I'd like to welcome Sharon Pape to the blog today. Sharon pens the Portrait of Crime Mystery Series. Sketcher in the Rye will be the 4th in the series and will be released December 17th.
Kathy: Rory McCain was police sketch artist. Are you artistic? Do you draw well, or would you be more apt to draw a stick figure?
SP: I can do better than a stick figure, but I'm far from being a real artist. I've always loved art, though, and admired the ability of artists.
Kathy: Rory's partner Zeke Drummond happens to be a ghost. Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever had a paranormal encounter?
SP: I haven't had any paranormal encounters, but I have friends who say they have. I believe in the possibility of ghosts and probably will until I'm given proof that they don't, or can't, exist. I love exploring paranormal questions, precisely because they have no definitive answers. It's the perfect playground for my mind.
Kathy: I've always wanted to go to a corn maze, but, even though there are some near me, I've never been. Have you ever gone to one?
SP: I once went to a small one, but I've always wanted to try a bigger, more complex one. I have to put it on my to-do list. There are several here on Long Island at the end of the growing season.
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
SP: I've always loved mysteries, but I'm not a big fan of graphic violence and gore. Cozy mysteries are a perfect fit for me!
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
SP: It's funny that you should ask. In another month or so, I'll be re-releasing an updated version of my first book, a paranormal entitled For Everything a Season. When it was originally published, it was also condensed by Redbook magazine, the first paperback original the magazine had ever condensed. Although the book has a paranormal theme, it isn't horror and doesn't have graphic violence or gore. It does, however, have a love story.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
SP: Sketcher in the Rye is the fourth book in the Portrait of Crime Mysteries, in which sketch artist, Rory McCain, and her ghost partner, federal marshal Zeke Drummond, team up to solve mysteries and learn more about each other along the way.
Alibis and Amethysts is the first book in my new Crystal Shop series, which takes place in Sedona, Arizona with its supposed psychic vortexes. Jaye Saylor has opened a crystal shop there, following the lead of her best friend, Sierra, who runs a bakery. When the only other baker in town is found dead in Sierra's yard, she, Jaye and their Navajo friend, Daniel, are determined to find the real killer before Sierra is arrested.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
SP: I'd have to say my favorite character is marshal Zeke Drummond. I love watching the way he deals with today's world, which is so different from the eighteenth century world he knew. Over the course of the series, Rory unravels the truth about Zeke's death as well as the secrets of his life, so we get to know more and more about him. I know I'm talking about my characters as if they're real and not a product of my mind, but that's how they become, especially over the course of a series.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
SP: In a general way, the inspiration for everything I write is driven by my overactive imagination and by my love of words. I love the images they create in the mind, the feelings they produce when used in the right combination. The specific inspiration for the Portrait of Crime series came from "the -what- if" game my mind was playing. What if a lawman from the Old West had to live in the vastly different world we live in today?
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
SP: I don't think I ever made a conscious decision to try to have my work published. It happened organically. I always loved reading. Since everything I read had been published, it seemed like a natural progression to try to have my writing published. Writers are the modern equivalent of the storytellers of ancient days. They wouldn't have told their stories if there was no one to listen to them.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
SP: I don't know if I could ever make that decision, since I love so many different genres and voices, but since this is all theoretical, here goes. To keep the conversation lively and diverse, I'd invite Dean Koontz, Anita Shreve, Ernest Hemmingway and Nelson DeMille, but I'd have a long list of alternates to fill in if one of them couldn't make it.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
SP: I'm reading The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. I've been meaning to read it for the past ten years or so and I'm enjoying it immensely.
Kathy: . Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
SP: My hobbies: Reading of course, fostering animals until they find "furever" homes, hiking and working out at the gym, which I should do more often, but life keeps getting in the way. I used to love horseback riding, but now that I have some osteoporosis my doctor said it's a no-no.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
SP: That's an easy one. I always have ice cream in the freezer, usually several different flavors, eggs and Greek yogurt in the fridge, almonds in the pantry.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
SP: I'd like to write at least the fifth book in the Portrait of Crime series in order to complete the arc I started with Sketcher in the Rye. I've also been working on a totally different concept for another cozy series. I'll have to see where that leads me.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
SP: I love that I always have a work in progress. No matter what else is going on in my life, I can put my cares on hold for a while and escape into a world of my own making. I love sharing my stories and finding out how they make other people feel.
Kathy: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions.
SP: Thank you, Kathy. I appreciate the opportunity to let readers get to know a little more about me.
You can find out more about Sharon and her books here: http://www.sharonpape.com/index.html