Kathy: In Scared Witchless Dylan Apel has just learned that she's a witch. Would you like to discover that you have witchy powers?
AB: Oh my gosh, yes. That would be so cool. I mean, if I could do things like make something appear out of thin air, I would be a bazillionaire, right?
Kathy: Did you base the witches in Scared Witchless on those who practice Wicca, or follow a similar path? Did you consult any witches or Wiccans as part of your research?
AB: I did not base this on Wicca at all. Though I have known Wiccans in the past and am familiar with some of the very basics of practice, I did not at all base Dylan's powers on the practice. I think in not having rules based in reality, it gave me much more freedom to do as I pleased.
Kathy: Dylan creates hand-made clothing. Are you a seamstress too? Do enjoy fashion design?
AB: Ha-ha, no I am not a seamstress, though I can sew a button on a blouse so tight you'd think it was attached with cement. I wish I could sew and love the idea but I've got two small girls and I can barely keep up with them and write, and do the dishes, and make supper, and put clothes away. Hey, I need some witchy powers to help me out, here!
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
AB: Well, if you don't count reading Christopher Pike when I was in junior high, Juliet Blackwell's Hexes and Hemlines series got me interested, but it was Amanda Lee's Wicked Witches of the Midwest that sold me on them. They're so much fun and have such great characters. Cozies have a bit of everything—romance, mystery, intrigue—I simply love them.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
AB: Yes, I also have a dystopian romance series available—The Dark Revolution series—lots of steamy love scenes in a mad, mad world.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
AB: The Bless Your Witch series is about three sisters who discover they're witches—well, really two of the sisters because the third one is talentless, as she's told by other witches. What they also find, however, is that they're not very good at being witches, which makes for some funny scenes (at least I hope so). When a client of Dylan's is murdered, Dylan realizes that someone is trying to kill her in order to steal her powers, apparently a not-too-uncommon occurrence when it comes to witches.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
AB: Oh, I love Dylan. She's so snarky and says things that I would never imagine telling anyone. She speaks the truth—sometimes a bit too much in the ever so polite South.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
AB: I'd actually written this book basically as a romantic comedy, but it didn't quite work, so I rewrote as a cozy and loved how it turned out.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
AB: Cozy readers are voracious, always looking for more books. I'm just trying to give them one other option to enjoy.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
AB: Lee Child of course. I love him. Love him. Did I mention I love him? William Faulkner, just cause it's one Southern Writer to another, and let's add Eudora Welty cause I love her too. Lastly, JK Rowling because she scraped herself up from the pit of despair and created a phenomenon simply because she believed in herself.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
AB: Lee Hollis—Death of a Kitchen Diva. After that, it's off to do some damage with Jack Reacher.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
AB: My hobbies are reading, drinking coffee and tea, and eating chocolate! Well, trying not to because it breaks me out and makes me fat, but who cares?
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
AB: I always have salted cashews because they’re a delicious snack, a can of diced tomatoes because I can do anything with them, coffee because the world would hate me if I didn’t have it, and frozen pacifiers for my teething child.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
AB: Yes, working on book two in the Bless Your Witch series right now!
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
AB: That I can escape into the lives of other people. Ahhh. And every story has a happy ending. :)