I'm happy to welcome Colleen J. Shogan to the blog today. Colleen pens the Washington Whodunit Mystery series. Stabbing in the Senate is the first book in the series.
Kathy: I must admit I have never been very interested in politics. Has politics been a life long interest of yours, or a more recent discovery?
CJS: I’ve loved politics since I was a teenager. I figured out I wanted to be a political scientist when I was a freshman in college. I’ve never once regretted studying politics or making it my life’s vocation. It’s what makes me tick.
Kathy: Kit has to deal with social media as well as the tabloids! Have you ever had to deal with viral videos or inflammatory press? Do you ever wish for the days before social media?
CJS: Social media is a great way to transmit information. Through Facebook, I keep in contact with friends I cannot see on a regular basis. I know about their lives and their successes. Social media can be used negatively or for less admirable purposes but in that sense, it’s simply a tool. It’s how you use it that matters.
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
CJS: I’ve read mysteries my entire life. I came across several cozy mysteries at a used bookstore in graduate school. Reading them provided a great deal of relaxation after my work was done for the day.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
CJS: Yes, I’m a political scientist by training so I write journal articles and reports related to politics and public policy. I have a nonfiction book published by Texas A&M press titled “The Moral Rhetoric of American Presidents.” It examines how presidents have used morality to make stronger political arguments throughout American history.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
CJS: The Washington Whodunit series features Kit Marshall, a hardworking congressional staffer who realizes the hard way that politics can be murder.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
CJS: Kit is my main character in the series, but I really like her best friend Meg. She’s crazy! Anything is up for grabs and she loves adventure and risk-taking. She’s a lot of fun to write.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
CJS: I worked in the Senate for several years and in my current position, I assist all Members of Congress. I interact with congressional staff as part of my job and they are the inspiration for the series. They have tough jobs on Capitol Hill and for the most part, they genuinely want to make the United States a safer and more prosperous country.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
CJS: After I’d spent two years writing it, I definitely wanted to share it with others. It was somewhat worrisome. What if no one liked it? But nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
CJS: Dan Brown, Agatha Christie, J.K. Rowling, Bob Woodward
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
CJS: Riesling Retribution by Ellen Crosby
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
CJS: I like running, particularly with my beagle mutt, Conan.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
CJS: Hummus, a chilled white wine, pasta, and good cheese.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
CJS: Homicide in the House comes out in June 2016. It’s the second book in the Washington Whodunit series.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
CJS: Fiction enables the writer great freedom and creativity. If I don’t like the direction something is headed, I can change it immediately. That’s not something you can do in real life in Washington, D.C.
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