Sunday, August 9, 2015
A Good Kind of Interview & Giveaway
I'd like to welcome Ellie Ashe to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Ellie writes the Trouble in Twin Rivers Mystery series. A Good Kind of Trouble, the first book in the series, was released in May.
Kathy: A Good Kind of Trouble is described as a romantic mystery. How does romance enhance mysteries? Are there drawbacks?
EA: Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog! Romance enhances everything! But in a mystery, I think it adds both tension and conflict. Navigating emotions, unraveling what makes a person attracted to someone else, and what makes that other person tick—those are just other mysteries to solve. And it can raise the stakes, too, if the person you care about is in peril.
Kathy: Lindsey Fox and Ben Gillespie once had a bad date of "epic proportions". Have you ever had a horrendously bad date?
EA: I have had dates that were bad, but none were horrendously bad. Or at least I’ve blocked those from my memory. I get all my bad-date inspiration for my books from my best friend who has some of the best (or maybe the worst) stories about bad dates. If you ever read about a bad date in one of my books, just know that it was inspired by a woman in California, who is both eternally optimistic and incredibly unlucky.
Kathy: What first drew you to mysteries?
EA: Like many mystery writers, I’ve been drawn to this genre since my first Nancy Drew book. I read all of those books that I could get my hands on, plus the Trixie Belden mysteries and even the Hardy Boys, if I was out of girl detectives. I eventually graduated to Agatha Christie and have never looked back.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
I write cozy mysteries, the Miranda Vaughn Mysteries, for Gemma Halliday Publishing. I think anything I write will probably have an element of mystery to it. It’s my first love.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
EA: The Trouble in Twin Rivers series revolves around the Fields Law Group, where Ben Gillespie goes to work in A Good Kind of Trouble. Each of the books can be read as a standalone novel and I have five planned for the series. The second book in the series involves his coworker, Fiona Larkin, a busy single mother and criminal defense attorney, and federal agent Matt Pritchard, and a murder at an exclusive resort.
The Miranda Vaughn Mysteries, published by Gemma Halliday Publishing, is about a financial analyst who was falsely accused of fraud. She was found not guilty, but that doesn’t erase the scandal. In the first book, Chasing the Dollar, Miranda sets out to find who set her up—an adventure that takes her to Macau and Belize, and into the arms of a FBI agent who has his own agenda. The second book, Dropping the Dime, was released in April, and a third book is planned for release before the end of this year.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
EA: I could never choose between Ben and Lindsey! I love them both! Ben is cynical and bitter about his job as a lawyer, because it’s not the right fit for him. He keeps getting praised for doing a good job, which makes him feel even worse. And Lindsey loves her job as a reporter, and is desperate to hang on to it because she identifies so closely with her profession. I am a big believer in, as Lindsey says, finding a job that you love because you spend so much of your day at your job, and so many years of your life working.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
EA: A funny title popped into my head while I was trying to fall asleep. Immediately, I could imagine the first scene, then the second scene—and then I had to get up to write the first couple chapters. Then I didn't even keep the title, which was Trust Me, I’m a Lawyer.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
EA: A Good Kind of Trouble was the first book that I wrote that I felt was finally ready to be shown to other people. But I have been writing for many years, through a couple different careers, and always planned to submit a book for publication. I can’t imagine not telling stories, in one form or another.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
EA: This is a tough question because there are so many writers I could choose. Since I only have service for four guests, I would invite: 1) Megan Abbott, because I love how she twists the expected tropes in crime and noir into new shapes; 2) Laura Lippman, because she inspires me every time I pick up one of her books; 3) Carl Hiaasen, because he would keep us laughing; and, 4) Agatha Christie, because she’s Agatha Christie.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
EA: I usually switch between fiction and nonfiction and just finished the latest Danger Cove mystery—Deadly Dye and a Soy Chai, by Traci Andrighetti. Now I’m starting a nonfiction book called The Setup: A True Story of Dirty Cops, Soccer Moms, and Reality TV, by Pete Crooks. You may remember the story from an episode of This American Life called “The Incredible Case of the P.I. Moms.” (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/447/the-incredible-case-of-the-pi-moms)
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
EA: I am an indoorsy kind of girl—reading, writing, knitting, watching movies, baking. This is why winter is my favorite season. When forced outdoors, I do like hiking and I always have my camera with me because I love photography.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
EA: Since I just had to clean out my pantry, I can tell you that I hoard enchilada sauce, canned Marzano tomatoes, and black beans. I guess I like being able to make enchiladas on short notice. And I always have some experimental flavor of cheese in my fridge. Right now, that’s a horseradish cheddar.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
EA: Yes, a second book in the Trouble in Twin Rivers series will be out in 2016, probably in the summer. I have a couple other books under contract that have to be finished first, but then I can’t wait to find out what trouble Matt and Fiona get into.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
EA: Storytelling is such a part of human nature. It’s how we communicate with each other, even when we don’t think that’s what we’re doing. But there are little stories everywhere—in songs, commercials, conversations. I find it so interesting how we’re wired to tell and listen to stories, and I am always honored to be able to carry on that tradition, in my own little way.
Kathy: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions.
EA: Thank you for having me! This was a lot of fun!
One lucky commenter will receive an e-book of A Good Kind of Trouble. Simply leave a comment no later than 11:59 pm EDT Wednesday, August 12, 2015 telling us about a horrendously bad date you've had..or the best one! Be sure to leave an e-mail address so that I may contact you should you win!