Sunday, August 6, 2017
Dadgummit - An Interview & Giveaway
I'm pleased to welcome Maggie Toussaint to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Maggie writes the Dreamwalker Mystery series. DADGUMMIT, the fourth book in the series, was released August 1st.
Kathy: In DADGUMMIT Baxley Powell and her family go camping in the north Georgia mountains. Do you enjoy camping?
MT: We tried tent camping when our kids were in school, and while I enjoyed the actual camping part, the prep and cleanup afterward discouraged me from doing it very often. However, I love the idea of getting away, which is why I used camping for Baxley’s family. They’re able to take a week-long vacation just for the cost of gas and their food. Pretty darn awesome if you ask me.
Kathy: Baxley has a unique talent, dreamwalking. Have you ever met anyone with this ability? Or other psychic skills?
MT: I know people with various psychic talents. Within my own family, several aunts and a sister claim to be sensitive to ghosts. I own several nonfiction books written by psychics and once took a course from a psychic. Other than the internet, this is the extent of my research into the paranormal for this series. I have taken liberty with the general rules of psychics. It is generally recognized that a person may have one ability, i.e., they hear voices or see visions. Baxley is something of a super psychic because she has more than one psychic talent.
Kathy: Baxley's abilities draws the unwanted attention of beings believed to be Cherokee folklore. How did your interest in this topic develop?
MT: A friend of mine is part Cherokee. She is very forthcoming about her experience in our talks and in her books. Also, if my family history is correct, a branch of my family long ago married into the Cherokee people. Add to that my lifelong zeal for mythology and legends, and DADGUMMIT is the perfect blend of several of my favorite things.
Kathy: What first drew you to mysteries?
MT: I’ve always liked puzzles, and to me a mystery is a jigsaw puzzle. I like rotating the story pieces around in my head and trying different configurations here and there. I always seem to know where a piece fits, which is very helpful in plotting a story. My TV and movie preferences still lean strongly to mysteries as well. It used to annoy my husband when I figured out the plot before the end of a show. He’s used to that now. Sometimes I impress him by saying the next actual line of the show – and that’s a guess based on what I would’ve written.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
MT: Sigh. My muse has a wandering soul. So far I’ve written romance, romantic suspense, cozy mystery, futuristic mystery, and now paranormal mystery. Let’s not give my muse any additional encouragement to branch out!
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
MT: The Dreamwalker Mystery Series features Baxley Powell, a pet sitter and landscaper who uses her connections in this world – and the next – to solve homicides.
The Lindsey & Ike Romantic Mystery Novella Series features a small town newspaper owner and a cop as a crime solving partnership of sorts.
The Cleopatra Jones Cozy Mystery Series features an accountant who answers the call to action to save her family and friends from jail.
The Guardian of Earth Series is about a scientist and his android sidekick fifty years from now protecting the Earth from internal and external threats.
Lastly, the Mossy Bog Romantic Suspense Series features three different couples in the town of Mossy Bog who solve crimes and fall in love.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
MT: I’m particularly fond of Baxley Powell. Her ever-evolving talents keep the character fresh for me. I always come to the computer eager to write her adventures.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
MT: After two family members died in close succession, I became more curious about the continuance of the spirit. I wanted there to be something more for my family, so I began creating a spirit world. So far in the first four books of the series, we’ve only explored the aspect of the afterlife where troubled souls abide. There’s plenty more territory to explore!
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
MT: Way back, and I mean way back, I had this plan to write two category romances a year and quit my day job. My plan tanked because I didn’t have a “category voice.” However, the more time I spent on learning the writing process and hanging out with published authors, the more I longed to join the crowd. As a scientific writer, I had to unlearn so many things to write commercial fiction. It was a challenge I relished.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
MT: Poet Shel Silverstein, evangelist Billy Graham, southern author Margaret Mitchell, and physicist Michio Kaku.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
MT: Two mystery books: Jeffery Deaver’s THE STEEL KISS and Nancy J Cohen’s HAIR BRAINED.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
MT: In addition to loving puzzles of all sorts, I am now very interested in adult coloring books. My inner child loves to color! I was dismayed when my kids outgrew it but delighted when I get to color with my grands.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
MT: Apples, butter, salad dressing, and iced tea.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
MT: Yes! Book 5 in the Dreamwalker series, CONFOUND IT, is slated for a June 2018 release. The next Cleopatra Jones entry will be a novella in the Sleuthing Women II anthology, with a September 2017 release. The last Lindsey & Ike Romantic Mystery Novella should also be out September 2017 or thereabouts.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
MT: I love sharing my ideas with authors and readers. We all speak the same language.
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