I'd like to welcome Teresa LaRue to the blog today. Teresa write the Flower Patch Mystery series.
Kathy: A Talent for Murder is described as a cozy, Southern mystery. What makes it a Southern mystery?
TL: A combination of things make it a Southern mystery. The setting, of course. And the colorful characters, with their veneer of manners, Southern drawls, and strong sense of family. (Believe me, it matters who your people are.) Then there’s the lazy rhythm that flows through the people, always inviting you to stop by and sit a spell. And did I mention the food? Fried chicken. Biscuits and gravy. Seafood gumbo. People from the south like to eat.
Kathy: In this first Flower Patch Mystery Kate Spencer discovers her aunt's fiancé is two-timing her with an old rival. Have you ever discovered a two-timer in your own life?
TL: Unfortunately, I was married to one. I believed him when he said he and his ex-girlfriend were through. Then he came home from work one day (well, he was suppose to be at work, but he was actually with her) and announced he wanted a divorce. It hurt at the time, but it’s the best gift he ever gave me.
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
TL: There’s not a lot of blood and gore. It’s more about delving into the characters, searching for inconsistencies, and putting all the facts together to uncover the killer.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
TL: Not yet, but someday I’d like to try writing a thriller. Or maybe a humorous book along the lines of Erma Bombeck.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
TL: The owner of a local garden center sets out to solve murders with the help of her trouble-loving mother and beloved aunt, despite the warnings of her boyfriend/cop to keep her nose out of police business.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
TL: Kate’s mother, Happy Spencer. She’s at that stage in life where she can do outrageous things and blame it on old age. She puffs up like a banty rooster to intimidate her foes, carries a baseball bat around in the truck of her car for protection, and likes to be in charge of every situation. And did I mention, she’s also the best cook this side of the Mississippi?
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
TL: The idea for the book came to me when my daughter (who was young at the time) stormed into the house one day and declared she was never going anywhere with my mother and aunt again. That they were too embarrassing! It seems one of them had sprayed her dress with a can of anti-static spray in the middle of the store. That got me to thinking. What if a woman had to solve a murder, but her mother and aunt kept getting in her way? And the cop investigating the case happened to be her ex-boyfriend.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
TL: I’ve always dreamed of publishing a book. Not for the fame, or fortune (good thing, because there’s been little of both), but to connect with others. To give them a break from their ordinary lives. To make them laugh. To give them characters they’d enjoy spending an afternoon with.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
TL: Agatha Christie. I been on a Poirot kick lately.
Stephen King. Who better to scarce the socks off you.
Sue Grafton. The queen of female detectives.
James Patterson. I’m a big fan of Alex Cross.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
TL: Faux Paw by Sofie Kelly.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
TL: My absolute favorite hobby is reading. And I spend a lot of hours pursuing it. I also like to garden and watch movies. I used to do a lot of crafts, but not so much anymore.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
TL: The basics: peanut butter, jelly, bread, and, of course, CHOCOLATE.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
TL: I’m working on another Flower Patch mystery. In this book, one of Kate’s longtime-neighbors is murdered and his wife is suspected of doing the deed. She gets tricked into investigating the crime by her mother. Along the way, she has other problems to contend with: a rival tries to steal her fiancé, her mother stages a protest with her senior citizen pals, and long-held secrets bubble to the surface.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
TL: Drawing my readers into my character’s world. Giving them something to chuckle about. Brightening their day.