I'd like to welcome Lynn Cahoon to the blog today. Lynn writes the Tourist Trap Mystery series. Mission to Murder, the second in the series was just released July 31st.
Kathy: What drew you to the California coast for the setting of your series?
LC: A long ago spring break. Seriously. My oldest sister lives in Santa Maria and I spent a week there, driving to different tourist spots and thinking about my failing marriage. By the time I left, I had rolls of film to develop and a clear head about my decision.
Kathy: In Mission to Murder Jill Gardner discovers a wall on her property just may be part of a centuries old mission. I've always been interested in old buildings and historic preservation. In fact, I'm a member of the Landmark Society of WNY. Are you interested in preserving historical buildings?
LC: I adore old buildings. I’m kind of obsessed with old barns. Houses have their own stories to tell and like with Miss Emily’s house, you never know what the previous owners have left behind. Moving to the Mid-west from Idaho has given me the opportunity to see history. Even in my own back yard.
Kathy: Jill is the host for South Cove’s Business Basics meetings. Have you had dealings with a local chamber of commerce?
LC: I haven’t worked directly with a chamber of commerce, but I’ve been involved in community development programs. I was part of the group who changed welfare during the Clinton administration on a local level back home. Working with an employer group for that project gave me lots of fodder for Jill’s meetings.
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
LC: I found the genre when I was going through treatment for breast cancer. Easy reads without a lot of blood and gore to get me through the long appointments at the cancer center. A nurse saw me reading one of Susan McBride’s Drop Out Debutante series and brought me her entire collection since Susan’s a local St Louis author. I mentioned on my blog this kindness and how much I loved the series. Susan reached out and sent me a signed copy of her latest release. She’s a pink sister too.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
LC: I write contemporary romance (modern westerns) and I have a series I’ll be finishing writing this year in the paranormal romance sub-genre. My books may look totally different, but they all focus on small town relationships and troubles.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
LC: The Tourist Trap Mystery series is set in the central California coastal town of South Cove. Jill Gardner, the heroine, has left her life as a family law attorney and set up shop as the owner of a bookstore/coffee shop combined. But it’s hard to be the new girl. Jill and the rest of the South Cove gang are focused on keeping their shops open and profitable, even if they have to supplement their income with other part time jobs.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
LC: It would have to be Jill’s Aunt Jackie. She’s a character and there’s so much mystery about her. She says whatever pops into her head and gets away with it because of her advancing years. Which she works to her advantage. The woman never misses a beat or a good sale.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
LC: Finding the real inspiration for Miss Emily’s house during my spring break trip was the catalyst that jump started the series. That one picture haunted me until I started GUIDEBOOK.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
LC: I always wanted to be an author. Some day. When I found out I had cancer, I realized that someday may not come. So I started working on the craft seriously. I never looked back.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
LC: My BFF, Laura Bradford, (cozy mystery writer), Stephen King (my idol), Robyn Carr (small town contemporary romance queen) and if he’d behave himself, Ernest Hemingway. His A Moveable Feast is probably one of my favorite books of all time.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
LC: I just finished Beverly Hills Demon Slayer –Angie Fox. On my night stand is Robyn Carr’s The Newcomer along with Maggie Sefton’s Unraveled and Kate Carlise’s One Book in the Grave. I have a couple of ARC’s for friends to read and blurb and/or review. I just picked up three new audio books from the library yesterday. I’ll start a new story on my way into work tomorrow.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
LC: I love reality competition cooking shows. And fashion shows. And weight loss shows. Totally addicted. I used to play darts and was pretty good for a girl. For our six wedding anniversary, my husband (The Cowboy) and I bought ATV’s. Love riding the trails.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
LC: Coffee, chocolate, risotto rice, and yogurt.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
LC: Plans, do I have plan?. (Insert evil laugh track). I have three additional contracted books for The Tourist Trap series to write that will be releasing in 2015. My agent is shopping an Idaho set culinary cozy. I have one more Council series (the paranormal) book to write. I’m pitching a contemporary romance this month to Harlequin. Finding ideas isn’t the problem, finding extra time to write. That can be tricky.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
LC: When a reader tells me that my stories touched them in some way. By making the reader laugh, or cry, or see themselves in my character. I kind of dig that.
Want to learn more? Check out these links:
Twitter - https://twitter.com/LynnCahoon
Website - http://lynncahoon.wordpress.com/
Amazon author page - http://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Cahoon/e/B0082PWOAO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1