Please welcome Gail Oust to the blog today. Grail writes the Spice Shop Mystery series. Kill 'em with Cayenne, the second in the series, was released this past December.
Kathy: I love spices and herbs; growing, cooking, and reading about them. Do you have any favorite spices?
GO: Cinnamon has to be my favorite not only for its taste but for its versatility. I use it in everything from apple pie to French toast to chili.
Kathy: I enjoy visiting spice shops. There's a Penzeys in Buffalo. Is Spice It Up based on a real store?
GO: I love Penzeys, too. But it wasn't until I was half way through Rosemary and Crime, the first of the Spice Shop Mysteries, that I happened to visit my first Penzeys. In recent travels, I've discovered spice shops similar to Spice It Up! in places such as Annapolis, MD, and South Haven, MI.
In Kill 'em with Cayenne
we get to attend the annual Brandywine Creek Barbecue Festival. Do you
go to any BBQ festivals? Do you have a special sauce or rub of your own?
GO: I love attending the annual barbecue festival each July held in a nearby town. It's fun sampling all the various offerings and seeing people of all ages having such a great time. As for favorite rubs and sauces, I'm still experimenting. The possibilities seem endless.
What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
GO: I was attracted to cozies because I liked the idea of ordinary, likeable characters who find themselves suddenly thrust into murder and mayhem.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
GO: I'm a former romance writer--historical romance to be exact--but for now I'm content to stick with cozies. Who knows though, what the future will bring.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
GO: In the Spice Shop Mysteries, Piper Prescott gambled her entire divorce settlement on opening a business, Spice It Up!, in the small town of Brandywine Creek, GA. Circumstances propel her--along with her BFF Reba Mae--to step out of her role as shopkeeper to find the culprits when friends or family are suspected of murder.
The Bunco Babes aren't your average retirees. The sixty-something set at Serenity Cove Estates in South Carolina knows how to keep active so it's no surprise when they decide to roll their own investigation when a murder happens in their manicured backyard.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
GO: I have to confess i have a soft spot for Piper's BFF Reba Mae Johnson. She's definitely a cup half-full kind of gal and not afraid to speak her mind.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
GO: That's a tough one. I think I'd invite Nora Roberts, Pat Conroy, Robert B. Parker, and Mary Higgins Clark.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
GO: I'm just finishing Truth Be Told by Hank Phillippi Ryan. Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger which won the Edgar for best mystery is at the top of my to-be-read pile.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
GO: I love to read--always have. I play golf (not very well) with friends when I'm not on deadline. I belong to a Red Hat group with a bunch of very nice ladies. I'm also a crocheter and have made more prayer shawls than I can count.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
GO: Cans of tomatoes--sauce, crushed, or diced--, pasta, olive oil, and garlic. In case you haven't guessed, I'm a big fan of Italian food.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
GO: I'm keeping my fingers crossed my publisher will want me to continue the Spice Shop Mysteries. If not, I've got a couple other ideas percolating.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
GO: I love to immerse myself in the land of make believe. I love telling stories.
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