Let's get into the Christmas spirit and welcome Mollie Cox Bryan and the Crafty Christmas tour. Mollie writes the Cumberland Creek Mystery series. A Crafty Christmas is the 4th in the series.
Kathy: I love holiday themed books. How did you decide to write one with a Christmas theme and then set it in a non Christmas like location?
MCB: I wanted to explore a bit what the holidays mean to people. You'll notice that while the group is on the ship, some of them are getting quite homesick, longing for a Cumberland Creek Christmas, which is quite opposite from asleep cruise ship in the tropics.
Kathy: When it comes to magazines I know that articles are prepared during opposite seasons-summer issues in the midst of winter and Christmas during the dog days of summer. I imagine its the same with books. You may have worked in some of it during the holiday season, but, odds are you were working on it well after Christmas as well. How did you get in the spirit to write a mystery set at Christmastime?
MCB: I listened to a lot of Christmas music and watched Youtube videos of holiday scenes.
Kathy: The Cumberland Creek gang go on a scrapbooking cruise in A Crafty Christmas. Have you ever gone on a cruise, scrapbooking or otherwise?
MCB: No. Once again, I turned to YouTube for what it's like on a cruise ship. And I researched a lot about cruises online, as well as attend a session at Malice Domestic bout setting mysteries on cruises. I'd LOVE to go on a scrapbook cruise!
Kathy: While I don't scrapbook, I am a card maker and explore other paper arts. Will you share one of your favorite techniques?
MCB: I like layering and tearing paper. You know, giving what's behind a picture some textures and depth. That's a lot of fun to play with until you get the look you want. In fact, "play" sort of sums up my approach to crafting. If we are not having fun with it, why bother? I plan things out only so fares to know I have the right materials and then I just play.
Kathy: What would you say is your most indispensable scrapbooking tool and could it be used as a murder weapon?
MCB: I love my x-acto blade and it could absolutely kill someone, especially if jabbed into an artery.
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
MCB: I love to read mysteries, not just cozies, and I thought that my scrapbooking theme would work well in the genre.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
MCB: Yes, I write romances under another name. I also write nonfiction and have two cookbooks published along with a book of essays, under my own name.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
MCB: My Cumberland Creek series centers around the same group of women, who get together to scrapbook, eat, drink, gossip, and solve murders. The series is set in Cumberland Creek, Virginia (a fictional town) in the Shenandoah Valley.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
MCB: It fluctuates. In this particular book, it would be a toss-up between Sheila and Randy. In this book we, really get to know what Sheila is made of--it's really her story. And Randy is a delight. It's our first glimpse of him and I love that he's rebuilding his relationship with his parents.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
MCB: I used to get together pretty regularly with a group of women to scrapbook. As I sat and listened to them sharing stories about their families and lives, stories began to spin.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
MCB: I love sharing my stories. Publishing is a great way to do that.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
MCB: This is a tough one! Agatha Christie, William Shakespeare, JK Rowling, Jane Austen.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
MCB: Rock, Paper, Tiger by Lisa Brackman. (LOVE it.)
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
MCB: Besides scrapbooking and crafting. I love to read, do Yoga, run, and spend time with my family.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
MCB: Almond milk, Veggie burgers, Constant Comment tea, Salad.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
MCB: I always have a lot of ideas. But I have no specific plans right now, regarding a series. I am working on a standalone right now.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
MCB: The actual writing.
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