I'm happy to welcome Janet Finsilver to the blog today. Janet writes the Kelly Jackson Mystery series. Murder at the Mansion is the second book in the series.
Kathy: Whale-watching season brings the tourists to town in Murder at the Mansion. Have you ever been whale watching?
JF: Yes, a number of times. I’ve actually touched gray whales! I go to San Ignacio Lagoon in Mexico. Small groups of people go out in 22-foot boats called pangas manned by local guides twice a day. They’ve been magical experiences. I hope to do it again this spring.
Kathy: Redwood Heights is a Victorian-style estate turned into a B&B. Is it based on a real estate, or is it entirely fictional?
JF: It’s fictional. However, the idea of using a mansion came after I spent a couple of nights in a historic home in Colorado called Cleveholm Manor when it was operating as a hotel. Construction on it started in 1897 and was completed in 1902. John Cleveland Osgood, the owner, spared no expense and the mansion was filled crystal chandeliers, hand-carved furniture, and marble fireplaces to name a few items. I really enjoyed seeing all the antiques and wanted to put some in one of my books.
Kathy: Kelly Jackson gets assistance from a group of brainy retirees. I'm always pleased to see older characters in mysteries, but why add the “Silver Sentinels" to the mix?
JF: When the manager has an “accidental” fatal fall from a cliff, I wanted a group of his caring friends to question what happened. They knew Bob, the manager, was a very careful man and familiar with the area. They’d been involved helping with small crimes in their community, so questioning rather than taking for granted was more their norm.
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
JF: I like books that have an interesting plot, a beautiful place to visit, and people you want to spend time with. When I read something, I want to know I’m “safe” in terms of the images that will come into my mind. I do not like graphic violence. I want to know the people and animals I come to care about will not be harmed and will be back in the next book.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
JF: No. I’ve thought about writing young adult books centered around animals. Right now I’m enjoying being in Redwood Cove.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
JF: Kelly Jackson and the crime-solving group of senior citizens, the Silver Sentinels, team together to help their community when problems arise.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
JF: No, I don’t. I spend most of my time with Kelly, so I feel the closest to her. I enjoy all of the Silver Sentinels and the other regular characters. With each book I discover more about them.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
JF: I enjoy Murder She Wrote and wanted to write something along those lines. The dogs with special abilities started with an article about a dog trained to detect cancer. That’s how Fred the basset hound entered Murder at Redwood Cove. From there my research lead me to termite and bed bug finders Jack and Jill, the beagles in Murder at the Mansion. Princess, a Chihuahua and retired hearing assistance dog appears in Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
JF: Part of the fun of writing is sharing it with others. I also like to have new experiences and going through working with an agent, an editor, and the staff at Kensington Publishing Corporation has provided me with a whole new piece in my life.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
JF: Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers, and Rex Stout.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
JF: I’m not reading anything. When I’m working on a book, I don’t want to put someone else’s plot into my head. I’ll be getting the copy edits back soon for Murder at the Fortune Teller’s Table. I want my mind to stay in that book right now.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
JF: In college I trained dogs for field trials. My young Rhodesian ridgeback seemed to have a lot of fun on an agility course recently, so I’m thinking about working with her in that area. I love horseback riding and have enjoyed my trips to Bitterroot Ranch and Hunewill Ranch. I like to cook and am constantly saving recipes.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
JF: Hot chili oil, Parmesan cheese, sesame oil, ice cream with the word chocolate somewhere in the name or in the description
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
JF: I’m letting the next book in the Kelly Jackson series began to take shape.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
JF: I like the creative process. I enjoy spending time in Redwood Cove and visiting with Kelly and the Silver Sentinels and sharing their adventures.
a Rafflecopter giveaway