Sunday, May 3, 2015

A Lowcountry Interview

I'm happy to welcome Susan M. Boyer to the blog today. Susan writes the Liz Talbot Mystery series. Lowcountry Boneyeard is the third in the series and was released April 21st.

Kathy: Location plays a big part in mysteries. Why did you choose South Carolina as the setting of your series? 

SB: I grew up in North Carolina, but our vacations were always along the South Carolina coast. I’ve always adored the beach. When I married my husband, I moved to South Carolina, and we’ve lived in the Upstate for many years. We also lived for a while in Mt. Pleasant, near Charleston. It was during this time that the idea of using the area as my literary landscape really came together.

Kathy: Spirits play a role in your series, and I'm not talking about bourbon. How did you decide to incorporate ghosts in your series? 

SB: The Charleston area has a rich tradition of ghosts and other supernatural entities. In one sense, their inclusion is part of the setting. This aspect also developed from Liz’s character. She has an over-developed sense of responsibility. She wants to make everything all right for everyone. When I was mulling what made her that way, I discovered that a close friend of hers had died when she was young, and she felt responsible, not in the literal sense, but in the sense that perhaps she could’ve prevented it. Once I had that storyline developed, it occurred to me that Liz was haunted by this tragedy. Since she lives in the Lowcountry, it seemed natural to make this haunting literal.

Kathy: Have you ever had a ghostly encounter? 

SB: I believe I have, several times in fact. Others may find explanations that better suit their philosophies. But I’m a believer.

Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries? 

SB: I love small towns, my family, good food, crazy relatives, a good laugh, and mysteries. I also enjoy these elements in books.

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?  

SB: Not currently, but who knows what the future holds. I read very eclectically. I may decide to write a time traveling shape-shifter romance.

Kathy: Tell us about your series. 
SB: Private Investigator Liz Talbot works out of her home on Stella Maris, an island near Charleston, South Carolina. Each book in the series represents a different case for Liz.

Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why? 

SB: Liz would have to be my favorite character. She and I are very close, and while she’s definitely not me, we do have some things in common.

Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series? 

SB: Each book has its own inspiration, but the series as a whole was born out of my love for mystery series with strong female protagonists and my love of the South Carolina lowcountry.

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work? 

SB: I never really thought about not publishing it. The decision to write full time came with the goal of publication.

Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite? 

SB: This is such a hard question for me. There are just too many possibilities. Can I throw a big party and invite all the living ones I know? I love hanging out with other authors.

Kathy: What are you currently reading? 

SB: The Deep End, by Julie Mulhern

Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us? 

SB: I read—a lot. I love spending time with family and friends, and often that leads to us breaking out the karaoke machine.

Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry. 

SB: Greek yogurt, blueberries, brie cheese, Champagne.

Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series? 

SB: I’m planning on many more adventures for Liz Talbot. Next up is Lowcountry Bordello, which comes out in November.

Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author? 

SB: I love creating these puzzles and then figuring out how Liz will solve them.


  1. Great interview. It is always fun finding the inspiration for characters and books!

  2. This was such a fun interview! Thank you, Kathy, for having me on the blog!

  3. I love this interview! Thanks so much for sharing.