Friday, April 18, 2014
An Interview with Melissa Bourbon & Giveaway
I'm pleased to welcome Melissa Bourbon to the blog today. A Killing Notion, the fifth in her Magical Dressmaking Mystery series was just released this month.
Kathy: Harlow Jane Cassidy is a unique woman with a unique name. How did you decide upon her name, and the fact she's a descendent of Butch Cassidy?
MB: I love tying in historical elements in my books, or things that make a story or a character just a little bit meatier. I’ve always loved the lore of Butch Cassidy and Sundance, and one day it just popped into my head that Harlow should be a descendent of Butch’s. That meant I needed to create a slightly alternative history, which was so fun.
Kathy: Harlow has an amazing ability to design and sew clothing. What about you? Can you sew?
MB: I can! My mother taught me when I was in fifth grade. I made my first dress with some of her leftover fabric that year. I still love to sew, although I don’t have the time to do it much anymore. I hope to get back to it, and I do create little projects when I’m able.
Kathy: I love paranormal mysteries and was delighted as this aspect came to light in the first book in the series, Pleating for Mercy. Why do you think paranormal mysteries are so popular?
MB: A little bit of magic makes the world a better place! Those magical elements are what I wish the world had, sometimes. I think people respond to that charm and that special something that’s indefinable but makes us feel a little bit more.
Kathy: Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever had a ghostly encounter? Or witnessed other paranormal activity?
MB: I’m not sure if I do or not. Sometimes I’d say the answer is a definite yes, but at other times I’m not sure. I’ve never experienced anything like that myself, but I love the idea that the past and present can live together in a special way.
Kathy: If you had a magical gift, what do you wish it could be?
MB: I love Harlow’s gift, so I’d choose that one. To be able to help people realize their dreams and desires would be incredible.
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
MB: I’ve always loved mysteries, so when it came time to write a book, the mystery was the natural framework I turned to. My books are very character driven, but the mystery drives everything forward, which is fun.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
MB: I’ve written 2 romantic suspense novels. They both have mystery/suspense elements, so they’re still right up the same ally.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
MB: A Magical Dressmaking mystery series features Harlow Cassidy, a descendent of Butch Cassidy. She comes home to Bliss, Texas and runs Buttons & Bows, a dressmaking shop. In her spare time, she helps solve a few murders! There’s a fantastic cast of characters, and the female relationships are an important element in the series. These relationships play an important part of all my books. In the Lola Cruz mystery series, the family relationships are huge.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
MB: I love Meemaw (as so many people seem to!). And of course, I relate to Harlow and she’s the inspiration for everything. I think I’m most like her…or vice versa.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
MB: When I first wrote Living the Vida Lola, I knew I wanted to share this character I’d come to love so much. That started the path to publication and I’ve loved every bit of it (even through the ups and downs). There’s nothing I’d rather do. The characters are part of me, and I love spending time with them as I write their stories.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
MB: That’s tough! Margaret Mitchell, Jane Austin, Agatha Christie, and Shakespeare. It would be one interesting dinner party!
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
MB: I just finished The Orphan Train and The Perfume Collector, both really excellent books! I love women’s fiction, upmarket literary fiction, and such. Right now I’m deciding what to read next (after my revisions for A Seamless Murder, book 6, are done).
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
MB: I love reading, of course, sewing, yoga, cooking, and recently took up boxing (via a class), which is killer, but I love!
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
MB: Frozen chocolate chip cookie dough (homemade), soy sausage links, baba ganoush, and gluten free everything! Two kids with celiac disease mean we have lots of wheat free/gluten free things in the house and do a lot of cooking from scratch.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
MB: I’m working on revisions for book 6, A Seamless Murder, and am plotting books 7 and 8 right now. I also have plans for the 4th Lola Cruz book. Always busy!
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
MB: I love creating worlds that other people want to read about. To get to spend my time with characters like Harlow and Lola make my days so fun. I also love being able to have the flexibility to work and be with my kids and family. Being a writer is fantastic!
If you'd like a chance to win a digital copy of Pleating for Mercy, the first in the Magical Dressmaking series or Living the Vida Lola, the first Lola Cruz Mystery just leave a comment on this blog post no later than Monday, April 21 at 11:59pm EST. Please include your e-mail address so that I can contact you should you win, as well as which of the 2 books you'd select! Be sure to also enter the Rafflecopter contest below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway