Kathy: Do you consider yourself superstitious? Has that answer changed since writing this book?
LOJ: I'd not thought of myself as especially superstitious before, although I did do the usual stuff like crossing my fingers now and then and picking up heads-up pennies I happened to spot on the ground. I'm always hoping for good luck--who isn't? I have found, since starting the Superstition Mysteries, that I'm a lot more conscious of superstitions, both my own and other people's. I'm always looking for more, too... and hoping for extra good luck!
Kathy: I will usually knock on wood, and will throw salt over my shoulder. Are there any superstitions you follow?
LOJ: As I said, I cross my fingers and pick up heads-up pennies and even other coins. I knock on wood, too--a lot more now that superstitions are constantly on my mind. I never walked under ladders, but you can be sure I'll be even more aware of that now and avoid them!
Kathy: Although I do follow some superstitions, some I patently disregard, like thinking black cats are bad luck In fact, I currently live with 2 black cats, Aleister and Licorice (along with Calumet and Mariusz). Are there any superstitions that you totally dismiss?
LOJ: Hey, other cultures consider black cats good luck! That's one of the things I've found about superstitions. They vary a lot. I haven't discovered anything that I completely shrug off but I do find it interesting that there are so many variations. And hugs to Aleister and Licorice as well as Calumet and Mariusz!
Kathy: What has been the most unusual superstition you've come across?
LOJ: Not sure it's the most unusual but it definitely caught my attention: I can understand why, if you trip going down the stairs it can presage bad luck, but did you know that if you trip while going upstairs that can mean an impending marriage in the family? Also, if you happen to own a cat and it sneezes three times, you may be catching a cold.
Kathy: Was there a specific inspiration for this series?
LOJ: I happened to be knocking on wood one day, hoping that a wish I'd just made would come true--that I'd come up with an idea for yet another fun mystery series. It occurred to me nearly immediately: I'd just come up with that idea!
Kathy: Both your Kendra Ballantyne Pet Sitter Mystery series and the Pet Rescue series take place in California's San Fernando Valley, but Lost Under a Ladder is set in the fictional town of Destiny, near Ojai, California. Why the change in locations?
LOJ: I thought the Superstition Mysteries would work out best somewhere in which people flocked to learn more about superstitions and whether they were real. L.A. can be kooky, but it's not about superstitions--so I made up Destiny!
Kathy: Your previous mysteries were published by Berkley, but I see that your new series is published by Midnight Ink. Will you share the reason for the change?
LOJ: Things don't always stay the same in the publishing industry. As much as I loved writing my Pet Rescue and Pet-Sitter Mysteries for Berkley, both those series had pretty much concluded. I wanted to do something different but pet-related. Midnight Ink was interested in my idea for Superstition Mysteries and also became interested in another series, my upcoming Barkery and Biscuits series. I never burn bridges, but am delighted with my two new series and my new publisher, too.
Kathy: Will you share any other upcoming books?
LOJ: As I mentioned, I will be writing a second mystery series for Midnight Ink, the Barkery and Biscuits series where the protagonist runs a store that's a people bakery on one side and a dog bakery on the other. The first one, tentatively titled BITE THE BISCUIT, will be published sometime mid-2015. More Superstition Mysteries to come, too.
I also have further Alpha Force stories in the works for Harlequin Nocturne--my covert military unit of shapeshifters--as well as more Harlequin Romantic Suspense.