Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Questions I’ve Always Wanted to Ask Myself! Guest Post by Laura Childs

Questions I’ve Always Wanted to Ask Myself!

Questions put to Laura Childs by Laura Childs,
author of Scorched Eggs, a Cackleberry Club Mystery

Okay, Laura, now that we’ve got you on the hot seat, tell us how you really got started.

While I was running my marketing firm, I started writing screenplays on the side.  I wrote crazy, very high concept scripts like Beverly Hills Trashman and The Cheddar Cat.  But after I’d written four screenplays, and basically got nowhere, I set that dream aside and did my own tough marketing analysis.  I realized that only a hundred or so feature films are produced each year, but thousands of novels are released.  Suffice it to say I immediately switched gears and began writing mysteries.

And then?

Then the slot machine went bing bong bing and cherries and oranges popped up.  My first mystery was very successful.  After that, I just kept writing and writing (occasionally coming up for food and air) until a few years later I found myself with three different mystery series that were regularly climbing onto the New York Times Bestseller List.

That doesn’t happen to everybody.

No, it doesn’t.  It takes a lot of luck and a ton of hard work.  My marketing background was critical in getting my book noticed by booksellers.  It’s exciting and rewarding to go to book clubs and libraries and talk about your books, but if you haven’t gotten in front of booksellers first, nobody will ever know you exist.

How did you plan out Scorched Eggs, your newest Cackleberry Club Mystery?

First I did a timeline – all my characters and events scratched out on a big sheet of paper.  Then I color coded all my characters to make sure that Suzanne, my main protagonist, rubbed shoulders with all the potential bad guys along the way.  When that felt right, I transferred everything to my computer and fleshed out an eighty-page outline.  Then I went back to chapter one and wrote the book straight through.

Okay, Laura, tell us about Scorched Eggs.  Tell us about the story itself.

Scorched Eggs kicks off with an enormous fire that engulfs the main street in small town Kindred and kills a dear friend of Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, the ladies of the Cackleberry Club.  When they vow to track down the killer, they uncover suspects that include a vengeful husband, ex-fireman, and an expert in explosives.  Of course, the ladies also have to keep all their other plates in the air, too, which include a vintage wedding, county fair, tea parties, and a dinner theatre!

It sounds like you had fun writing this.

I think this might be my favorite Cackleberry Club Mystery to date.  It’s got everything – crazy ladies on the high side of forty who run an egg-centric café, explosives, scary clowns, baby owls, romance, and rodeo riding.  I mean, this is a banquet of crazy!

And you included recipes?

Oh yes.  While tripping through this mystery you’ll find recipes for Sour Cream Coffee Cake, Cheese Popovers, and (naturally) Scorched Eggs.

Thank you, Laura.

Thank you, Laura!

 (And thank you for reading this!)

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Cackleberry Club Mysteries, Tea Shop Mysteries, and Scrapbook Mysteries, and a recent recipient of the Romantic Times Book Review’s Award for Best Amateur Sleuth. In her previous life, she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, enjoys fund-raising for various non-profit animal organizations, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Visit her website at www.laurachilds.com or become a friend on Facebook.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Laura! Thank you so much for the interview you conducted with yourself. It was most enjoyable. Congratulations on your newest release in the Cackleberry Club series! At the moment I'm reading Eggs In A Casket and just plain lovin' it. Thanks for many hours of reading pleasure. Sandy in So. Cali