
I can’t speak for other authors, but this is how it works for me. I
give hints and suggestions, and I often provide reference material. The
original of the Hoosier cabinet on A Deadly Grind is sitting in my
kitchen! The bowls on Bowled Over are on my shelves. The cover art on
Freezer I’ll Shoot is loosely based on my description of Rose Tree
Cottage, the Leighton’s summer place on Heartbreak island.
no, I don’t have a ‘favorite’ cover (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)
Actually, I do, but I’m not saying which. Wouldn’t want the other
kiddies to be jealous, would I?
Kathy - I'm so
thrilled to see Jaymie back for another adventure. Freezer I'll Shoot
involves a restaurant located in what was once an actual ice house. Is
The Ice House Restaurant based on a real restaurant, or just a cool
VH – Just a cool idea that came from my ghoulish
desire to have an ice pick be the murder weapon. I needed a place where
an ice pick would be featured, and so the Ice House restaurant was
born! But it is true that there were a lot of ice houses along the
shores of the Great Lakes and St. Clair River. I had fun with the
research. Did you know that the ice pick was the murder weapon of choice
for many gangsters? That’s the kind of stuff mystery writers love!
Thank you so much for having me, Kathy! I had fun.
Title: Freezer I’ll Shoot
Pub. Date: November 5th, 2013
Series: Vintage Kitchen Mysteries, Book 3
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Author: Victoria Hamilton
About Freezer I’ll Shoot
to escape her overbearing mother, vintage kitchenware enthusiast and
soon-to-be columnist Jaymie Leighton retreats to her family’s cottage on
Heartbreak Island. While there she hopes to write an article about the
Ice House restaurant, owned by good friends and neighbors, siblings Ruby
and Garnet Redmond. Once and actual icehouse, the restaurant is
charmingly decorated with antique tools of the trade, including a
collection of ice picks.
One night, while working on
her article, Jaymie overhears an argument, and, ever the sleuth, sets
out to explore. But when she stumbles upon a dead body, her blood runs
cold. It’s Urban Dobrinskie, whose feud with the Redmonds is no secret,
and he’s got an ice pick through his heart. Now Jaymie’s got to sharpen
her sleuthing skills to chip away at the mystery and prove her
neighbors’ innocence – before someone else gets picked off…
Hamilton, nationally bestselling author of the Vintage Kitchen Mystery
series, is the pseudonym of Donna Lea Simpson, bestselling author of
romance and historical mystery novels.
starting reading mystery novels at the age of 12 and devoured Agatha
Christie mysteries, as well as those of Dorothy L. Sayers and Ngaio
Marsh. She still adores mysteries, especially the cozy mysteries of
Janet Bolin, Krista Davis, and others.
She loves to
cook, and collects teapots and teacups, as well as vintage kitchen
utensils and bowls. She also enjoys crafts, especially cross-stitching
and crocheting, and spends summer days in the garden, drinking tea or
wine. Besides the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series Victoria also writes
the Merry Muffin Mystery series (Bran New Death – September 3rd) and the
Teapot Collector Mystery series which debuts with Tempest in a Teapot,
out June 3rd, 2014.
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