I'm happy to welcome Ani Gonzalez to the blog today. Ani pens the Main Street Witches Mystery series. FORTUNE FAVORS THE WITCH is the second book in the series and was released on Halloween!
Kathy: Luanne LaRue is a fortune teller. Have you ever had your fortune told?
AG: No, never. I don’t trust other people to read me. It’s a quirk.
Kathy: Do you practice any forms of divination yourself?
AG: Yes, I dabble in tarot and astrology, but mostly I do palmisty. It’s not as fancy, but it works.
Kathy: FORTUNE FAVORS THE WITCH is set in Banshee Creek, Virginia, The Most Haunted Town in the USA. How did you decide upon Virginia as your location?
AG: I lived in Northern Virginia for fifteen years and I loved the fact that every little town had its own ghost stories and usually a paranormal investigations group doing ghost tours. I used to spend pretty much every weekend doing ghost tours. Banshee Creek is based on these towns, and also on Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve, named after a farmer who claimed he’d been chased through the hills (“reeks” in Gaelic) by a banshee.
Kathy: Have you had any paranormal experiences yourself?
AG: A couple of tingles during ghost tours, but that’s it. I don’t think I’m sensitive to them at all, which is probably good. I wouldn’t get any sleep at night otherwise.
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
AG: I read my first Agatha Christie mystery in high school and fell in love with Miss Marple. I adored the small town English atmosphere and the quirky characters. I went on to read Elizabeth Peters, Sarah Caudwell, Dorothy Sayers, and more authors than I can count. I love the detail in the books as well as the puzzles and characterization.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
AG: I also write small town paranormal romances, which also take place in Banshee Creek. I love having two series set in the same town because you can really build a detailed world with lots of nice details. I know I’ve done my job when readers tell me that they want to move to the town. That’s my favorite reader comment.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
AG: Main Street Witches follows a witchy trio as they open up businesses in the haunted town of Banshee Creek, finding love (and corpses!) along the way. The Banshee Creek series is a paranormal small town romance series, which follows the trials and tribulations of the town’s residents as they handle unexpected romance, meddling familes, and haunted hijinks. Both series are funny and quirky.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
AG: I love Luanne, the protagonist of FORTUNE FAVORS THE WITCH. She’s my Maiden witch and she’s funny and sharp. The fortune telling is also fantastic. Luanne cracks me up.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
AG: The television show Charmed was a huge inspiration. I love the house, the magic, and the interaction between the three sisters. Charmed is one big reason why Main Street Witches has three protagonists. I knew I needed three witches. Kat, Luanne, and Fiona (who arrives in town in the third book) aren’t sisters, but they interact the same way.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
AG: I was writing the kind of books I wanted to read. I love genre fiction (cozy mystery and romance) and the paranormal and I wanted to create something special that would truly transport readers into another world. It took me a long time to get the stories to where I wanted them to be, but once I got there I knew I wanted the books to see the light of day. Luckily, I’ve found a wonderful group of readers who love and appreciate what I do. I have the best fans in the world.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
AG: Agatha Christie, Shirley Jackson, Sarah Caudwell, and Terry Pratchett.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
AG: I love crochet. It’s an addiction.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
AG: Salsa, Manchego cheese, tortilla chips, and Diet Coke.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
AG: Yes, both the Banshee Creek series and the Main Street Witches will be ongoing. I’m currently editing the third Main Street Witches book, SOME LIKE IT WITCHY. After that, I’ll finish the Christmas book, MERRY LITTLE WITCHMAS. There’s an underlying story line that I know readers are very anxious about (Cole’s story). Don’t worry, guys. There’s method to the madness. Cole will have his turn soon.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
AG: Chatting with readers. That’s the best part.
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